FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is Argentine Tango
Argentine Tango is an improvised dance.
Its origins can be traced back over 100 years to the melting pot of Buenos Aires from where it spread to the streets, salons and stages of the world.
Tangueros generally keep their feet close to the floor as they walk, ankles and knees brushing as one leg passes the other, but there is no "basic step." Even in a sequence, every movement is led in direction, speed and quality by the leader (man or woman). So rather than patterns, tango relies on a direct non-verbal dialogue communicated through the embrace.
You will meet diverse and friendly people while dancing tango. The challenges of the dance usually attract an accomplished and determined group, adding a compelling social aspect to the dance.
How long will it take to learn?
Tango is a lifelong process. Even the best dancers in the world are still learning. If you are going to enjoy tango, you must enjoy the process of learning tango. It is a challenging dance with sophisticated historical, cultural, and musical traditions. It will enrich your life like no other partner dance out there!
What should I bring to class?
You do not need a partner because tango is a social dance where everyone dances with each other.
When you go out dancing, put your best foot forward, whatever that means for you. Some gentlemen wear suits, others wear trendy cargo pants. Ladies wear skirts, flowing dresses, or pants. The most important thing is to be you. Wear what makes you feel good and allows you to move comfortably.
When you come to class, wear anything comfortable. If you don't have any suitable shoes, you should bring thick socks to class.
If you dance long enough, dance shoes will become your obsession.
Youtube and Spotify have great playlists. Just search for your favorite composer.
A great resource for people who want to start a collection of Golden Age music and don’t know where to begin:
Tango involves a lot of pivots. Generally, this means your shoes should not have rubber soles. Especially for women, it is important that your shoes give stability and support, so platforms and strapless shoes should be avoided. For men, we suggest leather bottoms rather than suede.
If you live in the United States, you can go to a large tango festival and visit the vendor tables where you can try on as many pairs as you can find. One unfortunate problem with this approach is that festivals often limit the number of vendors so that only one brand is featured.
You can also contact companies directly and do mail-order. Sometimes they will accept a trace of your foot to help with sizing.
By far the best option is to buy shoes in Buenos Aires. If you find something you like, buy it off the shelf. Shoemakers are willing to do custom work, but we suggest you avoid this option unless you are in Buenos Aires for at least a month.
A few shoe companies we suggest:
Carlos Farroni (men)
Greta Flora (ladies)
Madame Pivot (both)
Soy Porteno (both)