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New Alma del Tango Student Dance Company Launches June 5

Under the direction of Choreographer Rose Vierling

Are you ready to join with some of your dedicated tango friends to learn,Rose Vierling, choreographer of the new Alma del Tango Dancers
practice and perform a choreography at special events?

If you’ve ever participated in an Alma del Tango student production, you know how rewarding the experience can be.  If not, here’s your opportunity!

Alma del Tango’s Rose Vierling has been wanting to form a student dance company for several years. She has produced performances in San Francisco for specific events, but she’s dreamed of having a company of dancers that could be ready to perform at different venues when opportunities arose.

“This would be ongoing,” explains Rose, who teaches at Alma del Tango and the Pick School in San Francisco. She is also a member of Tango Con*Fusion.

The Alma del Tango Dancers will have their first performance at La Milonga de San Anselmo on August 26.

“To me, the purpose of learning choreography is that it gives you a chance to work on things that will help with social dancing, technique and musicality,” says Rose.

Another benefit is the bonding that occurs among the dancers.  “It adds to a sense of community, of connecting to other people,” she adds.

“We are excited to have Rose direct a student dance company for Alma del Tango. She is creative, talented and fun – I can’t wait to see the results!” commented Debbie Goodwin.

The details

A minimum of eight people are needed to launch the program.  Join with a partner if possible. If you don’t have a partner and would like to participate, contact Rose rose_vierling@yahoo.com

Tango dancers at Alma del Tango

Cast members from Alma del Tango’s production, Tango Magic

Package per person – $445 and includes:

  • 12 choreography classes in June, July and August
  • 12 group classes at Alma del Tango during that period
  • Group photo – date TBD
  • Video of performance
  • 2 tickets to the milonga for your family and friends

Are you in?

Rehearsals begin Sunday June 5th from 12 p.m. – 1:15.
Subsequent rehearsals Sunday afternoons from 4 p.m. – 5:15.

Please contact Rose today to be part of this exciting new venture!

 

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A Month of Milonga with Guest Artist David Orly-Thompson

Bay Area tango teacher David Orly-ThompsonWe are excited to welcome David Orly-Thompson to Alma del Tango! For the entire month of April David will be teaching all Level 1 – 4 classes, focusing on milonga. Here’s your chance to polish your skills with this popular Bay Area teacher. You’ll also be able to book a private with David. (Rose Vierling will continue to teach Contemporary Tango on Saturdays).

What does David want dancers to get from his classes? “Of course, I want them to dance well, to have many options, to have technique that supports their musicality and their ability to give pleasure to their partner.

But equally, I want them to find themselves in the dance, and to find some of the very highest experiences that are possible in tango.  This means knowing and feeling the music.  I really hope people come to delight in the special longing, almost a suffering, that is so rich in tango music and dance.

This is something relatively alien to our North American culture, and not at all the same as the blues, which I also like very much.”

Becoming a tanguero

David discovered Argentine Tango in 1993 in San Francisco where he saw it performed in a showcase. “I was moved by the pace of the dance. It seemed more personal and romantic than the other dances—freer and more improvisatory,” he says. Bored with his day job, he took the plunge and started taking classes.

David Orly-Thompson, guest artist at Alma del Tango

David teaching with Mariana Ancarola at the Metronome

In 2000 he had an opportunity to go to Buenos Aires for a year to immerse himself in the tango culture. One year turned into three. His training was focused with Gustavo Naviera and Giselle Ann and Mariano (Chicho) Frumboli.

“It was a very exciting time in tango since the repertoire and technique was beginning to expand exponentially,” he explains.

Teaching around the Bay

You might have encountered David at one of the many Bay Area venues where he has taught. He was a regular at the former Metronome in San Francisco where he hosted a popular milonga on Saturday nights.  He has also taught at Two Left Feet in Danville, Bay West Ballroom in San Rafael, Lake Merritt in Oakland, and currently teaches an intermediate class on Tuesday nights at Finnish Hall in Berkeley.

Says Debbie: “David is a gem in the SF tango community. He is one of my favorite leaders to dance with.  I have taught with him on many occasions and find him an insightful teacher. He loves analyzing the structure of the dance and just having fun with it.”

Popular DJ

David is passionate about the music. “As a DJ I build an evening around what used to be called The Big 4: Troilo, D’Arienzo, DiSarli and Pugliese.  I pepper the evening with other minor orquestas like Rodriquez, Canaro (far and away the most prolific band), and Laurenz, when the mood strikes.

 Book a private with David           

Take advantage of David’s time at Alma del Tango to book a private with him. You can speak to him at class or call him at 510-375-8805 to secure your time.

 

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Special Performance ~Christianna Valentina and Daniel Fabricant

Christianna Valentina in performance at Alma del Tango

Christianna performs in Alma del Tango’s “Tango Dreamscapes.”

 Mini Concert March 18 at La Practica de San Anselmo

Christianna Valentina, vocalist and pianist, and acoustic bassist Daniel Fabricant, will present a mini concert at our practica on Friday, March 18. The duo will perform three traditional tango pieces “in a slightly untraditional way,” says Christianna, along with a Brazilian tune which they have adapted as a tango.

An Alma del Tango scholarship student, Christianna takes private classes with John Campbell and attends up to three group classes each week. The scholarship also gives her the opportunity to build her repertoire as a tango musician and singer. In 2015, she performed in two student productions, Tango Dreamscapes and Moment to Moment. Alma del Tango also provides audio and video support through Alma Video Productions under the direction of John Campbell.  Here, Christianna performs El Dia Que Me Quieras at our Holiday Gala last December. 

Daniel, an in-demand Bay Area bassist, plays with the Redwood Tango Ensemble. Daniel Fabricant, bass player, performs at Alma del Tango The two have collaborated for over 10 years, and they perform together in a group called Mr. Lonesome and the Blue Belles. They can be heard the first Wednesday of every month at the Deluxe Club in San Francisco.

Christianna explains that performing tango music with just piano, voice and strings is challenging because “you’re taking orchestral music and paring it down. You have to make sure all the parts are there and that it rhythmically connects, and still sounds like the song.”

She’s often asked if she understands what she’s singing about. “I do,” she says. Christianna has studied Spanish (as well as Portuguese and Italian). “I study the lyrics and get coaching on Argentine pronunciation.”

In her arrangements of tango music she brings in richer harmonies found in jazz music. “Tango uses a lot of three-note chords, similar to classical music,” she explains.

“I feel so fortunate for this opportunity with Alma del Tango. I probably wouldn’t have started playing tango music if it hadn’t been for that first show – Tango Dreamscapes,” she says.

Don’t miss this exciting evening with Christianna and Daniel. Refreshments and dancing follow, all for the price of the practica–$10. (If you take the class from 7-8:15 – $18 total)

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Student of the Month – David Platt

David Platt, Alma del Tango Student of the Monthby Lanny Udell

Dancing tango since:  David took his first tango lesson in March 2014. He had been dancing Latin dances for six months when a friend suggested he take a tango lesson to learn about lead and follow.  He was living in Taiwan at the time and his friend took him to a milonga and showed him how to walk. He decided then and there to take tango lessons.

Why tango:  “You can do it wherever you go,” says David, who likes to travel.  So far he has danced in Taipei, Bali, California, “and I’m working my way up to Buenos Aires,” he says.

The back story: Prior to 2013, David had never danced.  He decided to join a friend in some lessons because “I wanted to do something I wasn’t good at, something that would improve my connection to my body.” He started with salsa and bachata before discovering tango.

Favorite part: An amateur musician, David appreciates the ability to interpret the music in an improvisational way in tango. He also enjoys the intimacy and exchange of the embrace.” I like the conversation that goes on within the embrace.  It’s ephemeral and intimate at the same time,” he says. David is working on expanding his tango vocabulary to make the dance more interesting for the follower.

About Debbie & John: David found Alma del Tango on Tango Mango and joined Debbie and John’s Wednesday classes.  “I am really impressed with them. I admire how much they care and how hard they work,” he says. “It shows in the quality of their performance productions, in the variety of subjects they teach, and the level of organization.”

Anything else?  In addition to his new-found passion for dancing, David is a wine maker. Alma del Tango Student of the Month, David Platt, with wine bottle
His wine label is Canzona – a term for a genre of Renaissance music.  (The motif on the label shows a grape in the form of a note.) He produces small lots of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon which you might have enjoyed at recent Alma del Tango events.

Close up of Cazano wine label

David’s 2006 Cazano Merlot

He is also developing an app that teaches people to dance.

Last word:  “I don’t know if I qualify as a dancer yet—but I love it.”

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Call for Social Tango Dancers

Be the dancer you dream to be….
join us for an opportunity for artist expression through tango!

Tango – Moment by Moment
Alma del Tango’s
Intensive Couples Seminar, Student Production & Gala!

(Sept 1st-Dec 4th, 2015)

This year we are doing this differently! On the night of December 4th, instead of offering a traditional student show, Alma del Tango is throwing a GALA! After an hour of beautiful tango performances by our students, we will open up the floor and invite all attendees and students to join in a Milonga to live music!

HOLIDAY TANGO GALA MILONGA

Friday, December 4th, 2015
7pm-8pm – “Tango- Moment by Moment”
Improvisational Group Performance/Show
8pm-11pm – Gala Milonga – Live Music

 

 

Milonga Classes & EventsThis program is designed to help you and your partner express your personalities through tango. You will learn how to take the structural elements, steps, navigation & musical theory taught in classes and turn them into your own tango dance expression that is uniquely YOU! We guide you from an analytical mindset into one of intuition and emotion. Whatever your level in tango, this program will help you experience more joy and freedom in your social dance. 

This is a twelve week personalized focused program open to dancers at Level 2, 3, 4 and above. You and your dance partner will see and feel and a significant improvement in your dancing!

Debbie and John are a treasure in the Marin tango community! Their commitment and generosity as teachers is deeply heartfelt. Their love, passion and dedication to the art of tango is inspirational and contagious!  Their teaching style is fun and playful! Participating in their student production is an absolute blast! Through my participation in their student production, All About Tango, my dancing and technique improved immensely. The experience got me out dancing several times a week and connected with the local tango community. I definitely recommend studying with them, attending their various tango events, and participating in their student production! – Kat Sun

Quick Links: Program Description-How it works / What will I need to do? / Plan into your Fall Schedule /Optional Choreographed Practice Routine-Performance / Package Deals

Continue Reading →

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Student of the Month – Sergio Orvalles

by Lanny Udell

Servio Ovalles, Alma del Tango Student of the MonthDancing tango since: Learning tango was something Sergio wanted to do, but he had put it on the back burner.  Then, last summer, while on a trip to Argentina for his school (he teaches Spanish at Branson), Sergio took some classes and was hooked. He called the Performing Arts Director at Branson and asked her to find him a tango studio. She directed him to Alma del Tango.

Why tango: Sergio has always loved dancing — he’s done salsa, hip hop and banda, which he describes as a fusion of lambada and polka.  He also has been very active in athletics, especially bike racing and running.

“But as I get older, my body doesn’t respond in the same way,” he explains, so he looked for another way to use his energy. “Tango can be athletic, sensual and fun.”

Favorite part: “What resonates with me is the more modern aspects — the turns and twists remind me of banda.”  He listens to tango music every chance he gets, especially while driving to LA to visit his family. “I’m still learning to follow the beat.”

Servio Orvalles in Buenos Aires with tango teachers.

Sergio in Buenos Aires, pictured with his tango teachers.

“I don’t want to be a robotic dancer who just does steps, that ruins the fluidity of it,” says Sergio, who is proud to announce he was just promoted to Level 2!

About Debbie and John: “I like their methodology…they provide the scaffolding,” Sergio says. He describes their classes as very participatory, not just someone lecturing at you. “They’re good at explaining, showing and providing feedback.” He especially likes that they’re passionate about what they do.

Anything else? Sergio calls learning tango a humbling experience. “I had to deprogram my body. A lot of the dances I do have hip movement so tango is different from what I was used to.”

Last Word: Sergio looks forward to tango as a lifelong pursuit. “I hope to emulate people in the studio who continue to find the fun and the passion.”

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New Bay Area Tango Company
Makes its Debut in May

Presenting the Debbie Goodwin Dance Company

Headshot of Debbie Goodwin, director/choreographer, Debbie Goodwin Dance Company

Debbie Goodwin, director/choreographer

The newly formed Debbie Goodwin Dance Company will perform at the San Francisco International Arts Festival on May 22. The Company is the culmination of director Debbie Goodwin’s 20 years of performances, choreography, teaching and collaboration within the Bay Area tango community.

The work being presented in May, “Me Llamo Tango” (My Name is Tango), explores the soul of tango—more than just a lover’s tryst, it seeks to transform the perception of tango from the cliché, rose-in-the-mouth dance of sexual tension and passion. In this work, the company manifests tango as the embodiment of the human condition in the broadest sense, with the particular cultural perspective of traditional Argentine culture.

Professonal cast members & guest artist
In addition to Ms. Goodwin, professional members of the company include John Campbell, Pier Voulkos, Daniel Peters, Erin Malley, Doruk Golcu, Rose Vierling and Anton Koukareko.

Debbie Goodwin and John Campbell, tango dancers, perform in Me Llamo Tango in the San Francisco International Arts Festival

Debbie Goodwin & John Campbell will perform in Me Llamo Tango

Internationally known tango artist Eduardo Saucedo from Buenos Aires, Argentina will perform with the DGDC cast.

In addition, Alma del Tango advanced students Jasmine Worrell and Jose Orellana have joined the company as apprentices.

“When casting the company I looked for dancers with several qualities. Of course they had to be talented, but equally important, they had to be great human beings and inspiring to work with,” says Debbie. “We also have a range of ages, from 35 to 65, and a variety of shapes and sizes. Each member and couple brings their unique style and qualities to the company.”

The musical score for “Me Llamo Tango” will be performed by Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico, one of the premiere orchestras in the United States dedicated to preserving the authentic style of Golden Age tango.

Seth Asarnow y Su SextetoTipico

Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico
Photo by Peter Ivory

Debbie Goodwin Dance Company is sponsored by the Marin-based non-profit, Alma del Tango.

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Call for Dancers: Tango Dreamscapes

Are you an experienced dancer with a desire to perform? Perhaps your tango still needs refinement but your heart and soul are ready!

Be the dancer you dream to be….join us for

TANGO DREAMSCAPES … Alma del Tango’s 2015 productionweb-banner-dreamscapes

Tango Dreamscapes – conceived and directed by Debbie Goodwin

Our dreams come upon us when we least expect it. Improbable stories, fantastic scenes and laughable themes will be portrayed through improvised dancing, theatrical whimsies and selected choreographies. Our exciting, frightening, magical, melancholic and sensual dream adventures come to life through a surrealistic tour of the tango.

Informational Meeting: RSVP (Interested but can’t make this meeting? – Let Debbie know.)

What: Informational Meeting – Tango Dreamscapes
When: September 18th 2014 –  7pm-8pm
Where: Alma del Tango Studio, 167 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo

Debbie and John are a treasure in the Marin tango community! Their commitment and generosity as teachers is deeply heartfelt. Their love, passion and dedication to the art of tango is inspirational and contagious!  Their teaching style is fun and playful! Participating in their student production is an absolute blast! Through my participation in their student production, All About Tango, my dancing and technique improved immensely. The experience got me out dancing several times a week and connected with the local tango community. I definitely recommend studying with them, attending their various tango events, and participating in their student production! – Kat Sun

Quick Links: Available Roles | Commitments for General Cast | Commitments for Women’s Choreography

Tango Dancers are needed for the following roles:

Improvisation - Close Embrace 2013

Improvisation – Close Embrace 2013

Choose one or more roles as your time and interest allows!

1. Six to Ten Int/Adv dancers for improvisational dance scenes

3-5 leaders, 3- 5 followers for tangos, valses & milongas. The improvisational dancing will take place in a group and also as duets. This, along with the Tango Dreamscape story, will be an important part of the production.

2. Three to Five Int/Adv couples for individual choreography – duets

Pamela Shreeve & David Navid Tango Magic 2015

Pamela Shreeve & David Navid
Tango Magic 2015

Your tango dream realized! The style, music and story line of the choreography can be adapted to each couple.  It can be a tango,  vals, milonga or an alternative piece of music.

3. Three to five couples for one group tango choreography
A dreamy yet dramatic tango that will fulfill any tangueros dance fantasy! The choreography is set to Pugliese’s “Festejando”.

 

Boulevard Couples from Tango Magic 2015 performing at SF Festival

Boulevard Couples
Tango Magic 2015
performing at SF Festival

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Six to Twelve dancers for follower’s choreography
(
All levels welcome – see description of women’s choreography below.)

Image 11

Leaders from Tango Magic 2015

5. Three to Six dancers for leaders choreography
(All levels welcome- details TBA)

Ready to dance? If you are interested in joining the cast or still have questions, please phone 415-482-7588 or contact Debbie.

What will I need to do?

To make this production possible, a preliminary commitment is needed by October 1, 2014 from a minimum of 3 leaders and 3 followers of Level 3-4 ability or above.  Everyone’s level will definitely go up a notch if involved! Level 2 dancers are also welcome to take part – become the dancer you dream to be!

Commitments for General Cast

All classes, rehearsals & performances will be in San Anselmo at Alma Del Tango.

  1. Only one night weekly minimum attendance. You choose!  Monday night and/or Wednesday night classes and /or Friday night classes (Oct-Feb). An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month. (Note: If in leader’s only or follower’s only choreography, you need to attend Saturday technique class.)
  2. Attendance at Friday night Prácticas (Oct-Feb) suggested for all cast members and required for those in improvisational pieces. This is where you will be able to practice your social style dance with your partner, potential partners and other cast members. An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month Oct-Feb.
  3. Group Couples Choreography Rehearsals (Saturdays 1:45-2:45pm).
  4. Individual Choreography – Duets by private class appointment with Debbie or ADT Creative Team. (Special reduced rate of $75/hour per couple instead of $90)
  5. Read and respond to monthly email updates. You will receive weekly and monthly dance goals to focus on in addition to important information for cast members.
  6. Sell or buy 10 tickets to family, friends, and co-workers to Tango Dreamscapes.
  7. Volunteer for one of the production jobs. (Ex: Set up, clean up, ticket sales, program ads, set design etc. List will follow)
  8. Attend photo shoot. TBD – Dec 13-14  or  Dec 20-21, 2014 . (Minimal fees for photo shoot. Sign up sheet for 1/2 hour or hour slots closer to date. )
  9. Attendance at December Rehearsal/Audition.
    TBD Sun, Dec 14 or 20, 2014 2pm-5pm.
    We will run through show format and determine which couples have made enough progress on their choreography to be in the show and for which performance.
  10. Attendance at final month of rehearsals for everyone: Sundays: Jan. 18th, 25th, Feb. 1st &  8th from 2pm-5pm
  11. Attendance at Dress Rehearsal & Performances (Tuesday-Sunday Feb 10-15: Tech Reh = Tuesday Feb. 10th 7pm-10pm), Dress Reh =Thursday Feb. 12th 7pm-10pm) + Performances:   Friday, Feb. 13th 7pm & 8:30pm, and  Saturday Feb. 14th at 7pm & 8:30pm (Valentine Special).  Sunday Matinee. Feb 15th at 2pm & 3:30pm (Dancer’s call is 1-2 hours before showtime = 6pm on Fri., Sat., and 12pm on Sun.)
    *Cast Party Sunday after Sunday show

Regular class fees apply  for each class and rehearsal $15. (Discounted Monthly Passes Available- Couples $300/couple for unlimited group classes.)

Commitments for Follower’s Choreography

Cast of Shoe Seduction

Cast of “Shoe Seduction” – All About Tango – 2011

"Leonora's Song" Tango Magic 2015

“Leonora’s Song”
Tango Magic 2014

This year’s follower’s choreography will be three tango dream vignettes exploring female archetypes such as the Innocent, the Seductress, the Creator…   Prepare to be challenged as we  bring out that “other” woman inside of you! (You will refine your tango walk, ochos and molinetes plus learn exciting adornments and some Tango Con*Fusion style exchange of lead/follow.)

Cast of Don Juan

Women’s Cast of “Don Juan”, Tango Tales 2012
photo: Dart Rinefort

We need a minimum of 6 women signed up by Oct 1st to make this happen. First class is Saturday morning, October 4th, 2014.

 

1. Attendance at Saturday morning Technique & Choreography classes. An average of 3 out of 4 weeks per month Sept-Feb.  Cost is $25 for the entire morning  (Only $20 if you have a 20 class package.)

11:15-12:15 Women’s Tango Technique (All Levels)  (This class is also open to public for $15. Required if you are participating in choreography.)

12:30-1:30 Women’s Choreography Class (All Levels)
(This is a closed class only available to those signed up to perform in Tango Dreamscapes 2015.)

Also required #’s 5-11 in Commitments for General Cast section above.

 

 

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Bettina Maria brings her exciting new collection to Alma del Tango

Bettina Maria tango fashionsMini Fashion Show Friday, July 18
We’re excited to welcome Bettina Maria to the studio with a showing of her latest tango fashions during La Practica de San Anselmo.
Inspired by the style, the music and dance of the Argentine Tango, she creates one-of-a-kind designs for sophisticated tango dancers everywhere. Her goal is to make you feel stylish, well dressed, playful, feminine and sexy! Since her clothes are made specifically for tango they move well and look fantastic on the body.

Bettina Maria, a Berliner, studied fashion design in San Francisco and worked in high fashion on the west coast for 15 years.  After seeing Forever Tango, she decided to immerse herself in the culture and spent three years living, studying and breathing tango in Buenos Aires.

Inspired by the creative energy of the city and its many fabulous dancers, as well by her own engagement and training in the dance, she Bettina Maria backless tango dresschanneled the many colorful impressions and emotions into her own art … and the collection “MODAS DE TANGO” was born.

“Each piece is individually made with love for detail, with love for Tango, with love for beauty,” says Bettina.

Modeling her fashions Friday evening will be: Debbie Goodwin, Gisela Green, Keiko Kikuta, Olivia Levitt, Lisette Perelle, Dottye Rinefort, Mila Salazar and Bettina herself.  Fashion show will begin at 8:45. Don’t miss this exciting event and the opportunity to purchase an original from the designer!

PS–Bettina Maria’s fashions will be soon available at Alma del Tango on an on-going basis.
Sexy tango pants by Bettina MariaFloral print tango dress by Bettina Maria

 

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Alma del Tango Celebrates Bay Area Dance Week with free events

Free performance of Tango Magic – The Spell is Cast
plus, free introductory Argentine Tango classTango Magic - the spell is cast

To coincide with the Bay Area celebration of National Dance Week,
April 25 – May 4, Alma del Tango will open its San Anselmo studio
to dance lovers on May 4 with a free performance of their student
production, Tango Magic –The Spell is Cast.  The show, featuring
intermediate/advanced students from the Marin tango community
along with guest artists, debuted in February 2014.

Tango Magic explores the magical moments of the dance … that unspoken connection between partners, the music and the movement. Conceived and directed by Debbie Goodwin with choreography by Ms. Goodwin and Rose Vierling; script by Lanny Udell and Jonathan Cutler.

Where:  Alma del Tango, 167 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo, 94960
When:  Sunday, May 4, 2 p.m. – Sold out!
Tickets: Reserve here
Limited seating: only 50 tickets available.

A second performance will take place at 3:30 p.m. with tickets at $25 and $20. Proceeds will benefit Alma del Tango, a Marin-based non-profit dedicated to encouraging artistic expression and the development of community through Argentine Tango.
Purchase tickets here

Free class – Introduction to Argentine Tango

Rose Vierling, Alma del Tango instructor

Rose Vierling & David Caditz in Close Embrace: A Tango Love Story

Enter the captivating world of the Argentine Tango. In this introductory class with instructor Rose Vierling of Alma del Tango Studio, you will begin to learn to move like a tanguero(a); to embrace and walk the Argentine way; and to navigate the social dance floor. You’ll even practice the particularities of Argentine Tango etiquette. Partners are welcome, but not necessary. Please wear leather or suede sole shoes.

Where: Alma del Tango, 167 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo, 94960
When: Tuesday, April 29, 7:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Register here

Click here for a full schedule of Alma del Tango classes and events.

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