Tango Classes, Practicas & Milongas

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The following tango classes and events are currently available with Alma del Tango in Marin:

INTRODUCING Vintage, American Swing Dance!
(Instructor: Jasmine Worrell)
For the most updated schedule, visit our Calendar of Classes & Events »

All group classes, prácticas & milongas are held at Alma del Tango Studio (Knights of Columbus Hall) at 167 Tunstead Avenue, San Anselmo, CA (view map).

Special Tango Packages: Tips for the best bang for your tango buck! Packages are good for Tango and/or Swing classes.

Debbie,
Just wanted to thank you for the most heart wrenching Tango performance ever. You and John move as one. I feel humbled to have the privilege to experience you.

Your dance has touched my soul. I may never have your movements but I will always have this evening to cherish.

With gratitude,
Kusum

TANGO 1

Teaching an Argentine tango class (NEW hours in 2016: Wednesdays  7-8:15 pm. If you’re brand new to tango, best to start the first Wednesday of each month)
This course is an introduction to the social form of Argentine Tango as danced in Buenos Aires. No previous experience necessary! You will learn a code of movement that will get you started with this improvised dance. Embrace, posture, connection with your partner, and basic navigation on the dance floor will be emphasized. Most students need 1-6 months to acquire these fundamental skills before moving onto Level 2.
We encourage students registered for TANGO 2 and above to join this class, free of charge, to solidify their fundamental  technique and gain an understanding of our method of teaching.  Musicality, cultural information and etiquette about Argentine Tango is presented in all class levels. You can register for TANGO 1 classes onsite.  $18 Drop In. Discounted packages available.

I want to say thank you for all that I learned while I was there….my dancing improved, and more importantly I am enjoying it more!

I think the most profound change has come with 1. filling out my back (improves my balance as well) and 2. consciously relaxing my upper body.

You guys are great teachers.  I’m already planning my return visit to Marin and the Knights of Columbus Hall!

Suerte y abrazos,
Molly March

 

TANGO 2

(NEW hours in 2016: Wednesdays 8:30-9:45)
While building on material from Level 1, this class moves deeper into the exciting world of parallel and cross systems, forward and back ochos, and giros y molinetes (turns). The foundation and technique of these skills will be emphasized then transformed into interesting combinations to use on the dance floor. We will also introduce elements such as the parada, sandwichito, pasada, and prepare for the boleo.  Most students need 6 months to 2 years to acquire the skills to move onto Level 3. Repeating this class for several months will help you develop confidence and sophistication on the dance floor. (Concurrent attendance in Level 1, free of charge, is strongly encouraged.) $18 Drop In. Discounted packages available.

TANGO 2/3

(Currently offered Fridays 7-8:15pm)

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The class is set up to deepen foundational work for tangueros at TANGO 2/3 levels or above. Because this class falls directly before either the weekly Práctica or monthly Milonga, we focus on dancing in close embrace with compact movement. New material is presented every week to expand tango vocabulary while working on foundational material. An introductory course (Wednesdays TANGO 1 at  7-8:15 or private classes) is recommended before taking this class. $18 Drop In -Includes La Práctica de San Anselmo immediately following from 8:15-10pm. Discounted packages available.

TANGO 2/3 Musicality (Tango, Vals, Milonga)

(Please contact us if interested.  A minimum of 6 students to schedule is required. We offer 3 hour mini workshops or an more complete 12 class commitment.)
In this class we keep the dance simple so as to focus on the music using Golden Age Tango, Vals & Milongas as well as the nuevo tango music of Astor Piazzolla and contemporary electronic tango bands. Consistent attendance will reveal the layered teaching approach to skills and concepts we cover such as:  single, double and half-time steps, rhythm, melodic rhythm in tango, melody without the four-beat basic rhythm, melody played along with a rhythmic base, dialogue between different melodies, the form and structure of tango, syncopation, 3-3-2 syncopation, off-beat, Milonga, Vals.

Debbie and John’s musicality class has absolutely transformed my dance experience. As a leader I was reasonably adept at identifying and dancing to the melody, but now I’m able to hear other aspects of an orchestration—even down to individual instruments—and my leading has become more nuanced which results in a far richer dancing experience.

–Peter Katcoff

TANGO 3

Hand position in tango(Currently offered Mondays 7-8:15 pm)
Using the foundational work you acquired in Levels 1 & 2, we explore more deeply and refine the lead and follow as well as adding boleos, ganchos, alterations/changes of direction and more advanced off-axis elements such as the volcada and colgada. The fun never ends in tango!
(NOTE: If you do not know how to confidently move in and out of crossed and parallel systems, lead and follow forward and back ochos and lead and follow a turn to the right and left in both systems…you need to continue to take the Level 2 class before moving onto Level 3. Do not make the mistake of jumping too quickly to another level without building a good foundation. Most students need 6 months to 2 years in Level 2 to acquire these fundamental skills before moving onto Level 3.  $18 Drop In. Discounted packages available.

Mini-Prácticas

(Currently offered after all tango classes)
All Levels. 15  minutes to practice what you learned in class or to warm up for the next one. FREE with class.

TANGO 4

(Currently offered Mondays 8:30-9:45 pm )
This is an advanced level class for couples. You must come with a partner as we do not rotate. If you are able to easily master Level 3 material, this class is for you! Students generally need 4 years of tango experience. $18  drop-in per person. Discounted packages available.
Check out the weekly Monday Notes video post on our blog!

La Práctica de San Anselmo

(Currently offered Fridays 8:15-10pm except the 4th Friday when we hold our Milonga during this time slot.)
A práctica is a place to practice tango and to meet other tangueros. Generally more relaxed than a milonga, at a práctica it is acceptable to talk during the dance, and work on steps or figures. Alma del Tango teaching staff is available to answer questions and dance with you as time allows. The TANGO 2/3 class is offered right before the práctica and is a great place to warm up and also to meet potential practice partners for the evening. Práctica is open to all levels. $10 Práctica only or $18 Class & Práctica. Discounted packages available.

La Milonga de San Anselmo

(Currently offered on the 4th Friday of every month 8:15-11pm)
A milonga is an Argentine Tango social dance. People come as singles or with a partner and they wear their best tango finery. Music can be live or recorded, and is usually played in tandas, or sets of 3-4 songs. When the tanda ends there will be a cortina, a short interlude of non-tango music when dancers return to their seats and look for a new partner.  The TANGO 2/3 class is offered before the Milonga and is a great place to warm up and also to meet potential dance partners for the evening. Refreshments are served.  $18 Class only, $20 Class & Milonga, $15 Milonga only – (Discounted packages available); $5 suggested extra Milonga donation for Live Music presented Quarterly Sept, Dec, Mar, June with Seth Asarnow y su Sexteto. Often other musical groups on other months. Check Tango Mango.

I really appreciate and want to thank you for what you have done to create a Tango community in Marin, and to create the space for us to come together, meet wonderful people and dance the Tango.

–Paul Schwartz

movienightTango Movie Night

(Occasional Event)
Hosted by Jose Orellana, we show both popular and hard to find Tango movies. Popcorn provided as well as interesting, lively discussions after the movies with fellow tangueros. A great evening of entertainment and socialization.

Tango Conditioning Class

(Saturdays 11:00am-12:15pm.)
Debbie Goodwin & Rose Vierling co-teach this class for men & women of all levels. This class focuses on the individual (no partnering in this class), conditions your body to master tango posture, strengthen your sense of balance, refine foot placement and add grace and sensuality to your movements. Using tango vocabulary (walking, the cross, ochos, molinetes, sacadas, the lapiz, enrosques, boleos, planeos, ganchos, adornments, musicality, etc) we create FUN combinations to practice tango movements while expressing yourself with both traditional, contemporary and alternative tango music.  $18 Drop In.  Wear comfy clothing to allow for big movement and stretching.
www.AlmaDelTango.org

 

Private Classes with Debbie or John

(Currently offered with Debbie or with John by appointment)

Private instruction is highly recommended as a supplement to the group classes and prácticas to improve your improvisational skills.They are a great way to get individualized instruction and also learn at an accelerated rate. If you wish to develop and learn a choreography for performances and special events such as weddings or anniversary parties these private classes with Debbie are the path to go. $100/55 minute hour.
Note: We request that private students also take part in at least one group weekly tango class or event at Alma del Tango.

 

INTRODUCING Vintage, American Swing Dance!
While Argentine Tango was developing in the southern hemisphere, American Swing was being created in the northern hemisphere! We will begin to play few sets of swing music during our monthly Milongas so get ready! In addition, coming soon to Alma del Tango….. a monthly swing dance!

American Swing: East Coast Style

Swing Dance comes to ADT!

Swing Dance comes to ADT!

(Tuesdays 7pm-8pm – Begins July 5, 2016 with Jasmine Worrell)
If you are new to swing dancing this monthly series is for you! East Coast Swing is a fun social dance that is an instantly accessible way to enjoy social dancing to swing jazz, blues and rock and roll music. East Coast Swing is a form of social partner dance that evolved from Lindy Hop in the late 1940’s and early 50’s, and is based in six-count patterns that are simplified from of Lindy Hop patterns.  In practice on the social dance floor, the six count steps of the East Coast Swing can be mixed with the eight count steps of Lindy Hop and Charleston, and is therefore a perfect place to begin learning American Swing.  No experience or partner is necessary.  East Coast Swing is a monthly series which starts on the first Tuesday of each month.  Classes are progressive, therefore every week within that month, we build upon the moves taught in the previous class.

*In between East Coast Swing and Lindy Hop, there is a 10 minute Free Swing Practice where those that took East Coast Swing can continue experimenting and working on figures learned. Those that are arriving to Lindy Hop class starting at 8:10 can warm up. This is a chance to meet classmates, practice without the stress of it being crowded evening dance, and dance to songs where the beat is easy to find.

American Swing: Lindy Hop Style

(Tuesdays 8:10pm – 9:10pm – Begins July 5, 2016 with Jasmine Worrell)
Lindy Hop is the original American swing dance, also known as Jitterbug, which was created in the late 30’s and 40’s to really swing to the jazz music of the times which was being played in the dance halls in Harlem.  Danced to a wide range of tempos, there is a strong pulse that drives the movement of the dance, and the music is traditionally big band swing from the Golden Era of Jazz. Lindy Hop is danced to an eight count rhythm and is generally characterized as a fairly lively and happy dance.  Learn the basics of Lindy Hop including the Swing Out, Charleston, and various follower and some leader turns.   The goal of the class will be to have you social dancing to some of North Americas most beautiful jazz music.  There will be significant repetition to help work the rhythm into dancer’s bodies, as well as partner rotation.  No experience or partner is necessary, although it is highly recommended each dancer complete one month long series of East Coast swing before enrolling in Lindy Hop.  Lindy Hop is a monthly series which starts on the first Tuesday of each month.  Classes are progressive, therefore every week within that month, we build upon the moves taught in the previous week(s).

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