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Tango Protocols and Etiquette

Studio guidelines



  • Please arrive on time or a few minutes early, but do not arrive more than 15 minutes early for your lesson or activity. Please change into your dance shoes in the vestibule. Street shoes are only allowed in the studio if they are totally dry and clean. Absolutely no wet boots, shoes or umbrellas in the dance space, please!

  • Please be respectful of whoever is using the space when you arrive. When crossing the dance floor to enter or exit the studio, walk around the perimeter, keeping a safe distance from the dancers. Please do not walk through the middle of the floor.

  • If there are private or group lessons in progress when you arrive, do not start dancing or warming up. Wait until the lesson is over or the teacher announces that you may use the floor.

  • If there is a lesson/class in progress, please keep conversation at a low level.


During class:

  • Please do not instruct or correct your dance partners. This applies equally to students registered for the class and to helpers partnering students with less experience. Remember that you can adjust your own dancing and your own body, not anyone else’s. With this in mind, when something isn’t working, do your best to improve your own technique to make things clearer and easier for your partner, then ask the instructors for assistance as often as needed. That’s what we’re there for! All students are in class to learn, so please leave the teaching to the teachers.

  • Please turn off your cell phone ringers, and if you must answer a call, do so discreetly and move away from the dance floor to have your conversation.

  • Please do not record the instructors during class. The teachers often reserve the last 3-5 minutes of class for a review, which you are welcome to record. Feel free to request such a review if it is not offered. Also, please refrain from recording the review of classes you did not attend (for example, if you arrive early for your class or a práctica/milonga).

If you can’t come to class:

  • If you cannot make it to class, please send us an email to inform us. This is especially important if you are registered solo for a course. We go to great lengths to create a lead/follow balance in our classes, and this is made much easier when we know about absences ahead of time. Informing us of your absence might even save someone an unnecessary trip (for instance, when there are helpers in the class).


Milonga codes of conduct

  • No teaching on the dance floor. Avoid teaching or correcting your partner. When something isn't working, try to improve your own technique. For leaders, dance to the level of your partner. Corrections are the job of teachers, and should be saved for class time. In general, just save the conversation for when the music stops.

  • Contribute to dance-floor flow. Focus on quality, not quantity. It's the connection that counts. Listen to the music, enjoy your embrace and limit your large movements (ganchos, boleos, jumps, etc.), especially when the dance floor is full.

    • Leaders: Enter the dance floor with caution and respect for those already dancing; stay in your line of dance and move with the flow; look ahead of you to avoid collisions; back up sparingly and with care. 

    • Followers: Stay with your partner and avoid kicking up your feet unless you know for absolute certain that there is room.

  • No hit and runs. Accidents happen. Never mind whose fault it was; it's just good manners to say sorry and make sure the other person is OK.

  • Invite using the mirada and cabeceo. This non-verbal form of inviting translates as "look and nod," and it's gaining momentum for good reason. It's a mutual agreement that doesn't put anyone on the spot and helps avoid awkward situations. Try it!

  • Be a fanatic about personal hygiene. Bad breath and body odours can make an otherwise wonderful tanda quite unpleasant. So brush your teeth, suck on a mint, shower, wear deodorant … and if you sweat a lot, bring a change of shirt. But also, don't overdo it with the perfume! Some people are very sensitive to scents. It's also a good idea to wash/sanitize your hands in between dance partners.

Thank you for helping all your fellow dancers to enjoy their tango experience to the fullest!

Read a full guide to tango etiquette here. It's a great guide for beginners as well as a good reminder for more experienced dancers.

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