TangoLife Classes May 31-June

Pt Townsend Encuentro, May 2016.  Excellent Line of Dance!!

Dear TangoLovers,

Although I was sorry to miss David B’s Ultimo Baile Milonga this past weekend, I did my best to represent Bellingham at the Pt Townsend 3rd Annual Encuentro, Friday-Sunday. “Encuentro” events have become popular among the close embrace, milonguero style dancers in the US and Europe. We enjoyed 4 milongas in 3 days (16 hours of dancing!), where the traditional “codigos” (think gracious manners), are the norm, and leads and follows are seated on opposite sides of the room to facilitate cabeceo. Ernie Baird did a fantastic job organizing the event, along with his full cast of volunteers. The weekend began with a “meet and greet” social time, and ended with a brunch milonga, with hot foods, fruits and plenty of coffee.

Many dancers flew in from the Southwest states, California and elsewhere, and Vancouver was WELL represented. Compared to a tango festival like Seattle’s Tango Magic, these are small (about 100 dancers instead of 400- 500+), which makes it much easier to get to know a few new friends and catch up with others we already know. There are no lessons to bother with, so no one is trying their latest wild move. The quality of the dancers is quite high, and the LINE OF DANCE is astoundingly clean and low stress despite being a very full floor. And yes, by the end I was totally blissed out!

Another Encuentro is being launched in Seattle in October, hosted by Amy Allison and friends, in October. Stay tuned if you are interested in attending, as it will sell out quickly. TangoLife Milonga, and La Garua Milonga in Seattle, are perfect training grounds for milonguero events, minus the split seating arrangements. Let me know if you are interested in carpooling to Seattle on the 2nd or 4th Sunday of each month to polish your skills!

Current classes are below. Note that I am suspending the Ladies Technique class beginning June 1 for a month. Hone your skills at the Practica!




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!

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

Drop in practice time for ALL LEVELS of tango 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.

TangoLife Classes, May, 2016

Classes below and private lessons are held at Rebecca’s home studio unless otherwise noted. (2610 Likely Ct. Park on street, walk down outdoor stairs on right side of house to lower entrance.) Below are summaries of what we cover in each class:

**Taking a break: Wednesday Technique class: canceled June 1-30.

Review your new techniques at the practica or at home. It WILL improve your dancing!

Wednesdays, 8-9:30 pm. $10. Tango OnePointFive:

For continuing 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.” Important 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:

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.

Private lessons with Rebecca:

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.

Rebecca Niemier