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Scheduling of Workshops & Milongas

Scheduling of Workshops
There are many different ways to schedule a weekend of workshops and many different criteria to consider. Some things that could help when first contacting us would be:

  • Which classes do you think your community might be interested in?
  • How large is your community and do you expect many people to come from out of town?
  • What level of dancers do you expect to attend? Should we focus more on advanced beginners, more advanced dancers or a mixture?
  • Have you had guest teachers visit before and how did those experiences go?
  • Will most of the guests be more interested in close embrace, open embrace or both?
  • What would be the duration of the weekend? Friday night through Sunday afternoon?

* All times discussed below are just typical times, but should be adjusted based on your community. We find that a community of older people generally like earlier times while younger people like later times.

Friday Night Milonga?
If you expect 30 or more people to come for the weekend and/or there are several Tango communities in surrounding towns, then you might want to hold a “Welcome Milonga” on Friday night. Generally this milonga would go from 9pm to 12 or 1am. We would recommend charging $10 for this milonga. If we are able to travel for this milonga we would be glad to do a performance or two, to kick off the weekend.

Friday Night Class?
If you are holding a Friday night milonga, you might want to have an Introduction to Tango class before the milonga for absolute beginner’s to get a taste of Tango. This could be a 1 hour class and could be taught by local teachers or by us ($150). We do not recommend making this class for Free. We find that when things are free, people do not value them. We would recommend $5 or $10 for the class with maybe a discount for the milonga, if they stay for it. Some ideas for promoting this night would be:

  • Create a Meetup.com group
  • Publish it in your local newspapers
  • Send out press releases to local media. You might get mentioned.
  • See if the Venue has any opportunities to promote the event
  • Make sure your existing students promote the event to their non-tango friends.

Saturday Workshops
There are so many factors that go into deciding between 2 or 3 workshops for Saturday afternoon. If you have many different levels of dancers, then we might want to do 2 Intermediate classes and 1 Advanced Only class. If not, then 2 classes would be fine. Perhaps 2 classes with an hour practica.

We would recommend at least 15 minutes between classes. If you do schedule a Friday milonga, then we would recommend starting later (after lunch) on Saturday rather than earlier. This also gives people from nearby communities time to travel in that morning, not requiring them to come in the night before and paying for a hotel room.

Sample Schedule for 2 classes + Practica:
1:00pm to 2:30pm - Workshop I
2:45pm to 4:15pm - Workshop II
4:15pm to 5:15pm - Practica

Sample Schedule for 3 classes:
1:00pm to 2:30pm - Workshop I
2:45pm to 4:15pm - Workshop II
4:30pm to 6:00pm - Workshop III

Class Before Saturday Milonga?
If you go with just 2 workshops on Saturday afternoon, then you might want to consider a class before the Milonga. We offer two great classes that might work well after an afternonon of workshops:

  • Floorcraft and Etiquette for Milonga - In this class we give very real advice and techniques for dancing well with others at a Milonga as well as reviewing the basic codes of the Milonga.
  • Tango History - This class is a presentation format with projector where we examine the History of Tango both dance and music. Most of the class is focused on the different Orchestras and what makes them unique. We also watch some videos of famous dancers.

These two classes are also possible as the 3rd Workshop on Saturday Afternoon since they are more restful and only 1 hour in length.

Saturday Milonga
I prefer to DJ at the Saturday night milonga. It should be scheduled from around 9pm to around 1am, but take into account your community when making this decision. We will also do 1 or 2 performances during the milonga if requested and local teachers could also be invited to perform.

Sunday Workshops & Practica
Sunday should definately start after lunch since everyone will be tired from the previous day. Two workshops or one workshop with a practica usually works well for a Sunday. It is nice to end with a casual practica, so that people can practice what they have learned over the weekend and ask us any remaining questions.

Workshop and Milonga Pricing
In general, you would probably want to charge:

$20 to $30 per workshop
$5 or $10 for guided practicas depending on length
$10 for Friday Milonga
$10 for Saturday Milonga

Full weekend discounts could be given many ways. One rule of thumb would be to total all events and then discount by 25% if someone gets a full-pass for all classes and milongas and maybe 15% for a workshop pass or day pass.

Choosing Good Workshop & Milonga Venues
Some advice, based on our experience. We don’t want to sound picky, but we hope that if we come and do a great job that the guests/students will want to come back the next time we come to town and that won’t happen if the venue is not good. The main qualities that go into a good location for both workshops and milongas are:

  • A Nice Wooden floor which is smooth enough to easily pivot on with leather bottomed shoes. The floor should not be sticky or slippery, either one of these will damage the legs, knees and ankles. We realize that sometimes this is just not possible, but every attempt should be made in order to make the event successful.
  • A good sound system that is easy to plug into.
  • Plenty of parking for guests so that they can easily get to and from the venue
  • In a safe area where single women guests will feel comfortable entering and exiting the location.
  • Properly functioning heating and/or Air Conditioning based on the time of year.

Promoting the Workshops
To have a successful event you have to promote it. Of course, we will promote it to our email lists and all the contacts that we have, but here are some things that you can do:

  • Create postcards and/or flyers and send them to all the promoters/teachers of Tango in your surrounding communities
  • Post the event to all the surrounding communities Yahoo or Google Groups and mailing lists
  • Make sure your existing students promote the event to all their Tango friends
  • Create a website for promoting the event and/or provide us with all the details as soon as possible so that we can create a page on our site
  • Try to recruit local dancers to host visiting guests and then promote that fact in your emails and updates
  • Offer for local or surrounding community teachers to come for free or discount if they promote the event to their students. You can also offer for them to perform at the Friday or Saturday milongas.

Private Lessons
It is always great to be able to offer locals and visiting guests the opportunity for private lessons. Please let us know if you have some place like a home that has nice hardwood floors or if the venue would be available after classes, etc for private lessons. We also don’t mind staying and doing private lessons on Mondays after the weekend.

Please call or email if you have any additional questions or comments,

Clint Rauscher