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The Chicago Traveler

Two to Tango

by Matt B on May 1st, 2007

Tango started in the late 1800s in lower-class districts of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The dance had several fluctuations in popularity, but at one point, the Argentinean government actually hired dancers to tour and market the tango in the United States’ major cities. This sparked interest in many Chicagoans back then, but the social dance has found a remarkable following recently as well.


You can take lessons at the Dance Center Chicago from one of the best, Somer Surgit. He and his partner are professional tango dancers that teach and tour all over the world. “For me, it’s the way I express myself, and I find everything in it, and the way I communicate,” says this dance master. He insists that anyone can learn this romantic and passionate dance. “If you can walk' you can dance tango.” Group classes are $12 per person per one-hour class; package rates and private lessons are also available.

At the Ritz Tango Caf', you can grab yourself a cup of coffee before you learn your smooth moves. Jorge Niedas, the co-owner, is a professional dancer in the Chicago Tango Club Argentine. Whet your whistle with one of the menu’s coffee drinks, including a frappe that comes with vanilla ice cream, or a delicious empanada or panini. Don’t get too comfortable though because three times a week, the tables get moved aside to make room for tango lessons.

Once you’ve got the steps down and need a place to show off your new moves, head on over to Club 720. The music goes on well past most people’s bedtimes, but that hasn’t stopped patrons from showing up for the Tuesday tango tradition for years. “Tango for us is a social experience, something that you experience with a woman or a man and then with everybody else. It’s a social setting,” says Romulo, a Latin street dancing instructor who gives lessons at the club. The dark wood and rich colors help set the mood as dancers gracefully glide across the floor.

Photo credit: (c/o SXC) Watje11

Dance Center Chicago ($): 3868 N Lincoln Ave; 773-880-5044
Sat, Sun: 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Mon, Wed, Fri: 5:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Tues: 12 noon - 11:00 p.m.
Thurs: 12 noon - 11:00 p.m.
(Other times available by appointment.)
On-street parking, free/pay lot, valet ($7) via Sola Restaurant
Public Trans: Bus #11, 50, 80 or Brown Line train (Irving Park)

Ritz Tango Caf' ($): 933 N Ashland Ave; 773-235-CAFE (2233)
Mon: 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Tues, Thurs: 7:00 a.m. - 12 midnight
Weds, Fri: 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Sat, Sun: 9:00 a.m. - 12 midnight
On-street parking
Public Trans: Bus #9 or Blue Line train (Division)

Club 720 ($): 720 N Wells St; 312-787-8720
Mon, Weds: closed
Tues: 8:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Thurs: 10:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Fri: 9:00 p.m. - 4:00 a.m.
Sat: 9:00 p.m. - 5:00 a.m.
(hours subject to change without notice)
Difficult street parking, valet available
Public Trans: Bus #66 or Brown Line train (Chicago)

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POSTED IN: Bars and Clubs, Restaurants, Sports and Recreation

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