Over the past weeks as the pandemic has taken hold I’ve become increasingly aware of the impact on the tango community, particularly on those whose livelihoods depend on it. I encourage you to follow me in supporting them through this deeply uncertain time between the last tango embrace we had and the next one we look forward to.
My pick: Bahar Kose usually makes quality tango skirts, dresses, bags and bowties out of her little studio in East London. She has been working hard developing a good face mask and has just launched her supply. You can choose from several designs and sizes, a variety of colours and prints and options such as elastic loops or ties and nose wires. Order by messaging Bahar on Instagram or by emailing bahar [at] baharsdesigns [dot] co [dot] uk. The masks are 100% cotton, machine washable with a pocket for a filter (try a folded facial tissue). Bahar will be making her products available on Etsy soon, and is developing designs for children. Etsy takes a sizeable cut of sales income so do contact Bahar directly to best support her if you can.
Also check out: conDiva in Athens are selling face masks in addition to their usual range of tango wear. Find them on Etsy.
Gift certificates for future orders
My pick: Obviously now is an odd time to be thinking about tango shoes but there are big savings to be had if you are thinking ahead. Mr Tango Shoes are beloved the world over for their comfortable, stable shoes in soft Colombian leather. They are currently inviting customers to purchase a $100 USD gift certificate worth $180 to use on a future shoe order. The money will help support their team of artisans at their workshop in Manizales. With today’s exchange rate that’s about £80 for a future order of £140 (for future reference, shipping to the UK is about $35 so factor that in when looking at the cost of a pair). The certificates can be purchased on their website or send an email to info [at] mrtangoshoes [dot] com.
Online tango tuition
My pick: Teachers who do not have another job to fall back on have been quick to move online. Paula and Bruno at Tanguito are excelling at this mass experiment in remote learning. Along with their usual class schedule there are extra workout and technique sessions and private classes. Recent group class topics have included musicality, dancing in small spaces and body mechanics. The content suits solo dancers very well and with delivery via YouTube there is no app to download or log in to. Prices are the same as normal classes and payable via PayPal, bank transfer or their website. Find all the class details and payment links here. They also welcome donations to support their long-running milonga Los Angelitos.
Other online classes
My pick: If you are of a mind to try something new, how about working on your posture and body awareness? Barbel Rucker of the Magic Roundabout milongas has moved her Feldenkrais tuition online via Zoom. The classes are weekday mornings and are “pay what you can” from 1st May. Choose from two themes: staying mobile and moving better.
Also check out: Rodrigo Almonacid in Argentina is offering online bandoneon tuition. Find him on Facebook and at rodrigoalmonacid [at] yahoo [dot] com [dot] ar. Lessons are held in Spanish and are €15 per hour. Olga Metzner of Tango Better Project is conducting body conditioning workouts via Zoom. Find her on Instagram.
Finally, also consider donating to support your favourite milonga, helping organisers gather funds to pay venue fees and other costs once we are allowed gather again. Lists of donation pages are on the Tomorrow’s Milongas Facebook page and in the Where Am I Not Dancing Tango in London Tonight Facebook group.
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