Tango course: Week 1 of 8

9th October 2008

Class Date: Thursday 9th October 2008, 8pm - 10pm

Teacher: Amir Giles & Jenny Sayer

Class Type Beginners / Intermediates (8-week course)

Location: The Philbeach Hall, 51 Philbeach Gardens, Earls' Courts, London SW5 9EB (map)

(Other write-ups: Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8)

Class review

This will be the first of a series of descriptions of Amir's 8-week Argentine Tango course; I'll be using these as a "notebook" to help me remember what topics we covered on which weeks. This review is more of an introduction to the place, the people and the course.

Venue details

The Philbeach Hall is located in a side street off from Philbeach Gardens, in West London (Earl's Court). The area is very nice, there are some good foodie places around Earl's Court road, and it's quite a lively area. The hall itself is quite basic, but it's perfectly adequate for classes. (Apparently they also do ballroom dancing classes there...). There's a kitchen, but Amir's not yet offered to cook us dinner for some reason.

Here's what the place looks like from the outside:

Getting there

By tube: The venue is quite close to Earl's Court tube station (District and Piccadilly lines) - only 5 minutes' walk from there.

By car: Easy to get to, straight along the A4. Warwick Road is 1-way, so you can't turn down there from the A4, so there's a bit of faffing around required to get onto it, so allow a few minutes extra for that. From North Finchley, it takes about 45 minutes.

Parking: unfortunately, it's not easy to park on Philbeach Gardens, as it's almost all resident parking till 10pm, so be aware of that. However, there's easy parking on the main road (Warwick Road), and it's only a couple of minutes' walk from there.


The teachers are Amir Giles and Jenny. Amir's well-known in the Modern Jive world as the inventor of "Jango", a Jive-Tango fusion. Over the past couple of years, I think it's fair to say that he's been moving towards teaching more Tango, and less Jango, although he does still keep the Jango stuff going.

Jenny is a fabulous follower, she's spent the past 9 months in BsAs learning from the best, and she's clearly easily one of the best followers in London. She's also very good at explaining technique and posture. And she's got great shoes.


I missed the 1st week, so I'm going to piece together the outline, based on what others have told me.... As I understand it, Amir & Jenny covered the basics of connection, walking, and taking basic steps to the side, forwards and back.

Amir also said that the course, wasn't going to be a "fun class", but would provide a foundation in tango technique, suitable for dancers at all levels. He said the classes were going to be more like those you normally get in Argentina when people spend hours walking up and down, up and down.

In short, this is a proper AT course - there's no mention of Modern Jive; it's just that the majority of the attendees simply happen to be from a Modern Jive audience.

More class details: www.jango.co.uk/Philbeach Thursdays.htm

- David Bailey