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Argentine Tango School

Stanford University Radio interviewing Marcelo Solís, 2014.

Stanford University Radio interviewing Marcelo Solís, 2014.

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango at a milonga in Buenos Aires.

Listen to KZSU 90.1 Stanford University Radio, Elizabeth Trajtenberg interviewing Marcelo.

Released: 2014.

In this interview, I talk about my lifelong connection to Tango, my approach to teaching, and the differences between teaching Tango in Argentina and abroad.

We also talked about the history of Tango and its relationship to Argentine’s history and the world.

Here is the second part of the interview:

Elizabeth Trajtenberg is a personal consultant family constellations facilitator, NLP Coach, and radio host, based in San Jose, California.

More about Marcelo Solís

Would you like to join our in-person semi-private classes in San Francisco, San Jose and Lafayette?

Would you like to join our in-person semi-private classes in San Francisco, San Jose and Lafayette?

Please fill out this form:

What is your preferred location?(required)

Are you registering as a single student or couple?(required)

What is your level of experience with Argentine Tango?(required)

  • Classes will be hybrid, so you will still have the option to take classes online.
  • San Francisco semi-private classes start on June 30.
  • Classes will be 55 minutes semi-private sessions, with a reduced number of participants, who will be required to register in advance.
We recommend registering as a couple. If you do not have a partner, please let us know. We will try to have an even number of leaders and followers in each semi-private session.
During classes, we will let you decide if you want to change partners and with whom.
Regarding San Jose and Lafayette locations, we are in the process of finding a date for reopening in the same manner (semi-private sessions, with a reduced number of participants who will be required to register in advance.)

These classes are for intermediate students. If you are a beginner, we recommend waiting until the next beginner series starts (no date yet), or even better, start with private lessons. Don’t miss trying our private lessons, if you didn’t yet. 

Register in advance to in-person semi-private classes

About virtual Argentine Tango classes and private lessons

About virtual Argentine Tango classes and private lessons

Virtual classes are a powerful aid to the improvement of your dance, having always in mind the ultimate goal of dancing embraced.

Marcelo Solis teaching Argentine Tango virtual classes online

In virtual classes, we are able to observe in detail our students dancing, and count on it as a magnificent tool to organize the presentation of our knowledge to them.

Even though what is unique to Tango are its in-person aspects, successful teaching methods will always require:

  • Visual presentation.
  • Clear explanation.
  • Meticulous observation.
  • Distanced objectiveness.

These elements are amplified in the case of virtual classroom technology.

Marcelo Solis Argentine Tango with Sofia Pellicciaro

We strongly advise you not to miss this opportunity.

Virtual classes help you to understand things differently, making you pay attention to aspects often passed on at the in-person classes, and facilitating you to make your communications more clear and efficient. 

Join our virtual classes

Here we want to share with you what we consider important for you in the process of virtual Argentine Tango instruction:

For students:

  • Be open-minded.

    Take advantage of what only virtual classes can offer to you.
    For instance, since your teacher cannot dance with you or physically move you, he or she will break down the movements into its most elemental constituents, helping you to fully understand what movements and how to execute them, in a way that will provide you with the opportunity to practice the move in a “timeless” and “spaceless” fashion, a more thoughtful way, and eventually a more aware way.
  • Let experience teach you.

    Since this is going to be a novel way to learn Argentine Tango, you will find on your path problems that will be only resolved with later corrections.
    For instance, your floor may not be the best for dancing Tango, or your furniture gets in your way, or your internet connection is too slow.
    All these are problems that get fixed much more easily than fixing your Tango. Go ahead and move your furniture, look at hardware stores online for plastic tiles that you can put over your carpet, call your internet provider.
    At each class you will get a better set up for your learning environment. And since we are a community, please share your questions regarding solutions to these challenges. I like to ask my students how they are fixing their particular problems, so I may be in the possession of an answer for you already.
  • Pay attention.

    Avoid distractions. If you are not alone at home, let your relatives and spouses know that you’ll be “away” for one hour.
    Even though you are physically at home, you are virtually at your Tango class. This “virtuality” is very real. You need to be fully engaged in your class. You won’t be able to be in two places simultaneously.
    Even if it is your living room or garage, it is the classroom for the duration of the lesson.
  • Ask questions.

    Do not hesitate. Your instructors need constant feedback to know that the communication is effective.
    Let them know you did not understand something, or you could not see it, or whatever passes your mind that is related to what is worked on during the class.
    Your teacher has modified his/her teaching style to the online channel, so you need to change your usual learning actitudes. Even technical questions related to the technology used for the class are admissible questions.

For teachers:

  • Plan your class.

    You will need to adapt your teaching style to the TV or computer screen’s two dimensional space.
    Keep in mind that your student needs to see you all the time. That is why turns are particularly challenging to teach in the virtual class set up, but not impossible.
    My solution to this problem is to segment the turns in its constituents, in order to keep training a fundamental element of Tango, avoiding making students having to look at the screen while they turn away.
  • Have the right tools.

    Supply yourself with a good camera and a good microphone. Since your communications will be exclusively visual and auditory, you need the best tools that you can provide yourself.

    I’ve been using a mini iPad for the camera and a wireless microphone. I like to show the moves having students behind me, so I am doing the with the camera at my back, so the microphone has been essential to make the sound clear even while I am talking looking away fro the camera.

    Although I have to say the iPad and Zoom (the video conference system that we use) are very sensitive in picking up the sound waves.

  • Have good lighting.

    I am using all the lights of my home studio pointed at me, and added an extra lamp with a styrofoam board to reflect light on my face when I get close to the camera.

  • Use screen sharing to play your music.

    This will make your students hear to the music you choose for your class with much better sound quality than if you make it stream from your microphone.

  • Keeping things in order.

    Use the waiting room feature and close the admission at ten minutes into the class to avoid interruptions.

    You can also have an assistant to work as admin. That is my case but it may not be yours.

Here are some examples of what we have been working in our virtual classes:

Learn to dance Argentine Tango at our virtual classes

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Virtual classes


See schedule:

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Anibal Troilo and his orchestra | Argentine Tango music to learn to dance

Argentine Tango music

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Argentine Tango class on change of weight

Argentine Tango class on change of weight

Change of weight is a variation of walking.

It happens in the same place, without displacement.
Do at least one change of weight when you initiate your dance.
Do not make too many.
Make them with a calm attitude, and while dancing with your partner, this element should give a sense of calm to your partner.

See more video lessons:

Learn to dance Argentine Tango in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Argentine Tango dance classes online.

Virtual classes


See schedule:

Argentine Tango class on walking: fundamentals

Argentine Tango class on walking: fundamentals

Tango challenges you to make your walk -and your entire life- a work of Art.

  1. Let’s begin walking slow. We will count four beats, and in each beat “one” of these four-counts, we will take a step. Change of weight. Same thing going back. Again changing weight. One more time…

2. Now let’s walk at regular speed. It will be every two beats. If I count four I will be stepping in beats one and three but to simplify I will count two beats. Change weight, and again: one, two, one… For this pace, I normally use the word “Tango”…

3. Another rhythmic pace for your walk is the “corrida”. We can use the expression “quick-quick-slow”, or “down-up-down, or we can say one-and-two. Start with your left going forward, and with your right going backward. Then start with your other leg. Try one more time…

4. We can also walk slower than in four counts. Let’s try using these four speeds of walking.

5. On the line of dance, we will practice walking in front and outside’s partner and use these four speeds: slow, regular speed, fast (that is quick-quick-slow), and the very slow speed of walking.

6. Another possibility of walking in Tango is the crossed system. The crossed system is essentially a backward ocho. We will exit the crossed system walk with a salida cruzada.

7. Now we can add the corrida. It will be in front of your partner, and you must start it with the leader’s left foot, the follower’s right foot. Do not start right away with a corrida. Make two steps before.

8. Our next walk is to walk on the closed side of the embrace. We need to do it in the crossed system. We can start with a backward ocho. In the second half backward ocho, I place myself on the right side of the couple. If we walk in the direction of the line of dance, the follower will be position on the inside of the dance floor. Let’s try combining it with the other elements too.

9. A good way to exit the crossed system walking on the closed side of the embrace is to do a sacada before the backward ocho.

10. When walking on the closed side of the embrace, a difficulty could be that your partner gets too much in front of you and you cannot walk. In order to avoid that we will place our partner on our left side.

11. From the sacada to backward ocho, we can continue into a clockwise direction turn.

12. The main difficulty in this element appears after the leader does back-side-forward, when the follower is in the forward step position too. The following movement requires a lot of pivot. In order to make this pivot effortlessly, face the follower with your torso. The resulting torsion will work as a spring or rubber band, helping you to make the pivot and the sacada.

13. Let’s recap all the ideas we have been working on in this class: walking in front of your partner, walking outside partner at a slow pace, crossed system walking, backward ocho, salida cruzada, crossed system walking on the closed side of the embrace, sacada, clockwise direction turn, and corrida.

14. Let’s dance!

See more video lessons:

Dancing Argentine Tango presents itself as a way for you to organize your life towards empowering yourself, helping you to achieve your life’s goals, and even provide you with such goals:

To make life beautiful.

Learn to dance Argentine Tango in the San Francisco Bay Area:

Argentine Tango dance classes online.

Virtual classes


See schedule: