Beginners want to dance like intermediates; intermediates want to dance like advanced dancers; advanced dancers want to dance like the greats; but the greats always go back to basics...
WHAT IS MY LEVEL?
Tango is not about the steps it is about how you do the steps, thus, mastery of the fundamentals can make the difference between enjoying a dance or struggling through it.
Frequently, students take more advanced classes for which they are not ready. This can occur if you:
Over-estimate your ability
Erroneously think that no one will notice or mind.
Think that becoming more advanced is learning advanced patterns.
You want to dance with “better” dancers.
You think you can learn as you go along.
Only when you have mastered the fundamentals canTango be effortless and fun for both you and your partner.
How do I progress to an intermediate dancer?
Becoming an intermediate dancers depends on many variables such as:
dance background and experience,
time dedicated to practice and review,
your natural ability to move and control your body
quantity and quality of instruction you’ve received
the type of tango you are learning e.g. open vs close embrace
whom you practice with.
Before proceeding to another level, please speak to your instructor and make sure the instructor agrees with you. Trust the experience and expertise of your instructor as to your appropriate level. If you do not think you are making progress fast enough or are not improving, then private lessons may help you get to the next level.
How to improve as a tango dancer:
Dance 2-3 times a week e.g. class, practica, milonga
Take classes from different instructors
Take classes in different styles, rhythms, embraces.
Take private lessons
Level 1: Newbie-Beginner, up to six months,
1A You are new to Argentine Tango, OR have had only introductory classes (e.g. free classes before milongas or practicas); OR you have studied only ballroom tango (American, International...)
1B You have taken this class at least once previously; OR you have attended at least 5 hours of a Tango Bootcamp, Tango Intensive, or TangoFest with us; AND you have started dancing socially, and want to master the fundamental movements before moving on.
You will learn the following concepts and movements: embrace, connection, weight changes, walking, walking afuera, (1/2 time and double time )pivots, suspension, simple turns, back ochos, front ochos, & paradas, parallel and cross walks.
Level 2: Intermediate-Beginner, up to 1 year
You have completed two quarters (at least six months) of beginning classes AND have been dancing socially for at least three months (at least once a week); you are comfortable attending a milonga, and dancing tangos.
Comfortable executing level 1 movements and concepts. Note: If you have not danced socially and have only taken classes, you will need to register and participate in the beginning class as well in order to take this class. In lieu of taking the beginning class concurrently, you can go dancing once a week.
You will learn: close vs open embrace, musicality, navigation, cruzada, ganchos, molinette (and interruptions to molinette), lanzamientos, displacements, arrastre/barridas, turning walk, introduction to waltz and milonga rhythm.
This material is covered every two quarter so it will take you a minimum of two quarters or more depending on your ability before you can move to the next level. Please speak to us before doing so.
3. Intermedate/Advanced-Intermediate, 1-3 years
You have taken at least 2 quarters of the intermediate level or equivalent sixteen hour in workshops or classes. are dancing socially and have started dancing the other musical rhythms (milonga, and waltz.)
You are starting to feel comfortable dancing in either open (separated) or in close (torso contact) embraces. You regularly execute the above movements and concepts and have started to find different ways to initiate and conclude the movements.
You will learn variations on the above concepts and movements, different ways to connect these movements, and start the process of improvising your own patterns and movements. You will also learn to move in and out of different embraces including (tango nuevo), off-axis turns, leans, boleos, gancho variations, and more.
If you are not sure of your level, please speak to us. In order to maximize the experience of everyone, we reserve the right to suggest and place to a different level.
Level 4: Advanced Intermediate, over 3 years
You are a very experienced dancer who feels equally confident in tango, vals and milonga. You have excellent balance and technique and dance with equal comfort in both close and open position. You really enjoy dancing on very crowded floors and never collide with, unsettle or disturb other couples. You have visited several tango festivals outside your metro community and have been dancing tango regularly, at least 2-3 times a week, for 4-5 years or longer.
Able to lead new partners, follower hardly anticipates, understand and use different embraces, easily go between cross and parallel systems, able to dance in a tight spot, can progressively move around the floor, dance with the music. Able to execute sacadas, and back sacadas, colgadas, volcadas.
Level 5: Advanced Mastery, over 5 years
You are very advanced, even when considered on an international level. You master all elements mentioned for Level 4 and have gone beyond them. You are able to analyse and dissect complicated patterns. You lead/follow improvised combinations, lead/follow back sacadas, good disassociation, colgadas, volcadas, excellent balance, awareness of own and partners axix, able to express musicality. You mastery leads you to teach others formally or informally.
There is difference between learning, being able to execute in class, and mastering/executing at will, between doing steps and dancing with ease, elegance, and contro, between dancing patterns and improvising on demand to the needs of the dance floor, music, and your partner.
Can dance on the beat of tango, milonga, vals.
Able to move/follow your partner in any direction/speed/or step size
Dance comfortably in open and close embrace.
Wait for the follower to complete step/Does not anticipate next step.
Able to lead/follow parallel and cross walk
Able to lead/follow from chest only.
Able to lead/follow weight changes
Can interpret the musicality of tango, vals, milonga.
Able to dance to the beat as well as the melody.
Can comfortably execute the following steps with different partners:
Cuna – rock step
Molinetes - turns
Trabada - trap