A practica is a “tango playground”.
A place where you are practicing what you’ve learned, catching up with what you’ve missed, learning ahead challenging your own limits. It is a place where you start dancing – banding together all the elements that you have picked up at classes into harmonious dance. It’s where you gain confidence in yourself as a dancer. You meet people, chat during breaks and enter deeper into what tango is.
If you only peeped through the window, you would certainly be at least curious for an explanation on what is going on over there: people of clearly different dance levels at the same place, various generations in interaction, trying out some movements, making a pause to question themselves on how to deliver them better, calling on an instructor… A small group of people in front of the mirror following an instructor who is showing exercises every once in a while. Along the edge of the room someone’s meditatively walking, taking care of every millimeter of his movement and of the couples that dance in the middle of the space. Especially of those who are lost within an embrace. 🙂
A practica can serve any purpose you want it to, which is why many prefer it to other programmes – it is not strictly structured like a class is, and it can be more relaxing to make a mistakes at a practica than at a milonga (dance evening). Practicas usually last from two to two and a half hours – you can come and leave whenever you wish.
At the beginning you might be confused by the freedom of choice that you have, but you will quickly learn how to use it. 🙂