What The Dickins: A Tale Of Edinburgh City

The Edinburgh Tango Festival is here!

Edinburgh International Tango Festival

The Edinburgh International Tango Festival is back for its 10th edition this year on the 26th-29th of May. It’s a lot more than dance performances – there are also many workshops and you can even learn to tango yourself! We asked one of the organisers a few questions, so keep reading to find out more about the festival.

1. Can you tell us a little bit about how the festival got started?

After the Edinburgh Tango Society celebrated its 10th Anniversary we realised that there was a desire for more big events in Edinburgh Tango. So we came up with the idea of an event that would bring some of the best dancers and orchestras in the world to Edinburgh, aiming to provide a great weekend for all tango dancers. And they come from all over the world for it!

Edinburgh International Tango Festival

2. You are celebrating the 10th edition of the festival this year – how are you going to make this year extra special?

Usually we have one ball featuring a live orchestra. This year we have two balls each featuring one of the world’s top 3 tango orchestras. We are also offering some unique workshops, which we specially commissioned from one of the orchestras and one of the visiting teachers.

3. Is there a history of tango in Edinburgh?

Yes, tango in Edinburgh started some 20 years ago. Tango was reintroduced to Edinburgh in 1997 by teachers David and Biljana (TangoMania) from London. From nothing, there are now over 150 people dancing tango, at classes, practicas and salons (and 250 on the discussion list). In May 1998, Dancebase, a local dance school brought Marcelo Mazia from Buenos Aires to teach tango full time, and he was replaced by Ricardo Oria in 2001.

Edinburgh International Tango FestivalEdinburgh International Tango Festival

4. If you were to attend only one event this year, what would you recommend?

Difficult to say…Could I possibly recommend two? If so Saturday and Sunday Ball, given that we have orchestras on those nights. There are dance exhibitions on every night. The afternoon dance sessions at the Festival Cafe are laid back. The workshops are taught by world class teachers/artists.

5. You also do a beginners and refreshers course as part of the festival, could you tell us a bit more about that?

The refreshers course is aimed at people who used to dance in the past but haven’t done it for a while.
The beginner’s course is suitable for those you have never danced tango before, or those who would like to go over the very basics again.
Both courses will be taught by some of Edinburgh most experiences teachers. They run on Saturday 27th May and Sunday 28th May from 11:45 to 13:15 (in different rooms, of course).


6. Are there any tango classes in Edinburgh you could recommend for anyone wanting to learn tango outside the festival?

Yes, there are a few options in Edinburgh.

  • Jenny and Ricardo Oria offer different classes on Tuesdays at Dance Base and Wednesdays at Pilrig Church. On Thursdays there is the opportunity to review during the Core Tango session and to practice at Practica Redonda.
    More info here.
  • There is a complete beginner free taster class every Sunday, 5:45pm – 7pm currently at Cafe Camino, 1 Little King Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3JR (regular venue The Counting House undergoing refurbishment).
    Please check here to find out more details and confirming the venue.
  • Depending on the time of the year, there could be a beginners class on Tuesdays between 6-7pm at the Counting House, West Nicolson Street, EH8 9DD.
  • Mainly aimed at students from any of the universities, there are classes at the Edinburgh University Tango Society. New term start in September though.
    More info here.

Coming to Edinburgh for the Tango Festival?


We’re already hosting many guests that are coming to Edinburgh for the tango festival and would love to host you too! We provide lovely unique self catering apartments in the Old Town, New Town, Bruntsfield, West End, Stockbridge and more. All our homes have been handpicked by us and are fully equipped with WiFi included. Stay with us and you’ll feel like a local!

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