argentine tango in vancouver


Argentine Tango in Vancouver, BC Canada 

Lessons by Semiral


*** In 2010 only Intermediate/Advance classes are scheduled for now

*** Classes start March 2


                                                                                                                                               Why tango with Semiral?

*** The School is now closed; enjoy the holiday season ***

Beginners Tango




Tuesdays 8:30 - 9:45

Edam Performing Arts Society

303 East 8th Avenue Map



Tango for the beginners.  Emphasis is on the fundamentals of the social tango in the style of Buenos Aires, Argentina: posture, movement, partnership, navigation and floor craft.  Lots of exercises, practices and fun!  The goal is to get you dancing from day one!

8 weeks $120 per person, No partner necessary, pay online or Click here to register by email and pay at the door.  No refunds for missed classes.

$15 Discount for couples and (full time) students.  This amount will be refunded upon online registration.

Drop-in $15


Info on social ances


Watch Guler & Semiral improvising a tango at our Saturday Milonga


March 2 - 23 (4 weeks)

Tuesdays 7:30 - 8:45

Edam Performing Arts Society

303 East 8th Avenue Map


Intermediate students with at least 1 year of exposure to tango with dancing experience. 

Learn how to bring more advanced concepts such as colgadas, volcadas, enrosques, sacadas and boleos into your close embrace salon tango..

4 weeks $50 per person, No partner necessary, pay online or Click here to register by email and pay at the door.  No refunds for missed classes.

Drop-in $15


Info on social dances


Watch Guler & Semiral improvising a milonga at our Saturday Milonga

Pay by Credit Card Online -- Secure, Convenient and At No Cost to you




(Please keep your receipt and bring to the first lesson.  Payment will be made to El Pibe Del Tango - Registered Trade Name of Baila Tango/Vancouver.  No subscriptions to PayPal required. Do not select shipping)
All levels

On Saturday Milonga Nights

8:30 - 9:30pm (before our monthly milonga)

Yasel Dancesport Academy

4603 Main Street, 2nd Floor Map


Secrets of improvisation in tango.  How to bring musicality, partnership, floorcraft and figures all together.

As BailaTango we also support other teachers in our tango community.  As a result, these drop-in lessons are  taught by rotating visiting teachers.

$10 Drop-in. All levels.  Beginners welcome. No partner necessary.





About Semiral...


Tango Terms...



Back to Tango In Vancouver











Why tango with Semiral?

I consider myself very privileged to have tango in my life.  Tango has changed my life all for the better and I love to share this passion with you so that you can enjoy the tango the same way.  In my lessons you will find:

I am a proud member of the BailaTango family.  BailaTango the worlds leading tango school brings together many talented individuals (highly successful professionals in various fields) who share the same passion: tango.   Lead by Metin Yazir, BailaTango has created tango communities in several cities around the world.  BailaTango instructors, based on Metin Yazir’s methodology, teach in other cities and promote tango internationally in the same consistent manner that follows the codes of the authentic tango of Buenos Aires.

I have studied tango with world's top tango masters both in Buenos Aires and elsewhere.   Carlos Gavito and Eric Jorissen in the early years, Susana Miller, Cacho Dante and Fabian Salas in the mid term, and Metin Yazir in recent years were all inspiring and instrumental in my training. 

I keep on creating opportunities  in Vancouver for others to do the same by organizing workshops and special events with them.  My regular practices and dances which started in 1996 still continue regularly.  I love to DJ and bring the best music of Buenos Aires to the tango lovers as well.  I dance all styles of tango and performed with Vancouver's tango band Tango Paradiso for several years. 

(I am an Information Technology consultant and trainer, devoted to the promotion of a healthy life style.  I practice tensegrity, yoga and meditation and enjoy spending time outdoors.)


Biography by Francis Nowazynki




Tango in Vancouver...  







Testimonials & feedback

In Vancouver

"Semiral is very encouraging & gives praise for progress.  He patiently problem solves with the students if they encounter difficulties executing a new figure.  He is open to questions and always reviews the figures at the end of each class.  He is very approachable and friendly; each class is a positive experience, you leave feeling you have achieved something and return to the next class with enthusiasm.  My partner is much more confident and has learnt a great deal about learning." - Norah


"Feeling the Vancouver winter blahs? ... Take tango lessons with Semiral and you feel much better, trust me!" - Brian Moorhead 


"This has been an excellent introduction to a very difficult dance.  It has been a lovely and effective mix of solid fundamental skills, interesting, challenging moves and variations.  It has given me both the confidence and the desire to continue pursuing tango." Toby Chernoff


"After having been to Buenos Aires lately, where all teachers are great dancers but not necessarily good educators, Semiral’s workshop on milonguero style was a great surprise and superior to those I had in Buenos Aires. His step by step approach covered all aspects of the close embrace style leading up to an ocho cortado with a beatiful finish. The only regret I had, after having taken all 3 workshops totaling 4.5 hours, was that it all ended too soon." - Claudio Bigler


"In Buenos Aires, the dance floor could be packed with 200 or more dancers but still each couple would be lost in their own world - led by the music not by the steps. Some couples would move effortlessly - their entire bodies interpreting the music even when pausing. Semiral initiated us into this world by showing us clearly and simply how to dance like this."- Hazel Baxter.


"Last weekend I attended the workshops given by Semiral on the close embrace style of tango. I found the lessons well-organized, with a lot of information presented in a clear and understandable way. I liked his analysis and explanation of the various moves and the way he demonstrated them. I came away feeling that I had learned a lot."- John Sanders.


"I am a stickler for technique, and I was pleased to find  the workshops very informative in explaining what the techniques should be along with what it should feel like while dancing close embrace.  You explained things from the very base, which I think is the stance or posture (without that how can you do the steps well?) and you gave people time to practice it. It's not natural for us in Canada to dance so close to someone. Also when you could, you tried to give people individual attention to help them out. Then when you went onto teaching the steps, you broke them down to very understandable chunks. Once again giving us ample time to figure things out. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop and was pleased to see such a good turnout."- Wendy Hatanaka.


"I was very happy with the workshop. I think it is a very practical approach to a style that only people who know the Buenos Aires floors can teach."- Juan Carlos B.


"I find you are a clear communicator, both verbally and physically. Your description of technique and your demonstrations match. As well, your balance between talk and demonstration is effective. I particularly like the way you breakdown the elements of figure. The breakdown and progression is logical. For me this is a critical factor in good teaching and learning. You always seem to be around during the practice phase. Whenever I have have a question you make yourself available and take the time to be sure I understand ( even if the question is stupid). Other instructors are less forthcoming and even a little harsh in their feedback. I get the feeling you are very sincere in your desire to actually teach people and not just figures. Finally, your explanation and demonstration of "how to lead the cross" will remain fresh in my mind forever. I have had many teachers, but no one has demystified the cross lead the way you did."- Mike A.


"I have been taking lessons from many instructors, local ones, visiting masters and some in Buenos Aires.  Semiral is one of them.  I received so much precious experiences from each one of them.  But Semiral is special for me.  He is the one who made me a “tanguera”- love tango and be crazy about it!" - Fumiko K.


"The Teaching style that Semiral uses to guide the participants is relaxed and fun so that its conducive to the social dance environment. He is also supportive of leaning from various other teachers so that a student can develop ones own style of the dance and respect the original elegance of the Argentine art. He is my favorite of the Argentine Tango instructors." - Roger S.


"As I arrived at my first milonga in Buenos Aires, I realized there was another dimension to Tango - the close embrace or milonguero style.  Couples moving together, very intimately.  The expressions on the faces of the dancers suggested a pleasure only attained by first time lovers or in dreams.  I had to adjust very fast to participate in that bliss." - Claude E.

In Calgary

Just a little note to say thank you so much for a wonderful workshop weekend. We all enjoyed your very clear and logical teaching style enormously; we're hungry for more!! We've had lots of very positive feedback from our students and I believe you've also left Fern, Ara, Richard and myself feeling freshly inspired to keep Tango growing in Calgary. I know I can speak for the group when I say, we would love to have you come back again to share some more of your knowledge with us.

In Victoria 

"Semiral's teaching goes straight to the heart of tango. His classes focus on the essential core of the dance, the posture, the relationship with your partner, the pace, your style. Not to the exclusion of steps, of course. Semiral's style is relaxed, and his humour makes his classes easy going and fun!". - Tom, Victoria 


"I thoroughly enjoyed your three workshops, all equally well. Most of all I liked your clarity. I am very impressed with your ways of structuring classes, developing movement sequences, being clear as to rhythm and musicality. You allowed just the right amount of time to explore and practice movements before going on to the next teaching module. Also, I liked trying out steps by myself, in the groups (leads, followers, large group), and with a partner. Having you ask us to change partners frequently and regularly was helpful, i.e. neither did I have to get stuck with someone I did not care so much to dance with, nor did I have to make excuses. You kept me engaged for five hours of workshops non stop. So again, thank you very much for a wonderful Sunday of tango, waltz,and milonga. I am hoping to have more opportunities to learn from you and I wish you very well,"- Beatrix, Salt Spring Island.


"Your teaching style is very organized, clear, exact and patient. I really like how you broke down all the parts and steps and then put them all together and that there was a continuity through the three workshops. I appreciated that you didn't try to teach too much, yet gave enough of a challenge to those there. I am looking forward to doing more workshops with you ." - Laura K., Salt Spring Island


"I greatly enjoyed the workshop and was impressed with your teaching style."- Darlene P., Victoria



Tango in Vancouver...  










Tango Terms

ABRAZO: Embracing your partner.

ACADEMIC BASIC:  The 8-count basic that is commonly taught to beginners outside Buenos Aires. A sequence of a salida, cruzada and resolucion.

AMAGUE: A (quick) embellishment that looks like a cross (fake) without weight shift.  It is done without taking up a beat, like a fake interception of the walk.   Either improvised or lead.  It may also be high or low.

ARRASTRE: Dragging partner’s foot between two points of a step either during a walk or turn.

BOLEO: In a sudden change of direction (say from backward to forward ocho) foot’s desire to continue the movement and its commonly exaggerated swinging action. May be high or low, linear or circular. 

CADENCIA:  Steps done in a rhythm of syncopation.

CALECITA: A merry-go-around. Leader’s circular move around the follower - keeping them on their own axis. 

CAMINAR:  Walking; the core of Argentine tango dancing

CIERRE: Closing. A three step sequence that ends with both feet together (resolucion)

CORRIDA: A run. Two quick relatively small steps taken on the same beat and repeated if desired.

CORTE: Cutting the music either by syncopating or by holding several beats such as a parada, quebrada or pausing.

CRUZADA: Follower’s cross: left foot over the right side of the right foot.

DIBUJO: Drawing. To trace your partner's foot.

ENGANCHE:  Leader’s wrapping his leg from inside around his partner's leg.

ENROSQUE:  One of leader’s adornments while leading a molinete.  One foot crossed and dragged behind the other pivoting foot.

FIRULETE: Embellishment or adornment normally executed quickly between steps therefore not interrupting the flow or the walk.  However, leisurely embellishments during pauses are also common during which the partner waits

FANTASIA: Style of tango used for performance.

GANCHO: Hook. Continuing (normally exaggerated) sharp movement of the leg when it is intercepted by the partner’s leg during a walk or a backward ocho.

GIRO: Leader’s basic turn while leading a molinete each time catching the follower’s behind foot.

LAPIZ: Pencil. One of leader’s adornments while leading a molinete.   Drawing circle(s) on the floor with the point of the foot while pivoting on the other foot.

LLEVADA: Carrying your partners leg from one point to another with your leg.  As in walking forward between partner’s legs while leading a backward ocho as soon as she transfers weight on back foot.

MEDIA VUELTA: Half a turn.

MILONGA: Has two meanings.  Milonga the dance, the elder, cheerful cousin of tango, still a favourite in the family.  Also milonga the dance party where we dance to the music of tango, milonga and tango-vals.

MILONGUERO: Traditionally used for the tango aficionado who frequents milongas.  Also used for the rhythmic style predominantly popular in milongas at the heart of Buenos Aires.  Other names for this style are: Tango Apilado, Club style, or simply Close Embrace.  The connection with the partner is emphasized rather than complicated footwork.

MOLINETE: The sequence of forward, side (opening), back steps (not necessarily in that order) done in a “circular” path (around the leader).  Circular motion naturally implies pivots between steps (looking like half ochos)

MORDIDA: Bite. One partner's foot is sandwiched between the other partner's
feet. If the leader’s feet are crossed then it is a reversed mordida.

OCHO: Eight. A step and a pivot done twice (making up a figure 8) plus an initiating pivot.

OCHO CORTADO: A “cut” ocho, typical of milonguero style.  Instead of the pivot of the foreword ocho, the follower is sent to a side step after right foot forward and brought back to a cross on the next, heel first hence, maintaining the close-embrace.

PARADA: Stop. Bringing partner to a stop at the same time placing your foot next to theirs (side, front and even back)

QUEBRADA: A position where the woman stands on one foot, the other one hanging relaxed behind the standing foot, often hanging with all her weight against the man.

RESOLUCION: Ending of a common basic as in cierre.

SACADA:  Swinging motion of partner’s foot (leg) when the other steps inside during a walk or turn.  Commonly followed by a boleo.

SALIDA: First few steps at the beginning of the dance.  Typically as short as a single side step or a back step followed by a side step. 

SALIDA CRUZADA: The first half of a common basic of the follower while leader goes into cross foot relation just after the salida.

SENTADA: Sitting your partner on your lap

STEP: A movement from one point to another on a straight line shifting weight from one foot to another.  The basic element of walking, forward, backward or side.

SYNCOPATION: Playing with the rhythm by shifting of accents on a beat.

TANGO SALON:  The dance style with intricate footwork and various combinations.  Generally danced in an open frame.

VALS: Tango danced to the good old ¾ Vals rhythms.



























$ By Donation

In order to make the classes more accessible I have decided to move away from fixed pricing.   The classes are free only if you cannot effort anything at all, and that is fine.  For others it is up to you to decide what is fair.  (if you still need to know a figure, I might suggest $10)












Tango in Vancouver...