On the 2000 block of Frankford Avenue, the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School looks like the average city rowhome. Its modest exterior is deceiving to fresh eyes because housed in this structure is color, mood, camaraderie and most importantly, tango.
Formed in 2008 and now in its third year at this location, the Philadelphia Argentine Tango School was founded by dancers Meredith Klein and Argentinian native Andres Amarilla. After meeting in Buenos Aries in 2006, Klein and Amarilla traveled the world teaching the art of tango.
It wasn’t until 2008 that Klein and Amarilla moved to Philadelphia. They felt that it would be better to settle in one area to teach. “At a certain point you want to stay in one place and build something,” said Klein. “Philadelphia was a place where there was still more to grow in tango.”
Many of the members of the tango school started as beginners. “We have introduced literally thousands of people since we open the school,” said Klein. “A couple of people were dancing tango before but so many of them who come here started with us.”
Zoey Reese is one of those students who started her tango experience at the school. “My friend recommend it to me and I took the free class,” said Reese. “I took my first steps hear and I have been back ever since.”
The exposure that Reese has experienced through the school has given her an activity to love. “It’s hard. You have to focus and surrender yourself,” said Reese, “but when it works, it is so fun.”
Many of the members of the school travel from all over to take the classes. Members range from residents of the Kensington area to Princeton, N.J. to all the way out in Lancaster, Pa. “We bring people who would have never come into this neighborhood,” said Klein. “We are always making recommendations to our favorite local businesses.”
From May 24 to May 27 the Philadelphia Argentine Tango school will be holding its third annual Philadelphia International Tango Festival. The school will be hosting people from around the country for a weekend tango.
World renowned teachers will hold workshops for dancers of all skill types. “The festival in a nonstop tango experience,” said Klein. “There are not many hours where people are not dancing.”