What kind of Argentine tango class is right for you? Most people learn dance by taking a combination of private/couple lessons and group classes. However, not everyone learns the same way. Here is a brief description of each kind of lesson, to help you decide what might work for you.

Group Argentine tango lessons

Group lessons are the most economical way to start learning Argentine tango. Learning in a group allows you to make friends with people in the dance community. You can also practice with more than one person, which speeds up the learning process significantly for some people. Because each person learns differently, you have the opportunity to practice learning styles that are not your primary learning style, and strengthen new learning "muscles" so that you internalize the material in new ways.

Couple lessons

Many people choose to take private lessons as a couple. Tango teaches you a deeper body awareness, or both yourself and your partner; it's a great way to connect with your partner or spouse. Also, it adds to the activities you can enjoy together. A lot of people start tango when they are ready for something new to enrich their life.

Learning as a couple allows each person to get individualized teaching, focusing on their learning strengths. It also allows each person to better understand how the other person learns, and work out how to learn together.

Private lessons are an economical approach to learning tango for a couple. They usually cost only 2-3 times what a group lesson would cost for two people, without having to share the instructor with other students.

One-on-one classes

It is impossible to become an advanced tango dancer without private lessons, but sometimes private lessons are also the best choice for beginners, too.

If you suffer from social anxiety, or are shy, private lessons are a great way to start your learning process without the added stress of being in a group.

Kinesthetic learners often feel frustrated in a group class because they learn movement so easily. Dancing with an instructor allows the student to immediately feel correct technique and learn even more quickly.

Hearing-impaired learners also find one-on-one lessons work best. There is less background noise to interfere with hearing, and the teacher can adapt the volume of speaking and the music.

Movement-challenged people learn best one-on-one because the class moves at the pace they want, and is tailored to their learning abilities and disabilities. Group classes often progress too quickly for someone who struggles to learn movement.

 

Group classes (Om Studio, 14 NE 10th Ave. PDX)

Tango Fundamentals: 7 PM Thursdays (The basics of the dance)

Continuing Tango: 8 PM Thursdays (Intermediate & up)

Advanced Tango and Body Dynamics are taking a short sabbatical!

 

Prices (per person)

  • Drop-in: $14
  • 10-class punchcard (use in 4 mos.): $120
  • FUNdamentals or Continuing: $45/mo
  • Unlimited (8-10 classes currently): $80/mo

 

@edis jurcys photography

@edis jurcys photography

I danced Tango for 8 years. It was not fun and it did not feel like I was dancing. I would try to lead a step and the follow would do something else. I felt like I was a total failure at Tango. Elizabeth changed that to where Tango is now fun. She did it by having my wife behave like a “naughty toddler,” not following but just taking off doing her own thing. My job became to capture her energy and turn it into a dance. It became fun and made me realize that I was not doing everything wrong.
— Jim
@edis jurcys photography

@edis jurcys photography

I have been dancing tango from the time it was first introduced to Portland. But when I turned 60 years old my ankle was painful and swollen, and . . . a doctor told me I would no longer be able to dance. About that same time I met and married my husband, who had never danced before. I would not marry him unless he learned tango and vowed to take me dancing a minimum of once a week. He did both, but I ended up wearing a brace for over 6 years and, because I was in pain, our tango was sporadic. So we danced ballroom, starting and quitting tango often.

In 2010 we began taking lessons from Elizabeth. She fully understands body dynamics and tailored the dance to fit my needs (with minimum ochos). We have been dancing tango weekly ever since 2015. I cannot wear heels because of the weak ankle, but Elizabeth has given me exercises, and I have worked at building strength and balance. She told me, when we each became relaxed and balanced, I would be able to remove the brace. I have now danced for over 3 years without the brace and without pain or my ankle swelling. I just danced my 80th birthday dance, and I have never been stronger – thanks to Elizabeth. She has made dancing tango fun for us.
— Mary Ann