If you have ever attended a tango festival, you know the answer. We attend festivals because we must. We must feel the passion that only a gathering of people joined for one reason—TANGO—creates. We attend because every video we watch on YouTube, every milonga performance we see inspires in us the same desire—to study with masters, to move as they do, effortlessly, as if skating on the dance floors so many nights we call home.
The ASTF is your festival, whether you are a tango beginner who wants to learn fundamentals with master teachers, a seasoned tanguero who croons to vintage Gardel recordings, or the improvisational tanguera who wonders how she can neotango to Stars of the Lid (they’re from Austin, too). Each class session has an all-level, intermediate, and advanced section. Regardless of your level, you’ll find a class taught by each of the instructors with your tango needs and experience in mind. In fact, our topics are so enticing that you’ll find your biggest dilemma is choosing which class to attend. Don’t worry though: you can attend as many or as few events as you desire.
If you are from out of town, you will appreciate the warm abrazo of the Austin community, known for its welcoming nature. Be forewarned, though. Our embrace is so enveloping that many attendees find themselves returning year after year.
What makes the ASTF’s location so popular and why share the weekend with us? Small enough to feel intimate and large enough to be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Austin is a city at once playful and sophisticated, simultaneously iconoclastic and historic. The festival’s schedule allows you ample time to explore Austin and discover why locals call the city “Awesome Austin.” You’ll find venues offering live music, museums and galleries featuring local artists, and a culture so unique you’ll see why after the festival, you too will want to “keep Austin weird.”
And the food! With local chefs garnering international praise for pairing global cuisine with local ingredients and flavors, you’ll find yourself and your new tango friends lingering over tapas paired with wine from the hill country or savoring a fusion dish from one of the many food trucks open throughout the city.
All Friday-Sunday afternoon events are housed in one venue, Dance Institute, which is located in the beautiful Austin hills and offers ample parking and wood floors smoother than, well, you know. During the festival, you’ll have an opportunity to meet local and international vendors as you sample delectable local treats, select shoes straight from Buenos Aires, and try on milonga threads slick enough to keep you dancing all night. On Sunday, join us for an asado and indoor and outdoor milonga at Tango Esquina, considered the heart of the Austin tango community.
Oh, and the weather! The festival is set during spring, the peak of wildflower season. During breaks, you’ll find yourself strolling with classmates as you enjoy the warm Texas sun and admire the thousands of bluebonnets that surround the venue.