Tango Argentino > Best place to study tango intensively in August?

Discussion in 'Tango Argentino' started by chipi3, Dec 8, 2015.

  1. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

    Hi I am hoping to get some suggestions on where best to study tango in the summer months, especially August 2016? I am hoping to spend a few weeks taking group and private classes and going to milongas and practicas intensively in the summer (as I could usually take sometime off in the summer). I am a fast beginner-ish currently and am eager to learn!

    I thought about BsAs but it seems it's going to be cold and raining (some told me that a lot of BsAs apartments don't have proper heating) and a lot of the good teachers would be away. I phoned DNI which hasn't started working on their summer schedule but commented that there would generally be less classes in August.

    So maybe a European city such as Berlin? Again, I know nothing about the tango scene in Berlin and I don't have any idea in what languages they conduct their classes there.

    Any suggestions? Thank you all!
  2. Someday

    Someday Member

    Hi chipi3,

    Here are some observations:

    * You don't say where you live and that's an important piece of data to answer your question.

    * There is a trade-off in traveling to learn vs staying at home to learn.

    * The world of Tango teaching has changed considerably from the days when you had to go to BaS for instruction. Now, many instructors from BaS come to the USA to teach. They can make a lot more money teaching here. They often stay at a hosts home here and can live rather inexpensively. So, if you have access to high quality teachers (if you live near San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Berlin, Paris, London, etc), then you can decide whether to spend the thousands of dollars necessary for travel/housing or instead spend it on private instruction and stay home.

    * Traveling to a destination is fun, educational and you will learn something, but recognize the tradeoff you are making. To go from SF to BaS is about $1500 USD and to rent an apt is say ~$1000. Together that's $2500 and that buys 25 private lessons at $100/hr. I can guarantee you will get better with 25 private lessons from a good instructor. And, you don't have to pay additional housing costs.

    * Now, that you are informed as to the big picture, if you still decide to travel, it's the big cities that have the more robust Tango scenes, teachers, festivals and workshops.

    * I've been in BaS for 2 weeks taking classes and they were taught in English at the Escula de Argentine Tango. They were very good classes and taught 2x a day. I've not taken privates in BaS. After all my experiences in BaS for classes and all, I'd say that you can get equivalent in a big metropolitan city. However, it's not the same as immersing yourself in the culture. BaS is going to be the richest in terms of that experience (except colder as you point out). I had a great time in Paris this year as there is lots of Tango. However, I did not take classes or privates. Boston has a good tango scene as does San Francisco.

  3. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

    Hi Someday Thanks for the reply and for the info about the tango scene in the States. I live in British Columbia and we have a much smaller and older tango community here. And usually the classes stop in the summer. And of course I've been 'sampling' the teachers in BC but would love to study with different or better teachers.

    I do want to travel a bit in the summer, however. I would love to stay in NYC I guess if I were to spend a few weeks tango dancing in the States. But living in of any of the big US cities is not cheap! :p
  4. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

    May I also ask whether you've stayed in BsAs in the winter time? Thanks :) And the classes you took at Escula de Argentine Tango, are they different from classes in the States?
  5. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

  6. Someday

    Someday Member

    In answer to some of your questions:

    No, I did not stay in Bas in the Winter. I was there in March and will be there in April '16.

    Regarding classes, as I mentioned, the classes at EAT are not substantially different from those in the states. However, the teachers there are teaching to a more transient audience as most people are there for a week or two or a month, but not years as you would see in a local community (such as wherever you are). So the classes are not organized as a series. Also, the teachers don't get to know you well and don't have the time to give much personal advice (unless you take privates). Personally, and it's only my limited experience, I did not find a super big difference in the instruction. And perhaps slightly worse due to language issues and because the Argentine (and South America as a whole) teachers are more in the 'let me show you and now you try' as opposed to the western style of verbocity and technical explanation.

    You might want to read http://www.amazon.com/Happy-Tango-Sallycats-Dancing-Edition/dp/0956530613
    as it's an excellent introduction to dancing in BaS.

    Oh, in Vancouver there is Gabriel Montry - http://www.argentinetangolab.com/classes-workshops-tango-vancouver/

    who is an excellent teacher and dancer. I've taken a few lessons from him and he'd be one of my choices for the style to which I aspire. So, if you are in Vancouver, check him out.
  7. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    I suggest San Francisco Bay Area. Feel free to contact me for details.
  8. Someday

    Someday Member

    I agree with LotV. There are, on average 10 lessons/practicas/milongas a night in the SF Bay Area. There are quite a few festivals as well. Check out TangoMango.org . To see some really spectacular dancing: http://tangousachampionship.com/
    But, to stay closer to home, Seattle has a fine dancing scene.
    chipi3 likes this.
  9. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

    Hi Again :)

    Do you plan to go to milongas or even take classes for your next visit to BsAs?

    Thank you so much for describing the differences! It gives me a better idea what to expect... Thank you so much!

    I am going to a milonga tonight where Gabriel will give a short class beforehand--I look forward to his class and seeing him dance. :p

    I just started reading the Happy Tango book two days ago as I started thinking about tango dancing in the summer. It is superb! And I love the Happy Tango rules!
  10. chipi3

    chipi3 New Member

    Have you been to the Championship??! What is it like???

    I am planning to go to the ValenTango festival in Portland in February as it's closer to home.

    I am looking at the TangoMango calendar - there is a lot going on... Do they usually do intensive workshops etc in the summer in the Bay area?
  11. Lilly_of_the_valley

    Lilly_of_the_valley Well-Known Member

    Our school will have intensive workshops series in the summer -- beginners, intermediate, advanced. It is possible to design a package for you combining private lessons and workshops. Regular milongas, several times a week, also. May even be able to arrange a place to stay for you. We have already done that with out of town visitors. Contact me if interested.
  12. Someday

    Someday Member

    The championship is a very unique opportunity to see people from all over compete and work their way up the competition ladder in the various classes (I think masters, salon, milonguero, group...). And, then to take classes from the masters, watch them perform, attend 3+ milongas. The winners go to BaS to compete in the world level championships. And, its a chance to socialize and hangout with like minded tango addicts. As you have lots of questions, it's a great place to meet people and get their opinions.

    Sounds like LOTV has more detailed info and is enabled to answer your questions and even help with arranging for places to stay. So, I'd say you should link up with her to get more info. LOTV sounds like a unique resource and I wish their were more LOTV's world wide!

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