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About Wisconsin Tango

We believe that your life, no matter who you are, should be passionate, exciting, and fun!

Learning to tango is a great way to embrace that desire, and it is an activity that you can do all year round, rain or shine. And yes, it IS for you.

Wisconsin Tango is about providing a supportive atmosphere where all of you, regardless of dance ability level, feel welcome.
Come meet new friends, and catch up with old ones in a safe place where we'll always be happy to see you!

Wisconsin Tango was established in 2009 by Joe Yang, who teaches Argentine Tango in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. He also taught the Intensive Beginner workshops at the renown Chicago Tango Week festival (2013-16), the New Orleans Tango Festival (2014-16), and the Motor City Tango Festival in Detroit.

Joe also teaches tango to members of the community who are currently in treatment for Parkinson's Disease. This project is in cooperation with occupational therapy researchers in the Department of Kinesiology at UW, Madison.

In addition to over a decade of tango experience, Joe also comes from a strong teaching background. With a personable approach, he makes the dance accessible and enjoyable by breaking down steps and technique into manageable, logical elements.

Joe is also a children's book author, and creator of the graphic novel Scooter & Alx: Escape the Food Police!

Workshops & Festivals (2017)

Lesson with Joe Yang & Yumiko Krupenina at La Milonga Génesis
(San Francisco, CA)
March 10, 2017 from 9:00 - 10:00 pm

Lesson with Joe Yang & Yumiko Krupenina at La Pista (San Francisco, CA)
March 11, 2017 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Workshops & Festivals (2016)

Weekend Tango Workshops with Joe (New Orleans, LA)

December 3 - 4, 2016

Chicago Tango Week
(Chicago, IL)
Tango Fundamentals
July 1 - July 4, 2016

New Orleans Tango Festival
(New Orleans, LA)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
June 16 - June 19, 2016

Motor City Tango Festival
(Detroit, MI)
Beginner Workshops
April 1 - April 3, 2016

Workshops & Festivals (2015)

Special workshops (New Orleans, LA)
November 17 & 20
All-Levels Class:
Rhythmic variations with the Cross
7:00 - 8:00 pm, Eiffel Society

: Leader & Follower Back Sacadas
7:30 - 8:30 pm, Presbyterian Hall

Chicago Tango Week
(Chicago, IL)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
July 2 - July 5, 2015

New Orleans Tango Festival
(New Orleans, LA)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
June 18 - June 21, 2015

Workshops & Festivals (2014)

Mad City Live Tango Festival (Madison, WI)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
February 28 - March 2, 2014

New Orleans Tango Festival (New Orleans, LA)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
June 12 - June 15, 2014

Chicago Tango Week
(Chicago, IL)
Intensive Beginner Workshop
July 3 - July 6, 2014

Intensive Beginner Workshop with U of Chicago Tango Club (Chicago, IL)
Logan Center of the Arts, 9th FL (map)
July 26, 2014

3:30 - 4:00 pm - Tango Basics I
4:15 - 5:45 pm - Tango Basics II
6:00 - 7:00 pm - Práctica
8:00 pm - Midnight - Milonga del Sur

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Videos of Visiting Professionals

Scroll down for the videos (Quicktime Player required)

Click here for videos from Kara & Javier's performance (Feb. 2012)

Kara & Javier performance - Feb. 2012 (4 videos)
At Jen & Tony's 4th Friday Milonga (Italian Workmen's Club)
Click images to play

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Tango class/event FAQs

Why should I take tango lessons?
Because we're all looking for passion, excitement, and fun in our lives, and Argentine Tango is a great way to embrace that desire.

In addition, the dance offers a variety of other benefits, too. It's good exercise, it can be done year round, and is a great place to meet new friends (and to network).

Tango welcomes people of all ages and walks of life, and encourages friendly interaction with folks you probably wouldn't meet elsewhere.

Okay, but why should I take tango lessons from Wisconsin Tango?

Several reasons. The main one is that I want to help you find that outlet for the excitement and fun that you're looking for.

Other than a lot of dance experience, I'm a trained instructor who's been involved with teaching for most of his professional life. I make a conscious effort to present lesson material in a way that's fun and easy to understand, rather than making your head spin with technical mumbo jumbo that'll make your eyes glaze over.

All classes are planned and organized ahead of time, and tailored to the dynamic of each group.

And when it comes to dance technique, I don't just tell you where you're supposed to step- it's my goal to teach you about actual body awareness in a manner that doesn't overload your brain or make you feel like you're still at the office.

And as an instructor, I feel it is my responsibility, and great privilege, to make you feel welcome in the Madison dance community.

Where can I go to tango?
I host regular social events where you can enjoy your dancing.

Also, you can enjoy tango in just about any major city on the face of the planet. Yes, you read that right! Planning a trip to Dallas? Berlin? Tokyo? Hong Kong? How about Auckland, New Zealand? All of those places have active tango communities and host tango dance events.

I heard tango is really difficult. Is that true?
It is not any more difficult than most other physical activities, sports, or hobbies out there. Argentine Tango has a reputation for being exotic, mysterious, and inaccessible. But like anything else, it's a skill that can be learned with good old fashioned effort and regular practice.

I've never danced before and feel pretty clumsy. Is tango for me?
Yes! The ability to walk and the desire to learn are all that's needed to learn tango, even if you don't have experience with any other dances.

Tango is for anyone who wants to try, and my teaching method for beginners is designed to be fun, easy-to-follow, and to get you moving on the dance floor as quickly as possible.

I don't have the body of a dancer. Is tango for me?
Yes! Tango is for people of all shapes and sizes.

What's the difference between Argentine Tango and Ballroom Tango?

Ballroom Tango (either International or American) is more structured, and its steps are defined by an official governing body (mainly for competition purposes).

Argentine Tango exists without such a central authority. Argentine Tango arguably allows more improvisational flexibility in terms of musical interpretation, and puts more emphasis on leader/follower sensitivity.

Other big differences include posture, technique, and the step figures themselves.

How long will it take for me to be good at Argentine Tango?

There's no way to tell exactly how long it'll take for someone to become "good" at the dance. Inevitably, everyone will encounter steps that are more difficult or easy than others. In any case, the more you practice, the more comfortable you will be. But remember to be patient with yourself!

I just started learning Tango but am too shy to try it socially. Should I wait until I'm better?
No. Regardless of how much of a beginner you are, I highly recommend that you attend a milonga (tango party) or Tuesday night Salsa/Tango party as soon as you're able to lead (or follow) forward, side, and back steps.

Your first few social dancing experiences will probably be nerve-wracking, but everything you learn in class will make much more sense when you try it out for real on a dance floor. At dance socials hosted by Wisconsin Tango, I will be there to help!

Okay. I want to go to a Tango party but I'm afraid of making too many mistakes. Aren't mistakes bad?
Most of the time, they are not. Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process, and no one avoids them. Making a mistake in Tango shouldn't be taken the same way as making a mistake at your job or at school. As far as Tango is concerned, learning from your mistakes eventually makes you a better dancer.

I'm a leader who's worked up the courage to go social dancing, but don't know any fancy steps. Won't my partner get bored with me?
Probably not. As long as you're clear about what you do, and pay attention to the rhythm of the music, it'll feel good to dance with you even if you only know how to step forward, side, or back.

During the group classes, why do we keep rotating partners during exercises?
Tango is a social dance where you're supposed to dance with a bunch of different people. Rotating partners during class helps you get used to dancing with a variety of folks. After all, no two dancers lead or follow the same exact way.

If I want to take classes with Wisconsin Tango, will I need a partner?
Although it is encouraged to have a partner, you are not required to have one.

I signed up for a Beginner 1 group class but probably belong in the Beginner 2 class. Can I switch?
Yes. You can switch class sections with the permission of the instructor without extra charge.

I missed the first class of a new session. May I still join?
Yes. But after the second class of a new session, a student wanting to join will have to wait until the beginning of the next session.

I signed up and paid for a 3-week group class but realize I won't be able to start because of unexpected changes in my schedule. Can I apply the payment to the following session?

Do you offer group private lessons?
Yes. The minimum number is 4 people. Contact me for pricing details.

Need to ask a question that's not here? Go to the Contact page.

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Kanopy Dance School (Madison, WI)
Located on State Street in downtown Madison, Kanopy offers a variety of dance classes and organizes regular perormances in the area. Kanopy also provides studio space for Wisconsin Tango's Wednesday classes.

Excellent information resource for tango music, composers, etc.

Tango House of Madison (Madison, WI)
Website of Craig Rypstat, who teaches and hosts a number of tango events in Madison & Viroqua.

Madison Tango Society (Madison, WI)
Madison's oldest tango group offers weekly lessons and practicas. Fun monthly milongas occur every month, and several times a year they host special events such as workshops with visiting professionals.

Milwaukee Tango (Milwaukee, WI)
Visit this site to see what our tango friends in Milwaukee are up to!

Eastside Salsa LLC (Madison, WI)
Excellent salsa instruction on Madison's East Side, for both beginners and experienced salseros alike. Check it out!

Los Sabrosos (Madison, WI)
Non-profit group dedicated to salsa instruction, dance events, and community-building. Check them out too!

Somer Surgit (Chicago, IL)
Website of Somer Surgit, one of the most dedicated, well-respected, and personable dancers/instructors out there!

312 Movement (Chicago, IL)
Website of Rod Relucio and Jenny Tetters, where you'll find information on exciting tango classes, workshops, and other exciting events in the Windy City!

Neena (Middleton, WI)
Boutique store specializing in women's activewear and dancewear.

Dancetango.com (New York, NY)
One of the major websites for tango classes/events in New York City, visit this page if you're looking for a good milonga in the Big Apple.

Tempo Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio (Madison, WI)
Located on Madison's Near East Side, Tempo is an independent studio offering a variety of ballroom dance classes. From 2009 to 2011, Joe was Tempo's Argentine Tango (and video) specialist, and also taught introductory American smooth/rhythm there. He continues to host milongas at this elegant studio.

Very Tango
A great resource for Argentine Tango including articles, links, and other in-depth information. A great guide for both experienced tango fans and beginners alike!

Planet-Tango (New Orleans, LA)
Website of Alberto Paz & Valorie Hart, 2009 USA Tango Salon Champions! Site includes a number of helpful Tango resources as well as audio/video media.

Tango Society of Central Illinois (Urbana-Champaign, IL)
An affiliate of the Urbana Park District, this group is dedicated to expanding tango in Central Illinois and the Midwestern US.

Columbus Argentine Tango Society (Columbus, OH)
Aka TangoCats, this group offers lessons and organizes regular events at Ohio State University. This vibrant bunch is comprised of OSU students, faculty, and folks from the surrounding area.

Knoxville Argentine Tango Society (Knoxville, TN)
Aka KATS, this group is dedicated to teaching & hosting Argentine tango classes/events in Knoxville, TN. All their events are open to the public.

Tangoconexion (London, UK)
Tangoconexion is run by Marek Szotkowski and Olivera Grubisha, who have been highly regarded in Madison's tango community. While in Madison, Marek and Olivera were great instructors to work with, and provided (and continue to provide) much appreciated support to our instructional and community-building efforts.

Ballroom Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Ballroom Chicago provides a nice link page for those looking for ballroom dance and tango venues in Wisconsin.

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