Review: Tango at the Welsh

23rd January 2010?

What it is

The Welsh Centre is in Farringdon, which is a posh way of saying "just near Kings Cross". There's been tango sessions running there for years, but the previous organisers re-located to the Carablanca venue in Conway Hall a year or so ago, and the Welsh Centre was taken over as a venue by the OKTango organisation, re-branded as "Tango At The Welsh" .

Which leaves us with an extra Tango venue in Central London on a Friday night, which is good :)

Unlike the other venuus, Tango at the Welsh is an early-evening affair - the class is 6:30 - 7:30pm, and the milonga is 7:30 - 10:30pm.

I arrived late, so some of this review is extrapolated. Or, "made up" if you prefer...

The venue

The venue itself is basically a big hall, with a bar upstairs. The atmosphere is a bit lacking, to be honest, but everyone seems quite friendly, which makes up for it in my book. Entrance is £10, and there's classes, a milonga, and free food (!), so if you go for all of these that gives you excellent value for money. But for a milonga it's a bit pricey, it'd be nice if they had a separate "milonga-only" price,

The organisers are extremely friendly and approachable.

The music / dancing

The music was very enjoyable; a nice mixture of vals, tango, milonga and neo tango music. The crowd thins out dramatically around 10pm, and there's always plenty of space.

Numbers were very even - possibly more men than women. So if you're a woman and want a dance, this is a good choice.

What did I think?

I enjoyed it.

This is not really a "milonga evening" - but it is is a great venue for going to learn, getting started, practicing, and having an early-evening tango session. I suspect that many of the regulars use it as a "warn-up" session before going on to Carablanca or Negracha's, but there's nothing wrong with that - in fact, that's what I did myself, and this makes for a great full evening out. Conceivably, you could dance from 7:30pm - 3am if you went to herem then Negracha's after.

So, great as a "warmup", or an early evening session, but not so much as a full evening out.

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David Bailey, 23rd January 2010