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Triangulo: Boutique Studio For Argentine Tango

Triangulo 1 Dance Dance Studios Flatiron Tenderloin

Gabi, a dancer herself, and a 2016 Manhattan Sideways summer intern, had the pleasure of sitting in on one of Triangulo’s advanced tango classes. She told me that she spent some time admiring the studio, which was a small, cozy space unlike other dance studios she had seen before. Lacking the usual harsh lighting and starkness of dance studios, Triangulo had lovely chandeliers that created an intimate atmosphere. There were also ornate mirrors, a wine bar in the corner, and a mural painted along the back wall depicting the owner and founder, Carina Moeller, as well as assorted current and former students of Triangulo. Gabi later learned that the beautiful mural had been a student’s gift to Carina, who explained to me that much of her success has come about thanks to the generosity of people in the tango community who have lent her their support and friendship over the years.

Triangulo first opened in 1997 on 14th Street within a triangular studio that inspired the business’ name, which means “triangle” in Spanish - a clever choice, given that the studio focuses on teaching Argentinian tango to students of all levels, from novices to experienced dancers. Carina said that she opened the studio without much of a plan, having been urged to teach tango by a friend of hers despite her primary focus on modern dance.

Much to Carina’s delight and surprise, the business soon took off, garnering a loyal base of students. In 2007, Carina searched for an alternate location, eventually finding her current studio on 20th Street. The wooden floors, the mural, and even the chandeliers were all able to be installed thanks to the donations and support of Triangulo’s students, a considerably diverse community.

Even though everyone was dressed quite elegantly - and Gabi freely admitted her awe at the women’s superhuman ability to dance so gracefully in stilettos - the ambiance was relaxed and friendly, with everyone cheerfully helping one another as they learned the new steps. Carina shared with Gabi that they are a varied bunch, with students’ ages ranging from twenty to seventy, and nationalities from across the globe. Of the eighteen or so people who were there on this particular night, only one of them was a couple; the rest were people who had previous tango experience, either with Triangulo or elsewhere, and were paired up in class.

Since it was an advanced class, the pairs were already familiar with basic moves and were therefore being guided through more complex steps by Carina and Dante, another instructor. After the evening’s class ended, they had a Milonga, which they hold every Tuesday and Friday. This is not a class, but rather a time for “social tango,” where anyone can join in, pick a partner, and dance some tango while enjoying drinks from the bar. Carina and Dante highlighted the importance of these events, and of tango in general, as they encourage connection and human touch. In this way, they are able to bring a small slice of Latin America, complete with its flamboyance and vigor, to life.

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Triangulo 1 Dance Dance Studios Flatiron Tenderloin
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