your first class - your questions answered
We've put together answers to the questions that we're most commonly asked by students starting tango for the first time. We hope they help.
Of course, you can still email us or drop us a line to ask anything at all. We're happy to help! To contact us: click here.
Tango is an improvised social dance that was born in the slums of Buenos Aires in the late 19th century. Over the years it has developed to become a beautifully subtle dance which has as much to do with the elegance of the movements as the wonderful sense of connection and flow that you feel with your partner when you dance.
Tango is danced all over the world in milongas (tango dance nights), where couples - who in some cases may never have met - dance together for a few tangos, before sitting down and looking for their next dance partner.
Tango is often confused with ballroom tango but, despite having the same origins, the two dances could not be more different. For this reason, outside of Argentina, we call our tango: Argentine tango.
Have a look at our videos to get a feel for what tango looks like: click here.
You can wear anything that you feel comfortable in as long as it doesn’t restrict your movement (eg a tight skirt). Most often people come in the clothes they happen to be wearing that day - without changing before class.
Have a look at our class photos to get a feel for what people are wearing: click here.
For footwear, it is best to avoid trainers as they can overly grip the floor impeding movement. We recommend our female students wear comfortable high heels, but if you prefer flats you’ll still find it possible to do the class.
Sometimes people feel that they can’t come to class because they don’t have a partner. This is a shame as in tango, we very rarely have just one partner. Tango is like a language that we learn so that we can dance with many different partners.
In our lessons, we change partners regularly so that you learn to feel comfortable dancing with different people. This has the additional benefit that you get to meet and dance with everyone in the class.
If you are in fact planning to come to the class with a partner, this is also no problem. We’ll understand if you would prefer to stay together for the whole class.
You can start tango at any age. When you fall in love with tango, you might wish you had started earlier, but a late start will not stop you dancing!
Most people start tango as adults and some students don’t start until later on in life. We love the fact that tango crosses boundaries between the generations.
We start the classes with warm-up exercises that help us get the feel for the movements and the music before starting to work in partners.
We will give clear central explanations and then circulate the room giving 1-to-1 advice and tips.
At the end of the class, we will demonstrate the movements learnt with an improvised tango performance.
We get asked this question a lot and it is a difficult one to answer!
Tango is an art form that you can continue exploring for the rest of your life. The good news however is that it can be broken down into very simple elements or building blocks so that by the end of your first class, you’ll be able to improvise a tango from beginning to end.
In our school, we offer weekly classes for Absolute Beginners (with no dance experience) through to Advanced students (who have been dancing for many years). Have a look at our level guide, to get a general idea of how your tango journey could pan out.
We encourage our students not to race through levels as a good foundation ensures better progress in the long run.
The difference between classes of different levels is real - you’ll notice a marked difference in the pace of the class, the material covered and the level of the students.
We will be closely involved in your progress making sure that you are in the right class for your level and that when you move up a level, you are ready for the change. And we always encourage students to feel free to come and talk to us about this after class.
Absolutely not! In fact when tango was born in the 19th Century and during its golden age in the 1930’s and 1940’s, it was danced by ordinary people who had no formal dance training.
If you have never taken a single dance class in your life, you’ll be in good company when you step into one of our Beginners classes!
We’d recommend that you always start at the beginning as there are founding principles, unique to tango, that you need to understand before moving to the next level. In our experience, even professional dancers from other disciplines flounder if they skip our Beginners classes.
Don’t worry, you won’t find the Beginners classes boring. The concepts themselves will be new to you and we will immediately pick up on on the fact that you have dance training and make sure that you are given some additional challenges.
It’s always hard for us to judge your level before we have met you. We recommend that you read our level guide to try and place your level.
If in doubt, come to the class below the level that you think might be right for you. You’ll still learn something and have an enjoyable class experience, and we can discuss with you after the class whether you’ll benefit from a higher level.
In terms of level, there is no difference. They are both for Absolute Beginners - with no previous experience in tango - or for students who have done some tango before but want to revisit the basics.
We have two weekly options for Beginners so that you have some flexibility as to the days you choose to learn and so that you can take two classes a week if you want to make quicker progress.
The Beginners Crash Course is structured as a course and as such is like a story with a beginning, middle and end. The Beginners Drop-in class runs on a weekly basis and can be joined at any time.
On the Beginners Crash Course, we ask people to sign up in advance. This gives us the opportunity to find helpers to even up the numbers where either extra men or extra women sign up.
In the Beginners drop-in Class, this is left to chance. But don’t worry - this is never a problem. We keep the partners changing regularly and will work with you on your technique when you don’t have a partner. No one is left standing around in our classes!
Click here to see all the details on our Beginners Classes and Courses.
We update our website every week so you can be sure that all the information here is up-to-date.
Whenever there is a class cancellation (which doesn't happen very often), this will be clearly stated - on the class page and in News.