Tango News

Focus 2018

old south american mapApparently I have earned a reputation as a "Guardian of the Art".  This is a wonderful compliment and it places a considerable responsibility on me to continue to protect the principal elements that characterize traditional, authentic Argentine Tango.  In 2018 it is my intention to focus every class on improving the quality, clarity and precision of:

Connection, Dissociation & Improvisation

 Connection:  Gentle touch with focused concentration, the 'connection' is best described as transcendental.  Partners focus on one another to develop an invisible but palpable relationship, defined by the desire to remain in a measured close proximity without interrupting or imposing on one another.

Dissociation:  With reference to self, dissociation is the separation and independent calculated movement of different parts of the body.  With reference to partner, we develop an understanding of how the transfer of energy may be given and received consecutively, not concurrently, which is observed as 'energy in motion'.

Improvisation:  When the partners connect and have developed sufficient dissociation they are able to move in a uniquely coordinated way that allows the dance to be created in real time.  Unplanned, unrehearsed.  The ultimate freedom of expression.

Introducing the “PROGRESSIVE”

Appropriately called “PROGRESSIVE”

Tango Fantastico introduces a new class format!

On the cutting edge: Tango Fantástico is attributed with introducing innovative instructional and educational ideas to the San Francisco Bay Area tango community.


The 90 minute weekly Class

Eight years ago Tango Fantástico was the first in the Bay Area to offer the 90 minute weekly class. Experience as a student had shown me that a one hour class provided sufficient time to replicate steps demonstrated by the teacher(s) but insufficient time to explore technical aspects of movement, connection and responsibility in the dance. As a teacher I decided to increase the time for a group class to 90 minutes to provide time to focus on technical aspects. This has achieved a higher level of individual technical skills in the dancers I train and develop.


Technique Classes

In 2009 I introduced “Technique” classes where the approach to movement in tango was explored at a more technical level. Technique should not be confused with style. Technical skills are the result of specific neuro/skeletal/muscular training. The class attracted students who were already experienced social dancers. The format was to study multiple technical aspects of an individual move for 90 minutes.


Wanting to speed up the process I experimented by expanding the Technique class into two levels, Simplificada and Dificil, so that newer dancers could work on technical skills at their level without delaying the progress of the more advanced group. This was only marginally successful from which I learned that everyone needs experience in order to appreciate perfection. The outcome was that the technique class eventually assumed an ‘advanced’ designation.



2012 was a very successful year for Tango Fantástico, culminating in the second, significantly larger TESO Tango Festival. Many of my students wanted to acquire the skills to feel comfortable dancing and performing in front of their peers and friends in the TESO professional evaluation. To accommodate the requests I developed three Intesivo courses in technical skills for Leaders, Followers, and Couples. The Leaders’ Intensivo ran the longest and attracted leaders from a considerable distance.



Following the second TESO Tango Festival in 2012 I introduced a 90 minute Drills Only class. Repetitive solo practice of individual movements to develop skills is unlike a regular Tango class. The Drills class consisted of exercises and stretches to prepare the body for Tango followed by specific exercises to sustain ones axis and balance while gradually adding more dissociative elements. The last 30 minutes was used to practice the integration of the drills into movement with a partner.

And Now:


It is time to reinvent the wheel.   Starting in 2016 I am introducing a new class format that encapsulates the current situation, the need for students to integrate and excel in a friendly environment conducive to learning.


…..and I thought to myself, how about a two hour session of ever increasing technical difficulty, providing every dancer an opportunity to push their individual skills to achieve their personal best: A single two hour class of continuous education in Argentine Tango. As the name suggests, the format will be one of progressive training, steadily increasing dissociative skills. The concept is one of continuous education: Incorporating new students with experienced dancers but providing the opportunity for each to achieve progressively more challenging skills through exposure to increasing complexities of the dance.


Novices and Beginners are encouraged to attend the first hour as participating students, enjoy moving with more experienced dancers and making new acquaintances while acquiring a solid foundation. In addition, all beginners are invited to watch the second hour to see how a fundamental move they have learned is applied in more complex situations. All classes will start with a few drills and exercises to focus the mind and prepare the body for dance. Fundamental moves will be studied to provide a foundation from which the more complex aspects will be explored.


All students are required to start at the beginning of the Progressive class. Elements of the first hour will determine a student’s technical acuity and suitability to continue into the more advanced portion. At approximately the one hour mark the teacher will ask the less technically skilled dancers to leave the floor.  Those remaining  will be attempting what at first may seem impossible, such is the motivation to acquire a higher skill set.  Reward is found in personal achievement.

…….progress will be made!

Starlite Reception

Saturday November 21, 2015

Starlite Welcome

A fabulous surprise reception for Tango Fantástico's premiere Saturday at Starlite Ballroom.  Old friends and dedicated students surprised and delighted me with their support.  It was obvious to me that this was not an organized event.  Rather, it was a completely random assembly - which demonstrates the individual connections we have created.  What a welcome! - I am humbled.


New Location!

Tango Fantástico announces a NEW LOCATION - November 2015

Starlite Ballroom

  • WHEN?    Mondays starting November 16th -- Saturdays starting November 21st -- weekly
  • WHERE?   5178 Moorpark Avenue #60, San Jose CA 95129
  • WEBSITE?   Starlite Ballroom


Offering familiar programs for all levels of Argentine Tango dancers:

  • 12 week FASTTRACK program to launch beginners into the social tango scene
  • focused technical classes for continuing tango students
  • convenient class schedule to accommodate everyone

Introducing Monday night Practica following Intermedio Class 10-11pm

Starlite Website1

Jorge Torres December 2011

PrecisionJorge Torres visits Tango Fantástico, December 3, 2011

Once again Jorge Torres spoiled us with his Energy and Elegance.  Two marvelous workshops - setting the bar of excellence higher and providing some drills and exercises to achieve it.

Oh Boy! We have work to do!

"Sophisticated Simplicity" was suitably challenging for earlier dancers but by the time we were immersed in the second workshop - "Courageous Complexity" - even the more seasoned dancers were flummoxed as they tackled the technically challenging dissociative moves.  In his usual unimposing way, Jorge demonstrated with precision and ease, and wished us luck as we tried to emulate him.

Jorge is travelling now and will return to New York for the holidays.  In early 2012 he and Chino are expecting baby #3

Milonga Autentica 2011

JorgeNelMilonga Auténtica Y Zapatos del Tango con Jorge Nel y Milena

On Saturday October 29th 2011, Jorge Nel, his wife Milena and their friend Andrés gave Two Milonga Workshops in San Jose

To start us off Jorge and Milena offered a demo of Milonga Lisa, followed by Andrés and Milena dancing Milonga Traspie.  Students could easily distinguish the two different styles and found the demo motivational.  Some who had only anticipated taking the first workshop in Milonga Lisa, smooth style milonga, committed to the second workshop in Milonga Traspie, the more difficult 'trip' style.

Jorge conducted a clear, descriptive and educational program from musicality and rhythm to nuances of the axis and steps.  We all enjoyed a huge turnout of South Bay students of all levels, filling the ballroom at Dance Boulevard. 

Almost everyone bought or ordered new shoes from the MrTangoShoes collection.   Our Tango is sure to improve when we wear great shoes!

Tango Fantástico looks forward to hosting Jorge and Milena again, whenever they are on the West Coast!