Frequently Asked Questions
What clothes are appropriate?
Well, tango is a sexy dance, so people tend to wear pretty sexy clothes, especially at the dances. The tango classes tend to be more casual than the dances. In either case, you will want to wear a blouse/shirt that allows you to easily raise your arms into an embrace. Wear skirts/dresses/pants that allow you to move freely and take large steps if necessary. For men, slacks and a button down shirt always work well. At the dances, you’ll see ladies in dresses or skirts (lots of red and black) with high slits and fish net stockings. There's no requirement along these lines, of course, but it is a lot of fun!
What kind of shoes should I wear?
Both men and women should wear leather-soled shoes if possible; leather soles allow you to turn or pivot more easily; rubber soles tend to make you “stick” to the floor, and then turns/pivots can present a hazard to your knees. For ladies, a high-heeled shoe that is comfortable and stays on your foot well is best, especially if it has an ankle strap. For men, a leather-soled dress shoe will usually work fine. Eventually you’ll both want to invest in real tango shoes. While there are places around town like Capezios that sell dance shoes, these are more of a ballroom-style shoe. They will work fine at the beginning, but they’re nothing like the real thing – authentic Argentine Tango shoes. There’s something about the arch of the foot, that sexy stiletto, that teasing ankle strap … and, yes, the best place to get these is in Argentina! Once or twice a year we have guest teachers who visit the studio selling Argentine tango shoes. And you can always join us on our next trip to Argentina! In the meantime, you’ll find something that will work at Capezios.
Is tango hard to learn?
Like anything worthwhile, it takes effort to learn. There is nothing quite like the synchronicity of a perfect tango: when two bodies, two hearts, two minds, two souls move as one in perfect harmony with each other, with the music, with the floor, with the other couples ... ah, there is nothing quite like it! So, yes, it takes some effort, but it is well worth it!
Plus, since you can dance tango to any 4-count music (almost all rock and roll is 4-count; we’ve danced tango performances to Leonard Skynard, Tracy Chapman, etc.), it is really much more versatile than other dances (for instance, waltz has that particular 1-2-3 waltz rhythm which requires a particular music to dance to it). But tango can be danced to just about anything.
So, it’s going to take some effort, but it is definitely worth it!
Do I have to switch partners?
We encourage participants to rotate partners in our tango classes, but we never insist on it. So if you and your partner decide you only want to dance together, you certainly don’t have to rotate. We do recommend rotating, however. You become a better leader/follower when you can lead/follow anyone. But the choice is always yours.
Will I dance?
In our tango classes, everyone dances because we are all on the floor working on a concept, moving from partner to partner at the end of every song. But a dance, a milonga, is different. And, yes, those can be more of a challenge for people who are new to the tango. At our dances, the experienced dancers tend to dance with other experienced dancers because that's who they know (and often have been friends for years via tango). Even those who are new to the tango tend to only dance with those who are new to the tango too -- the people from their classes. If you start coming to the social dances regularly, people will notice. "Hey, I saw him/her here last time, and the time before that too. He/She must be serious about tango." And then they approach you ... it does take a while. That is why starting at the beginning level and working through the series of classes is a really good idea. You not only learn how to dance the tango, but you also start making friends and those are the people you'll start dancing with at the social dances. Once others see you dancing, then they will ask you to dance too.
On a personal side note, I think that the Sacramento Tango community happens to be the kindest, funnest, coolest group of people I know. They love to live, they love to dance, they love to laugh and play and ... really, how cool is that? They are also, I think, very approachable and easy to get to know. Just come up and say hello. At the milongas, pull up a chair, introduce yourself ... and the rest, as they say, is history ... tango history.
Can I start in the middle of the month?
Our tango classes are progressive and build on the material learned the week before. So if this is your first time through the series, and you've missed more than one class, then you probably should wait and start at the next month. If you've only missed one class, then you can still join the class because we will go over last week's concepts again (but more quickly) and add new material to it. But if you’ve missed more than one class, then you should probably start at the next month. It can be too frustrating to start so far behind the other students in the tango class. We want you to succeed, and this really is the best way. If, however, you’ve taken Argentine Tango classes in the past or have a lot of experience dancing other dances, then sometimes joining in the middle of a series can still work. You can always ask Donna!Another option is to take a private tango classes to bring you up to speed, and then join the group lessons.