Where to dance Argentine Tango in San Francisco

Dancing Argentine Tango dance in San Francisco Bay Area I am often asked by local students and dancers visiting our city what milongas I would recommned for dancing. Here is the list of the best tango places I know of which can be interesting for the dancers travelling from city to city and from a tango festival to a festival. If you feel I missed your milonga, I would be more than pleased to visit your tango community.

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Albertos

Belrose in San Rafael

Cafe Florida

El Valenciano

The Cellspace

Verdi Club

La Pista

Studio 1924 in Oakland

Tango Magdalena

Danzhaus

Monte Cristo Club

Studio Gracia

The Beat Club

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Floor size reflects crowdness somewhat too. Traditional music means tango music mostly before 1952 or similar in style. Tango Nuevo: Pugliese and Piazzolla after 1952. Neo Tango or non-tango - music which is not tango, simiar to tango, or modern electronic tangos.

There are many tango events in San Francisco Bay Area.

Studio Gracia

19 Haron Street ( off 8th left, between Harrison and Folsom) 415-436-9300. Tango Soma
Sunday. Large excellent floor. May be the best one in San Francisco. Mirror walls. Music by visiting DJs, so it varies from classical to good modern mix. Very comfortable and friendly atmosphere. Pretty crowded, especially if there is no Cocomo this day. There is always enough space on the floor. Some good food. Parking is OK. The location in an old industrial building is very romantic. Come and see this place. It may very well become your place of choice to dance tango in San Francisco. Visiting DJ! They are Emilio, Glenn, Vijay. Even our local musicians play here sometimes.

Floor size - large, Music - traditional, Nuevo, live musicians.


Alberto's Night Club in Mountain View

Albertos.
Sunday. This is a Salsa club. Great setting, bar, sofas, great floor. Intimate place. Visiting teachers and performers are often. Dorcas runs it. It is not always full, but dancing is always good there for me ;)

Floor size - medium, but always enough, Music - traditional.


Belrose Afternoon Milonga in San Rafael

Belrose.
Sunday. A smaller, quaint theater, with a romantic ambience, (most similar to Valenciano but with a slightly larger floor) with a great sound system and hardwood floor. Lots of free parking. "The crowd is mostly close embrace and navigation is very good."

Floor size - medium, Music - traditional.


Studio 1924 in Oakland

Studio 1924.
Sunday. Milonga 5-9pm. Wonderful place with couzy rooms and sofas. Check it out ! Floor is great. Parking on the streets. It is free on Sunday. Count's place. There is another, practica place with a lot of mirrors.

Floor size - medium, Music - traditional.

El Valenciano

1153 Valencia St. 415-826-9561, SaborDeTango.
Tuesday. El Valenciano is a restaurant in the night-life part of Mission District. There are a lots of good restaurants around. Parking is ok. Milonga is held by Julian Miller. This is a special place. Nice and romantic setting, excellent music. Floor is very small - this club is for restrained close embrace tango. This is a special place, so you'd better come with a partner to have good time. Here is how El Valenciano milonga looks like.

Floor size - small, Music - traditional.

The Cell Space alternative Milonga

2050 Bryant Street (btw 18th and 19th), Alternative
Wednesday. Very nice "modern-feel" place. Homer is running it with the help of volunteers. A lot of people. Parking is easy. Floor is so so. Tango Nuevo dancers come here. This is Neo Tango den. Music is an eclectic mix of modern Tango Nuevo, swing, non-Tango, and old scratchy tangos. Many people find it challenging and interesting to dance. For serious milonguero dancing go to Cafe Florida (below).

Floor size - large, Music - non-tango, tango nuevo, sometimes traditional, a lot of experiments.

Cafe Florida

710 Florida Street, San Francisco
Wednesday. Excellent place for serious milonguero dancers. Nice small cafe with bar and wonderful floor. Just one block from the Cell Space. Traditional music. Host: Marcelo Solis.

Floor size - medium, Music - traditional.

Verdi Club

2424 Mariposa Street. Adolfo, Christy
Thursday. The largest milonga in San Francisco. Run by Christy Cote and Adolfo. In the past it was run by Victor Meneses from Argentina. Bar. Parking is quite easy. Emilio is DJ-ing there.

Floor size - large, Music - mostly traditional, sometimes with splashes of 50-60s.

Mayumi Milonga at Danzhaus

1275 Connecticut Street, San Francisco
Friday. Monthly Pretty large comfortable place, bar, a lot of people: very popular place with good dancing spirit. Milonguero dancing. Host: Mayumi.

Floor size - pretty large, Music - traditional.

Monte Cristo Club

136 Missouri (near 17th), Gary: 415-641-0703, Gary and Nirmala
Friday. This club is located actually in a small house rebuild to be a social club. Very nice not large floor. Some good food. Very friendly atmosphere. Good music. You should try lessons of Gary who is the host here. He has unforgettable sense of humor. Performances of visiting teachers. Parking is OK.

Floor size - good enough, Music - mostly traditional.

Tango Magdalena

580 Grand Ave, Suite # 305 Oakland, Jean-Pierre: 510-390 2886,
Friday. Small club. Very romantic, cozy, comfortable, and friendly atmosphere. Free wine and snacks. Good place to spend an evening with a partner. Tango musicians play live music every Friday.

Floor size - small, Music - mostly traditional.

The Beat Club

2560 9th St., BERKELEY (510) 548-5348. The Beat
4th Saturday. The Beat Club is located in Berkeley. It is actually a small dancing studio. It holds Bay Area's only All Night Milonga on forth Saturday of the month. Dance till sunrise. Good music, great experience. It is small and often too crowded. There is also a Monday practica. To dance Argentine Tango for the whole night one has to have some guts, but it is a gateway to understanding what Tango is.

Floor size - small, Music - traditional.

 

Milongas of the past

   

Milonga at the Broadway Studios

Magnificent place ! Old historic building, great sitting, bar, elaborate decorations of the 20s, romantic lighting, great large dance floor, plenty of space to walk and to talk. Great music. But most importantly all San Francisco dancers were there, on the same floor: Nora, Gary, Victor, Christy, Felipe, Mayumi, Julian, Becky, Christopher, Marcelo, Roberto, Homer, Chelsea, David, Count, everyone ! What a spirit ! This place has been closed. Several attempts was made to revive the place by they failed due to the luck of support.

Overall rating - unbelievable!

This was my very first Tango dance place I have ever seen. It was the second day I have discovered tango. I had a shocking experience !!! I could not dance, but I sit with my mouth wide open for the whole evening - it was unbelievable, it was like a movie got alive around me. That place shaped my desire to dance Argentine Tango.

Whom I saw there? Everyone ! Julian, Mayumi, Nora, Natasha & Ken, Homer, Felipe, Chelsea, Count, Pampa, Christy Cote, Caroline and Christopher, Marcelo, Roberto... Many many others. All in the same room, all on the same floor, all in one line of dance, all besides each other. Can you imagine it?

   

   

Milonga at the Golden Gate Yacht Club

Golden Gate Milonga is CLOSED starting with Saturday Dec 30, 2006. Temporary location is Il Pirata. Please, contact Glenn to find more about it:
End of Yacht Road (on the Marina), tangoldengate@yahoo.com, Glenn Corteza
Saturday. This club is located actually on a pier. Fantastic views of the City, Bay, and Golden Gate Bridge. Easy parking, very safe, but far from freeways. Floor is not big, but big enough. Some food. Bar. Great classical music by Glenn Corteza. Dancing here is a sort of meditation. The place is great, but sometimes tense for beginners or newcomers. So if you are new here, or/and you are not the best dancer in the world, come with a partner to have great evening. Well, come anyway. It deserves to be visited.

Floor size - good enough, Music - traditional, Overall rating - fantastic!

This was my favorite place! For many years I came here to have fantastic dance till 2pm.

   

   

Check the schedule before you go, there are special events sometime, or on the contrary, Milongas are cancelled!

There are many more Milongas and Tango places in San Francisco and Bay Area.

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My name is Igor Polk. I dance argentine tango in San Francisco Bay Area. My favorite style is close embrace or Apilado style of dancing.
Argentin Tango, Argentinian Tango, Tango Argentino, Milonguero style.

Copyright©2003-2006 Igor Polk
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