This year I will be teaching the beginners‘ at the Queer Tango festival for the first time. I am very much looking forward to all the excitement that all those new Tanger@s bring to the festival, to their questions and to witnessing their first steps to tango heaven!
My students at Queer Tango Berlin have asked us a lot of different questions regarding the festival and we have been giving them tips and tricks to make the most of their experience. This post is going to give you my tried and tested recipe for a wonderful weekend full of tango.
How to keep your energy up
Eat a heakthy breakfast, or at least one healthy meal a day. Drink lots of water, so you don’t get tired – you will be tired enough from dancing, don’t let water deprivation make it worse! Try to get as much sleep as possible. Which probably means that you sleep more between workshops and the evening milonga than in the night. When you leave home, pack some snacks. Fruit, some nuts, a granola bar will keep you happy when you rush from one workshop to the next. My secret to eating healthy during the festival: I cook a big pasta salad with lots of vegetables and keep it in my fridge. When I have the time, I throw some shredded carrots in to give me some variation. A friend of mine gave me this tip before my first festival and I have followed her advice ever since.
How to make friends
Hang out at the A compas studio, where the festival office is located. A lot of the dancers have their cup of coffee at their terrace, which is right next to the Phnixtanzt Studio in a quiet courtyard.
Dance with people you don’t know during the workshops, so it will be easier for you to ask them to dance later at the evening milongas.
How to stay friends
Follow the tango etiquette. Don’t start practicing your moves while the teachers are explaining, it’s too loud and you miss your chance of paying attention to details. And please stay on the right track (for most people that means the track nearest to the tables and chairs) at the milongas. Seriously.
How not to get too warm, too cold or even lost on thursday night
Bring an extra shirt, and an extra pair of socks – especially if you are dancing on high heels! If your feet get tired, just put on one pair (or two, it might help with rotation). A handkerchief for your forehead and a hand fan help against rising temperatures during workshops and milongas.
The weather forecast says we will be lucky, Berlin is going to be mostly sunny, not too hot but with a little rain (hey, it’s the German summer..). So bring an umbrella and a jacket, rain comes often surprisingly.
One important note on the subway system: Berlin’s U-Bahn runs all night long – but only from friday to saturday night! Consider arranging your way home after the thursday or sunday milonga before there are only the night buses as the last option. The night bus system takes over from about 1 o’clock at night, though its system is not easy to navigate – have the number of a taxi service ready.
I do warmly recommend taking a private with one of the wonderful teachers – don’t miss the opportunity!
Indulge in the embraces, share tango moments together and have warm wonderful Berlin Tango nights this weekend!
What are your tips? Please share them with your fellow dancers!