Trade in your conspiratorial Pig Latin for a non-verbal dialogue of sensuous, spontaneous dance with today's Groupon to Tango Mercurio. You'll learn the ropes in Tango 101, a six-week series of tango classes, for $45 (a $90 value). Though there's room for everyone, class sizes are limited, so follow the instructions to reserve your preferred session once you get your Groupon.
Argentine tango is a relaxed, social style of dance that relies on improvisation rather than the rigid frames and complicated choreography of some styles (and entirely does away with all the flustering and hoop skirts). Instead of memorizing a series of steps that go to a specific piece of music, you'll learn the fundamental vocabulary you need to tango socially at clubs, during weddings, and down supermarket aisles. Hold your partner in a close embrace as you let the rhythms of the music paint an abstract masterpiece with the sweep and sway of your dance.
Classes run for six consecutive weeks (not counting Thanksgiving week) on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. or Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., beginning October 21 and January 4. Monday classes take place at Balance Gym Downtown and Wednesday and Thursday classes take place at NW Sport & Health. See the class schedule here.
Don't be caught off guard without a gift this Christmas; tango classes last longer than chocolate and bring you cheek to cheek with your sweetie in a good way, unlike the superglue factory tour you got him last year. Prepare for holiday parties and charity balls with an October session. Kick off your New Year's resolution to meet new people with a social dance class, and take your improv skills out to a club to find fabulous friends and potential mates. Tango Mercurio is convenient to the Tenleytown Metro stop, and your encouraging and friendly instructors will make it easy to feel the music and dance with ease.
Note: Each Groupon is good for one dancer, so couples should purchase two Groupons, four-square teams should purchase four, and so forth. Singles, couples, and disparate groups of friends are welcome at Tango Mercurio.
Though students are too swept up in the rhythm of the dance to write online user reviews, a few students dictated their testimonials to Tango Mercurio's dance-floor secretary, who passed them onto us:
- Mercurio instructors Sharna and Isaac bring the perfect combination of joy and technique to every class I've taken with them. Tango is an intimate and surprising world—and one that's been easy to slip into with these two as my guides. – K.D.
- By teaching the underlying building blocks of the dance, Tango Mercurio's instructors gave me the foundation I needed to dance tango socially. – H.M.
Bored of the Dance
If you’ve been bored near unto death by stuffy, end-of-Cinderella-esque formal dancing, tango is an invigorating alternative to make you fall in love with dance all over again—and perhaps your partner as well. In fact, tango even has its own Cinderella story called Tangorella, with key similarities and some major differences.
Cinderella is locked away and prevented from attending the ball by her wicked stepmother and grotesque stepsisters.
Tangorella is a financially independent junior art director at a graphic-design house, who is invited to the ball via Twitter.
Cinderella is escorted to the ball by magic; enjoys one, stiff, sterile waltz with the Prince before fleeing at midnight and leaving behind a shoe.
Tangorella cuts in with the Prince, bouncing some lesser admirer and propelling him through the tango of his life; exhausted and glowing, the Prince accompanies her to the smoking balcony, although both are trying to quit.
Cinderella returns to her life of servitude and pines for the Prince, who eventually rescues her and whisks her away to his kingdom to live happily ever after.
Tangorella becomes distracted when it becomes clear that the Prince is unable to talk about anything but his fantasy football team. She politely excuses herself and texts some friends to see what else is up. After all, it’s only midnight.
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The founders of Tango Mercurio chose their non-profit's name carefully. Mercury symbolizes connection, which is what they hope to foster both between paired dancers and within their local community. The arts education organization believes that tango dancing transcends boundaries of class, ethnicity, and generation, and therefore can facilitate greater cultural understanding and social cohesion. So in addition to group and private lessons, the studio offers outreach programs and supports the all-volunteer Community Tango Orchestra.
No matter what type of class a student enrolls in, what level they are studying at, or what outreach program they're lucky enough to access, the Tango Mercurio curriculum covers core principles: body awareness, technical proficiency, expressiveness, and, of course, connection. This connection between partners is important because it is both conducive to improvisation and creative expression, and also allows for larger, collaborative expression as a community, something the founders believe is essential to the overall health and stability of societies.
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