The 2018 festival beginner track group

Beginner Track

No experience or partner required!

The Philly Tango Festival is, hands-down, the best time of the year to start dancing tango. We offer a 4-class track to get you up and dancing during the festival, and be part of the festival, by attending the milongas, watching the performances, getting out on the dance floor, and meeting tangueros from Philadelphia and visiting tangueros from throughout the world. The Philly Tango Festival packs enormous tango inspiration into four days, and it’s the best time of the year to fall in love with this amazing and addictive dance form.

No previous experience or partner is required. We rotate partners throughout the workshops.

Beginner Track Schedule

Friday, May 22
7-8:15 pm: Beginner Track - Workshop 1 - “It Takes Two to Tango.”

  • Developing communication tools.
  • Changing weight as a leader and follower.
  • Searching for connection.
  • How to ask for a dance and understanding line of dance.
  • Learning to walk in the line of dance.

Saturday, May 23
3:15-4:45 pm: Beginner Track - Workshop 2 - Myself, My Partner & The Dance Floor.

  • More communication tools.
  • Typical simple steps applied to the line of dance.
  • Tips for navigation in stormy waters.
  • Politeness and fun on the dance floor.

Sunday, May 24
7:45-9:15 pm: Beginner Track - Workshop 3 - Myself, My Partner, The Dance Floor & The Music

  • Even more communication tools.
  • Useful steps for social dance.
  • The genres of tango: tango, milonga, vals.
  • What to expect in a milonga. What is a tanda or cortina? Having fun, dancing, and even not dancing.

Monday, May 25 (Memorial Day holiday)
12-1:30 pm: Beginner Track - Workshop 4 - Adding Spice to Simple Moves

  • Dancing with heart and soul.
  • Having fun with “less is more.”
  • Open to close embrace. The tango challenge.
  • Sharing knowledge. 3 P’s: patience, practice, perseverance


The best deal of the festival is the Beginner Pass, which is only available to beginners (since it is discounted so much). The beginner pass includes the four beginner workshops, plus entrance to all festival milongas, where you can dance (!), watch the beautiful dance performances, and listen to the incredible live music. Until March 15, the beginner pass costs just $110.

You can also choose to purchase only the Absolute Beginner Track (the four workshops only) for $70.

Check out these, and other registration options, here.

Beginner Track Teachers

This year’s beginner track is taught by Gustavo Rember (Buenos Aires), alongside two gifted Philadelphia-based teachers, Kristin Balmer and Amy Yang.

Gustavo Rember was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in the sixties. As a kid, he used to listen to tango tunes and watch the only tango TV show on air in those days with his father. As he grew up, it was not Gustavo, but his sister who started dancing tango professionally. Gustavo was more connected with rock music as the lead singer in different bands from 1983 to 2006. At the same time, Gustavo became an Engineer and, later, Economics and Math Teacher at school and college.

One day, in 2003, he began taking tango dance classes and he never stopped. Helped by his early connection to tango plus his relationship with music in general, he quickly learned the fundamentals of the dance. The list of teachers from whom he took lessons, many times for long periods, is endless. Nevertheless, among them we can find Gabriela Elías (director and choreographer with M. Mores, L. Lamarque, J. Colángelo, and others), Horacio Godoy (La Viruta Tango Club), Elina Ruiz, Carlos Copello, Fabián Peralta, Natacha Poberaj, Carlos Pérez. From 2007, Cecilia García, Mariela Sametband, Moira Castellano, Alejandro Larenas, Marisol Morales. And last but not least, Mariano Chicho Frúmboli y Juana Sepúlveda (from 2007).

Gustavo is, perhaps, one of the few survivors who make a living doing something else, but achieve master commitment to the art of dancing tango. He is motivated by his desire to spread the word about a culture which continues to captivate people all over the world. He has been sharing his passion for tango by teaching and performing throughout Buenos Aires, the capital of tango, as well as in Europe.

Kristin Balmer teaches at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School, where she runs our beginner tango program. She excels at helping people connect with their own bodies to improve balance and spatial awareness. She has a knack for teaching people the subtleties of how to listen to their partners, and to give and receive information through the embrace. She is dedicated to reframing concepts continually in order to accommodate different learning styles, and get through to every student. She is also dedicated to building students’ confidence, as she believes people learn more readily in an environment where they feel comfortable.

Amy Yang began dancing tango in 2009 through the Temple Tango Club at Temple University in Philadelphia. Having never considered herself a dancer in any sense of the word, Amy was bewildered to learn that she could relate to tango, and thus become a dancer, through structure. Bewilderment quickly became deep admiration and love, and she became a co-organizer for the university club. To further her studies in Argentine tango, Amy began taking classes with Meredith Klein and Andres Amarilla at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School. Amy became one of the first interns at the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School in 2012, assisting Meredith in classes and helping organize school events. In 2014, Amy started teaching independently, through group classes and private lessons.

Amy’s teaching and dance has been informed by a great multitude of tango instructors. She considers Meredith Klein, Andres Amarilla, Jay Abling, Marcelo Gutierrez, and Carla Marano to be a few of her most inspirational guides on her journey of learning. Amy’s approach to tango is also influenced by her scientific background, and professional training as a relational and systemic therapist. She sees tango as a gateway to learning more about yourself and how you can relate to others.

Amy is well-known in Philadelphia and the surrounding communities as a superb leader and follower, and gifted communicator. Always with a smile, Amy’s structured approach to pedagogy, makes it fun and easy for students to improve at tango and find joy in their dance.


Registration is now open for the 10th Anniversary Philly Tango Festival | May 22-25, 2020.

There are more ways to enjoy our festival than ever before, including - for the first time - day passes!

Check out the offerings and register while all choices are still available!

Register now...