Since 2011 the Tinkers have been teaching tango to people with and without disabilities. Their core experience is in working with people with Down Syndrome, but they have also successfully taught people with various conditions, including persons on the Autism spectrum and with physical impairments, for example, they have been working with several groups of blind people.

 The tango workshop series “Embracing Tango”/ ”Abrazando el tango”, has been taking place each year since 2012 from November to March in South America and from April to October in Europe. So far the workshops have been held in Uruguay, Argentina, Colombia, Austria, Switzerland, Germany, and Spain. From 2016 they will also be held in France. These activities are realized in cooperation with local associations of people with disabilities in each country.

Embracing Tango/ Abrazando el Tango:

Why tango as a social-inclusion tool?

Tango is a language that does not require words nor visual contact. The physical contact happens on a very subtle level and hence allows the participants to explore and develop their motor and sensory habits.

The main goal of the inclusive tango lessons is to listen, learn and trust each other, no matter where we come from, which social status we belong to, which age or sexual orientation we might have, which individual needs we all have to satisfy. In the inclusion class, there is no right or wrong, no errors. It encourages you to be yourself.

In the workshops, participants learn new ways of feeling and connecting with themselves and with their partners through the embrace, which is the essence of tango. By getting acquainted with the music and the basic elements of tango, people find their own artistic and personal expression in a playful way. This also has a positive impact on their sensory, motor, and cognitive abilities.

The teaching method that the Tinkers have developed allows anyone, with or without disabilities, to participate in the workshops.

The workshops can be of one day, one week, or one month, depending on the group and context. Yet all the formats have in common the same approach and methodology. In the class, the teachers feel the energy of the group and adapt the program to the conditions and attendees. The persons who accompany the participants with disabilities (family members, care-takers, etc.) are also invited to join if they wish so.

Tango represents intrinsic inclusive values, respect for diversity, a tool equally for personal growth and for building communities, as well as for developing a sense of belonging in society.

We are constantly building further our network of collaborators among disability associations, inclusion initiatives, artists, researchers, and venues with similar interests. Feel free to contact us for any suggestions in this direction!