Tango in Edinburgh

A Brief History

Tango was reintroduced to Edinburgh in 1997 by teachers David and Biljana (TangoMania) from London. From nothing, there are now over 150 people dancing tango, at classes, practicas and salons (and 250 on the discussion list). In May 1998, Dancebase, a local dance school brought Marcelo Mazia from Buenos Aires to teach tango full time, and he was replaced by Ricardo Oria in 2001. Ricardo now teaches in many places with his partner Jenny, an early ETS tanguera. Other teachers visit regularly from Europe and Argentina. Tango in Scotland was given a boost by Sexteto Canyengue and the Dancers Tango 5 from The Netherlands visiting in 1997 and 1998 for 3 weeks in the Festival. A similar show with a new orchestra, Quinteto Tango come for 3 weeks in 1999. Tango Pasion, a tango show from Argentina gave many people their first glimpse of tango, and strong media exposure for tango events and the Society has helped tango take off in Scotland. Since then tango has gone from strength to strength, with two ETS milonga's a week, classes in two different schools, a festival organised by Jenny and Ricardo, a University tango society, and many other events. Local tangeras come from all backgrounds and ages - from 13 to 70.

Edinburgh Tango Society

Edinburgh Tango Society is a voluntary association formed in October 1997 to promote tango in Edinburgh and Scotland. It arranges practices, workshops, salons and other events. It also promotes events organised by other organisations. Subscription is £10 for the year which goes towards running events, and gives subscribers a compliation CD, reduced rates for workshops (above beginner level), access to the library of books, videos and CDs, and a quarterly newsletter 'Tango Escocia'with details of tango events in Scotland. Mail James or Toby for more information. The ETS is run by volunteers and helps promote tango events in Edinburgh, and knowledge about tango culture in general. The Society has links with groups in other cities and helps in developing tango in Scotland and the North of England.

Here are some pictures taken over the first few years of tango in Edinburgh

Pictures of the ETS weekend in the mountains 2000 and 2001

News for Spring 2004

Since Ricardo Orķa our professional teacher from BsAs has come to Edinburgh things have really developed, with the standard of dancing improving, and many new people taking up tango. For the last year Ricardo has been teaching with his partner Jenny, not only in Edinburgh but around the UK and Ireland. There are more events and dancers than ever, with over 150 ETS members. The regular weekly venue, The Counting House (Tuesdays and Sundays) is always full, with up to 80 people. Every month we have live music with local tango band Que Tangazo! We have had frequent visiting teachers: Alex Krebs from the USA, Eric Jorissen from the Netherlands, Fabian Salas from Buenos Aires, Gustavo Naviera and Gisella Anne, Oliver Koch and Marisa van Andel from Brussels, and with great sucess, Carlos Gavito. The CHristmas Ball was part of a wonderful weekend organised by Jenny and Ricardo - Bilongo - featuring classes by visiting teachers from all over the UK.

Ricardo teaches three weekly classes at DanceBase (in the new Grassmarket dance studios), three classes in Dance for All, at lunchtime classes at Edinburgh University.

Thanks to Toby for organising so many things, to Ricardo and Jenny his teaching and DJing, Douglas for teaching the introductory classes, Ann for runnign the library, Jessie for orgnising teachers, and Brian for looking after the money, and all the other volunteers who help make events happen.

The new ETS CD is available for subscribers now - it is a specially comissioned compiation of newly recorded tangos by grops playing in Buenos aires today. The 8th editionof 'Tango Escocia' will also be out soon. Tango is also spreading. Glasgow now has a regular milonga, and more classes with a number of different teachers, and there are classes in the Borders, Stirling and Aberdeen.