Valentine’s Day is coming up this Friday. Due to consumerism and pressure to buy stuff on every holiday possible, Valentine’s Day seems to have lost its meaning. Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating love. And I’m not talking about love just for your partner, but love for your family, friends, pets… you get the idea.
Let’s try something different this Valentine’s Day. Instead of giving candy and cards, eating fancy meals and buying over-priced roses, bring your loved one’s to Tango.
Tango is danced between lovers, friends, acquaintances and even perfect strangers. And the special thing about this dance is the embrace. You wrap your arms tightly around each other and move together to the sounds of beautiful orchestras, three minutes at a time. And when those three minutes are over, you chat a little and then embrace again, three more times. What an odd thing to do with a perfect stranger, but at the same time, it’s perfectly normal.
Very few other social dances require such tight embracing. Most importantly, the tango embrace is really a hug. A long, one armed hug, but a hug indeed. And recent studies have found that long hugs are the kind of hugs that release oxytocin, “the love hormone”. I can’t help but wonder if extra oxytocin is released while dancing Tango. Perhaps its what makes Tango so addictive.
Why not release the “love hormone” for Valentine’s Day, the day to celebrate love?
Bring your loved ones, even if they have never danced before. Many of these options listed below offer beginner lessons. Some even offer live music. And if you really can’t convince your loved ones to dance, at least bring them to Alma del Tango’s dance performance and fundraiser in Marin. Always a treat.
These are your Tango options for Valentines Day:
Valentines Elegant and Free Live Music Milonga
Jonathan and Olivia, in collaboration with The Marin County Mart Concert Series and The Redwood Tango Ensemble present an elegant Valentine’s Day Concert and Milonga. Wine, empanadas, and other culinary delights available for purchase. Dress to impress! Concert and Milonga is free!
Location: Marin County Mart Concert Series, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, CA
5:30 – 6:15 Redwood Tango Ensemble Concert
6:15 – 7:15 Absolute Beginner Tango Lesson
7:15 – 10:30 Milonga DJ music by Jonathan
7:30 – 10:30 Milonga w/ Redwood Tango Ensemble and Performance by
Jonathan y Olivia
Milonga and live music Performance by Redwood Tango Ensemble on a 65′ x 15′ heated and covered balcony with views of the San Francisco Bay. Full sit down dinner in the dinning rooms with views of the San Francisco Bay with drinks and deserts. Private estate has four dance floors and a new sound system, one Main Ballroom, a Salsa dance room, Theater Ballroom for Nuevo Tango and a Karaoke room. $25 is a deal for Workshop, Dinner and Milonga.
Location: La Casa Grande, 18050 Reamer Road, Castro Valley, CA
8:00 – 9:00 Workshop
9:00 – 11:00 Valentine Dinner
9:00 – 11:00 Milonga with DJ Asvin
11:00 – 2:00 Milonga to live music Redwood Tango Ensemble
Lisette is a fabulous teacher. Monte Cristo has a warm, friendly atmosphere, great hardwood floor, a full bar and a free beginner class. $15 Int/Adv Class and milonga, $10 for milonga only.
Location: Monte Cristo Club, 136 Missouri St (near 17th Street), San Francisco, CA
7:00–8:00 Free Beginning Class
8:00–9:00 Int/Adv Class with Lisette – “Ganchos for Men and Women”
9:00 – Midnight, Milonga
Milonga Sácale Punta
“Sácale Punta”, an exquisite evening of socializing and dancing held every 2nd and 4th Friday of the month in downtown Berkeley. Top-quality traditional music provided by local and visiting professional DJ’s. The venue has a beautiful, spacious wooden floor and a balcony overhead. Complementary refreshments, baked goods, and assorted snacks are served. Join us for an evening of blissful dancing and warm company! DJ: Yuling Chen. $5 Students/UCB Faculty & Staff with valid ID, $10 General
Location: 2133 University Ave, Berkeley, CA
9:00 – 1:00a Milonga
Every Friday classes all levels and practica. Great place for seniors! Presentation by Ivan Shvarts founder of the Golden Age Tango Academy, nonprofit 501C3 . Free!
Location: Emeryville Senior Center, 4321 Salem St. Emeryville, CA
1:00 – 2:00 class
2:00 – 3:30 practica
La Pista – Class and Practica with Doruk & Erin
This is a great place to bring new dancers. Both Erin and Doruk are excellent dancers and teachers. Erin brings classical and contemporary dance training to tango. Doruk brings rhythmic musicality, strong connection to the partner, and creative vocabulary; his teaching focuses on clarity of lead, and structural understanding of tango.
$10 package deal ($5, practica only)
Location: La Pista – Upstairs, 768 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA
7:30–8:30 Tango FUN – damentals with Erin & Doruk
8:30–10:30 – Practica
Switch Tango Fridays
Queer-led/all-welcome vibe providing switch skills for all, whether switch, follow or lead. Switch Class followed by DJ’d Practilonga. Weekly we train as Tango Switches, developing partners and skills which you can switch roles during a song or from tanda to tanda. This gender-neutral learning environment encourages all toward more (fun!) practice for better dancing, with a great range of tango classics and current music in this friendly, inclusive atmosphere. All levels, all genders, all sexual orientations heartily welcomed. Light snacks provided. Casual dress, only street shoes taped or mole skinned. $10 Class, $5 Practilonga, $12 both.
Location: City Dance Annex, 1420 Harrison at 10th Street, San Francisco, CA
Class 7 – 8pm
Practilonga 8 – 10pm
Tango Classes and Practica Party at ODC Dance Commons
Featuring music of the Orquestas Típicas as they evolve beyond the Golden Era. At the Friday practica, as we are practicing, refining, and exploring, we will also take a journey of how the orquesta tipicas evolved from the Golden Age of tango. Refining old arrangements of classic tangos, completely new arrangements of classic tangos, as well as new compositions, all within the formation of the orquesta tipica. Light snack & drinks provided. Casual and spacious dance studio plus kids are welcome too! One class & practica $14, $6 Dance practice only.
Location: ODC Dance Commons/Rhythm & Motion, 351 Shotwell Street, San Francisco, CA
7:30 – 8:30 Beginning & Intermediate Tango Dance Lesson w/ Julian & Claudia
8:30 – 9pm Supervised practice , studio Skirball A
8:30 – 11:30pm Tango Practica
TANGO MAGIC…the spell is cast! Alma del Tango’s 2014 student production
Tango Magic explores the magical moments of the dance. That unspoken connection between partners, the music and the movement. In Tango Magic you will meet many of the characters who frequent the milongas, (a venue for social dance) in search of the magic. There’s the Newbie … he hasn’t quite mastered the dance…or the etiquette. The Tango Addict… who is so obsessed, she practices the tango walk in the supermarket. The couple who met on the dance floor and before long, stopped changing partners. The Authentic Argentine – tango is in his soul! And the married couple celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary with a nostalgic choreography set to Nuevo tango music.
Discover how tango touches lives and has the power to transform them. Like magic! Conceived and Directed by Debbie Goodwin. Written by Lanny Udell & Jonathan Cutler. Proceeds will benefit Alma del Tango, a Marin-based non-profit dedicated to encouraging artistic expression and the development of community through Argentine Tango.
Location: Alma del Tango Studio, 167 Tunstead Ave. San Anselmo, CA
Friday Shows:7:30pm & 9pm
Show $20 general seating $25 premium front row. Tickets available at www.almadeltango.org, or call 800-838-3006.
For more information on any of these events, please refer to Tangomango.org.