Portland Tango Festival
for absolute beginners

Saturday October 14 2017

Portland boasts one of the largest and well respected tango communities in North America! Come experience for yourself the magic of this passionate and captivating dance. We’ve designed an evening of “Bite Size Tango” to appeal to absolute beginners and provide a gentle introduction to tango.


  • Take an introductory tango class with your partner to learn the basics (no experience necessary)
  • Socialize with fellow first-time dancers at the happy hour
  • Attend the Grand Ball
  • Hear and see live music directly from Buenos Aires performed by the Cachivache Quintet
  • See amazing dance performances by professional Argentine Tango dancers
  • Take advantage of a discounted price if you acquire a ticket by September 15, 2017

This package is designed for you to come as a couple, with a partner, friend or a date!

How do I sign up?

Come to the Norse Hall on Saturday October 14, 2017 between 7pm and 8pm. Online registration for the Bite Size is now closed.

Where? When?

The entire Bite Size event takes place at

  • Norse Hall,  111 NE 11th Ave, Portland, OR 
  • Saturday October 14, 2017. 
  • The class starts at 8pm, followed by happy hour
  • Around 9:45pm entrance to the Milonga
  • Live music will start at 10:00pm
  • Performances will happen at around 11:00pm.

The Milonga, which is the way tango dancers call the party where the social dancing happens, ends at 6am, but, don't worry, you do not need to stay so late. We hope that you will stay at least to see the wonderful shows with our excellent tango teachers.

Who is our instructor?

  Alex Krebs

Alex Krebs

Portland based tango instructor and iconic presence in the Portland tango community, Alex Krebs will instruct the Bite Size Program for 2017.

Alex has been dancing since 1997, when very young decided to make tango the center and inspiration of his life. Besides being an amazing talented tango dancer and teacher, Alex plays the bandeneon and has his own professional band that performed many times at previous Portland Tango Festivals. Alex owns a historical tango studio, the renowned Tango Berrettin, where he teaches regular classes and which has become, along the years the center of many of the tango related activities that happen in town.

For more information visit Alex's website:


Dress to Impress! Here are some general guidelines to help you feel comfortable and confident arriving at the dance hall.


  • You will see most ladies wearing flowing dresses about knee length that allow for free movement of the legs. If the dress is too long it might get caught in your heel.
  • Dress pants are also commonplace, as long as they allow for easy movement.
  • High heels or comfortable shoes that are not rubber soled. Many will wear leather soled shoes that allow for pivoting.
  • Avoid large belt buckles or accessories that might get caught on your partner.


  • You will see many men wearing slacks and button up shirts.
  • Some men will wear full suits to look extra sharp.
  • Comfortable dress shoes that are not sneakers. Many will wear leather soled shoes that allow for pivoting.

During the Dance

  • Dancing 3-4 songs (or 1 set or as tango people call it, "tanda") with the same person is customary before you say “Thank you” and find another partner.
  • Saying “Thank you” is code word for “I’d like to stop dancing now, let’s take a break.”
  • Since we use our movement to communicate, talking while dancing is generally discouraged.
  • Don’t try to correct your partner while on the dance floor. If a move is not working, try something else!
  • Tango is a traveling dance; the line of dance is counter clockwise.
  • Respect other dancers’ space by not crowding too close to them. No tailgating!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Milonga?

A milonga is an event where people come to socialize and dance tango.

What is a tanda?

DJs will group 3 or 4 songs together by the same orchestra and this is called a tanda (set of 3-4 songs). A tanda is distinguished by a “cortina” which is a non-tango song that indicates a break in the set. It is customary to say thank you at the end of the tanda unless you’d like to keep dancing.

What is a cabaceo?

A cabeceo is the traditional way of asking someone to dance without actually speaking. A dancer (male or female) will make eye contact, hold contact, and make a nodding motion to the floor. If you agree, you will nod and walk towards each other. If you decline, you will look away.

Can a woman ask a man to dance?

Women generally use the cabeceo (see previous question) to ask a man to dance.

Can I say no if someone asks me to dance?

Yes. You are not required to dance with someone just because they ask. If you decline, it is polite to give a reason like “I’m taking a break”, but a simple “no thank you” is also acceptable.