The Reading University Tango Society is a relatively new society, having only officially started in September 2016. Argentinian Tango becomes more and more fashionable among young people and in the last few years more Universities in the UK set up Argentinian Tango Societies. In contrast to Ballroom Tango, Argentinian Tango takes a looser form, and has often been described as a dance that allows people to connect and dance as they feel. We cater to all levels of experience, from those who have never danced before in their lives, to those who have Tango'd for years.
Our society takes dancers through all the elements of tango, it teaches them technique, and help them learn to improvise. We offer a range of social dancing sessions besides the lessons to let people practice often and enjoy their progress. We have connections with other Universities’ Tango Societies in the UK and other Tango clubs in Reading and we participate as a group in events to meet new dancers, learn more and multiply the fun.
It is generally thought that the present forms of the dance developed in the late 19th century in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Montevideo, Uruguay and they were later also exposed to influences re-imported from Europe and North America.
Argentine tango is danced in an embrace that can vary from very open, in which leader and follower connect at arms length, to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. Every movement is led not only in direction but also speed and quality (a step can be smooth, pulsing, sharp, ... etc.). This makes Tango a fulfilling dance for expressing so many different feelings and moods from playful and uplifting to serious and powerful, to sensual and passionate.
Unlike other social dances, Argentine tango does not have a basic step; instead is a completely improvised dance combining various elements in a spontaneous manner. The dancer needs to learn the lead and implementation of the different single elements of Tango such as caminar (walk), cruce (cross), ochos (figure- eight), ganchos (leg hooks), giros (turns), contragiros (turns in the other direction), sacadas (displacements), boleos (this expression comes from boleadoras, balls linked with cords, thrown to hunt animals), llevadas de pie (moving foot by foot), cortes (cuts), and quebradas (breaks). One of the few constants across all Argentine tango dance styles is that the follower will usually be led to alternate feet. Another is that the follower rarely has his or her weight on both feet at the same time.
Tango does not require a man and a woman, but a follower and a leader. Dancers in our society can choose which role they want to train themselves into.
At £25 for a year for membership with all lessons included we are also one of the (if not the) cheapest dancing societies. The membership alone is £5. If you are unsure whether Argentinian Tango is for you then please come and try it out, as the first lesson is free and individual lessons are only £2 afterwards.
Tuesdays 8-10pm (followed by one hour of practica) in Wessex Hall
This class is designed mainly for beginners. It will assume no prior knowledge and introduce you step by step in tango, building the technique and understanding of one move before moving to another. Experienced assistants will try to work with you individually and help you catch up with the rest of the class if you missed lessons.
Fridays 8-10pm (followed by one hour of practica) in Wessex Hall
This class is designed for both beginners and improvers. It follows a more flexible syllabus, showing interesting sequences and working on requests from students. In addition to the main instructors of this class, guest instructors deliver classes throughout the year offering their input and style to increase our exposure, learning and inspiration.
Whilst RUTS is generally focused more on Teaching and leisure than training for competitions and the like, for those who'd like to perform we are usually invited to various dance shows in collaboration with other dance societies throughout the year. In addition we have connections to various Milonga's and other dance events across Reading, London, Oxford and Warwick which many of us regularly attend as a group.
We ask that those joining us bring comfortable clothes.
Women: It is advised that women wear heels, however if you do not have any, or don't feel able to dance in them, please bring shoes you would be comfortable dancing in, preferably shoes that allow you slide and pivot on the ball of the foot.
Men: If men have dancing shoes they are welcome to bring them, however if not please bring shoes you would be comfortable dancing in, preferably shoes that allow you slide and pivot on the ball of the foot.
If you have any further questions please feel free to Join our Facebook group (link above) or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and ask us there!
We look forward to seeing you and tango with you.