Argentine Tango


Please join Emma in an adventure to discover Argentine Tango.


Private Lessons

Private Lessons

Dates and times flexible

Portland Maine Location

A private lesson is tailored to your personal dance trajectory. Whether you are a beginner who wishes to kick start and move faster than a group, or an advanced dancer wishing to focus on particular skills, a private lesson will meet your specific needs and move at the speed best for your learning style. A private lesson can also be shared by two dancers; a leader; follower pair, two leaders, or two followers. Emma is both a leader and a follower and teaches both roles. Please bring a clean pair of socks to the lesson. Please contact Emma to inquire of dates, times and location.

Private Tango Lesson
from 80.00
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Go to for the calendar of local tango events in Portland, Maine.

Tango Diary

Emma’s tango travels to Buenos Aires 2006-2014


Argentine Tango and other music to make you dance: every 2nd and 4th Friday 10:30 – noon on Shaken and Stirred/WMPG 90.9 FM in Portland, Maine.


Group Classes


Group Classes

4 fundamentals of Tango classes

Sept 25, Oct 2,9,16, 7:15 - 8:15 pm

58 York st. Portland Maine

Group classes will cover tango (4/4), milonga (2/4) and tangovals (3/4). You’ll need all 3 to become proficient in Argentine Tango. Milonga is pre-tango, simpler, a little faster, and is all about rhythmic patterns with your partner. It always leaves the couple smiling and a little breathless. Tango requires the same connection and embrace. but is slower, more dramatic and romantic. It leaves the couple breathless in a different way. Vals is friendly, upbeat and creates a mood for turns. (Specialized small group lessons are available also, up to 6 people - please inquire.)

Registration details TBD


Class Plan

Flexible, depending on the group

Argentine Tango is an improvised dance, a conversation without words with someone you may not know.

A basic Argentine Tango class covers basic concepts to get beginners dancing: connection, musicality, turns, pivots, the cruzada, leading and following, footwork, history and codes. It also introduces three styles of Tango: tango, vals, and milonga.

Please bring indoor clean flat shoes with soles that slide (no high heels for this class).
No partner is needed; it’s a social dance, so we dance with everyone! Also, everyone will learn the ideas behind both leading and following.

Those with tango experience are also welcome to refresh the basics, or perhaps become more comfortable with the other role.

Class 1: Introduction to the style of music we’ll be dancing to, posture, forward intention, the embrace, milonga 6 ct basic. Tango, walking, pushing off, concept of standing and free leg, partnering, forward, back and side movement

Class 2: Pivots and ochos, vals (3/4 time), how to turn around. Molinete (moving around a central point).

Class 3: Contra-body styling, The cruzada/cross (a move that is particularly “tango”)

Class 4: Musicality, getting out of your head, putting it all together, review of tango, vals and milonga.




Want to have fun learning a new skill or refine tango understanding?….”Argentine Tango for Absolute Beginners” is a great choice. Emma Holder is a genuine, generous and precise instructor. Prepare to be inspired.
— Joan S. 
Beginner Tango was daunting to me, coming from a ballroom and swing background, because it seemed so technical, so un-choreographed, and frankly challenging. Had I had the misfortune of starting beginner tango with teachers other than Emma & Laura, I’m certain I would not have continued and could not call myself a Tango dancer today. Their compassion for what a beginner dancer is imagining is their top skill. It’s more the predispositions in our mind we have to rise above than it is the moves with our body. These two women, who teach us to lead and follow, start first with your feelings and progress to teach technical tango skills. Having taken other beginner tango lessons, I feel confident I received the BEST base to add to with this class. You will as well.
— Dawn T.
For me, the whole experience was one in which I went from feeling unusually reserved at the beginning to feeling inner walls against new relationships and strangers I hadn’t met yet come down and felt myself open up to learning with people I had hardly known before. You created a safe environment where we were all supportive of one another and tried to listen and speak clearly so that we could care for our partners and have a great 3 minute experience in dance with them.
— Mandy D.
Tango is a challenging dance, but Emma & Laura present the basics in an impressive way–making tricky concepts both logical and fun for beginners. And, for me, (surprise!) they managed to bring a deeper understanding of moves I’ve been doing for years.
— Bobbi M.
It started with Al Pacino in the movie, “Scent of a Woman.” I wanted to dance like that. I tried ballroom tango but no magic happened. Then I tried Argentine tango beginner classes with Emma and Laura, and very quickly I began to understand there’s a different way a person can experience gravity. Since then, I’ve taken workshops from many very good teachers, but I keep coming back (4x so far,) to review the important fundamentals of Argentine tango with Laura and Emma, and it’s a blast every time!
— Tisha M.
My very first step to tango was in your class through Portland Adult Ed.  The enthusiasm and skill with which you guided us to understanding the basics gave me and a friend the courage to try out local Practicas where we felt totally welcomed and supported in beginning to learn this dance.  It’s been over a year now, with more workshops and practices and dances in the tango community here building from the foundation you put down for us. It is exciting to watch the continued stream of newcomers to tango from your classes and the support at the two of you provide to the tango community at large.
— Pierre S.