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Raymond and Lily - Champion of Tango Salon 2011 in Asia and 2014 in China

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Tango Q&A

Tango Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why Argentine Tango?
 A: There a lot of answers for this, be it ...
    • To meet new friends ... 
    • To find a lover ... 
    • I just love the elegance of the dance ... 
    • I love the music ...
    • I like the mood of tango ...
    • I like the dress and the high-heels ...
    • To work out and get slim and sexy ...
    • To spend the nite and relax after work with some friends ...
    • ...  
Q: Could I be too young or too old to learn Argentine Tango ?

 A: No. There is no age limit to dance tango, in Argentina, people dance from 8 - 80 years old. In HK, the major range being from 20 to 50.
Q: Do men dance Argentine Tango ?
 A: Yes, men dance tango. In tango, it actually make men more man and women more woman. Men wear normal work clothing like suit or casual clothing with jeans to dance tango, no need to wear deep-V sexy costume.
Q: Do I need a partner to dance Argentine Tango ? 
 A:  No, Argentine Tango is a very social type of dance and it does not require a partner since the custom of Argentine Tango is that everyone change partners after 4 songs. So, in a dance party (milonga), you can just go alone and dance with others and make friends. Also in classes, we always rotate partners to make sure everyone dances with different partners to feel different leading and following.
Q: How many classes it takes usually before one can start dancing in the dance parties?
 A: Usually, one need around 4 classes to learn the basic elements in Argentine Tango, but for dancing in the dance floor, it depend on how well you can manage them with your body. Girls usually need only 3-4 classes and they can start to try being lead by different leaders in the dance floor. However, for men, usually it takes a bit more time for practice, so that they can use what they learn from classes in dance floor.
Q: What do I need to wear for the class?
 A: For girls, if you don't have a proper Argentine Tango shoes yet, use any ballroom dance shoes or any comfortable shoes with a highheel. And just wear any comfortable top which can show your body alignment and pants or skirts which allow you to move your legs without much restriction will be fine. 
     For men, just wear shoes which have a smoother sole and allow easier turning. Normal clothing will be fine.
Q: Where can I buy Argentine Tango shoes?
 A: For ladies' shoes, we have Tango Brujo (order from Argentina through Lily). For men's shoes, we have "2x4 al pie" (order from Argentina through Raymond).
You can order them or other brands over internet. 
Q: Does dancing Argentine Tango help slimming up?
 A: Yes, while dancing Argentine Tango you do a full body workout: arms and hands, legs and feet, abdomen, waist and even your bottom! It is specially good to slim up your lower leg by wearing highheels. And for both men and women, it is very effective to reduce your spare tire!
Q: Can I have private classes and how much does this cost?
 A: Yes, Raymond and Lily teach private classes too. An individual class costs HKD 500-900 per hour (depend on the no. of students and teachers).
Q: What is the different between Argentine Tango and Ballroom Tango?
 A: They are very different! Ballroom tango is more popularly seen in movies and other source, the image of dancing couple with rose in their mouth is in the mind of most people. However, Argentine Tango is actually the origin of Ballroom tango which is developped in Europe when Argentine tango was brought there and being standardized. Here are the major differences :
 Argentine Tango  Ballroom Tango
Body formThe embrace is close on top and open below for more foot work expressions in dresses with high splits.  The embrace is open on top and close below with long dresses.
Steps Totally improvised, no fixed sequences. No standard names for sequence of steps.  Sequences standardized with names. 
MusicMusic played by Orchestras with complex music structure, very often the music itself is an artistic endeavour. Music by digital arrangement with more simple structure, most of the time more commercial.
PartnerNo fix partners. The custom is to change partner every 4 songs.  Usually danced with fixed partners. 
ExpressionsDancing for the partner, intimacy between the dancing couple.  Dancing for the audience, more show off.
Q: Is Argentine Tango a Latin dance?
 A: No, Latin dances generally include Salsa, Samba, Merengue which come from Central and South America. Argentine Tango originated from Argentina, and specifically Buenos Aires, which is a mix of dance culture from South America, Europe and Africa. When people talk about Latin dances, they don't include Argentine Tango usually as it is really quite different from other Latin dances.     
Progress in learning Tango 
Step 1: Take a Trial Class. Experience what Argentine Tango is, how it look, and how it feels.

Step 2: Take a Beginner's Course (usually 8-classes) to learn the basic walk, ochos and simple turns. Some students will retake beginner course a few times to consolidate the foundation of tango.

Step 3: Go to a tango milonga to observe how other people dance.

Step 4: Check out music and videos of tango movies, orchestras, and shows to see how diverse the tango can be.

Step 5: Attend Improver Classes (after 2-3 months) to learn more turns, figures, and consolidate the lead and following techniques. For girls, join Ladies Technique Classes as well to train up your balance and learn the techniques and alignment of body in tango.
           Go to Practicas -- get the feeling of leading and following natural without having to think too much, practice a lot!

Step 6: Attend Improver/Intermediate Classes (after 6-9 months) to learn more variations, to refine the movement and starting to add embellishment.
           Go to Practicas / Milongas -- Now you can start to enjoy dancing!

Step 7: Attend some Workshops given by visiting teachers (after 9-12 months) to polish your techniques and acquire new ideas. With more solid foundation, you can start to benefit from the Argentine Teachers with their different styles and different ideas.  
           (It would be more fruitful if students have been taking classes every week and going to milongas and practica 1-2 times a week, so that you already have the core technique and can build up on that, if not, additional ideas or styles may become confusion rather than help to your learning.)

Step 8: Attend Intermediate Classes / Special theme classes (after 12-15 months) and train yourself more intensively to advance to the next level and to gain confidence. Learn to dance Milonga and Vals.  

Step 9: Reach out to Tango Festivals all over the world. Plan your travel with tango in mind, even for business trips. There are dozens of festivals every year in many cities around the world. With your tango skill, you can dance with strangers in any city.

Step 10: Attend advance Classes (after 2-3 years) to refine details of the movement and energy.
           Go to Buenos Aires, the Mecca of Tango!
and then ... as far as you can go ... but by now tango is your life already ... and we don't need to tell you what to do, you'll have your own destinations and dreams in tango ...