Switch Tango Series & Practica

Event has passed (Tue Dec 5, 2017 - Tue Mar 20, 2018)
Studio Valencia
07:45 PM
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$16 Dropin Pass, $35 1mo Series Pass, $65 2mo 2-Series Pass, $65 Private Lessons By Appt.

WARMUP: 7:45pm. TEACHER: Ali Woolwich. 
Switch Tango trains all in the 3 vocabs of Follow, Lead, and Switch. Gain flexible skills & confidence in Argentine Tango. All-welcome, LGBT-inclusive.

TIX: https://switchtangoseries.eventbrite.com

For Drop-ins, Passes and Private Lessons, pick a start date, then Ticket type.
RSVP on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfswitchtango/events
Enter into all FB event dates of each Series you're attending.
On TangoMango.org:


QUESTIONS? 415-335-6384 or Facebook Message Ali Woolwich,**But please first READ BELOW for EVENT DETAILS & FAQs.**    

The Class Series & Practica catch up uneven role training so everyone can participate as a Switch. Class is offered in Monthly topics. In both Class & Practica, all dance with all, in both roles. Both technique & etiquette questions are answered to empower dancers with tools to make space for Switch dancing in any milonga. Music used is a range of tango classics & contemporary music. Each dancer will get: respectful & constructive feedback, benefits from multiple partners' styles, a complete tango dance skillset in both roles and transitions between roles, Etiquette scenarios/tips to encourage good partnering and increased physical listening/attunement for initiating and receiving multiple roletrades per dance partner.
7:45pm DOORS OPEN.  Change out of your street shoes, sign in, do a warm-up walk in the Line of Dance
either in solo or in duet with provided warm-up music.

Arrive by 7:50pm to participate in class.
Pre-Intermediate. Taught gender-neutral; all partners exchange and work on both roles with each exercise. Solo exercises are provided each week so dancers can level-up with home-practice and make class learning stick. Check the latest Facebook event posts for monthly topics.
Practica is required until at least 9:15pm to stick your learning.
Partners change after each 2-song set, initiated by a cortina. Everyone rotates with everyone while the teacher is on hand to answer questions & side-coach. Practica uses line-of-dance to allow practice of transitions in switching roles mid-song integrated with floor navigation skills. Per tanda, partners can opt to dance Both-Role: one song each in each role, or or dance Switch: continuously passing roles back & forth throughout both songs while signaling role transitions during the dance (passing, stealing & trading). In this learning environment it's OK to both verbally ask partners to dance as well as practicing your cabaceo (The Look & Nod) to non-verbally change partners. A great opportunity to both even out and advance your dance skills, get used to being present/enjoying a variety of types of dance partners, and become a welcoming and inclusive member of tango communities worldwide. Fusionists, all ages and genders heartily welcomed.
NIGHTS OFF: Sometimes we have schedule conflicts or are on tour, look at our FB Group and on tangomango.org to double-check if you haven't attended recently.
SF SWITCH TANGO is a project of Humilityswim Dance Media (HDM).

Ali Woolwich has been a professional Modern/Contemporary Dancer and teacher for 30+ years, taking up Argentine Tango 10 years ago and teaching Switch Tango nationally since 2012. Ali has been Director of Humilityswim Dance Media (HDM) in San Francisco since 1999, producing weekly Class Series, Workshops, and dance conference events in Modern/Contemporary Partnering, performance techniques, dance-for-camera, and Social Dance Forms both locally and nationally for universities, studio professional dancers, teacher training programs, LGBT community organizations and a range of recreationalists: kids, teens, disabled dancers, and elders. Ali's teaching is informed by decades' training and practice in Release Techniques, Dance Conditioning for Movement Efficiency and Injury Prevention, yoga and and massage. For more Tango classes/events with Ali: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sfswitchtango

Yes, bring friends, support each other's learning, but no partner is required. When you bring a dance friend or two, know that you'll all be rotated among the group in both class & Practica.CAN I DROP-IN? WILL I BE LOST IF I DON'T ATTEND WEEKLY?
Yes, first-timers are welcome, we'll give you some extra side-coaching to include you, whether you know one role or none. If you're fully intermediate, you will NOT be bored. Yes, you can Dropins are OK; we strongly encourage you to use both entries the Dropin Pass gives you, since retention and enjoyment comes best with revisiting material over time. Class themes are monthly, but we review the previous week's material so you won't be lost if you miss a week. We ask you to practice 2x weekly outside of class: we give you free solo exercises. Teacher Ali Woolwich offers private lessons outside of this Series/Practica: To book, first call/text 415-335-6384 or Facebook message Ali Woolwich to confirm a timeslot; then select the Private Lesson option from the Eventbrite Ticketing Menu to complete lesson payment.
SHOES/ATTIRE/WHAT-TO-WEAR?Casual pants with give/stretch, and low tango shoes. No heels higher than 1 inch, no thick rubber soles. Wear lace-up or ankle-strapped dance shoes or street shoes with thin soles that have been taped, moleskinned or sueded. No big belt buckles. For safety and good technique, NO boots, NO slip-on loafers/slides. If you haven't any dance shoes yet, buy some moleskin at a Drugstore, slap it on some lace-up shoes! or wear TWO pairs of socks. Shoes are key equipment, but you can slowly upgrade. The test: if you can turn in the ball of one foot with your heel completely off the floor without feeling stuck (also known as pivoting) the shoes will work for tango.

Simply, HELL No. 
For starters, Switch isn't embedded in one architypal expression of sexual orientation or gender presentation, it is liberated from these: incorporating from both martial arts and Post-Modern Dance expanded purposes for duet-form dance and inspiring movement exchange. Since Tango roles don't mirror each other, learning the required 3 Switch movement vocabularies (follow, lead, and 3rd, role transitions) requires a different use of time. Currently, only Switch style of tango consistently uses a common etiquette that makes ingratiating room for Switches within existing variable dance event norms. If being able to change roles multiple times in one dance isn't clear for both partners and expected, it's not Switch.
Open Role in common practice means picking one role not related to your gender but sticking to one role. 
Intercambio makes a big deal about changing roles ONCE. No universal role transition vocabulary is taught: without that skill, it's not Switch. 
Queer Tango (aka Same-sex, Female Leads & Male Follows) worldwide is taught mono-role with no standard etiquette in milonga/class/practica for dancers who are Switches, leaving dancers with no infrastructure to build Switch skill or overt etiquette to consistently yield Switch dances at events.
Despite displays of Open Role/Intercambio (with shows, demos, teachers, rare workshops), current international event etiquette presumes Switch doesn't exist rather than presenting it to every dancer as an expected option. Even open-minded Nuevo, Alternative and Queer Tango events operate on a presumption of *only one* dancerole, (by default dictating dancerole and gender presentation as equivalent). Since mono-role is the universally dominant tango training approach, with no encouragement or counter social modeling most participants opt-out of going it alone to be a Switch rather than a Lead or Follow. Thus, dancing Switch style is a potential which is mostly left dormant. This renders Switch dancers invisible unless they counter existing defaults with both honed skill and a proactive etiquette which includes everything from the Cabaceo to attire to musical knowledge to practice partners and visibility techniques. Going-it-alone is countered in Switch training with team building and providing new norms applicable to any tango event. With even training in all 3 vocabularies, Switch training provides not just solidarity, but the cutting edge of creative tango dancing. Switch Tango is: different training, a larger vocabulary, different shoes, upgraded etiquette, and presumptive of nothing yet prepared/inclusive/flexible. Switch recognizes that Argentine Tango is a set of living dance languages; Switch is a new dialect, with important and fun things to say. All of this adds up to: you'll know it when you see it, and YES, IT'S DIFFERENT, COME EXPERIENCE HOW.


  1. Studio Valencia 455A Valencia Street, San Francisco, CA