Moreno street sign pic

You will find dozens of tango FAQ pages on the internet. Here are a few more that we really like:


For more information on Argentine tango, including recommendations, instructors, music, shoes, history and etiquette, go to our LINKS & CONTACTS page.

I've had a few Argentine tango lessons before. Which of your classes should I take?

There is no substitue for learning the fundamentals well. Every dancer who wants to learn the Argentine tango well owes it to themselves and their partners to take *at least one full beginning series* before going out to dance or moving on to Beginning-Intermediate classes. If dancers rush ahead, they find they know a bunch of moves but it doesn't feel like dancing. Learning Argentine tango is exactly like learning a language. Until you know how to use basic words like 'the', 'at', 'pants' and 'walk' it's useless to learn words like 'congress' and 'platinum', since you won't be able to link them except in the specific patterns taught in class. (And where's the art in that?)

Our goal as teachers is to give you all the tools you need for a comfortable, connected, musical, spontaneously creative dance. We strive to lay out parts of the tango matrix and help you see how they all fit together like one glorious mass where every movement can come from everywhere else.


How do I know what level I am in Argentine tango?

Unfortunately, this is difficult to answer, because there tends to be a difference between a person's dancing level vs. the level of the class they are likely to take.


To give you a general idea of class level, we'd say people who've danced 1-20 hours (~two hours a week for ten weeks) of Argentine tango should take Beginning level classes . The Advanced Beginning range is probably about 20-80 hours of tango dancing (~one hour a week for a year or ~two hours a week for five months). Up through this point, class level generally matches one's dancing level.


Then the Intermediate level begins, and the differences emerge. People can take Intermediate level classes for many years, and they may still remain Intermediate level dancers, but at some point they tend to get bored and want to progress to Advanced level classes, regardless of whether they are Advanced level dancers. This is so common it has almost become the accepted standard, even though teachers don't want to talk about it! So while most dancers inch their way through the Intermediate level (~2-8 years dancing several times a week) - and enjoy their dancing immensely while they do - many people never really leave the Intermediate dancing level. These dancers can enjoy dancing with partners from the widest range of levels, and can be happily challenged by both Intermediate and Advanced weekly classes or workshops from travelling teachers.


Dancers who become truly advanced are rare, wonderful, and occasionally sad (because they sometimes feel lonely!). They can take Intermediate or Advanced workshops, but have mostly mastered the standard elements of tango. They work tirelessly on (1) improving their technique, (2) exploring variations to the standard elements, (3) dancing the elements more and more musically, or (4) some combination of the above.


Clay Nelson in Portland addresses this question by listing what he thinks are the minimum requirements for the different levels. PDF (126Kb).


Do I need to have special shoes?

For beginning dancers, the best street shoes to wear are streamlined flat shoes or dress shoes with slick soles. Do not try to dance in open-backed shoes or ones that otherwise have a hard time staying on your feet. If your shoes have good traction, they'll probably be very difficult for tango.
If you are ready to purchase tango shoes, go to Buenos Aires! Or, check out the SHOES section on our LINKS & CONTACTS page.


Where can I get good tango music? What is good tango music?

For beginners, a good steady beat is important, though you will hear a tremendous variety of moods and rhythms in authentic Argentine tango music. Here are three good websites where you can buy CDs:, and

Which orchestras?

Francisco Canaro, Carlos Di Sarli, and Juan D'Arienzo are great for steady, traditional tangos of the 1930s and 40s. The music of Osvaldo Pugliese is very dynamic, with more complex variations of rhythm and instrumentation (late 40s-early 50s). For a list of good recordings see tejastango's Music for Dancers New to Argentine Tango. Don't buy Astor Piazzolla for dance music - although he is truly an incredible musician, much of his music is intended to be listened to instead of danced; it is riddled with stops, pauses, and sudden mood changes. Contemporary tango music often takes the form of electronic/tango fusion, good ones being Gotan Project, Narcotango, and Otros Aires. Many tango social dance events (milongas) now feature 'alternative', or neo-tangos from artists as diverse as Pink Floyd, Eminem, and Louis Armstrong. For a list of some alternative tangos, see Sharna's DJ List. For more music resources, see our LINKS & CONTACTS page.

Why do you switch roles in class (so that all students learn both the lead and follow parts)?

There are three reasons: empathy, understanding, and enjoyment.

Empathy is easily gained by beginners switching roles: "Wow. This is harder than I thought."
Dancers gain understanding once they get over the initial strangeness of switching - these are the "a-ha!" moments when something suddenly clicks: "Oh, now I understand why I need to collect my feet there, because I felt what it was like to not have the follower collect her feet and I couldn't do to next step I wanted!", or "Oh, yes, that extra torso twist was really comfortable to follow, and without it we lost our connection.", or even, "A-ha, that's what it's supposed to feel like!". Switching roles is the best way to solve a problem within the dance partnership.

The third, and most advanced, reason for switching roles is enjoyment. Leading is a very different experience than following and both are beautiful. Sometimes the music makes us want to lead or to follow, and sometimes we want to see how our partner interprets the music and our movement through the lens of the other role. And on a more practical note, we love it that no matter the balance (if there's a shortage of leaders or followers) by knowing both parts we can always do what we came to do - dance!

Where can I dance Argentine Tango socially in Boston?

There's a lot of tango going on here. If you are truly mad about tango, you can dance, practice or learn every night of the week in Boston. For a complete listing of all the tango events in the Boston area, including the ones mentioned below, check out the calendar on DanceNet Boston's Tango page.
Here are a few of our favorites: