One of the most rewarding things of being a Tango teacher, is having the pleasure and honour to guide people on their dance journey – especially when they choose Tango as their wedding dance.
Join us as Anneclaire & Martin tell us the story of their Tango journey from their first steps in our school in Euston. To their wedding day, where they performed their (Tango of course!) first dance beautifully, and with the biggest brightest smiles possible.
Back in January 2017, we took our very first Tango lesson ever at Tango-Fever with Hiba and Rene. We were excited, but also a bit nervous – our class was the first of the evening, so we did not know what to expect.
So you might wonder, why tango? About 6 months before our first class, we were thinking about something to do together, something fun that we could learn together. We decided on taking dance classes, but initially were thinking about ballroom dancing.. We tried waltz, foxtrot and cha cha, but it wasn’t really right for us. The lessons (at a different dance school) were very structured and not as fun as we hoped. We knew that we had to find a dance that suited our personalities better and would feel more like an extension of our characters.
After seeing a Tango-Fever sign outside Euston station, we decided to try tango. It turned out that at Tango-Fever, they would teach us a structure through techniques, steps and dance moves, but also gave us room to be creative when learning and taught us how to move as one.
Once we started tango dancing, we were hooked! The lessons at Tango-Fever are brilliant. Every session we attended we would learn something new. That didn’t always mean we would learn a move but also tools that would benefit us as tango dancers. Sometimes it would be posture, balance, musicality or just learning to relax.
The beginner classes were really helpful. Understanding how to dance gave us a sense of confidence, both for Martin as a leader and Anneclaire as a follower. As a leader, it makes you very aware how to use your body to lead someone else and it’s really exciting when with a small shoulder movement, you can pivot your follower. As a follower, it is about trusting your leader and really listening to what the leader is trying to convey through their body. It requires a lot of focus, so don’t be surprised when you see followers dancing with their eyes closed!
It can be daunting going into a dancing class, not knowing anyone, being the new face etc. But going to Tango-Fever neither of us felt any of that pressure. The teachers were really friendly and everybody is in the same boat and you get to know each other during the different class cycles. As tango is a social dance, Rene and Hiba also focus on providing you with opportunities to dance outside of class. There are monthly practice afternoons on Sundays (with cake!) and every Monday evening there is a milonga (social dancing event), with a room for beginners as well: a great way for to meet the wider Tango community and still be around familiar faces!
After about a year and a half of dancing, we decided to join a Tango Festival in Croatia. We had been regularly attending classes and also went to a few milongas. Before we booked, we had a chat with Rene and Hiba, because we didn’t want to go if the level was too high for us. Luckily, they were very enthusiastic of us going. What is great about this festival is that a large number of people from the London tango community go. Who would have thought 18 months before, we would have been having dinner with our tango friends in Porec, Croatia, and then dance the night away at a milonga! It was a wonderful festival, we took several workshops and learned techniques and moves from world renowned teachers.
In 2018, we got engaged and later in the year, we got married. While we were planning the wedding, we of course had to do a tango as our first dance! We decided to take private lessons, which was probably the best decision we made in our tango journey. We took a Wedding package of classes with Rene to prepare for our wedding dance, we wanted to make sure that our dance on the night was perfect as it’d be the first time our friends & family would see us dance!
The lessons were great, we made incredible progress! Together with Rene, we chose a song and then Rene created a choreography that included our favourite moves and suited our level and tango styles. With Rene’s guidance, we created a beautiful choreography in a few weeks time. At the end of each class, we taped our progress and it was great to see how much we improved over the weeks.
Time went by very fast and before we knew it, we were married and changing into our dancing shoes to start our first dance. It felt a bit like Strictly, haha, we were so nervous! But once the music started, we felt very comfortable and danced our very first tango as husband and wife. It went really well and it was so exciting to finally show our dance (and hard work) to family & friends! As you can tell from the wedding video, the videographers immediately picked up on the importance of tango to us as a couple.
Our entire journey, starting nearly two years ago, has been filled with milestones. It has brought us closer together, but also introduced us to a wonderful community of people with a mutual interest: tango. It’s a journey we will continue to enjoy with many more memories to make.