Your questions about tango
Leaders and followers: In tango the man usually takes the role of the leader — initiating steps and movements — while the woman is termed the follower. However, this is always more of an active relationship and the follower is never passive. Men and women can swap roles and it is not uncommon for women to lead other women (or more occasionally men) and for men to dance together.
What should I wear? Clothes which are comfortable and which allow you to move freely. Most people wear casual clothes for classes, dressing up for milongas and special events. You don't need to dance shoes to start learning tango, but shoes with leather soles will help you to pivot more easily and some women find a small heel helpful.
Can I come without a partner? It's fine to come without a partner. There is often a good balance of leaders and followers and in any case people change partners to give everyone the chance to dance.
Tango Salon: refers to the way tango is most often danced on the social dance floor. It is improvised and can move between a closer and more open dance embrace. The line of dance is strictly respected and travels in an anticlockwise direction.
Tango Nuevo: refers to both the use of different musical sounds, including electronic music, and a style of dancing which allows a looser embrace and more freedom of movement.
Milonga: the term given to a tango event, an occasion for social dancing, but is also the name given to a faster form of tango. There are three tango dances: Tango, Milonga, and Tango Vals, an Argentine tango form of waltz in 3/4 time.
The benefits of tango
As well as being fun and enjoyable, research indicates that dancing tango has positive effects on fitness and emotional wellbeing, can reduce stress, and is good for the ageing body. In 2018 we explored these with a group of local tango dancers; their responses are described and analysed in our study with Roehampton University, "Embrace tango and be happy". You can download:
We have been working together and teaching tango over a long period of time during which we have taught hundreds of people to dance and to develop a love of tango.
We teach separately in North and South-west London but come together to work on different aspects of tango and to develop our teaching. We come together for particular events and to dance together for our students.
We have studied and learned from leading Tango dancers and teachers, including Pablo Veron, Monica and Omar Ocampo, Thierry le Coq and Angel Zotto.