Mariposa has found a glorious new venue, bright and spacious and, well, heavenly for dancing. Balham's Spiritual Centre provides a wooden floored high ceiling room with a stage for Alan's musical treats and seating for tango watchers or those who want a quick chat between tandas.
What sets Mariposa apart from other milongas? The music and the ambience. Dancers agree that there is a friendly spirit amongst tangueros such that anyone who wants to be on the floor is soon invited to be there. Even potential wallflowers are coaxed into bloom with Alan's seductive tracks and 'ladies choose' milongas.
Many dancers hone their skills thanks to Alan's lessons, which are clear and comprehensive. He is warm and welcoming to newcomers and attentive to stalwart supporters. My favourite Sunday unwind…
The moment you enter La Mariposa the ambience strikes you as
more reminiscent of a seedy Buenos Aires Burdelo than an occasional
south London Tango Club but this is where the negatives end.
Alan Wallace and Ros Freedman have created in the heart of fashionable
Clapham probably the most vibrant and authentic Argentine Tango
club in Greater London. This is Argentine Tango the way it was
danced and enjoyed during the Golden Era.
Worth coming early to catch the 2 hour classes taken by Alan
Wallace (who IMHO is the No1 teacher in the capital), assisted
by Ros Freedman. His instructions break down all the moves into
easy steps and included are every detail of the man’s lead
so you really can execute these useful figures in the two and
a half hour Milonga that follows.
At La Mariposa the DJ listens to the dancers and plays music
the customers want. So, on the playlist are the Great classics
– El Choclo, La Yumba, La Cumparsita, Comme Il Faut, La
Payancea, Derech Viejo and Por Una Cabeza for starters and then
there are the fabulous Milonga tracks - Reliquias Porteñas,
Milonga de mis Amores and Un Baile de Beneficio not to mention
Great Tango Vals tracks and (La Mariposa specials) tracks which
while non-traditional are absolutely fantastic. An afternoon here
is an experience to wash away the week-end blues and lift the
spirits ready to face Monday morning.
La Mariposa has been a regular Sunday afternoon fixture for me
for the past 2 years. The atmosphere is consistently convivial
and friendly. Alan and Ros do their utmost to make newcomers feel
The tuition is very clear and precise consisting of useable figures
and sometimes more challenging moves.
Apart from the benefits of the lesson and Milonga, La Mariposa
affords the opportunity to socialise and chat whilst slurping
tea and munching biscuits.
I would without hesitation recommend La Mariposa to anyone wishing
to spend a care free afternoon in a jovial setting.
I can honestly say their teaching is an inspiration to me, every
time I see their teaching and demonstration, it is so clear and
precise. It is up to you as a dancer to find a couple that inspires
you and may become firm friends in time.
La Mariposa has to be one of the friendliest clubs I dance at.
Alan and Ros give clear, worked through instruction and the music
is fantastic. The present venue of Wessex House at Clapham Junction
gives one a splendid feeling of faint decadence! No natural light
and faded decor. Delicious on a sunny Sunday afternoon!
Hope that sums it up!
The friendliest Tango venue in London. A warm welcome, great
atmosphere, teaching and music.
Nothing is better than spending a Sunday afternoon learning new
steps and then putting them into practise in the most friendly
tango venue in London.
Nobody plays as good music as Alan does.
Mariposa is a very friendly group where first class, stylish
tango lessons are given by Alan and Ros in an easy to follow,
detailed fashion. Very good tango music is consistently provided
and large crowds, as a result, are attracted every weekend.
Friendliest Milonga in London. Clear teaching style and fantastic
We have been coming to La Mariposa for about 4 years now. Great
atmosphere, excellent programme and really danceable tango music
as well friendly people.The teaching is very carefully prepared
and very detailed so that you always learn something you can use
and, before we forget, great venue with good wooden floor and
a hint of decadence in the décor.
Beth & Tom
My first steps in the Tango were taken under the patient guidance
of Ros and Alan, on a sunny autumn day in Battersea. It was a
matter of minutes before I was hooked. They create in La Mariposa
a safe and friendly place for budding tangueros to learn, practise
and meet interesting people. And Ros's cakes are fantastic! *
The Tango is an amazing dance, but it's more than a dance if you
let it touch you and take you on a journey. My Tango journey brought
me to live in Buenos Aires and I will always thank Ros and Alan
for starting me off with those first steps.
Un abrazo, Rachel
Rachel Sloan (*Sadly no longer have time for baking.)