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Sadly, we hear it all the time:

”I’ve wanted to dance tango all my life but I never had a partner.”

It’s hard to imagine how many people have secretly dreamed of taking up tango only to fall at the first hurdle: a partner.

And had we told them: “Actually you don’t need a partner!”, would they have believed us?

We put the words “No Partner Needed” all over our website, and in every publicity we post, but somehow we still get asked the same question. So entrenched it is as an idea that for some people it is difficult to take in … even if it is there in black and white.

And if that idea is hard to take on board, how about this one:

It might be better NOT to have a partner at all.

How many people just fell off their chair?

”Hang on a second!” I can almost hear you shouting at the screen. “It’s even a cliche that it takes two to tango!”

Well, let me tell you how tango works.

Tango is a dance of improvisation. Tango - at it’s very best - is when two complete strangers step out onto the dance floor and are able to communicate through the medium of dance without any pre-planned steps at all.

Dancing with a stranger or with someone you don’t know very well is one of the best things about tango. It is an indescribably exhilarating feeling that cannot be compared to anything else in life.

In our classes, we teach our students the art of improvisation - of leading and of following - so if they want to, they can take their skills to a “milonga” (tango club) on the other side of the world and dance with someone they have never met before.

Students who only dance with one partner quickly grow accustomed to their partner’s way of doing things: their signals, their favourite steps and their idiosyncrasies. Even their height and build. When suddenly the opportunity arises to dance with somebody new, they feel completely at sea.

Although at our Beginners level, couples can and often do stay together during the lesson, this rarely happens in our other classes. By the time our students have been dancing for a while, they understand the importance of regular partner changes to becoming more rounded and versatile dancers. Plus, they are keen to experience the feeling of other partners. It is one of the delights of tango that every dancer feels unique to dance with.

When we go to the milonga, we dance with total strangers. We dance with fellow tango dancers who we’ve met and danced with before. We dance with friends. And some of us also dance with a special someone who we love dancing with most of all. But most people will have several dance partners in any one evening. And this is precisely what we came to the milonga to do!

Often students are keen to find a practice partner so that they can work on the detail of their dance outside the structure of the class and the milonga. There is no doubt that this is useful but we always advise them to ensure that they keep dancing with other people too. Especially in the early years, students can grow very used to that partner within just a few weeks. And when they come to dance with another partner, it can feel strange and alien.

So there you have it! No partner needed! Yes, really!

I may not be able to change the world but I will be happy if one person out there reads this article and realises that there is absolutely no obstacle to them dancing tango.

So now there is nothing stopping you, what are you waiting for?!

Inside every student who comes to our classes, there is a tango dancer waiting to come out! And our job to make sure this happens.

To bring out the best in people, we need to guide, challenge and support them and find new ways harness their creativity. As teachers we need to keep evolving so our lessons remains fresh, dynamic and stimulating.

This year, we have prepared an exciting and varied programme of classes for you!

Next Saturday 4th & 11th March, we’ll be privileged to have LIVE MUSIC in our classes again.

This is pretty unusual in a tango class! So why live music?

As you may have experienced already, there’s nothing quite like dancing to live music. It transforms the mood and feel of the dance. It brings you into the moment and stirs up powerful emotions.

Why limit this feeling to the milonga when we can bring it to our classes too?

Live music somehow brings the music closer and makes it more present. It therefore presents a unique, innovative and fascinating opportunity to study musicality.

Our musicians not only play beautiful, spine-tingling music, but they also work regularly in the training of professional dancers at Rambert and Pineapple Dance Studios. As the class progresses, you’ll begin to notice that they are interacting with the class. The music will change as David or I work on different tools for interpretation, becoming in turn mellow, upbeat, lyrical, playful ... It is a very exciting way to work.

Don’t miss this innovative opportunity to train your musical ear, sharpen your footwork and enjoy gorgeous music!

When: Saturday 4th & 11th March 2017

Time: 1 - 3 pm + FREE Mini-Practica

Where: Marshall Street Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall Street, London W1F 7EL (5 minutes from Oxford Circus)

Price: £30 - 1 week; £58 - 2 weeks

Level: Improvers upwards

No partner needed! Please contact us to book your place.

It’s been a funny old week in London town.

Tuesday and Wednesday brought a tube strike, bringing swathes of London to a halt. And Thursday brought Storm Doris, bringing down trees and causing yet more travel disruption.

But rain, shine, storm or strike, tangueros need their weekly class! A student last year walked from the City to the West End during a tube strike to make one of our classes!

We knew a mere tube strike and storm would not keep you away! We were there ready to receive you and it was great to have a crowd of you in class with us this week.

It reminded me of a conversation we had with our longest standing students just the other week. He was one of our very first students when we started Tango Movement back in 2007.

We get a lot of amazing feedback about our classes but when we asked him what made him come back year after year, his feedback was to the point:

”You’re always there. I know if I turn up at 8 pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday or whenever, you’ll be there, starting on time as usual.”

It sounds like a small thing, but we appreciate that Londoners lives are highly pressured. And if you make the effort to turn up to a class, we will make an equal effort to be there, with the same energy, the same professionalism and the same care that you’ve grown to expect for us.

Bring on the storms and strikes, we’ll tango on!

I'm very excited to teach my very first Ladies Technique Small Group Workshop this afternoon in Studio Movement.

The purpose of the Workshop is to work on technique with a limited number of participants, maximising the personal attention I am able to give to each student and enabling me to tailor the material to best suit the level of those attending.

We have a lovely group today and I'm really looking forward to some excellent work!

Today's Workshop sold out within 24 hours of me advertising it so I sense there is some demand! I will definitely be running similar Workshops throughout the year for different levels: Beginners/Improvers, Intermediate/Advanced etc.

via GIPHY

Please always feel free to let me know if there are any topics you have a burning desire to cover with me. You never know, you may just see them come up in the next Workshop publicity! ;-)

Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the next Small Group Workshop and be sure to grab your place quick!

Happy Students 19-02-2017

It's always great to re-connect with students who we haven't seen for a long time.

On Saturday, an old student returned to class after what we together worked out had been a 7 year break!

And it warmed our hearts to receive this message from her after class:

"Just want to say you guys are still giving the best lessons in London. Not many teachers care to correct our mistakes nowadays, not to mention it's always such a pleasure to watch you guys dancing. When I had my first lesson with you guys at the Plaza you weren't even married. How time flies. I'll definitely try to come for more lessons when I can."

And another email from another student (who we also have known for many years) after the very same workshop:

"I want to tell you that the class was great. Have learned a lot, it was hard but well explained, and ALL the men I danced with were working hard, helping me and were very nice to be with. This does not always happen in tango, but I think it is because you lead by example."

Thanks so much for giving us this feedback. It inspires and motivates to keep up what we're doing and improve on it year after year.

Here's to more happy customers, happy classes and happy tangos!

We're very happy to present the official video of the Tango Movement Student Show.

The show took place at our Winter Ball on Saturday 21st January 2017.

Congratulations to all our students who participated. It is no easy thing to learn a choreography, perform it in perfect unison with the other couples, AND get up and dance in front of 300 people!

But they did it with skill, technique and that one thing that is so difficult to teach: class!

When we select students for the show, we always try to find those who have started tango with us as Beginners or who have studied with us for a considerable amount of time.

This time round, we were a little short of time to prepare as a lot of our group were away over Christmas and New Year. And it is amazing to think that they pulled this off in just ten classes (some couples even less!)

We're already looking forward to seeing what we can achieve next year!

Some things are just made for each other. And tango and Valentine's are one of them!

Today, we braved the cold of London in February to bring a little romance into the lives of City workers.

Forget smouldering stares and pouts, this was heart-felt, romantic tango. Just look how we even managed to put a smile on the face of a hardened City worker!

Tonight in Soho, we'll have a special Valentine themed Intermediate class for you, learning movements with an especially romantic feel.

And this is one Valentine's event that you most certainly DON'T need a partner for!

Time: 8 - 9:30 pm (+ Mini-Practica)

Venue: Marshall Street Leisure Centre, 15 Marshall Street, Soho W1F 7EL (5 minutes walk from Oxford Circus)

Level: Intermediate

Price: £16

No need to pre-book. Just drop-in and dance!

We will also have chocolates to celebrate Valentines. Chocolate and tango ... now surely that's another match made in heaven?

Tango Poetry 12-02-2017

Did you know the lyrics of some tangos are as emotionally charged as the music itself?

Often speaking of helpless love, lost youth and times past, tango lyrics are heavy with nostalgia, melancholy and even poetry.

Following a Beginners class last week, an Argentine student asked me to translate a tango for a classmate. She happened to share a name with the title of the song: Marion. One of my all time favourite tangos in fact.

As I focused on giving the best on-the-spot translation I could, I was struck by the loveliness of the lyrics. And when I looked up I wasn’t very surprised to see that her eyes had welled up with tears. “Let’s stop now” I suggested, “before we all start crying!”

So I felt inspired to share the lyrics with you, to give you just a little taste of the mood of the tangos you are listening to. The beauty of the poetry is inevitably lost in translation but the sentiment holds true.

Evoking the memory

My heart starts to dream again

And the dream was you, Marion

Love of my youth

That is not forgotten

The shadows of yesterday

With the sadness of a song

Will always say to me: Marion

Marion

I know that at your side I was happy

When I gave you my heart

In old Paris

I remember

The grief of goodbye

And the sky

Marion

Distant love that I left

I want you to know, my heart

That I never forgot you.

We're delighted to present our montage video of our Winter Ball in January, celebrating Tango Movement's 10 Year Anniversary in London

In an evening full of magical moments, it's amazing to have a film that captures them so well.

Enjoy!

Featuring:

- Pas de Deux by Marianela Nuñez (Royal Ballet Principal) & Alejandro Parente (Theatre Colon Principal, Buenos Aires)

- Performance by Alejandra Mantiñan & David Benitez

- Performance by Kim & David Benitez

- Live music by Tango Siempre Septet

- Show by Tango Movement Students

There were a few moments at the Winter Ball when time appeared to slow down and this - for me - was one of them.

This is the seventh year we’ve put on our Annual Tango Ball - the only “milonga” David and I organise in the year - and this glorious venue never fails to move me.

When you dance you want to feel. And how easy is it to feel when you dance in that magical hall, with beautiful lighting, breathtaking music and the partner of your dreams guiding you!

Not to mention the warmth from the audience - the very best audience you can have - your tango students, friends and family.

I wish I had had a crystal ball ten years ago when David and I arrived in London and set up Tango Movement. I don’t think I would have believe what I saw. But it was certainly what we would have hoped for!

And finally, that most special of surprises that David arranged for me at the end. Moments to be cherished always.

Thank you again to everyone who came! It was an incredible Ten Year Anniversary Celebration for Tango Movement.

Our Tango Movement Winter Ball took place on 21st January 2017.

All proceeds go to help causes supported by APARU (The Association of Argentine Professionals in the UK), this year providing medical health care to visually impaired people in poverty-stricken areas of Argentina.

Over the years, we have raised £20,000 for charity through our milonga and through the support of our students and the wider tango community in London.

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