Classes & Workshops

Winter Classes 2018  with Emma

Tuesdays Jan 9, 16, 23 2-3 pm AND 7:30 -8:30 pm: Personal Training for The Tango dancer

PTango1Foot strength and flexibility, ankle strength and stability, knees: lateral and medial stability, hip and lower back strength, posture, core and upper back integrity, and importantly: balance!

You’ll need a mat and stretchy comfortable clothes. Water bottle. Shoes not necessary.  I’ll supply any other equipment, like stretchy bands etc.

7:30 -8:30 pm, 195 Longfellow st. Portland Maine – Alton’s “White Oak Villa” (FULL)

2-3 pm, 195 Longfellow st. Portland Maine – Alton’s “White Oak Villa” (still have spots available – please inquire)

$30 before Jan 1 or $45 after, $20 single class drop in if space is available. (cash, checks, PayPal and credit cards accepted)


**Your payment is your registration confirmation**


This is a class I have been thinking about and developing for a while.

Being a fitness trainer for over 22 years and a tanguera for over 16, I have noticed that tango dancers face a particular set of postural, muscular and equilibrium challenges. I have collected an array of exercises and stretches to keep myself strong, flexible, balanced and injury-free. I’d love to share this ever-growing set of information with other dancers.

The improvisational nature of the dance necessitates instant changes in direction and timing, strong feet and ankles, core and back, and an acute sense of balance. The kinetic structure flows through floor, feet, legs, torso and embrace to the other partner. It requires core and lumbar strength and integrity through the chain to transfer information clearly and precisely. The flow of energy must travel between leader and follower, requiring a strong yet flexible body structure to create an seamlessly connected and musically pleasurable dance. Plus you have to have a nice, snuggly, firm and integrated embrace, or it’s just a no – go.

Luckily, these qualities transfer equally well off the floor, permeating our daily life and activities. All our motions can be strong, graceful and balanced; simply getting out of a car, effortlessly picking something up, or catching a wobbling child (or adult).

The qualities that improve our dance also improve our life; Improvisational abilities = boosted reaction time; better balance = less prone to tipping, tripping or accidents; stronger muscles in legs and feet = lower limb joint health and strength; good upper back posture = less neck and shoulder pain; spinal flexibility and core strength = decreased risk of lower back pain or sciatica.

By developing my own regimen, observing tango dancers of all levels, and training tango beginners, I have developed a program to benefit all levels of dancer. Appropriate exercises and stretches will offered, and dancers will select training tools to fit their needs under the guidance of a fitness instructor with over two decades of experience. You’ll end up with a 30-60 minute flexible program specifically tailored to your body and your dance.

About the instructor:
Emma Holder has been a fitness instructor since 1996, a personal trainer since 1998, and licensed orthopedic massage therapist since 2000, and teaches a myriad of fitness classes. She is one of the original founding members of the Argentine Tango scene in Portland Maine (2001). She has been following since 2001, leading since 2007, has visited Argentina 8 times to deepen her education in the dance and it’s culture, and dances in a number of other communities. A deep background in body mechanics, anatomy, nutrition, a Masters degree in Microbiology and Immunology and a love of teaching allows Emma to share skills to improve not only Argentine Tango, but also other aspects of an active, healthy and happy life. She is available for private tango lessons, as well as personal training sessions.

207 415 7204

Jan 30, Feb 6,13: Milonga lisa and traspie I: Music and Rhythm

  • musicality, phrasing, embrace, more info TBA
  • 7:30 -8:30pm + 30 min guided practica afterwards
  • $30 before Jan 15, $45 after Jan 15, $20 single class drop in

March 6,13,20 : Milonga lisa and traspie II: Time and Space

  • speed – slow vs fast, how not to be driven by, but instead to use the music, ideas for creating figures, how to instantly morph them to the space you have, dancing musically and simply in tight spaces
  • 7:30 -8:30pm + 30 min guided practica afterwards
  • $30 before Feb 15, $45 after Feb 15, $20 single class drop in