TangoLife Classes 9/20 +

Dear TangoLovers,

What a joy it is when I see you out dancing, celebrating successes, becoming engaged in the larger tango community, and looking hungrily for your next dance partner!  And, what incredible diversity there is on the dance floor.  We should never be bored!  Like a Goldilocks dilemma, we are often perplexed at the choices:  too hot, too cold, just right!  To each, his own, and thankfully the mirada/cabeceo method can help with future partner selections, if a person desires.    

At the very bottom of this post is a VERY well written piece entitled “Woman moves first.” Please read it!  We have covered many steps recently which quite REQUIRE this basic concept for movement in tango.  Let’s look at it again in classes this week.  

Hope to see you at the Practica tonight!


TUESDAYS, 6:30-9 pm.


Bell Tower Studio, 1430 N Garden St, (at Ellis St.)

Beginning lesson: 6:30-7:15. $5. No partner or experience needed. Come try tango! Steps to get you started, techniques to keep you challenged. Drop in. Co-teacher: David Beaumier.

Practica: 7-9 pm, $5. Traditional music.

Drop in practice time for ALL LEVELS of tango dancers. Average attendance is 26-30 dancers. Great sound system, beautiful floor, lots of space, mirrors and tango friends working out the details to create confidence, balance and grace in their tango. Come meet the rest of the gang, get feedback, help each other grow and have more than a few laughs. Dance a bit with everyone, or just one partner, whatever you wish. On street parking. Building is purple.

WEDNESDAYS, 7:30-9 pm. $10. 


TangoLife Studio, 2610 Likely Ct.

For “just beyond brand new beginning-ish” tango students ready for more fun. Learn fundamental tango techniques which allow partners to dance as one, without pushing or pulling. By remaining balanced in our own axis, we avoid any heavy feel to our partners, while maintaining a very cozy embrace and much more freedom of movement. We scroll through basic steps: walking, ochos, turns, parallel and cross system, while continually improving our balance and connection. Clear instruction on bridging into close embrace, allowing free movement and discovering the important “spiral in the body.” Social dance etiquette, including navigation, cabeceo (inviting/accepting dances), etc, are taught and practiced to ensure success at milongas. Please RSVP for space availability.  Assistant teacher: Victor Flores.

THURSDAYS, 7-8:30 pm. $10. Intermediate:

TangoLife Studio, 2610 Likely Ct.

Going for it: Working into sustained close embrace, as comfort and ability allow, we polish fundamental patterns everyone should know, with variations and smooth transitions. Intermediate concepts, including the purpose behind sacadas, molinetes, back crosses, embellishments. Emphasis on proficiency and musicality. Getting comfortable with vals and milonga songs. Understanding differences between various tango styles. Digging into the wisdom and surprising dynamics of the milonguero style. Please RSVP for space availability. Assistant teacher: Eric Cole.


Still just $40/hour or $50/1.5 hour, for one or two people. (This is part of my investment in growing the community. Most teachers charge $70-100.) Typically we really do accomplish a month of progress in one session, for men or women. Taking one private every 4-6 weeks will keep bad habits in check and progress going forward. I’m available afternoons, some evenings and weekends by appointment.


Rick Kim to Capital Tangueros (Washington, DC)

4 hrs ·

< Woman Moves First >

In a dancing couple, the woman moves first. Although the man gives her a marca for a movement, he does not move until she senses his marca and begins to move.

For example, he gives her a marca for a side step to the left. The marca can be the increased pressure between his right arm and the left side of her torso. This increase in the pressure between his right arm and the left side of her torso can be initiated by his pushing the floor with his right leg (to move to the left). He is pushing the floor to move his entire body to the left, and since her torso is getting in the way of his moving to the left, the pressure between the left side of her torso and his right arm (which is touching the left side of her torso) increases. At this very moment, the man should push the floor enough to increase the pressure between the left side of her torso and his right arm for it to be sensed by her as a marca, but not more to the extent where she is pushed to the side because she cannot keep balance against the pressure from him.

This is how the man starts movement but does not move first. He starts movement by giving a marca to the woman. But, he does not move first because he is only changing the pressure between him and her. Strictly speaking, he might have moved by 1/100 inch, but this is not “moving” in the sense of taking a step.

The man gives a marca to the woman without moving and waits for her to move. She senses the marca and begins to move. As soon as she moves he follows her movement so that they will remain together.

This applies to the woman’s pivot, also – the man gives a marca for a pivot of the woman, without forcefully rotating her. She senses the marca for a pivot, and starts pivotting on her own.

Rick’s Tango Club
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Rebecca Niemier