Curious about tango? Think you can’t dance? If you can walk, you can tango. Come check out a free tango lesson where you learn from one of DC’s most sought after dancers-Gabriel Medeiros of Tango Mercurio. No partner is required as exercises are group based. Also find out the best (and free) places to discover the Argentine Tango scene in the DC metro area. Snacks will be provided!
Argentine Tango has a special history of usurping the traditional dance roles of ‘leader’ and ‘follower’ and their corresponding gender associations. Even from its early days in the salons in Buenos Aires, men spent most of their time practicing as ‘followers’ with other men before they earned the rare privilege to dance with women. Today, top tango stars include acclaimed same-sex dance couple Martin Maldonado and Maurizio Ghella, who tour internationally as teachers and performers, and whose mastery of the dance and commitment to improvisation leaves traditional lead/follow role restrictions in the dust. Many dance communities offer classes that encourage gender neutral ‘open roles’ in which students work on both leading and following roles. For example local school Tango Mercurio offers a ‘Leading Ladies’ workshop which teaches women how to lead the dance, and an ‘Abrozo’ workshop which teaches men follower techniques. These classes ensure people can experience all areas of the dance outside of traditional gender role restrictions and serve a practical purpose in expanding one’s options for potential partners at any given milonga, or dance.
5:00-5:30pm Welcome and Intro – Tango Origins & Modern Tango. Buenos Aires: Tango Orchestras and the Golden Age. Tango Nuevo/Alternative tango. Brief Demo, Modern Tango Structure & Etiquette. Cabeceo, line of dance, improvisation, leading/following: invite/accept. Tango in our Area: Capital Tangueros Google Calendar, terminology: practica vs. milonga; festivals. Beginner-friendly local tango events: MLK library Practica (free), Eastern Market, Pablo’s Practica, Tango Mercurio.
5:30-6:30pm Beginner’s Lesson: The Walking Dance – Walking with the music, partner weight changes, moving in the line of dance, pausing techniques, walking to the cross.
6:30-8:30pm Practica: Open to all dancing to DJ’d music for anyone who wants to practice, with instructors available for guidance; asking and assisting others is encouraged.