Questions About Classes and Going Dancing
Starting Glasgow Tango Classes: Practicalities
- Do I need to come with a dance partner?
There is no need to come with a partner. Where possible, we aim to book even numbers of men and women to give everyone a good learning experience. We ask you to change partners at intervals during the class. We all dance differently, so it is an important part of your learning process to try out things with others. If you do come with a partner you will dance together every two or three turns.
- What should I wear?
The classes are relaxed and informal. Wear something comfortable so you can move about easily.
- Do I need special shoes?
You don't need special dance shoes. Wear shoes with smooth (e.g. leather) soles rather than soles which grip. Women can wear either heels or flat shoes (whichever you find most comfortable). At some Council owned venues like Notre Dame High school, there is a no narrow heels or stilettos rule. The venue is very strict about protecting its floor. If you do want to buy dance shoes, go to our links page to find local retailers.
- Who is eligible for the concession price?
Students, people on benefits, senior citizens.
- How should I pay?
Either with cash, or with a cheque payable to Tango-Glasgow.
- What if I don't like it?
We very much hope that everyone will enjoy the classes. However, if you find that tango is not for you, and you let us know by the end of the second week's class, we will refund the cost of the remaining classes for the term minus a £6 administration fee.
What to Expect When Going Dancing
- So, it's just the tango then?
Actually, we do three dances: the tango, the milonga and the tango vals. The milonga is generally a fun, faster and more insistent dance. It uses the basic steps of tango but often shorter and with fewer expressive pauses. Tango vals is very similar to the waltz. In Glasgow-Tango classes, the milonga is normally encountered in the second term. Much of tango vals is about adapting your tango steps to a three-four waltz time.
- What is happening when you say there is going to be a milonga?
It is confusing, but as well as being a kind of dance in its own right, a milonga is a tango social event. Glasgow has a regular milonga every Wednesday in the basement of the Blackfriars pub, 36 Bell Street, Merchant City, 8.30 pm - midnight. It is free and everyone is very welcome.
- What happens at a milonga?
Depending on the DJ, where you are, or how long that night's milonga is, tangos are usually played in groups of three or four. These are called tandas. Every now and then there might be a selection of milongas or valses. Sometimes, you will find unrelated pieces of music played for just half a minute or so. These are cortinas. They signal that one tanda has finished and another is about to begin.
Looking after your Partner
What are the golden rules for looking after your dance partner?
- Take pride in your personal hygiene.
- Dance with your partner for a tanda. Be careful, saying thankyou between songs in a tanda can be a signal that you have had enough.
- Be generous to your dance partner.
- Make your partner comfortable by dancing what they can do.
- Don't try to teach your partner a move on the dance floor. It is just rude to everyone.
- Don't natter about the meaning of life on the dance floor. Tango is the meaning of life. You should be concentrating on it.
What are the golden rules for floorcraft?
- Cultivate your cabeceo. This is your ability to catch the eye of a new dance partner from across the room with a mere nod.
- Take care when entering the dance floor.
- Go round in an anti-clockwise direction.
- Don't rush into a dance. Take your time and listen to the mood of the music.
- Avoid overtaking: it's not Silverstone. Leave space between you and the couple in front.
- Keep everything flowing.
- Feet down on the crowded floor.