As mentioned above, there are many options for dancing tango, and even dancing in general. Every avenue has it’s perks and cons. I suggest checking them all out, even just watching to see if it is for you. Some teachers might teach different than what you need or are feeling, but down the line you may find their insight is much better suited at that moment. I’ve had teacher who I’ve not enjoyed when I started, but found to love their advice and teachings a year or two later, when my skill and understanding could appreciate what they were trying to convey.
Here I’ll give you a quick overview from my experiences on the different types of lessons I’ve attended.
Group Classes – These are where I usually suggest people start. There are quite often beginner classes, and even years later I find myself attending them from new teachers, or the ones I’ve seen from the beginning of my voyage. You’ll get all skill levels at the beginner classes, and I suggest at least watching part of any additional classes. This is where you can chat, find out more, practice, and usually a very safe environment. Try a few teachers, some may work for you, others maybe not, but revisit them as your skill improves. This is the easiest way I’ve found to also find practice partners!
Private Lessons – Sometimes the group classes don’t give you enough attention or go through different movements in depth enough for you. Teachers are trying to find a good balance for all skill level involved and may not see everything that is happening. This is where private instruction can fill in the blanks by those teachers. I’ve found getting a private once a month with my normal dancing is a good balance when starting out, or just ask questions in the class.
On the flip side, I will almost always have a private lesson with traveling teachers who spend a weekend through town with a workshop they’re conducting. I’ve gotten so much advice from another pair of traveling eyes that it’s been worth the premium. This is of course if you like their teaching style (by taking a group class/workshop)
Workshops – These range from a whole weekend with one teacher breaking things down, or just a single extended class with a traveling teacher. Workshops can bring that extra outside style or influence. You’ll often find local teachers also attending these, because there is always something to learn. Usually workshops have multiple classes of different levels, and always attending the beginner classes brings me insight into my dance and improving. Great way to see if you like the traveling teacher. I’ve found I try to attend festivals with these teachers I like after attending a workshop of theirs. Workshops also usually bring out more experienced dancers in your community who may not go to local classes.
Festivals – I personally like Festivals for the social dance scene, the Milongas. If classes are included all in one price, I try to attend the classes, and find I can always get something. You’ll meet all sorts of people, find new and exciting connections, dance styles, energies, and more. Festivals are a tricky bit when it comes to Tango. Some offer full boot camps for absolute beginners, and these are AMAZING if you’re starting. The price point is usually a little high, but can be worth it if you want t get a nice head start. Social dancing at festivals and the performances, the different level classes with multiple teachers, there is usually something for everyone. I didn’t go to my first festival until I was about 6 months into my Tango-Voyage, I loved it, but almost wish I waited longer, or took more classes. I treat festivals as a big social dance with all the Milongas, and always enjoyed myself!