We teach Argentine tango as a social dance.
Initially you will learn to dance in a close embrace,
like they do in the central part of Buenos Aires.
Each week you will learn a simple figure of 2-4 steps.
More importantly, you will learn the techniques that make that
figure comfortable to lead, and easy to follow.
For followers the focus is on learning specific following skills
so that you don't have to memorize figures.
We start a new session every 2 months throughout the year,
with a brief break in the summer. Each session offers
courses at four different skill levels.
Each course consists of five Sunday classes.
There is an 8-participant minimum for most classes.
No partners are required for the 100 and 200 level courses.
You will switch partners several times each class.
Click here for more details about what you will learn in the classes.
Wilkins School Community Center (WSCC) in Regent Square
7604 Charleston Ave, 15218.
From Parkway East 376, exit Edgewood/Swissvale,
then travel north two blocks on Braddock Ave.
Turn left on Sanders, left on Milton, and left on Charleston.
(Click here for a map.)
A session consists of five classes. The cost per session is:
$70/person by cash or check at the first class (check preferred).
$60/person if you prepay at least one week in advance.
$40/student with valid student ID.
To get the prepay price send checks -- payable to Pittsburgh Tangueros -- to:
c/o Sarah Cornelius
5 Roxbury Road
Pittsburgh, PA. 15221
Please include the following information with your registration:
Wear comfortable shoes with leather or suede soles.
Don't wear open toed shoes.
Avoid shoes with a tread, waffle, or rubber soles.
For women, 1- to 2-inch high heels are optional.
Wear comfortable, casual clothing that allows freedom of movement.
You don't need special shoes to get started, but as you progress
in tango you may want to get shoes that are designed for dancing.
Very Tango Shoes has beautiful
tango shoes for women and men.
Some of our 200/300 level courses also cover techniques that could
be used in less crowded venues. For example, this performance by
Javier & Geraldine shows what world
class dancers can do when they have the floor to themselves.
This course covers the fundamental skills for dancers who
have never had Argentine tango.
It's also valuable for those who want to refresh the basics.
is for advanced beginners who typically have 2-12 months Argentine tango
experience. You should be comfortable dancing in a close embrace using the
tango walk, and simple rock step turns in either direction. You should be
starting to attend the milongas (social dances).
assumes that you have already mastered the
skills in the 100 level courses. You should be regularly attending the milongas,
and have 1-2 years of Argentine tango experience.
courses are our most advanced courses. Students typically have two or more
years of tango study combined with regular participation at the milongas.
You do not need to complete the entire 200 level curriculum before you start
taking 300 level courses, but you should have completed the corresponding 200 level course.
For example, you should complete the 204 milonga course before you register for
the 304 milonga course.
This course covers fundamental skills of close embrace tango. It consists of five 1-hour classes.
The beginner course is the starting point for all the other courses. It is offered every session, and is appropriate for the complete tango novice. It is also appropriate for those who have learned an open (salon) style of tango, and want to learn to dance close embrace tango comfortably. It is also appropriate for those who have not danced tango for awhile, and want a refresher.
You do not need a partner to register since we rotate partners
during the classes.
01 Tango FUNdamentals: Posture, Grounding, Connection, Intention --
This class introduces Argentine Tango to the complete novice. We will cover the big principles and main constructs and begin developing foundation skills through lively drills, exercises, and activities.
100 level courses
The 100 level is divided into four courses (101, 102, 103, 104) which can be taken
in any order. It takes 8 months to complete the 100 level curriculum.
Visit this schedule
to see when the courses are offered.
The prerequisite for this level is satisfactory completion
of our 01 beginner course,
or comparable skills in close embrace.
You do not need a partner to register since we rotate partners
during the classes.
101 Dancing heart-to-heart --
Improve navigation, and musical expression while dancing in a close embrace
“milonguero” style. You will review the basic navigational skills from the beginner class. You will learn a new technique called "crossfoot". You will learn a new figure called "backward ochos" which will utilize the crossfoot technique. You will also be introduced to a new technique called "the cross".
102 - Crosses and Turns --
You will learn two kinds of crosses, and two kinds of turns.
You will explore key concepts such as axis of rotation,
the cross-foot system, and the molinete.
103 - Milonga and Waltz -- At a tango dance party they
play waltz and milonga music about 1/4 of the time.
Learn how to recognize this music, and how to dance to it
using some of your tango techniques. You will also learn
a new figure called the ocho cortado, a new kind of turn,
and some specialized milonga techniques.
104 - Paradas, pasadas & planeos --
The fundamental alphabet of tango consists of steps and pivots.
Leaders will learn how to signal the difference between a step
and a pivot. Followers will learn how to recognize that difference
and respond appropriately. With this simple alphabet you can create
a large vocabulary of tango figures. We will use three techniques
to illustrate the difference between steps and pivots:
paradas, pasadas, planeos.
This course will also explore different kinds of embrace, and
when and how to change the embrace while dancing.
200 level courses
These courses are for more advanced dancers who are ready to expand their skills
by focusing on the "FUN" in fundamentals. Students should be
comfortable with a milonguero embrace, but be prepared to open it up.
A different 200 level course is offered each session.
Prerequisite: completion of all 100 level courses (101,102,103,104) or approval of instructor.
201M - Curves, Corridas, Calesitas, Cortados and Change-of-front -- Explore cool corridas and hot cortados.
Put a curve in your walk. Learn axis awareness with a calesita, and get an introduction to off-axis technique.
202M - Waltz --
Learn cadenas that add swirl to your waltz.
You'll pick up some cool sacadas along the way.
203M - Ochos: forward & backward --
Learn a classic sequence from the cross into forward ochos.
Learn follower technique for both open and close embrace ochos.
Discover the fun of doing forward ochos backward.
Learn how to convert a backward ocho into a back cross.
Learn how and when to do fast ochos in tango and waltz.
204M - Milonga -- Milonga music is different than tango music. Explore how those differences should affect your dance. Adapt your existing tango skills to milonga, and learn what to avoid.
Learn new techniques that are useful in milonga. You will learn when to make your milonga playful with milonga traspie, and when to make it smooth with milonga lisa.
205M - Practical Sacadas -- Would you like to learn a simple sacada that you can use on a regular basis at the milongas?
Then you will benefit from this class. This class will focus on two different sacadas.
The first sacada uses a clockwise turn in the parallel system.
This will be the easiest to learn, and you will learn several variations of it.
We expect that everyone will be fluent with this by the end of the session.
The second sacada uses a counter-clockwise turn in the cross foot system.
You will learn two ways to setup the sacada.
206M - Giros = Turns --
The giro is a turn. You were introduced to giros in the 102 course.
Now you will explore them in greater depth.
207M - Boleos --
Learn how to create an interrupted ocho.
This produces a senuous, whip-like effect in the follower.
You will learn both forward and backward ochos on either leg.
You will also learn how (and when) to use high boleos or low boleos.
208M - Ganchos --
The gancho (hook) is one of the flashier elements of tango. You will learn basic gancho concepts and techniques. You will also learn how to execute three kinds of ganchos.
212M - Caminda, Cunita & Cadencia --
The caminda is the foundation of tango.
In this course you will explore numerous variations of the caminada,
based on a series of lessons taught by Fabian Salas.
These incorporate syncopations and crosses for both men and women.
You will also learn about the cunita and cadencia.
222M - Follower technique -- This course focuses strictly on follower technique, emphasizing drills and exercises,
including basic walking technique if needed. We will consider
both open and close-embrace situations. The topics are:
291M - Role Reversal --
In this course followers will learn basic leading skills;
leaders will learn basic following skills.
In the golden age of tango, men learned to follow before they
learned to lead in order to become competent leaders.
Leaders who take this course will become better leaders.
In tango the roles of leader/follower are very different.
They are Yin and Yang. Followers should take this course for fun.
You might enjoy the
challenge of being responsible for 4 feet.
300 level courses
These courses are for dancers who have completed the corresponding
200 level course, or have comparable skills.
Please register with a partner to guarantee your place in class.
This is for gender balance only since we rotate partners during class.
You can still register as a single and your payment will be
refunded if an appropriate partner is not available.
Prerequisite: approval of instructor.
301M - Curves, Corridas, Cortados, and Change-of-front --
Make your curves curvier. Make your corridas crazier.
Charge up your change-of-front.
303M - Ochos: asymmetry and alteration --
Are you tired of the same old ochos? Learn how to use the
element of suprise in your ochos.
Learn how to alter them by changing direction, speed and energy.
How do backward ochos suddenly turn into forward ochos, and vice versa?
What does an asymmetric ocho feel like, and how does it happen?
Expect to have a new appreciation for ochos by the end of this course.
304M - Milonga mania -- Reinforce and refine the milonga lisa technique
you learned in tango 204.
Extend your milonga traspie technique. Learn a fun combinations of triple steps,
crossover steps and rebotes layered on top of a linear grapevine.
The concepts and technique are from a Villa Urquiza style of milonga
taught by Ney Melo and Jennifer Bratt several years ago in Pittsburgh.
Here's a sample of Ney & Jennifer doing milonga.
305M - Sensual Sacadas -- Learn why a forward ocho is
just a sacada waiting to happen. Learn a classic sacada sequence
that occurs during the giro. Learn to use the sacada as a change
of direction from the cross.
306M - Giros -- This is a continuation of the 206 course.
It adds complexity with the enrosque, requiring precise balance and timing.
312M - Caminda, Cunita & Cadencia --
You will explore more complicated aspects of caminada, cadencia and cunita, building on what you learned in the 212 course. You can still take this course if you didn't take the 212 course, but please consult with the instructor.
313M - Complex Figures -- This class will be based on
complex musical figures, rather than on a single technque.
A figure is a sequence of individual elements.
A musical figure is sequence of elements that fit a musical phrase.
You will learn some complex figures that involve multiple techniques,
and that fit the music you are dancing. We will address
individual technique issues along the way.
361M - Giro/enrosque II -- Learn more types of enrosques,
and find more places to use them.
Combine a giro with a planeo and a barrida.
391M - Al Reves -- Is it still tango if you are not facing your partner?
Is it possible to do ochos with the leader behind the follower?
Does tango lose its "tang" if both partners are facing the same direction?
"Al reves" is like a Mobius strip for tango. Although not common
in mainstream tango, it has been used by some illustrious mainstream
dancers. If you are not opposed to fun,
then register for this class. It will turn your tango inside out.
This informal practice session will run in a separate room from
5:15-7 pm on Sundays when classes are scheduled.
Students can work on class material or explore their own interests.
An instructor will be available to answer questions and offer
guidance, but there will not be any formal instruction.
The practica is free to currently enrolled students, and costs $5 for others.
New students can mingle with more experienced students in
an informal setting. You can arrive and leave at your convenience.
See you there.
Over the years, the Pittsburgh Tangueros have developed a
rich depth of instructional experience, honed in the classroom
and informed by participation in tango workshops in the U.S.,
Canada, and Argentina. The club has several tango
faculty, all of whom can address basic and advanced aspects of
the leader and follower roles:
Pittsburgh Tangueros' classes are supported by skilled assistants,
both men and women, who provide gender balance as well as the
opportunity to practice with knowledgeable partners.
To meet our faculty click on the blue tabs above
Instructor A lifelong dance lover, Sarah studied ballet, jazz,
tap, modern, and ballroom. Newly arrived in Pittsburgh in 1999, she
checked out a tango class because she could find the address ... and a
great love was born. Sarah believes the joy of tango comes through its
discipline: she finds clarity in stillness, listening, and responding.
In so doing, one experiences a more profound connection with others,
shared in the breath, the music, and the movement. Sarah enjoys
"deepening" her dance with all levels of partners in milongas,
workshops, and lessons at home, across the States, and in Buenos Aires.
In March 2009, she completed six months' intensive study with Jake Spatz
in Washington DC.
Jerry found tango by accident, or more accurately, it found him --
and the subtle, non-verbal communication intrigued him.
Jerry's varied career experience lends much insight to teaching
tango: analyzing the details of the dance (computer programming);
grasping the structure of the dance (software architecture);
expressing the music (choral conductor and singer).
And, his work as a Scout leader and as a university professor
helps him communicate his love of tango to learners with
different learning styles. In addition to local classes and lessons,
Jerry has taken tango workshops and private lessons with several
internationally known instructors from Argentina, Europe,
and the US.
Dina assists with the 200 level courses.
Though challenging at first, she found that tango gave her
respite from the pragmatism of life and filled her mind,
body and spirit completely with music and emotions and inspired
movement. She continued to take classes with local and out-of-town
instructors, attending the workshops, and dancing at the Milongas.
It was not long before she discovered that tango also brought
her closer to other people: learning to listen carefully to a
partner's emotions, to tune one's mind to his, to feel what he
feels. Developing trust in her partners and in herself was
difficult , but she considers the moments of harmony well worth
the work and time. Dina greatly enjoys being a part of Pittsburgh Tangeros
and sharing her love and appreciation for Tango with others.
Lynn Baumeister introduced
tango to Pittsburgh along with a few other dancers from the Coal
Country Traditions group.
Michael Wizer attended
tango workshops in Manhattan. He began teaching at the Carnegie
Museum and at the Wilkins School Community Center, with Linda
Jeub as his partner. He moved to Cincinnati in 1996.
Eduardo Goytia started
teaching tango with Linda Jeub. He relocated to Manhattan in
1999, where he teaches and performs in professional tango shows.
In 2007 Ed and his partner were the American Finalists in the
World Tango Championships in Buenos Aires.
Linda Jeub led the program,
using a formal tango curriculum she developed with Eduardo.
Sean Cosgrove & Trini
Regaspi, founders of PATangoS (2002), Pittsburgh's 2nd tango
Fran & Zoey Pionati
Donald Hsu, now active in
tango in Hong Kong
Steve & Sandy Langton
began satellite classes at Absolute Ballroom. Steve's teaching
career was cut short by illness, and we lost Steve in 2009.
Beloved by all, Steve's leadership of and devotion to the
Pittsburgh tango community cannot be duplicated and will not be
Adam Hoopengardner traveled
from NYC monthly to guide our local classes and teach workshops
Each session consists of five classes. Each class contains 55 minutes of instruction.
The classes are progressive, i.e. each class builds upon the preceding class in the session.
We always spend 10-20 minutes of each class reviewing the material from the previous class.
Each course contains a combination of techniques and concepts that are organized to prepare you for the milonga, i.e. the tango dance party.
Students can take private lessons to make up a missed class.
Many students choose to repeat the entire six-week course just to reinforce the instruction.
Students are encouraged to attend either the Tuesday practica or the Thursday practica to enhance their skills.
There is a milonga immediately following the Sunday classes at Wightman
and a milonga every Wednesday night in Oakland.
[Click on the calendar link to see a complete list of practicas and milongas in Pittsburgh.