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It was amazing to be back on the dance floor again on Boxing Day when we gave our first performance since the birth of our baby in July.

The event took place in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall, with dancing for all, live music and two dance performances.

For those of you who missed it, here is a youtube video:

Our next performance will be on Saturday 21st January at our annual Winter Ball in the Old Finsbury Town Hall. We really hope you can make it!

It's that time of year when we wind down all our classes and take a short break from tango.

It's been another amazing year for us at Tango Movement.

I enjoyed teaching classes right up until the night before my second baby was born in July. It was a special feeling to dance with the baby inside me and I didn't feel tempted to give up for a second! After some time off on maternity leave, I was back teaching classes by mid-September.

This year, we've worked hard on developing our weekend workshop themes, aiming always to help our students grow both technically and artistically, and to bring out the very best in them. We've continued to focus on creating the warm, nurturing atmosphere that our classes have become known for, so that we all feel that we are much more than a tango school ... more a tango family!

Highlights of this year have been our participation in the Che Tango Festival, in which I danced 7 months pregnant, our students' wonderful performance at the UK Tango Championship, our amazing sun-blessed garden party and, of course, hosting tango legend Alejandra Mantiñan for workshops over two weekends.

And how can we forget Alejandra and David's exhilarating, improvised performance at Negracha Tango Club in October? Two dancers who had scarcely danced with each other before stepped out onto the dance floor and exhibited an immediate connection and chemistry. Just like that. Magic. This, people, is what tango is all about!

Thank you everyone for making 2016 what it was and Tango Movement what it is. It is a never-ending source of happiness for us. As we get ready for our 10th anniversary year (gulp!), please enjoy this video of our favourite parts of 2016.

We'd like to wish you all a very happy Christmas and New Year, wherever you may be spending it.

Wishing you health, happiness and a lot of tango in 2017! We can't wait to get started!

With much love,

David & Kim

A question I get asked a lot is what complimentary activity will most help me progress in tango.

There's no doubt that parallels can be found between most forms of movement, whether it is pilates, martial arts or even golf (or so I'm told!). And you may have noticed that students with some kind of background in another discipline usually improve at a faster rate than those who have not.

I'm always keen to stress that complimentary disciplines alone won't make you a great tango dancer. Dancing tango will make you a great tango dancer! A martial arts expert who has never taken a tango class, cannot dance tango! But they can definitely be a great help.

Everyone is different, but I just love ballet for my tango. It has given me a greater understanding of how my body works, improved my posture, control, co-ordination, musicality and strength. And I could go on!

Plus, I secretly do it because I love it and not just to improve my tango!

For over 5 years, I have been taking weekly private classes with the most wonderful teacher. With a gentle personality and a huge wealth of knowledge, her classes are holistic yet precise and her approach demanding yet incredibly nurturing. Her classes have been a tremendous help to me - not only improving my ballet but also - indirectly - my tango too.

I thought it was time to share my secret with my students! Too often they tell me they'd like to try ballet but feel intimidated by large ballet classes where they are an anonymous one of many.

Whether you have zero ballet experience, did ballet as a child or regularly take ballet classes as an adult, you will love Diana's teaching. And with only 6 places available, you will receive personal attention and - perhaps for the first time - feel at home in an adult ballet class.

The class will be a regular ballet class (no tango, no heels!) but with a strong focus on posture, balance and alignment. We will be running one taster session this year but hope to run the class on a weekly basis in the New Year.

When: Saturday 10th December 2016

Time: 4:30 - 5:30 pm

Where: Studio Movement, 6th Floor, Templeton House, 33-34 Chiswell Street, Moorgate EC1Y 4SF (Moorgate, Old Street, Barbican and Liverpool Street tubes)

Price: £15 per person

Places are limited to six - and three of them have gone already! - so please contact us if you would like to come.

Nights Out 16-09-2016

A lot of you tell us how much you love the atmosphere of our classes. So much so that they become as much a chance to catch up with friends and soak up the feel-good feeling, as to learn to dance tango.

That's why we organise Nights Out every two months or so. Our Nights Out are a golden opportunity for us all to all meet up outside of class and together do what we most love doing: tango.

We choose some of the best "milongas" (tango clubs) in town for our venues. Sometimes we give a performance during the evening, sometimes just the pre-milonga class and sometimes we simply hang out with you al!

With Kim back from maternity leave, now seems like an ideal time to plan our next Night Out. Watch this space for news of our next one, coming really soon!

UPDATE: Our next night out is our Christmas Party on Friday 25th November and guess what, you're invited! Click here for all the information. We hope you'll join us - it's going to be a great night.

A new series of Strictly Come Dancing is due to start on the BBC tonight. And no doubt this year, as in previous years, the programme will serve up its own particular version of Argentine tango.

And there will be - as there always are - tango aficionados up in arms about it on social media. Equally, however, there will be many of us who have wearily grown accustomed to seeing our beloved tango misrepresented in the mainstream media. And other than a brief moment of irritation or a small squirm of embarrassment, we will move swiftly on to the next story in our news feed.

But, as one dance competition is about to begin, another very different one comes to a close.

In Buenos Aires, the Tango World Championship, El Mundial de Tango, has just crowned its latest champions in “tango salon” (dance floor tango) and “tango escenario” (stage tango).

Watching the footage of the final, I find myself wondering what Strictly fans would make of it. Because the difference between the winning tango and what they’ll see on Strictly, could not be greater.

El Mundial de Tango is the only competition that has any weight at all in the world of Argentine Tango. And contrary to popular belief, competitions in Argentine tango are not considered “the be all and end all”. Indeed they are a relatively recent innovation.

Many tango dancers think competitions can stifle our art form, turning it into a box-ticking exercise. By conforming to the rules or what the competitors think the judges are looking for, competitions risk creating uniformity and banality, inhibiting creativity and individuality.

But there was nothing uniform or banal about the winners of the stage competition this year.

What would a Strictly fan make of it? Well, I’m guessing they might detect a significant lack of bling and plunging necklines. Not that I’m anti-bling - I have succumbed to a fair few sequinned dresses in my time - but tango is so much more classy and complex than the cliché.

A Strictly fan might also miss the slicked-back hair of the classic tango Lothario. Our man is a foppish blond, bucking yet another stereotype.

But perhaps most striking of all, throughout the couple dance with a wrought iron bird cage with a red balloon inside. Around it, in their arms, even attached to their feet, the bird cage is the focal point of their choreography.

What’s it all about? Well, without some knowledge of the music, it is admittedly a little baffling. However, in Argentina, the piece - "Balada Por Un Loco" by Astor Piazzolla - is perhaps as well-known as “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and no less surreal in its meaning.

“Love me this way, crazy, crazy, crazy … Climb up to this tender madness in me. Put on this wig of larks and fly! Fly with me now! Come, fly, come!”

You may love the choreography, you may hate it. You may like aspects of it - ideas, movements, musical interpretation - but not everything. You might respect its individuality but find that it fails to capture your heart. Indeed, you may dislike anything that isn’t purest the form of improvised tango salon.

But there’s one thing I think even the harshest critics will agree on. The choreography is different, original and innovative.

When I watch this video, I see dancers following their hearts and giving an honest interpretation of the form. They dance how they want to dance, without worrying about the judges’ scorecards - and it pays dividends.

It’s refreshing to see individuality, creativity and imagination applauded in a world of plastic commercialism and stereotypes. By embracing originality, I feel the judges of the Mundial did something important. I believe - and hope - that they have opened the door to a good deal more creativity and individuality in future competitions. I’m excited to see how tango will grow as a consequence and what the Mundial will give us in years to come.

When we came to London nearly 10 years ago, we had one purpose: to create our Argentine Tango school and to impart our knowledge from our years in Buenos Aires to the very best of our ability.

But what we didn't expect was to create something else, something bigger: a whole community of like-minded people. Over the years, we have seen life-long friendships form, relationships blossom, even children born! All because Tango Movement brought them together.

So it seemed to us that it was high time we organised a party - not a tango party (we have organised many of these!) but a social one - to bring together all our tango students - both those who have recently joined us and those who have been coming for years. And even those who we haven't seen in ages but will always be part of our "tango family".

We knew we were being optimistic but the recent good weather inspired us to throw a garden party at our home. Thankfully, the tango gods were smiling down on us and we experienced a very rare thing in this country: a sunny bank holiday!

With invitations sent out just a week before (we were monitoring the weather forecasts!) and many of our students away over the Bank Holiday, we were amazed to welcome over 75 people over the course of the day. We tried to invite everyone we could think of by going through our class lists. We just hope we remembered most of you!

And inevitably, even at a "non-tango tango party", there was quite a bit of dancing! With tango music playing, there was no stopping some people, even if it was barefooted on the grass!

The day was so fabulous that we now hope that - weather permitting - this will be a permanent feature on our tango calendar! So look out for the Tango Movement Garden Party: Edition 2 ... coming next summer!

Thank you everyone who came and made the day so special. For those who weren't there for whatever reason, we hope to see you next year!

I just loved receiving this video recently of our lovely students, Ed and Katie, dancing tango at their wedding.

Ed and Katie have been coming to our classes for years but it is a very different thing learning to improvise (as we do in our classes) to learning a choreography. Not to mention the feeling of getting up and dancing in front of a big group of people. Yes, we try to tell ourselves that that group is made up of only family and friends who love us and think anything we do is wonderful, but somehow those butterflies can be hard to shake.

Ed and Katie dance so well in this video that you’d never guess that their choreography did in fact turn into an improvisation when a technical hiccup meant the the tango went on for 20 seconds longer than expected. Can you tell? I couldn’t! I guess all those tango classes learning to improvise paid off!

Congratulations Ed and Katie for your beautifully elegant wedding dance. And congratulations on your marriage. We wish you many years of love, happiness and tango together!

So I did it! I kept dancing tango until the night before my baby was born.

I did it for my first pregnancy four years ago and now I’m happy to say I also did it for my second.

And not just because I didn’t want to give up teaching the classes I love until the last minute, but because I so enjoyed the feeling of dancing tango with my baby bump.

There is something quite amazing dancing while pregnant. I felt completely at peace with myself, freeing up my self-expression. The movements felt natural and for some reason I didn’t feel uncomfortable or unstable wearing my 9 cm tango heels. I know it is difficult to believe. Outside of class, I shed my wedges mid-way through my pregnancy and would only wear the flattest of flats when walking on the street. But in my “Comme Il Fauts” I felt completely happy.

Yes, at times tango’s close embrace was compromised by my ever-growing bump and more showy moves were out of the question. But somehow salon tango felt so much easier than walking to the dance studio from the tube station.

Although in many ways it is a wonderful feeling to be pregnant, in the final months you do feel a little like a baby elephant going about your daily activities. Just walking at a normal pace would produce a pain in my side or hip - very frustrating for a person who likes to run from one activity to the next. Yet, I never once felt a twinge when dancing tango. Maybe it was all those lovely endorphins that tango is meant to release. I’ll never know. But I am very grateful for it.

This video shows me improvising at the end of our Wednesday night Improvers class on the very night before the baby was born:

Just under two weeks after the birth, watching the video with my “now you see it, now you don’t” bump, is already incredible to me. Was that really me? And I’m so happy that as my little girl gets older, I can show her the video and tell her that was you inside my tummy just the night before you were born.

And I'll just also leave you with a few more videos of me dancing tango with my baby bump. Here at 7 months pregnant at the Che Tango Festival in London:

David and I are thrilled to announce the birth of our second daughter, Amélie Rose, who was born on Thursday 14th July, weighing 2.7 kgs/6lbs. She is absolutely gorgeous!

We are now enjoying a 2-week break while we all get to know each other. Our full programme of classes will resume in August. And I hope to return from maternity leave by mid-September.

We hope you're all enjoying a wonderful summer and we're looking forward to seeing you in just over a week's time!

Your Feedback 15-04-2016

It’s always wonderful to receive glowing feedback from students. It’s good to know that we’re still on the right track. Here are some of the lovely messages we’ve received recently which we’d like to share with you:

“Just wanted to tell you that I stepped out of my comfort zone and went to the Good  Friday South Bank tango event, and danced for 2 hours with familiar faces. I loved it so much I decided to go to the Saturday afternoon milonga at Tango Garden. I couldn't believe that I danced the whole time.

I did have several compliments about my feet and was asked who teaches me. I proudly said Kim and David,the reply was OH! So that explains it !!!!!!  They're fantastic teachers and very stylish.

Since the weekend I have been floating on a cloud and waking in the night with the music in my head. My head is consumed with tango, it's so crazy.

I'm so glad I found you lovely guys, I really couldn't wish for better teachers. You put so much into your teaching you really deserve to see some rewards.”

“Thanks for such a lovely lesson! I wanted you to hear what [another student] said (and I agree with) "not only are you both great teachers and great teachers together, you also make every single person in the room feel special." This is such a great gift you have and probably something I have never seen before. Everyone goes away feeling good about themselves.”

“Lovely class last night. Great moves as always and so nice to see some of the students from when we first started your classes...London can count themselves lucky to have such high class teachers.”