BRING ON THE STEAMY - We’ll be showing off Argentine tango at our Valentine’s Night Out at UAMN event. Turns out, there are a whole group of people in Fairbanks who spend a lot of free time learning and performing the dance. According to one of the organizers, Argentine tango is a beautiful, intimate social dance enjoyed all over the world. But what makes it so special?
"The connection with your partner, the embrace," says Liz V of the group Fairbanks Tango “That’s the source of communication between lead and follow. This embrace can vary within a single dance, but most of the world dances close embrace. The connection allows a couple to dance together, as two heads, one heart, so they really dance together expressing the emotion of the music moment by moment.”
Liz says social tango is completely improvised. There are defining characteristics, but once the basic elements such as posture, walking, and codiga are mastered, it becomes a rhythmic interpretation of the music.
Dancers should wear comfortable clothes, nothing restrictive. Arms are raised in the embrace, so restrictive jackets become uncomfortable. Sometimes large steps are called for, so tight or long skirts can be problematic. Similarly slacks with very large hems can sometimes get caught underfoot.
Liz says she likes to wear knee length skirts with some fullness. “It’s most amenable to the range of motion called for in dancing Argentine tango, while most men end up dancing in shirtsleeves. Leather soled shoes are best, allowing the foot to pivot. Sneakers are too sticky.”
Anyone can learn tango, but you have to start somewhere. Liz says Fairbanks Tango members are down to earth folks who enjoy the dance, and are happy to share their love of tango with others.
Sounds like this is an opportunity to begin your journey. Embrace the embrace!