Welcome to CU-Tango, Your Guide to Tango in Central Illinois

Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is one of the liveliest centers of Argentine tango in the Midwest. You will easily find tango lessons, tango classes and tango workshops to learn this amazing dance. And our calendar of tango dances, milongas, and other tango events is a bonanza of creativity and friendly socializing. Below are some featured recent news and announcements.

Latest News


Winter 2015 Class Schedule

Introduction to Argentine Tango
Open to Beginners

Jan 15 – Feb 26 (Skip Feb 5)
Thursdays 6:30 – 7:15p

  • Learn the basics of one of the world’s most intriguing partner dances.
  • No partner or previous experience needed.
  • Gain confidence and elegance while experiencing the unique feeling of the tango and having fun at the same time!

At Springer Cultural Center, Champaign Park District
301 N Randolph St, Champaign, IL 61820

Resident fee: $45 for six-week session
Non­Resident (outside CU limits): $67.50

Phone: (217) 398-2376


The following courses start late January / early February.

  • Tango 1 – Quick Start for Beginners – Tuesdays at 9 pm – Starts Feb 3
  • Tango 2B – Advanced Beginner – Sundays at 5:30 pm – Starts Feb 1
  • Tango 3B – Intermediate – Tuesdays 7:30 pm – Starts Jan 27

Click here for details and to register for these campus tango courses.

Inside Illinois Features University Tango


Inside Illinois magazine (3/15) has an entertaining article about tango on our campus. Here’s an excerpt.

Ask Claire Barker how she became a tango dancer and she tells a story that begins when she became a nun. Barker – a professor of internal medicine at the University of Illinois – had a friend who was staging a production of “The Sound of Music” at a local theater and needed more holy sisters for the abbey scenes. Barker auditioned, and was cast not only as a nun but also as a dancer in the ballroom scene.

Dance coaches for the production noticed Barker’s knack for the Viennese waltz and encouraged her to continue dancing. She enrolled at the Regent Ballroom in Savoy, Ill., and soon fell in love with the Argentine tango.

Full Story: Professors, partners share passion for Argentine tango.






From the Yang Sheng newsletter of Tai Chi and Chi Gong practices, comes an article by Chen T’ai Chi teacher Yang Yang called “Overview of Best Practices in T’ai Chi.

In this article I read many aphorisms that seem relevant to Tango practice.

 If you study something—anything—in an efficient way, you can learn it in a fraction of the time.   (-Chinese Proverb, literally “half the work, double the result.”)









Many other traditional gems of wisdom concerning physical training are, in my view, directly applicable to learning a dance form such as tango.

  • 苦练十年,不如名师一点: Ku lian shi nian, bu ru ming shi yi dian. One word from a knowledgeable teacher will save ten years of hard practice.
  • 诀窍奥秘, 须经明师口传心授:Jue qiao ao mi, xu jing ming shi kou chuan xin shou. Tricks of the trade and secrets of practice must be passed on by sincere instruction from a teacher who understands the art.
  • However, it is also said that, ultimately, a teacher can only point the direction for student—it is up to the student to make the journey. (Shifu ling jin men, xiu xing zai ge ren, 师父领进门, 修行在个人, which literally means “the teacher will lead you to the door, but it is up to the student to improve.”)
  • Much of the importance of the teacher is to outline efficient curriculum for the student. The single best question a student can ask is “what should I be practicing, and what percentage of my practice time should be spent on each exercise?”

How do you formulate your approach to learning tango?


Featured Videos


Milongas of Buenos Aires 1990s…

Patricia Muller said she found these videos that a traveller left behind at her house. They show dancing in Buenos Aires in the early to mid 1990s. These videos are […]


Todaro-Bravo and friends…

Dance exhibitions 1940-1980     Raúl Bravo y Haydée Antonio Todaro y Tití (su hija) Pedro Villafañe y Alejandra Kalisay y Tita Oscar y Beatriz Omar Boragno y Marta El […]


Documentary on Troilo…

This biographical documentary on Troilo is very good. It includes many excerpts from performances throughout his career, and has interesting interviews with his fellow collaborating musicians from various eras. One […]

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Upcoming Tango Events

January 24, 2015
Purdue La Milonguera Winter Milonga
Starts: 8:00 pm
Ends: 12:00 am
Location: 128 Memorial Mall, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906
Description: We are traveling to Purdue and peeps from Indy are coming too.
January 25, 2015
Starts: 6:30 pm
Ends: 8:30 pm
Location: Illini Room A, Illini Union, 1401 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801
Description: Open tango practice for all levels
No charge
January 27, 2015
Tango 3b
Starts: 7:30 pm
Ends: 8:30 pm
Location: McKinley Presbyterian Church Basement, 5th & John St. Champaign IL 61820
January 28, 2015
Free Lesson
Starts: 7:30 pm
Ends: 8:00 pm
Location: Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor Street, Champaign, IL
Description: Free Tango Lesson before the dance.
Beginner level. See if you like
Cowboy Monkey Tango Night
Starts: 8:00 pm
Ends: 10:00 pm
Location: Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor St. Champaign, IL
Description: Tango Dance at Cowboy Monkey, every Wednesday 8-10 pm.

Open tango dancing

Wednesday Tango Night

Join Us Every Wednesday
For Argentine Tango Dancing
At Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor St., Champaign, IL

  • 7:30-8:00 pm Free tango lesson
  • 8:00-10:00 pm Tango dance

No cover charge. Followed by salsa until 2 am
More details: see Calendar

Monthly Channing-Murray Milonga

A full night of dancing in the inspiring atmosphere of the chapel at Channing-Murray Foundation.

1209 W. Oregon, Urbana, IL

9 pm - 1 am

Typically on 2nd Saturday of each month.
Please check CU Tango calendar for last-minute changes.

BBQ Milonga

BBQ Milonga at Erwin's House.
1314 Curt Dr., Champaign IL

Typically on 3rd Saturday of each month.
Please check CU Tango calendar for last-minute changes.

Mailing List: cu-tango@yahoogroups.com

Click to get on the CU-Tango email list for announcements about Tango in Champaign-Urbana.

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