Argentine Tango Classes at VDC

Jay Aland will teach a series of classes in Argentine Tango, tailored for VDC residents. We have completed 3 classes, covering the basics, and we have now shifted to lessons by appointment.  Contact Jay Aland to arrange a time and place.   Argentine Tango is a journey; there is an infinite amount to learn, yet every step of the way is a joy in itself. You’ll never learn it all, but whatever you do learn will enable you to dance tango at your own level.  This tango is a dance of Musicality and Connection.

“Argentine Tango” is a name used to refer to many kinds of tango; the name requires further explanation. This is the tango which people have been dancing every day for 50 years or more in the old dance halls in the center of Buenos Aires. This will not be the tango which you see on Dancing With The Stars or in performances posted on YouTube; this is not performance tango done for an audience, but a very personal tango, done for your partner. It is so subtle that you can hardly see what’s happening, but the dancers can feel it more than in any other dance.

Our goal in these classes is that you will be able to dance tango well enough that you can dance without thinking (the way you walk down the street, without thinking of where you are placing your feet). This will be a basic tango with simple steps.

Gender Balance and partners – Many of those who have contacted me are women who don’t have a partner. For this reason I have decided to teach a tango where women can dance with other women (contrary to the way tango dancers usually do it). Women can pick who to dance with, who will lead, who will follow, and whether to be a leader all the time or switch between lead and follow. Everyone in the class will be welcome to dance with the same partner all the time, or change partners to dance with everyone.

[In Argentina men sometimes dance with other men, but women do not dance with women; everyone circulates, to dance with many different partners. If you go to public tango dances (Milongas) you’ll find customs which will be different from this class.]

Practice – I invite you to listen to tango music (if you need some, I will lend you a CD), and listen for the rhythm; tap out the rhythm with fingers or toes when you can. Pick a favorite song and listen to it enough to get to know it (like a current favorite song) and let it become your gateway to interpreting the nuances of the rhythms. If you have a partner, it will help you to dance for a few minutes here and there.

To get an idea of how people dance in the milongas of Buenos Aires, watch this video of Ruben Harymbat & Alicia Pons in Tigre Viejo by Osvaldo Fresedo. Both Alicia and Ruben are tango maestros who have been dancing every day for 60 years, and have been teaching tango for the last 25 years.  Alicia has taught 2 workshops in Atlanta in the past year, on connection, and will be back to teach another weekend in May. Ruben taught a workshop here 6 years ago on rhythm. Watch this dance for musicality and connection, keeping in mind that it is a performance, and has some fancy figures in it.