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Couple bringing Argentine tango to Richmond April 13th

Together, couple Anna León and Cristian Bravo have more than 30 years of professionally teaching and performing all over the world. Just over a year ago, they created Virginia Tango to bring the art (and fun) of authentic Argentine tango to Virginia. 

Trevor Dickerson

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Together, couple Anna León and Cristian Bravo have more than 30 years of professionally teaching and performing all over the world. Just over a year ago, they created Virginia Tango to bring the art (and fun) of authentic Argentine tango to Virginia.

“It’s more than teaching people how to dance,” says León. “It’s really a social club. The community aspect is really appealing to our students.”

León and Bravo will be performing during the Richmond Ballet’s “Milonga: An Evening of Tango on April 13. In addition to an intimate cocktail hour and Argentine-inspired dinner, the pair will perform on stage.

Proceeds from the evening will support Richmond Ballet’s ability to provide broader access to its education programs through the School of Richmond Ballet and more.

“We’re so proud to be part of the gala and to support the power of dance during this event,” Bravo says. “This is authentic Argentine tango and we know more people will fall in love with it just like we have.”

Bravo got his start at 10 years old. Over his 31-year tango journey, Cristian has placed and won championships, danced in countless shows, taught tango salon, stage, and master classes all over the world and in prominent schools in Buenos Aires. He is a member of the CID/UNESCO International Dance Council as well as a member of the association of teachers and choreographers of Argentine tango (AMBCTA).

Anna grew up listening to tango music and then lived in Buenos Aires in her 20’s.  Anna has studied under many teachers, and has taught and performed in cities across North America from Los Angeles to Montreal.⁠

Anna & Cristian started dancing together in 2022 and won 1st place in Vals and 2nd in Milonga at the ATUSA championship as well as 1st place in the professional categories the Las Vegas Tango Championship in 2023.⁠

Students and milonga event guests are just as drawn to the pair as they are excited to learn the intricacies of the dance. Many students also say they come regularly to classes and events as a creative outlet and to meet and connect with other people.

“I love style and I love movement and it intrigues me because it’s a way to step outside of what I’m normally doing,” says student Jenn Koch who just started taking classes and private lessons this spring. “I let my brain and my thoughts go for the day and so many cool people come.”

Long-time student Francois agreed with Jenn: “It’s a lot about having a creative activity outside of day-to-day work.”

“They have this growth mindset that really brings the student to improve their dance,” he said. “We are really privileged to  have such good instructors here in Richmond.

Virginia Tango offers several programs and events. This year, they are offering long-term “Curriculums” every season. Leon says this is the fastest way for students to learn tango. The curriculum fees cover classes several days a week as well as access to all other Virginia Tango events.

“We created the curriculum model to act like a membership,” León says. “It offers a great value to our students who are coming weekly to classes, lessons and events.”

León and Bravo also offer private lessons to individuals and couples, some of whom are preparing for their weddings. To welcome beginners, interested students can find regular open classes and practicas in both Charlottesville and Richmond areas.

Milongas are where the social aspect of Argentine tango really comes to life. These parties allow guests to get dressed up, let loose, and enjoy authentic Argentian food.

“We invite everyone in Virginia to seize the opportunity to meet new people, enjoy unique experiences, and be a part of our community as we open the doors to the world of Tango in Virginia,” says Anna León.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.