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

Tango Musicality Workshop with Joaquin Amenabar – July 23-24, 2016

joaquinAt Channing-Murray Foundation – 1209 W. Oregon St, Urbana

Check-In/Warm-Up – Noon to 1:00pm (Classes will start promptly at 1:00pm)

$25 per class, $120 for full workshop, $60 for all three classes on Saturday or Sunday

Go to TangoClass.org to register

Saturday, July 23

#1 – Tango Rhythm: The basic units of tango rhythm: Simple, double and half-time steps.  Recognize these units in the music and using them while dancing. (1:00pm – 2:30pm) *

#2 – Tango Melody: What does it means to “dance to the melody” in tango? Why do we dance the melody in tango?  Learn the difference between dancing the basic rhythm and dancing the melody. (2:45pm – 4:15pm) *

#3 – Improvisation I:  Apply what you’ve learned from Classes #1 & #2 in real-time dancing. (4:30pm – 6:00pm) **

Saturday Milonga @ Channing-Murray (9:00pm – 1:00am)  $15/$10, Free for people taking the full workshop

Sunday, July 24

#4 – Vals & Milonga Rhythm: The basic rhythmic units in Milonga and Vals. Their differences from tango rhythm. Simple and double-time step in Milonga. Simple and double-time step in Vals. (1:00pm – 2:30pm)

#5 – Syncopation in Tango:  Learn to identify the simplest form of the musical embellishment that is Syncopation in tango music. Recognition and application of Syncopation in tango dance. (2:45pm – 4:15pm)

#6 – Improvisation II: Apply what you’ve learned from Class #5 in real-time dancing (4:30pm – 6:00pm) **

Free Sunday Milonga @ Location & Time TBA

(*) Core classes – Recommended for everyone who’s never taken this workshop.

(**) Instructor would like a balance of leader/follower in these two classes.

Go to TangoClass.org to register



Joaquín Amenábar is a master bandoneonista who teaches at the National Conservatory Lopez Buchardo in the Superior Conservatory of Music in Buenos Aires and at the Folk Music School of Avellaneda. He also trains tango groups and solo tango musicians on tango interpretation and arrangements, as well as teaching composers how to write for the bandoneon in Argentina and abroad.

Joaquín credits his mother, an amateur tango pianist, for his love of tango music. He has been dancing tango since 1995 and teaching his method of learning tango musicality since 1998. Joaquín is the author of the book Tango, Let’s dance to the music!





Campus Tango Rehearsal Orchestra

Weekly Tango Music Rehearsal / Jam

Musicians – Bring your instruments and learn to play tango music in the style of Tango Orquesta Tipica.

  • When:  5:30 – 6:45 pm
  • Where: Illini Union Rm 314 A, 1401 West Green Street, Urbana IL
  • Sign up: Please SIGN UP  and give your instrument. We will send you music in advance.
  • What to bring: Bring your instrument, a music stand, and a printout of the sheet music for your instrument.

We are seeking the following instruments:

  • Strings
    • violin
    • viola
    • cello
    • contrabass (electric bass is welcome)
  • Bandoneon
  • Piano – but you will need to divide repertoire and understudy w/ other pianists
  • Guitar
  • Voice


  • Be able to read music, and have an interest in tango music.
  • If you can read lead sheets (melody plus chord symbols), that is also good.

Email us  if you have questions.



Summer Tango Classes Starting


New tango classes for summer are starting soon.

  • Beginner Class – Starts Thursday June 9
    7:30 pm – Rm 314 B Illini Union
  • Intermediate/Advanced Class – Starts Sunday June 5
    7:00 pm – Rm 314 A Illini Union
  • New! Tango class in Normal, IL – Starts Tuesday June 7
    8:00 pm – Normal Parks and Recreation, Normal, IL

Get Details and Pre-Register Here




Tango Featured in Smile Politely



Recently Joe and Carlota were interviewed for the online magazine “Smile Politely”, and you should totally check it out!

In the conversation, we get to hear a little cultural history of the tango, and experience personal reports about what really turns them on as teachers.

“I love to see a person, who may have no dance skill or training, achieve the ability to create a dance on the floor with any man or any woman they choose. I do love that.” -Carlota




Joe Grohens interviewed on National Joe Day


CU-Tango’s very own Joe Grohens celebrated during ‘National Joe Day’, hosted by Current.




Sign up for classes


Tango Radio

  • argentinetangoradio.com/ (Programmed by Balazs Gyenis, Budapest. The only online tango radio 100% dedicated to danceable tangos.)
  • Upcoming Tango Events

    • July 30, 2016
      8:00 pmTANGUERO Recital
      IU Jacobs School of Music, 205 S Jordan Ave, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA { Map }

    • August 1, 2016
      7:00 pmPizza M Practica Milonga.
      208 W Main St, Urbana, IL 61801, USA { Map }

    • August 3, 2016
      7:30 pmFree Lesson
      Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor Street, Champaign, IL { Map }

    • August 3, 2016
      8:00 pmCowboy Monkey Tango Night
      Cowboy Monkey, 6 Taylor St. Champaign, IL { Map }

    • August 4, 2016
      7:30 pmBeg. Tango Class
      Illini Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St, Urbana, IL 61801 { Map }

    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 3rd Saturday of each month.
    Please check Calendar for last-minute changes.