Class Review: The Crypt

Class date: Mondays and alternate Saturdays

Class times: 7.30-8.15pm (Beginners and Improvers), 8.15-9pm: Intermediates. Milonga 9pm - 12.30am.

Teacher: Tom and Michiko

Class Type: Beginners, Improvers, Intermediate/Advanced

Location: The Crypt, St. James Church, Clerkenwell Close, London, EC1R 0EA

Class review and comments:

Having recently been completely smitten by Tango and wanting to find a good venue, a friend suggested that I contact MsHedgehog (who writes up fabulous blogs including tango reviews) for suggestions. Ms Hedgehog came up with the goods and provided me with a number of options - one of which was The Crypt.

The Venue: As the name suggests, it is in the "crypt" of St. James' Church. This already, the 'quirky' setting, rather than a community hall or studio as you'd find coming from Ceroc, adds to the appeal of the activity.

The Class: The lesson I found exceptionally better than the other 4 venues I have been to. For example, first visit: We started off with probably the most basic and fundamental step in Tango; "walking" forwards and backwards and had to take the same number of steps each way, every time. For a beginner or near beginner, the pace of instruction is just right - you're neither overload with information nor talked down to. The sense of progression is keeping me interested, that's for sure.

The teachers: Tom and Michiko's quality of the 'instruction' really is first rate. It is obvious from the start that you're in the very capable hands of teachers who really know their subject. They are liberal with "their time" with the personalised attention which seems somewhat lacking at the other places I have been to. For the lead, Tom has such a confident command and he can synthesize key learning points in a way which makes the complex seem simple - and at the same time not intimidating - for the learner. It is also worth mentioning that Tom and Michiko give their instruction in good English. For the English speaker, this again compares favourably with other Tango venues which often have Teachers struggling to elaborate what they mean by their movement.

From a social point of view, I rate them again as "favourable"

El Once Milonga at the Crypt

I attended the milonga they held on Saturday 9th August. This is by far the best party I have been to! I might like mention at this point that I have only been in the Tango scene for a couple of months and so I am probably not experienced to make such a statement, but yes, as a Beginner nonetheless, the best party I have been to yet. Unfortunately I missed the class - so can't comment. However, I can comment on everything else:

The hosts and their crew:

  • Welcoming - check;
  • Warm and Friendly - check.
  • Made Eye contact even when in passing - check (*this is just nice to experience in London!)
  • Made conversation - check
  • Complimentary food and drink - check.

The Dancers - People:

Very friendly - I got invited to dance a few times albeit I was a "new" face in the Tango circuit. I also enjoyed the random yet very interesting conversations when not dancing.

Presentation by Guest Teachers
Bruno Tombari & Mariangeles Caamano - playful in parts (not seen this before so it was quite refreshing), sensual, skillful, breathtaking and beautiful!

All the above created a buzz, atmosphere and memory that will probably remain for time.

This review is just my opinion - I am not a Tango dancer, I am learning to dance Argnetine Tango. So far, Tom and Michiko's class is working for me!

More class details: www.users.dircon.co.uk/~elonce/index.html

- Betty Smith