My Tango Teaching Style: Street Tango

” . . . And tango was born anew in my body each time with each partner. It was exhilarating to just let it happen, not knowing, not worrying, each time I entered the dance. And becoming so eager to dance with every man sitting on the men’s side of the dance hall. My mind was torn down. My whole body was shaped and re-formed by this experience.”

The Magic of Tango

Tango is like no other partner dance for many reasons, two of which are its ready punctuation by silence and pauses. So much happens in the stillness, that the movement becomes a segue to the next silent pause with our partners. Tango is a dance done with with no words but full of dialogue and conversation between two bodies, mainly the torsos, but also wherever there is contact—between the palms, arms, backs, face, head. It is rich. It can be dense as a chocolate truffle and light as puff pastry. It can be ground deeply into the earth and so airy it’s not there. Tango is creative conflict with peaceful resolution—or revolutions. It channels the most naked meaning of the human condition—the urge to connect and be intimate with ourselves and other—like no other dance on this planet.


Dust off your hiking boots and line them up next to your tango shoes. TANGO ON THE MOUNTAIN is an overnight milonga in a stunning natural setting, Saturday, November 19, at the 100+ year old West Point Inn on Mount Tamalpais in Mill Valley, Calif.

Tango at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center

I was so pleased and honored to be able to teach a class of tango to a small group or resident monks at Tassajara Zen Mountain Center near Big Sur.

Tango on the Hudson

found this Tango Moon Dance. The orchestra, Octavio Brunetti’s, was wonderful. The dancing was not on a par with that of San Francisco—or even New Orleans—whence I just came. But dancing on the Hudson and the al fresco venue made up for that. That’s my good friend, Marcela Caserio, in shades. She is a chapter called “Sundays in San Telmo” in my book, Tango, an Argentine Love Story. And the other friend is Julia from the Queens. She’s in that chapter, too. Under the cover of night, I danced with Julia’s friend, Michael, formerly of Staten Island, now from Central Park West.

Yoga for Tangovers

Yoga can be done anywhere, even at the Jersey Shore. The sand there is the perfect graininess for throbbing, over-danced feet. In this short video, you will recognize three basic yoga poses. The first pose is ado mukha svasana or downward facing dog. The second one is utkatasana or awkward chair pose. The third is a full lotus or padmasana. You can and should modify each of these three poses to your own level and ability. The point is to focus yoga’s nourishing and revitalizing energy on your poor tired feet. You can see how I do that. Don’t baby your feet, yoga them. I do these same poses on a mat at home, too, ah, but the sand is added inducement. A few notes for each pose:

Do you eat with your feet?

“Do you eat with your feet?” I asked my dance partner, a gentleman with whom I was foxtrotting, some years ago. I was in Las Vegas on assignment for VIA magazine, researching a short piece about the karaoke bars there. This one evening, I had found my way to a beautiful dance floor at one of big old hotels on the Strip that featured a live big band. I calculated my partner to be about 90 because he had just pulled out a card that identified him as an Arthur Murray instructor in 1954. Still, he had an admirable frame and was pretty decent and steady. But as we danced to some great Glen Miller number, he barked instructions into my ear. It was annoying, distracting, and unnecessary.

Tango is yoga

My yoga and meditation practices prepared me in a way that no other disciplines could have for a passion for Argentine tango, which I discovered much later in life under similarly fortuitous circumstances. My well-oiled joints, limber spine, and oft-massaged internal organs were solid physical grounding for a dance that I have come to consider part of my yoga practice. And yoga’s spiritual centering prepared me for tango’s demand for total presence and surrender of ego.

Protected: Tango Images by Jody Frost

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My dinner with Sylvester Stallone

We had dinner with Sylvester Stallone at Mosca’s Italian joint on the edge of New Orleans. He’s here to shoot Bullet to the Head. More blood and violence. Hollywood moguls surrounded him.

Minutes from the First Tango Chat

I took it upon myself to playfully transpose the Al-Anon 12 Steps to Tango Addicts Anonymous 12 Steps. I tried to adhere to the original wording and asked the TangoChat participants to comment, edit, alter, or not. To my pleasant surprise, everyone took the steps very seriously and had many good changes. I didn’t capture them all. But here are the steps as I transposed them with some of the suggestions for word change in [brackets]. Enjoy and share your own:

Sonja Riket, Tango Revolutionary

I’d like to share a little about Sonja Riket, skilled tango teacher, who will be attending the TangoChat on June 19. She is the host of the neighborly “Tango Revolution” every Sunday at Caffee Trieste (follows our chat). She describes TR as “a fertile ground for learning about Argentine Tango, a dance and music of […]

Senior Tango II

Argentine tango can be danced at any age – but the older you get the better you are.
That’s because tango is a tale of life – the more you live, the more you bring to it.

Senior Tango

Some of the most devoted students of Argentine Tango are not what or who you would think. They are fine citizens who show up every Friday afternoon at the Emeryville Senior Center for lessons with Ivan Schvarts, Andrea, and me. You will have to look closely to guess that these dancers range in ages from […]

Argentina, a Traveler’s Literary Companion

Argentina, a Traveler’s Literary Companion tells you more, shows you more, and penetrates a culture faster, more accurately, more deeply than a dozen guidebooks ever could or would dare to. The writers whose works you’ll encounter include some of the world’s greats: Jorge Luis Borges, Julio Cortazar, and Luisa Valenzuela.

Tango Boot Camp takes me higher

Just when I think I can’t get any higher in tango along comes an experience that raises the ceiling. Such was the case at Christy Cote’s Tango Boot Camp at Linden Dance Studio in Oakland.

A Brainy idea of tango and zen

In tango, just pay attention, don’t get too excited, and you’ll enter the zone, the flow


You gotta love the San Francisco Zen Center . . . their practice with knives in the kitchen though eludes the Middle Way. . . take it from a Siclian and tango dancer.

Tango Every Friday at La Pista

Hey, I’ll be helping out at Christy Cote’s tango classes through March and April.

Please comes for some of the best instruction and smilingest dancers in town!

Tango Music arranged by Bendrew Jong

Bendrew Jong is an accomplished tango dancer in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also a musician with a deep passion for tango music. He transcribes, translates the lyrics, and remixes and performs the Golden Era tangos, including singing them. That’s his voice you’ll hear on all the tangos below. You can catch Ben […]