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Dance something different

Tango workshops at Pineapple Dance Studios - September & October 2016

My first tango class

and so it began…

“Would you like to go to a tango class?” Stefan asked me, actually he asked me in French so it went something like “Ça te dit d’aller dans un cour du tango?”
“Sure, why not?  Um, what’s tango?”
and so it began…


the world of the CitéU

1999, Paris, the 14th arrondissement to be precise,  I arrived with 3 large suitcases to study at Paris V for a year and was lucky enough to get a room at the Cité Universitaire (or CitéU for short), a student residence with a global feel. The complex stretched out from it’s grand entrance opposite the RER with large ‘houses’ representing countries, institutions and people of note from all over the globe.  Some were constructed with an architectural reference from it’s home nation. The Japanese house had sliding doors, a large roof and deep eaves. The Moroccan house had beautiful mosaics and you could eat couscous there every week.  The Swiss house was a jewel at the Cité that architecture lovers would come to admire as it was designed by no less than Le Corbusier himself.  Rooms were firstly allocated according to nationality and after that wherever there was space.  Stefan from Belgium, lived in Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre (the Belgian House) and I lived in the College Franco-Brittanique with its red bricks and bay windows conceived by French architects as a nod to the entente cordiale.  Tango classes happened in the Argentine House naturally, well I found that out when Stefan told me.


Off we went one evening when winter’s darkness hadn’t quite yet released its grip on spring.  Walking into this room the first thing I noticed was the music, old but new to my ears, comfortable yet different, there seemed to be complex but identifiable layers, a group of people were dancing, the music stopped and the teachers started speaking, we were late! I hurriedly took off my coat and waited for my equally wet behind the ears partner.


Watch & do…

The class was watch and do. Watch, I did and when the teacher Edgardo came to us feel, what was going on.  I spent the first half fighting poor Stefan in the embrace.  Twenty odd years trying to be an independent woman and now I was expected to just follow a man? ‘You’re not doing it right’ I grappled, ’Not like this, like this’, I instructed back-leading as after 5 mins of watching, I was clearly an expert on the matter.  I thought I was trying to be helpful, I was being a pain in the arse. He on other hand had the patience of a saint. Really.


Now listen…

Edgardo’s dance was something totally different, I could understand, he was clear, it didn’t feel like following him, just being there for the conversation.  I got back to Stefan and this time tried to listen to what was going on.  It worked much better.  Not perfect, quite rough actually but the exchange was there, it was real. I could feel where we needed to go and my grappling turned into more of a hug. It was a start and I loved it.  ‘Ok so we’re going here, I’m coming with you, I want to make this more comfortable for us, my balance, oops, sorry!?! yes that was my foot, don’t worry…wait I need more time here, oh, that was your foot, sorry!’  and so it really began.


A taste memory

Can I remember what we did in that first class? Absolutely not. Can I remember how it made me feel? Totally.  I wanted to do more, that there was lots to learn, it would take time, patience and more than likely be never ending, but I definitely wanted more. I’d had a taste and was going to start collecting them.

Autumn workshops 2016


Autumn tasters are now open for booking!


3rd September 4-7pm
4th September 3-6pm
10th September 4-7pm
11th September 3-6pm
8th October 4-7pm
9th October 3-6pm
29th October 4-7pm
30th October 3-6pm
12th November 4-7pm

for more info and to book, go here.

Free tasters at Pineapple

Jenney Surelia teaching - a taste of tango at Pineapple Dance Studios

I’ll be doing  two free tango sessions at Pineapple Dance Studios in the heart of London on Sunday 31st July.  Read on for more details.  If you’d like to come just click on the link for the session you’d like to do and register. Normal programming resumes in September with more tasters and you can find out about those here. Enjoy your summer!

‘the follower’s voice’

The woman’s role in the dance is more active than many people think.  In this session we will talk about that and explore ways to be an active follower.
Where: Pineapple Dance Studios, Covent Garden
When: Sunday 31st July, 3-4pm – Studio 5

Sign up

‘introduction to tango’

We’ll go through some of the basics and give you a taste of what real social tango is.
Where: Pineapple Dance Studios, Covent Garden
When: Sunday 31st July, 4-5pm – Studio 2

Sign up

What to bring: Some water, your mates and a smile.
What to wear: Comfortable clothes and shoes that you can pivot (turn) in, heels are optional.
Here’s more about me.