How to progress in tango? or "tango no se habla-se practica"

I often hear the question- how do I progress in tango? Shall I practice or taking classes is enough? How often shall I practice? 

And I always remember the phrase of my friend, wonderful dancer and real tanguero Omar Gamiz- “tango no se habla- se practica” what means ” you don’t talk about tango- you practice it”.


So let’s start from beginning. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced dancer, there’s always room for improvement and whether you started recently or dance several years it’s essential to combine regular classes and dedicated practice. 


In this article let’s explore the ways to advance in tango, keeping in mind some key questions and strategies.

Start with Self-Reflection

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of your tango journey, take a moment to ask yourself some fundamental questions:


  • How often do I take tango classes?
  • How frequently do I practice?
  • Do I practice what I’ve learned in class?
  • Am I practicing new material first or use it directly after class on the milonga floor?
  • Do I incorporate individual practice into my routine?
  • Do I take private classes?
  • These questions will help you gauge your current commitment level and identify areas that may need improvement.


    Let’s have a look at some points that can help you to progress in tango.

Consistency is Key

To progress steadily in tango, practice regularly is the most important key. Try to schedule 2-3 practice sessions per week if your time permits. Consistency not only helps you retain what you’ve learned but also allows you to build muscle memory and develop a deeper connection with the dance. How long to practice? 30min-60min per session 2-3 times a week will give you good results already. Remember better to practice a couple of times per week in short sessions, rather than 1 time per month several hours.

Find Practice Partners

  1. Tango is a partner dance, so it’s crucial to find one or more dedicated partners for practice. Seek out individuals who share your enthusiasm for improvement. If you don’t have steady partner that can dedicate sufficient time – no problem, try to arrange with several people – you learn and improve every practice you have, every partner leaves unique experience.
  1. Enrolling in regular tango classes is non-negotiable. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced dancer, classes provide essential guidance, corrections, and opportunities to learn new moves and techniques. Additionally, classes allow you to connect with fellow dancers who share your journey.
  1. Tango is a delicate balance between individual technic and connection with your partner. While it’s essential to practice with a partner, don’t neglect your individual practice. Focusing on your own technique, balance, and posture will enhance your abilities as a dancer, making you a more responsive and reliable partner. 
  1. Private tango lessons can be a game-changer. In a one-on-one setting, you receive personalized feedback and guidance tailored to your specific needs and goals. Private lessons allow you to address weaknesses, refine your style, and accelerate your progress. 1 regular private class per week/even per 2 weeks in combination with 1 weekly group class and regular practice will give you very good results.

Master new material before using it on milonga

  1. Another crucial aspect of progressing in tango is to avoid the temptation of using new moves directly on the milonga floor without sufficient practice. While it can be exciting to try out new steps, doing it prematurely can lead to frustration and even disrupt the flow of the dance for you and your partner. Moreover, using new move without previous practice may cause incorporation of bad body habits as during the dance you are going to repeat them many times and later it will be difficult to do corrections. 
  2. Before introducing a new move or variation into your milonga repertoire, practice it with a partner in a controlled environment, such as a practice session or during private lessons. This allows you to refine the move, gain confidence in executing it correctly, and ensure it flows seamlessly within the dance. Once you feel comfortable and confident with a new move, gradually incorporate it into your social dancing. Start by using it with partners who are aware of your intention to experiment. As you gain more experience and refine the move further, you can incorporate it more naturally at milonga.

In conclusion

  1. In conclusion, mastering tango requires dedication and consistency. Start by asking yourself the fundamental questions about your commitment and practice habits, commit to regular practice, both with partners and individually. Don’t forget the importance of regular group classes, individual technic and consider the value of private lessons.  There is no special secret- tango needs practice and consistency.

Just remember "Tango no se habla- se practica."