Stepping out

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tango

The irresistible rhythms of Argentine tango have completely captured Emma Pease VN of Avenue Road Stirling Veterinary Surgery in SA.

“There’s a difference between tango and Argentine tango. Tango, or ballroom tango, requires you to learn certain steps and perform them in a specific order. Argentine tango is free-flowing. You learn the steps and the moves but it can be performed in any order. It’s fully improvised and you never know what’s coming next. Your partner will do a certain move and you have to respond in a way that keeps the dance flowing and cohesive. It’s great fun.

“Over the years I’ve been involved with a few different styles of dance including salsa, swing and bachata. I always wanted to try Argentine tango but I thought you needed a permanent partner. Despite this, I joined a beginner’s class at Southern Cross Tango in Adelaide and discovered everyone was solo. You just pair up to dance.

“As it turns out, I met my partner, Shaun, at Tango classes. He was helping out in the beginner’s classes because there’s usually more ladies than men. Things blossomed during the lessons and we’ve been dancing together ever since.

“There are social dancing events called milongas that take place regularly. The DJ plays various types of tango music. There’s usually a bar and you just mingle and have a really good time. It’s an elegant evening. The women wear nice, flowing dresses and the men wear suits.

“Argentine tango is also a great form of exercise. Some of the songs are fast. You’re moving constantly and you can certainly work up a sweat. When you’re dancing, all life’s stresses melt away. You’re in the moment, connecting with your partner. All you need to think about is the dance.

“Learning the tango has also given me a desire to visit Argentina. I started just before COVID but there’s a trip in my future. There’s a big tango festival in Buenos Aires every year that I’m desperate to attend.

“The thing about Argentine tango is that it completely captures you. You have a real connection with your dance partner whether it’s your life partner or not. I’ve partnered with some wonderful dancers who have swept me off my feet because I enjoyed it so much. It’s also very challenging. There’s always something else to learn. 

“The Argentine tango community is a lovely bunch. Everyone’s so warm and welcoming and I’ve made many lifelong friends. I’ve been dancing Argentine tango for six years now and there’s many years of tango in my future.”

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