London's best tango classes

Strut your steamy stuff at one of these tango nights in London

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© Carole Eldrich

London has been hit by a bout of tango fever. Not the stylized ballroom tango you might have seen on 'Strictly' but the sultry, subtle and seriously addictive Argentine tango, a dance that was once called 'a vertical expression of a horizontal desire'. There's a thriving and friendly scene in London, whether you're an expert or an absolute beginner. Try these places out for size…

For an atmospheric Friday night…

A milonga is the tango equivalent of a ball, the social event where everyone gathers to dance. Friday night means Negracha, held in the atmospheric environs of Wild Court, playing traditional tunes and modern electro tango till 3am. Two floors of DJs and dancing, plus performances from top dancers on the circuit. The beginners' lessons beforehand will give you the basics but they can be a bit overcrowded. The club itself is a winner, though.

  1. 4 Wild Court, WC2B 4AU
More info

For amazing cake…

Liz Tomlin has been studying tango for 20 years and set up The Tango Club in 2000 to spread the word in London. Not only is she a fantastic teacher (and good at nurturing nervous beginners), her monthly Tango Tea event offers a chance to dance in the Tango Club's loft-like studio while stuffing your face with an amazing selection of delicious cakes. To give you energy for dancing, of course. Short courses for newbies run at weekends and there are Thursday night drop-in classes for more experienced dancers.

  1. Unit 8, The Leather Market, Weston St, SE1 3ER
More info

For enthusiastic teaching…

Tango @ the Light's resident instructor Naomi reckons she can teach a woman everything she needs to know about tango in 90 minutes. It's more complicated for men, unfortunately. Tuesday night group classes above Shoreditch's Light Bar are followed by a milonga. The same folks run a bigger milonga nearby on Saturdays.

  1. The Light Bar, 233 Shoreditch High St, E1 6PJ
More info

For stylish shoe shopping…

Rojo y Negro is the place to buy your strappy tango shoes and learn what to do with them. Bianca teaches four nights a week, focusing on technique and tools for improvisation rather than set sequences or routines. Which is exactly what you'll need when it comes to taking the floor at the Thursday night milonga that takes place in a fancy Georgian house overlooking Hyde Park.

  1. Union Tavern, 52 Lloyd Baker St, WC1X 9AA
Book online

For everything else…

There are too many nights to mention, mostly offering a variation on the same theme of classes, practicas (informal practice sessions) and milongas. The main things to remember are good shoes, fresh breath and… relax!

Tango Fever Classes and practicas on Tuesdays in Exmouth Market and Thursdays in Hackney.

Tango Instinct Classes and social dancing on Wednesdays at Tito's restaurant in London Bridge.

Zero Hour A Wednesday night milonga in Tufnell Park, plus classes and workshops. 

La Mariposa Leisurely Sunday afternoons in Balham. 

Tango Federico Former flamenco dancer Federico teaches in Fulham, Chiswick, Dulwich and Covent Garden.



Users say

15 comments
John N
John N

I agree with everyone here - It's a good taster article but isn't very comprehensive for such a large and varied scene -  that said though, I don't think it was meant to be.. I myself have only been dancing Tango for just under a year and there's a lot of info available on the web but it's hard to find any direct comparison or reviews of teachers/clubs/venues.. 

Thanks Rita M for letting me know about TangoFolly! (http://www.tangofolly.co.uk) - I've read a few of the articles and it seems they have a good overview of the Tango scene and info that I wasn't aware of.. I'm definitely going to try out some of the other venues etc..  

Rita M
Rita M

Why not try Tangofolly! Its a great place to start. Tangofolly is a community project aimed at supporting all our tango teachers, performers, event organisers and tango shops to list their profiles, post events in the calendar and help everyone find tango classes, milongas, where to buy shoes, news, information about tango and more. Whether you are an experienced social dancer or thinking of trying tango for the first time, there is something for everyone. http://www.tangofolly.co.uk/

HH
HH

It is inevitable that a short article like this will miss some things and previous reviewers have already pointed out that some of London's finest teachers (Kim and David - Tangomovement, Maral and Mariano, Raquel Greenberg) were overlooked. I'd like to highlight here my personal favourite and the only London tango event with regular live music: the fabulous Tango Terra at the 7 Dials club in Covent garden on Thursday nights (42 Earlham Street, London WC2H 9LA). There are beginners and intermediate classes too, starting at 18:30 and 19:30, respectively. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tango-terra/199856120074382‎ With a mixture of traditional tango, nuevo and generally any sort of music you can dance tango to (Winehouse, Tom Waits, etc) it is the most Bohemian, and I think one of the friendliest, tango nights out in London. Not to be missed!!!!!

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Maral Kojayan
Maral Kojayan

It's nice to see this review. Unfortunately you've missed out a few important places, including the best, oldest and largest places. One buzzing great atmosphere venue is Maral & Mariano's Tango Garden on a Saturday afternoon in central London, with a great crowd, cakes, excellent music and it's extra great because the hours are great, finishing at 7pm so you can enjoy dinner in central London or cosy at home. There are others, including the oldest running milonga, that merit being on this list as some of the landmarks that make tango in London! As the current administrator of the London Tango Teachers Network, I'd be very happy to direct you to an unbiased source of up-to-date information about what's hot and what's not in the London Tango scene.

Maral Kojayan
Maral Kojayan

It's nice to see this review. Unfortunately you've missed out a few important places, including the best, oldest and largest places. One buzzing great atmosphere venue is Maral & Mariano's Tango Garden on a Saturday afternoon in central London, with a great crowd, cakes, excellent music and it's extra great because the hours are great, finishing at 7pm so you can enjoy dinner in central London or cosy at home. There are others, including the oldest running milonga, that merit being on this list as some of the landmarks that make tango in London! As the current administrator of the London Tango Teachers Network, I'd be very happy to direct you to an unbiased source of up-to-date information about what's hot and what's not in the London Tango scene.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Maral Kojayan
Maral Kojayan

It's nice to see this review. Unfortunately you've missed out a few important places, including the best, oldest and largest places. One buzzing great atmosphere venue is Maral & Mariano's Tango Garden on a Saturday afternoon in central London, with a great crowd, cakes, excellent music and it's extra great because the hours are great, finishing at 7pm so you can enjoy dinner in central London or cosy at home. There are others, including the oldest running milonga, that merit being on this list as some of the landmarks that make tango in London! As the current administrator of the London Tango Teachers Network, I'd be very happy to direct you to an unbiased source of up-to-date information about what's hot and what's not in the London Tango scene.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Steph
Steph

I agree with the other reviewer that a few - make that a lot! - are missing. It is all going to be highly personal as far as what represents 'the best' of course, but I don't particularly think these even give a fair view of what the tango scene is like in London. Most - but not all - of the tango schools and milongas you have listed are part of the mainstream tango scene and will give you a flavour of what it's like to dance tango socially, but you have missed out a few very popular and successful teachers such as Maral and Mariano (www.maralmariano.com), Kim and David (/www.tangomovement.com) and Raquel Greenberg (www.raquel-tango.com) to name but a very few. As far as social dancing goes, Negracha is popular on a Friday night, but then so is Carablanca just down the road (www.carablanca.co.uk) – many people start the night there before going to Negracha. Have a look at https://www.facebook.com/TomorrowsMilongasLondon‎ for an uptodate and complete daily listing of where to dance argentine tango in London and surroundings.

Maral Kojayan
Maral Kojayan

It's nice to see this review. Unfortunately you've missed out a few important places, including the best, oldest and largest places. One buzzing great atmosphere venue is Maral & Mariano's Tango Garden on a Saturday afternoon in central London, with a great crowd, cakes, excellent music and it's extra great because the hours are great, finishing at 7pm so you can enjoy dinner in central London or cosy at home. There are others, including the oldest running milonga, that merit being on this list as some of the landmarks that make tango in London! As the current administrator of the London Tango Teachers Network, I'd be very happy to direct you to an unbiased source of up-to-date information about what's hot and what's not in the London Tango scene.

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