What To Expect At Your First Tango Class - 5 Frequently Asked Questions

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Whether you are already signed up for your first Argentine Tango class (YAY!) or you're just starting to think about it, chances are that one (or five) of these questions is going through your head right now:

  • Do I need a partner? No partner is required! I have rarely seen people partner up to come to class; more often than not, dancers come alone and are either partnered or if there is a lead/follow imbalance, the teacher will have the class rotate. I actually think that rotation is better in beginner classes, that way you can get used to recognizing different leaders' styles.
  • What clothes should I wear? Plan to wear something comfortable that you can move easily in.Your first class won't be terribly athletic, but you should still aim for breathable fabrics and nothing too constricting. Midi skirts, capris, and culottes and leggings are a good idea for women (skinny jeans can be restricting and long flared pants can get stuck in your heels.)
  • What shoes should I wear?  You don't have to have a tango or dance shoe for your first class. You can get started in a leather or suede bottomed shoe - one that has straps to hold it securely on your foot and one that doesn't have too high of a heel. When you decide that you are ready to invest in a pair of tango shoes, don't forget that my readers get a discount at Julia-Bella! 
  • Do I need to wait for the first class of a cycle? This depends on where you are taking classes. I've known dance studios to encourage drop-ins at any time, and I've also known them to encourage you to begin on the first day of the new cycle. Call ahead and get pre-registered - also you may find that the cost is less if you sign up for the entire month versus a single class.
  • What kind of *moves* will I learn? The beauty and challenge of Argentine Tango is that it is improvised. While there are "moves" or sequences that you will learn (either in the leader role, or the follower role), mostly you will learn how to give/interpret the signals to your parter and put those "moves" into a musical improvisation. Your first classes will include learning to "walk", the basic 6 and 8 count boxes, and the embrace.

If you're thinking of taking lessons in the Southeast area, here's a list of studios that may be near you that I love and adore and highly recommend:

Charlotte, NC: Passion for Tango (this is where  am now!)

Columbia, SC: Emerald Ballroom (this is where I very first started!)

Charleston, SC: Charleston Argentine Tango Society 

Augusta, GA: Augusta Tango Club

Atlanta, GA: Tango Evolution and Atlanta Tango (Thank you Lena Hrybok of Atlanta for capturing the above photo!)

Asheville, NC: Tango Gypsies

Shop this post:

Navy and White Polka Dot Dress by Ralph Lauren // (similar) Striped Long Sleeve Button Down by Hugo Boss

Tango What to Wear - Three Studios