Argentine Tango School

Tag: musicality

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi at our virtual intermediate class.

Why private lessons are the most effective way to learn Argentine Tango?

Why private lessons are the most effective way to learn Argentine Tango?

Argentine Tango feet at Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires _ Argentine Tango School

I had a nice conversation with a participant of an Argentine Tango event in the San Francisco Bay Area.

We talked about her sensations after taking many workshops and learning many movements and techniques.

She told me that only one time she felt something happening beyond the physical motion, although this sensation was rather sad, anguishing.

I asked her what was, in her opinion, the most important element in Tango and she answered “connection and musicality”.

I agreed with that, and I told her that we needed to make tangible these abstract concepts to find that “something missing” and asked her where, in her opinion, these abstract concepts become real…

She said that she could not find an answer.

I told her: in your body.

In a festival, taking classes with visitor teachers, doing the moves and techniques taught in classes with other participants with whom you never danced before and may never dance again, it is infrequent that you will get anything related to connection and musicality.

Connection and musicality are the most important elements of Argentine Tango.

In any class, with a mix of regulars and random people, it could be out of context to ask participants to connect because, in Argentine Tango, this means to hug each other.

One time, coming out from a concert in Market street in San Francisco, a friend of mine was with his wife walking together next to each other and hugging each other. While they were waiting for the stoplight to get green to cross the street, a lady from the street came up and said that watching them, she realized that she needed a hug and ask if my friend would allow her to hug him. My friend told me that he felt distrust. He let her hug him but cautiously kept his hands on his pockets, preventing the possibility of pickpocketing.

I tell you this to give you an approximation to the feelings possibly trigger by being required to hug and be hugged by strangers.

To work on the connection required to dance Argentine Tango, you need to work with a partner you care about and who cares about you, someone you can trust, looking at their eyes and embracing them warmly.

Also, it would help if you had a knowledgeable teacher that you can trust, with extensive experience dancing and teaching Argentine Tango.

Argentine Tango is profound.

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi at our beginner class.

In my private lessons, I make my students focus on the quality of their moves, musicality, and embrace, helping them bring out their own unique style as Argentine Tango dancers and as milongueros.

I start first working on footwork and techniques until students have incorporated them into their muscle memory.

Eventually, they won’t need to think about “what to do” and “how to do”.

The choreographic aspects of Argentine Tango become part of their natural flow, and when they embrace each other and start walking together on the dance floor at the pace of the music, it’s time for them to get inspired and express the poetry that is in them.

Such poetry is beautifully happy. It fills them up with joy which generously overflows to all. This poetry tells them a few secrets about themselves, about others, about life.

Among many things, what guides me in my private lessons is the understanding that the only one able to address the complexity of the human realm is the human.

Technological seeking of efficiency has developed the robot and artificial intelligence. Humans must act like robots and think like computers to make the association human/machine successful regarding productivity.

Question: is the human hug going to be replaced by an artificially made hug?

Dancing Tango we show off our capacity to hug, making with it a work of art.

Our hug is visible in as far as our footwork and beyond.

Marcelo Solis dancing Argentine Tango with Mimi

This particular way of embracing is what distinguishes Argentine Tango from other partner dances.

It is precisely this characteristic what makes private lessons an essential part of your learning path.

Embracing your partner and dance Argentine Tango is to have a profound and creative conversation, full of joy and awakenings.

The process of learning to dance Argentine Tango requires training yourself in the art of such conversation.

There are not general formulas for your spontaneity, wit, and charm.

Connection and musicality, the most important elements of Argentine Tango, are the intrinsic fabric of this conversation.

Only in private lessons you will be guided accurately on the nuances and infinite shades that Argentine Tango can bring to your experience of dancing.

Start learning Argentine Tango with private lessons

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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

Related posts:

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Virtual classes


See schedule:

Marcelo Solis answers what is Argentine Tango. He is an expert.

How to dance Argentine Tango

An introduction to the most important details

Find the answer

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

Argentine Tango music

Music to learn to dance

Listen and dance!

History of Argentine Tango: El Cachafaz and Carmencita Calderon at Tango (Movie 1933)

History of Argentine Tango

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"El Marne", Argentine Tango composed by Eduardo Arolas in 1919, music sheet cover

“El Marne” by Juan D’Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica, 1939.

“El Marne” by Juan D’Arienzo y su Orquesta Típica, 1939.

Eduardo Arolas

Bandoneonist, composer and leader (24 February 1892 – 29 September 1924)

As a composer, Arolas took Tango to a more elaborate level with the force of his originality.

“El Marne”, of 1919, is a true concerto of advanced structure for its time.

It needed to wait for qualified musicians to deliver the message of its notes.

Let’s listen to the rendition of the Maestro Juan D’Arienzo with Juan Polito at the piano:

Read more about Eduardo Arolas and the History of Tango

Ver este artículo en español

Listen and buy:

  • Amazon music

  • iTunes music

  • Spotify

More Argentine Tango music selected for you:

We have lots more music and history

How to dance to this music?

Geometry of Argentine Tango


Geometry of Argentine Tango - Artist Emma KunzOften people get attracted to Tango first by what they see.

Then, to be able to reproduce the beauty they had seen, they need to realize that it is not rooted in the geometry of the figures.

Furthermore, the music that is danced shapes the proportions of this geometry.

If the initial energy that makes us dance comes from our passion, the music is what channels and shapes that energy.

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