Knowing how to dance, like owning a handkerchief, being good at archery, and resisting the urge to draw mustaches on babies, is a mark of a true gentleman. Brush up on manners with today's Groupon: for $45, you get either a six-week initiation series or one Saturday/Sunday weekend intensive to learn the Argentine tango at Tango Mercurio (a $90 value). Classes are held at Northwest Sport & Health Club on Brandywine Street, near the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop, and Balance Gym Downtown, near the Farragut North Metro stop.
Tango Mercurio’s experienced rug-cutters craft courses designed for beginners and those looking to review the fundamental vocabulary and improvisational skills of tango in a progressive series. Though there's space for everyone, class sizes are limited, so sign up early to reserve your preferred session. The first six-week sessions begin on Thursday, March 3 and Thursday, April 14 from 8:15 to 9:45 p.m., and the first weekend sessions are February 26–27 and March 5–6, from 1 to 4 p.m. with a new series starting every six weeks. A Tuesday makeup class is available for those in the six-week initiation series who miss a session.
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 vocabulary you need to tango socially at clubs, during weddings, and down supermarket aisles. The encouraging and friendly instructors will make it easy to feel the music and dance with ease. 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.
Each Groupon is good for one dancer, so couples should purchase two Groupons, four-square teams should purchase four, and so forth. Singles and couples are welcome at Tango Mercurio.
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.