Tango Workshops

Occasionally Tango Fantástico hosts visiting Argentine stage celebrities, professional teachers and dancers for workshops and private classes.  Tango workshops usually designate an accomplishment level as the format of a workshop requires that students be able to comprehend verbal directions regarding position, movement and the partnership dynamics with a certain degree of proficiency.  Students who are properly qualified in a proficiency category will not detain the other students from advancing. 

Come join in the fun with authentic inspiration straight from Argentina - But come prepared, workshops are more intense and focused than regular weekly classes.  Professional teachers expect students to be motivated to experiment, work hard, and ask relevant questions. 

Remember, Argentine teachers may not be fluent in English and probably speak with an accent.

When we host visitors we will always provide some background information about their dancing careers.

Saturday Workshop

Tango MoonlightOctober 2015

October 17, 2015 -- Gancho, gancho

Gancho for leaders, gancho for followers, repeat!  Exploring ganchos, gancho combinations, finishing touches and even a rally!


October 10, 2015 -- El Centro Del Tango

The Center of Tango:  Center of the individual dancer, center of rotation, center of the circle, center of the dance floor and the energy center.  An exploration of tango elements we need to understand - physically.


October 03, 2015 -- Blocking and Exits

The success to failure ratio with planned or choreographed involved tango sequences is almost always unrewarding due to the constant changes in the environment (other dancers moving around the floor), limiting everything from our direction to our expression - that is, unless we have the whole floor to ourselves.  To overcome these perceived restrictions we need to acquire the skills that will allow us to change midstream.  Starting with a reasonably complicated sequence we will look at multiple ways to adapt, alter and "Improvise" solutions.

Saturday Workshop

Tango In ParadiseSeptember 2015

September 26, 2015 -- Applied Physics

Various forces are at work when we dance Tango.  We are working with energy.  Consider these actions: Attract, repel, resist, absorb, rotate, accelerate and displace...And these concepts:  gravity, balance, kinetic energy, inertia, momentum and wave motion.  Sound familiar?

Understanding how two tango dancers work together requires a sensitivity towards how each individual action affects one's partner - negatively or positively.


September 19, 2015 -- Expression

Happy, sad, mischievous or playful, through tango we are able to express our mood.  Taking a couple of sequences involving both linear and circular tango moves, we will explore how to change the expression by altering fundamental elements starting with the embrace.  Music is the vehicle we use to generate a 3 dimensional expression which is why occasionally an unfamiliar tune can be particularly inspiring.


September 12, 2015 -- Side Colgada/ Back Volcada sequence

These tango moves are Off-Axis and while they can be a lot of fun they also have some obvious risks, due to being Off-Axis. Even when leaders have developed great skills there is still an issue of TRUST as every follower needs to be convinced that their leader will ‘be there’ to support them (their axis).  Words do not suffice - great skills are the only convincing factor.

The Colgada is an exercise in balance away from a shared, central axis at the floor. The Volcada is an exercise in balance working from a fulcrum (at the chest) which creates a shared central axis above the floor.


September 5, 2015 -- Caress the floor

Our connection with the floor is paramount in creating a fluid, smooth and elegant dance. This includes a study of the way our legs move in every step as well as fancy moves such as boleos al piso, barridas and many embellishments. A good understanding of the connection with the floor will improve balance and stability too.

Saturday Workshop

Tango BluesAugust 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015 -- Vals:  Cadencia & Crosses

Fun ways to incorporate the cross to accentuate the cadence of 3:4 timing; Using the cadencia movement (incomplete weight change on the up beat) to relieve the stress factor; Alternate ways to cross on the curve; Continuous expression within a theme.


Saturday, August 22, 2015 -- Vals:  Timing & Cadencia

What does it mean when a leader is accused of dancing Tango to Vals?  To the accomplished dancer the interpretation of Vals rhythm is entirely different from Tango so there is an element missing if we find ourselves stepping exclusively on the stronger down beat in Vals.  Using an adaptation of familiar Tango moves Vals incorporates the unaccented upbeat(s).  To achieve this we must move quickly, lightly and rhythmically.


Saturday, August 15, 2015 -- Exploring the Dark Side (OSPL)

Getting creative with the slightly more challenging starting position outside-partner-left, sometimes referred to as ‘the dark side’. This workshop will provide alternative openings and opportunities to add interest. Shaping is a little more strenuous so consequently maintaining axis and connection demands greater focus. Involving sacadas, ochos, crosses and more.


Saturday, August 8, 2015 -- Parada for Improv'

Improvisation requires taking some risks. Paradas provide a plethora of opportunities to change your dance and be creative. This class is to encourage exploration but there is one catch: The golden rule (huh?)


Saturday, August 1, 2015 -- Barrida & Llevada

The glorious sensation of being swept off one's feet in a beautiful dance is epitomized in the literal 'sweep and lift' or barrida and llevada.  There are multiple elements of technique for both leader and follower to effect these sumptuous visual delights.

Saturday Workshop

Tango ChocolateJuly 2015

July 25, 2015 Circular Boleo/Castigada

The importance of balance and precision made evident!  This difficult combination is our objective so we will review all the skills necessary to succeed.


July 18, 2015 Create & Develop

Regular students of my classes will appreciate the complexity of the class based on this explanation - I hope!   Others may want to find out what it is all about.

We will attempt to integrate:  ‘wheelbarrows’, ‘pepper grinders', ‘piano pushers', ‘marionette strings', ‘champagne’, ‘fulcrum', ‘walnuts', ‘the containment field’, ‘coffee’, ‘light sabers', ‘dusting’, 'crocodiles’, ‘brandy’ and ‘steel pipe’ into a combination(s) that contains all of them.


July 11, 2015 Off-Axis

There are two identified off-axis experiences that are given names in Argentine Tango:  Colgada (to hang) and Volcada (to spill over).  Any amount of off-axis deviates from the classical position of the autonomous vertical axis.  We will explore how these off-axis movements are achieved, safely.  Not all moves can be safely accomplished by all combinations of dancers – it greatly depends on height differences between the partners – so we must start out very gently and see what is possible with each partner we encounter.  This class is Intermediate Level.

Saturday Workshop

Tango Bliss

June 2015

 Saturday, June 27, 2015    Tango Therapy

Almost meditation, Tango manifests the discipline of centering, focus and self awareness. For some the dance is purely social - but for others the rewards of achievement, through honing the skills of self discipline, transcend the shallower aspects of merely 'having a good time'. This week we will go deeper into the 'soul' of tango, rise above our daily troubles and drift into blissful awareness.


Saturday, June 20, 2015    Sacadas

Sacadas (displacement) – the gentle art of stealing the partner’s position by first [effortlessly] persuading them to vacate it!

To master even the simplest example in this sophisticated category of invasive moves requires a well honed foundation in basics. And the only way to succeed is to understand that nothing in Tango is as easy as it looks, and that what the eye sees can be deceiving…
Ultimately the complexity can be reduced to one very important element - everything relies upon a good frame!
So while this is an intermediate level topic, there is something in this class for everyone as we will focus on the importance of the frame.


Saturday, June 13, 2015  Heads Up! - A look at floorcraft

Mastering floorcraft requires spontaneity, artistry and skill. The leader is responsible for negotiating multiple factors, utilizing openings on the floor, avoiding collisions all while keeping the dance interesting, therefore the follower must be ready for anything and unconditionally follow the leader. In short: Floorcraft involves Navigation and Awareness.

Too keep it challenging we must also remember to uphold all the (unwritten) rules of etiquette, follow the line of dance and be respectful of lanes. This important aspect of social dancing demands Heads Up!


Saturday, June 6, 2015  Fundamentals

What constitutes Fundamentals?  In tango we need to acquire a sensitivity toward our partner so that we can allow information to flow.  We call this "Connection".  Moving with another person in our embrace requires that we are tuned-in and focused on subtle movements, each to the other.  Several elements of form help us establish "Connection" but they are challenging to sustain once the dance begins.  Posture, frame and intention are among the first principles we learn.  As we progress we start to appreciate the many facets of motion, linear and circular, and the skill to balance on a single axis and pivot.

Saturday Workshop

Tango ArgentinaMay 2015

May 16, 2015  Re Connect

Focus will be on creating a level of communication that is intimate and clear. The music will inspire our movements but we must work as a single unit through connection....the giving and receiving of information to determine direction, speed, intensity, and unity.


May 23, 2015  New Steps or New Skills?

We often think that what we want from a class is a new figure, pattern or sequence but this approach only serves to remove us one step further from the true essence of Tango.  Learning skills presents opportunities -- and in more ways than you may realize.  This week we will look at how the improved execution of any movement creates an opportunity to explore the terrain rather than follow a beaten path.


May 30, 2015  Exchange of Energy
One element that the observer of authentic Argentine Tango may not be able to put into words is the exchange of energy.  The way it is achieved is through the independent core and axis control of the individual dancer.  Initiated by the leaders intention the follower receives the “volley”.  Sometimes she keeps the “ball” until the energy subsides (settling) while other times the leader takes it back.  Longer sequences could be considered a “rally”, or continuous exchange of energy.