Sheffield Tango Festival Flyers

•Monday, 26 November 2018 • Leave a Comment

STF-Flyer-2f_SMSheffield Tango Festival flyers are now available. Please help us promote your festival by distributing them as widely as possible.

Pass them on to your dancer (and would-be dancer) friends. Take them to milongas and other dance events and ask the organisers if they will display and/or distribute them.

If you work in the Sheffield area you could display a copy on your office notice board?

Perhaps your local library would display them; most are happy to promote local cultural events.

And to other tango event organisers, we’d be happy to display your flyers in return.

You can collect from Sheffield Tango Festival committee members at any Tango in the Peaks class or event or from the Cambalache monthly milonga. Alternatively, we can post you copies; email Julie Hall at

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Sheffield Tango Festival is Live!

•Friday, 26 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

A quick note (because we’re busy dealing with bookings!) to say that the Sheffield Tango Festival website is live. For more information about the delights in store, plus our easy-to-use booking form, just click the logo below.

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See you there!

Does it take two?

•Wednesday, 10 October 2018 • Leave a Comment

A major plus of teaching a little tango technique at dance weekenders is the opportunity it gives us to introduce and encourage newcomers to this beautiful dance. Thank you for working with us Derbyshire Dancer!

Derbyshire Dancer

I’m currently at another weekender and have a short break between workshops so using it to catch up a bit, don’t frettle petal I’ll be writing about this one too.

Today I want to tell you about my secret lover (not so secret after this!). My secret lover is untameable, dark and sultry. My secret lover is captivating and addictive. My secret lover will steal your heart and trample it in seconds, I promise you that you’ll never be the same again. My secret lover is Tango.

Really wish I could see the looks on a few faces as they read that; gotcha!!

Last weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to learn from Russell and Julie.

They are this quietly spoken couple, until you mention tango. Then there’s a fire that burns that is undeniable. And folks be warned it’s catching. I’ve done three lessons of tango and it’s grabbed…

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The Sheffield Tango Festival

•Wednesday, 5 September 2018 • Leave a Comment

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Exciting news! Sheffield is to host a fabulous tango festival next year — 3-5 May 2019. We’ve booked some great teachers and DJs, including Gonzalo Capitani & Carolina Gonzalez, Maria Filali & Eloy Souto, Lucas Gastiarena & Melanie Jarman, Barbel Rucker, Felipe Slimobich, Paul Strudwick and John Tan.

There’s some further information here. Booking will open later this month.

Tango Musicality: The Malady Lingers On?

•Friday, 24 August 2018 • Leave a Comment

An interesting comment on one of the tango forums recently: someone posted that their partner had complained during a milonga that they weren’t following the rhythm, to which she replied that she was dancing the melody, not the rhythm.

Ignoring the rights or wrongs of having such a discussion while dancing, I feel moved to post my own take on these statements. I’ve seen and heard similar comments before and I have to restrain myself from replying in fairly strong terms. So far I have been able to remove myself from the discussion, take myself to a quiet corner (should a darkened room be unavailable) and think beautiful thoughts, preferably while an understanding partner applies a cold flannel to my fevered brow and whispers soothing words in my ears.

I’ve said elsewhere in this blog (check out the posts tagged ‘musicality’, if you will) that when we first learn to dance we dance to the beat, then we learn to dance to the rhythm, and eventually, if we persevere, we are able to dance to the music. BUT, these aren’t three separate things! As an orchestra brings all three aspects together to make the music, so must a dancer bring them all together to make the dance.

We cannot dance to the rhythm without also recognising and dancing to the beat, and we cannot dance to the music, or the melody, without also recognising and dancing to the beat and the rhythm. The three are inextricably intertwined and interdependent.

I’ve heard people say that in a certain piece of music they are dancing to the violin, to the bandoneon, to the singer, or whatever. That’s fine. But what the violinist, the bandoneon player, the singer, or any other member of the orchestra is doing is directly related to and rooted in the beat and the rhythm. And so should our dancing be. If it’s not, we’re not truly listening to and following the music.

Yes, a good singer, or ‘lead’ instrumentalist, will play with the beat and the rhythm: pushing or dragging it slightly, playing with pauses, off-beats, half-beats and quarter-beats, etc. All these things help to give music its dynamic and emotional range. And we can, and should, use them in our dancing too.

In the distant and somewhat dim past I played jazz — clarinet first and later alto and tenor sax. I still enjoy and listen to jazz and blues, and to me the musical improvisation of a good dancer is like the improvisation of a jazz soloist: creative while always rooted in the beat, the rhythm and the melody.

I should state before closing that this level of real musicality is something I aspire to in my dancing. I don’t always get it right! It’s something I also always aspired to as a musician. I didn’t always get it right then either. But oh the feeling when you do!

Thank you for reading. Sorry if it comes across as a bit of a rant, but it’s something I feel strongly about. Do feel free to comment and express your own feelings on the subject.

Incidentally, I think that what I’ve said here should apply to all dancing, not tango alone.

Hideaway Blues… and Tango!

•Friday, 16 March 2018 • Leave a Comment

This weekend sees the second Hideaway Blues and Smooth Weekender in Doncaster. The venue is The Earl of Doncaster, which is a stunning four-star hotel with an impressive and unique Art Deco style. It’s worth a visit just to see and dance in the spectacular ballroom!

And the good news for tango people is that our own Lucas and Melanie will be presenting a very special 90-minute workshop on Saturday 17 March from 2:00 to 3:30. You can buy a day ticket if you want to do the Blues and WCS workshops too (£30) or you can just do the tango workshop for £10. Come and support Argentine Tango in South Yorkshire!

There are two rooms for dancing. Julie and I are DJ-ing in Room Two: On Friday there’s Traditional Tango from 11:00 to 12:30 followed by Neo and Alt Tango from 12:30 until 2:00 am. On Saturday it’s Traditional Tango again from 11:00 to 12:30 followed by a Neo and Alt Tango set from Dave Sibbitt. Then on Sunday it’s your last chance for an eclectic tango mix from 9:30 until 11:00. And don’t forget there’s Blues until 2:00 am every night from the legendary CurlyWurly Dave.

If you just wish to attend the evening sessions (dancing from 8:00 until 2:00) that’ll cost you £10. Best frocks recommended! More details at

Happy New Year!

•Sunday, 31 December 2017 • 1 Comment

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