Couples dancing in a dimly lit room; a DJ carefully choosing the next tanda (set of songs); others sitting at tables chatting with friends and sipping some wine – this is the picture of a typical milonga (social tango dance night) that you can find around the world. Argentine Tango has grown so big and became so popular that you’d better take your tango shoes with you next time you travel.
It all began in the late 19th century, when immigrants flooded Buenos Aires, Argentina in hopes of finding a better job. Thousands of people (mostly male from Western Europe) arrived at the port of Buenos Aires. Each night, after a hard-working day, they would go to the “bordellos” (brothels) to find the warmth of the embrace in tango.
As a genre, Argentine Tango was developed from many different cultures, music and dances that those immigrants from Western Europe and slaves from South Africa brought with them to Buenos Aires. Argentine Tango united people in the 19th century and continues to do so today.
Nowadays, we dance social Argentine Tango at many milongas across the globe. Everyone can learn and dance tango. All you need is to dedicate yourself for a definite period of time with the teacher who will help you find the magic of this, the most romantic dance form.
Our LaVida Studio Argentine Tango School offers students an effective way to learn Argentine Tango with great instructors who have been dancing and teaching tango for many years. Our goal is quality instruction and our mission is to expand our Seattle area tango community by nurturing good tango dancers.
Based on our experience in tango, we have created several levels of Argentine Tango classes that follow a well-defined program of learning. If you have never learned Argentine Tango, regardless whether you have prior dance experience, you must take "Tango Foundation".
Level 1 - Absolute Beginner "Tango Foundation"
Our Absolute Beginner Tango Foundation consists of 8 classes once per week. The total of 8 classes is what gives you a solid foundation in Argentine Tango and allows to move forward.
The curriculum for Level 1 has been specifically designed for those who have little or no experience in Argentine Tango, and for all of those who believe they have two left feet and no rhythm. Throughout the course, we will learn the basics of tango, leading and following, balance and musicality. We will create a foundation that will be vital for the students' further progress.
This class takes the fundamentals learned in Absolute Beginner Series and continues building the skill in dance. At this level, students will expand their Argentine Tango vocabulary by learning more tango elements in two main fields of tango: walks and turns; and in the two main realms of tango: parallel and cross systems. Students will start to learn how to combine tango elements together and create their own improvised tango dance. We will spend good amount of time on musicality, listening to various orchestras and identifying the basic rhythm of Argentine Tango. The goal of the class is to acquire a practical knowledge and skill to be able to comfortably and confidently dance at Milonga (Tango dance social).
As a learning experience, our students will be invited to our studio's Milonga, as well as taken to Seattle local Milonga. We believe that going out to the Milongas in the areas is crucial, and we would like to make the learning experience as pleasant as possible for our students. We also believe that going out together as a group will build supportive relationships.
This class is designed for students who have been taking Argentine Tango classes at LaVida studio for at least 1.5 years or 2 years elsewhere and regularly attend practicas and milongas. At this level, students will go from basics to more complex techniques, movements, and understanding of various orchestras. They will polish their skills as well as be introduced to something new and exciting. The students will be challenged with connection with a partner and with improvisation of the dance steps. Students will polish their tango technique, and master new tango elements, such as sacadas, volcadas, boleos, same axis turns and etc.
This is an ongoing class that offers different topics for students every month. In these classes, students will be introduced to Tango-Vals and Milonga: their basic figures, rhythm and technical aspects; as well as Tango-Nuevo style. Classes will include work on technique, musicality and interested sequences.
Prerequisite: "Tango Foundation" at LaVida Studio or at least 6 months of classes elsewhere.
Group classes are the most popular form of learning Argentine Tango. Levels that we offer take place in a group setting. Students may come to the group classes without a partner. We use the help of our volunteers to make sure that every class has an even number of leaders and followers. We also allow students to rotate to provide everyone an opportunity to dance with different partners. Couples have a choice of rotating or not.
Private lessons are an important part of learning Argentine Tango. Students can learn from group classes, but private lessons are invaluable when it comes to learning correctly from the start, avoiding mistakes, and preventing bad habits that may form and would be very hard to correct later on. Private lessons are also a great choice for those who can't commit to the schedule of group classes.
During the private lessons, the teacher fine-tunes your dancing and technique, clarifies topics that were missed during the group classes and customizes instruction to your personal needs. Spreading out private lessons between group classes and practicas is the best option for rapid progress.
Private lessons are for up to 2 people. 50 min. Can be purchased in packages. Expire in 1 year from date of purchase.
Practice is what makes everything happen. During group and private lessons, the new information is received and can be understood, but it takes practice time to make your body to absorb it all. We cannot emphasize enough the critical role of practicas. At every level dancers need to practice what they have learned in class. In coordination with group class and private lessons, Practicas and/or Milongas are the best way to make rapid progress.
This is the name for 2 different things. First, this is the name of a dance, one of the 3 dances in the Argentine Tango family (Tango, Tango-Vals, Milonga). Second, this is the name for a formal Argentine Tango Dance Night Social. Read above to get a feel for what you'd experience at a typical Milonga.
At LaVida Studio, we hold Milonga on the 4th Friday of every month. We highly recommend that every student attend, including those who just started learning tango.
For more information about tango classes in Bellevue, call us today.
Absolute Beginner "Tango Foundation" group class series Level 1
Tango series include:
8 group 1-hr classes once per week
8 practice 2-hr dance sessions "Practicas" once per week
Price: $125 per person
You can join the class during the first two weeks of the series only. Any class missed throughout the series is not credited back and considered to be used.
NOTE: We recommend taking private instructions in lieu of missed classes and/or for speed learning.
Group Class Levels
At LaVida Studio, our experienced Argentine Tango instructors have developed several levels of Argentine Tango classes in Bellevue that follow a well-defined curriculum which makes the learning process effective, fast, and enjoyable.
Absolute Beginner Tango FoundationLevel 1A and 1B
Intermediate Level 2
Advanced Level 3
Absolute Beginner "Tango Foundation" Level 1A and 1B covers important information of "Tango Foundation". This series is a must for those who have no tango experience and recommended for those who have been learning tango for less then 6 months.
All other levels are ongoing classes with a certain curriculum topic that is discussed and explored over a 1 month period. If you missed a class at your level, you could go to the same level class next month and continue learning at a comfortable pace.
After students have completed "Tango Foundation", they can join an All Levels group in which the Thematic classes are offered, such as Milonga, Tango-Vals or Tango-Nuevo Topics.
Tango, Tango-Vals, Milonga, and Tango-Nuevo are the dances that you will dance at a social tango event which is called the Milonga.
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"The attention and detail of dance instruction that Natasha and Kristina give, and their attitude, are far superior to other Argentine tango dance studios I've attended in Seattle. I enjoy their method of teaching, and the LaVida studio is beautiful and clean as well, with natural light and fresh air. Ease of parking is also a plus!"
"Stellar instructors, solid instruction and clean, classy venue. Highly recommend!"
The studio is quite nice with ample room and nice dance flooring. Excellent Argentine tango teachers and easy to learn from. I am impressed with all of them. I've gotten to know a number of the other students which makes attending the practicas so enjoyable. There are always "friends" there, and the staff is always helpful and available for questions. At LaVida, they are always working towards improving services to make things better for the students."
"This is my happy place...The instructors are awesome... The studio has a great vibe and reminds me of a scene from the movie "Shall We Dance?"