This inventive style of dance is like no other.
Every Friday night in Carlson Gymnasium, a community of tango enthusiasts greets one another with open arms for a spectacular night. Ninety percent of the group come without a partner, and the ratio of males to females works out to allow everyone to find one. As the night progresses, everyone will rotate partners anyway.
Never tried Argentine Tango? Not to worry, everyone seems to have a fun time, regardless of the ability of the dancer.
“I’d never danced but thought I would enjoy it. I’ll be back next week,” said Stefan Gomez, a freshman linguistics major who had never tangoed before attending his first CU Tango Club Night.
The night begins with an entry-level instruction class for an hour. The first lesson is teaching each dancer to follow their partner and learn to mimic their movements. Instructors Nick Jones and Amy Anderson use comedy to help bring more personality to this dance.
This YouTube video is an example of the playfulness Jones and Anderson bring to their tango.
This is no formal ballroom dance class. Argentine Tango began in Buenos Aires as a free-flowing dance that first appeared in clubs. Part of the beauty of this dance is it’s more about the movement between each dancer and their partner than getting a bunch of steps right.
Now, hour two of practice begins with a quick recap on the basics, and then it’s back to dancing. Jones and Anderson will show everyone a few new steps that each couple can incorporate in their dance if they so choose. As the night progresses, each person will get more creative with their moves as they become more comfortable with dancing tango.
During the last hour and a half there is “practica,” a chance to practice all the moves with a DJ spinning a mix of good tunes. At the end of the night the group will often carpool to Denver, taking their tango moves to the club scene.
“Yes, I’ll be back next week. The instructors are great,” said Bounkheana Chhun, another first-time tango dancer and a sophomore environmental engineering major.
Believe it or not, the basement of Carlson Gymnasium has been the home of CU Tango Club Night since 2002, said tango instructor John Miller. Miller said he first heard about CU Tango Club Night from the weekly student Buff Bulletin back when he was a CU student. Miller and many others came several years ago and have been hooked on the tango craze ever since.
Laura Tate, a first-timer and senior international affairs major, said she heard about CU Tango Club Night from her friends four years ago and finally came to check it out.
“Wild horses couldn’t stop me from coming again,” Tate said.
The beginning class starts at 7 p.m. every Friday night. The class is $4 for students and $8 for non-students.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Heidi Glauser at Heidi.firstname.lastname@example.org.