Tango in Tacoma
The way to get started in Argentine tango with the least committment is to attend a milonga
(tango social dance) or a practica (tango practice dance), but some of these events may be
intimidating for those with little or no experience dancing Argentine tango.
Our group lessons are tied to a practica and a very good way to get started.
How Do I Choose a Class or a Private Instructor?
This is an important key to your success in learning tango
Attending a class is an opportunity to see whether an instructor's approach is
suitable for you. Go to more than one teachers class. Ask them about their
approach to teaching. Ask them for references. Ask dancers whose dancing skills
you admire for their suggestions.
Look for teachers who are highly involved in the tango community,
regularly dancing with others at area milongas and practicas at other locations.
Look for a teacher or teachers who's students have an active regular presence
at the main area milongas and practicas.
Look for a teacher who's students spend their time at these milongas dancing
with good dancers who are not students of the same teacher to see how well they
integrate into the greater tango community.
How Long Will It Take to Learn Argentine Tango?
The rate at which people learn Argentine tango varies greatly across individuals.
Achieving a basic competence in dancing tango can take anywhere from a few
weeks to a year of weekly classes or private lessons. After most people have
achieved a basic competency, they find a continued opportunity to refine and
develop their dancing skills. Many people find that Argentine Tango offers a
lifetime of learning, even after formal instruction has ended.
A note on "certification".
There is more than 1 dance teacher in the South Sound area that
has been "certified". In addition to the one "certified" person who
does know and understand Argentine Tango, Arthur Murray studios each have a teacher that has been "certified". There are a couple of other ballroom studios that claim to have a "certified" Argentine teacher. I think it is significant that these ballroom teachers have never gone to an Argentine Tango event and you will not find their students at these events either.
In the rest of this region, among all of the wonderful, highly skilled Argentine tango teachers including the many who are from Buenos Aires, Argentina none are "certified". Most of these are at the highest possible levels of teachers and performers who have studied for years to reach this level. These and other instructors from Argentina are the instructors that I have studied with for years to learn my craft and continue to advance my skills with them. Go to the major milongas (tango dances) to see them in action.
Look before you leap.
When seeking good Argentine Tango instruction go to more than one teacher's class before making any commitment. Pay attention to the length of time they have been working with their students and the level of accomplishment for their students. Look at the instructors style of dance. Dance instructors will usually teach you to dance in the style that they dance. More important than the things you are told by a teacher (after all they are selling you their services) is the feeling that you would like to dance the way they do. When you begin your classes it is a good idea to keep your initial commitment small so that if you find yourself uncomfortable or unhappy it is easy to look elsewhere.
Much more on learning to tango.
There is a vast pool of information at the Tango Puget Sound website and if you connect to the link below it should answer any other questions you might have, or maybe give you more questions to ask.
Tango becomes a pleasure that you will enjoy for life.
Courtesy of Steven & Susan Brown
and Mark Anderson