[Update: Since I wrote this, Frank and Karen Davis have begun to organize an Argentine Tango community here in Salem. Check out their website for info about the Tango classes being taught by Elizabeth Wartluft of Portland. On September 3 the Salem paper had an interesting story about the classes.]
Fellow Salemites, even though we live in Oregon's boring capital city, there's untapped passion in our rain-drenched souls.
That's why we need to bring Argentine Tango classes back to town. Thanks to Peter Gysegem, of Corvallis, weekly classes were offered during 2006 – which Laurel and I started taking in February with initially tangled results.
The past year was a hiatus, as Peter's classes had stopped, but now Lora of RJ Dance Studio is hoping to schedule some Argentine Tango workshops. And maybe regular classes.
Here's what Lora said in a recent email newsletter:
A good friend and teacher from Portland has offered to bring her partner and come to Salem to do a group of one-day workshops in Argentine Tango. She has been teaching Argentine Tango for 10 years, and is very good at it.
There have been several inquiries regarding Argentine Tango classes and dances here in Salem. These workshops would be a testing opportunity to actually see who really wants this. If there is enough interest, a set of regular classes could be formed along with a monthly Tango Only dance. We'd need at least 10 couples to make this fly. 20 couples would be better.
Argentine Tango has a different posture, dance hold and characteristic than American Ballroom Tango. Because of its extremely close hold, I suggest you come with your own partner, or with someone who you don't mind being VERY close to. But please remember, this is still just a DANCE!
The date and times are to be determined by the availability of the teacher. You, meanwhile can let me know what day (or evening) of the week would work best for you and we will try to coordinate as best we can.
If you live in the Salem area and are interested in learning Argentine Tango, contact Lora directly.
Wikipedia has a good description of this dance. It can be addictive. Argentine Tango is quite a bit more spontaneous and unpatterned than other couple dances.
As the Wikipedia article says, in most other styles the follower has a good idea of what move is coming next from the leader. With Argentine Tango, though:
The ballast of previous perceptions about strict rules has to be thrown overboard and replaced by a real communication contact, creating a direct non-verbal dialogue. A tango is a living act in the moment as it happens.
This is why it makes sense to speak of Tango Zen and the Tao of Tango. We're talking about more than dance here, if you want to get all philosophical about the dance (which, let me assure you, you don't need to).
For a hot example of professional Argentine Tango, check out the video at the end of this post.