A Tango Holiday review

Having been a Ceroc dancer for the last six years and a ballet dancer from the age of 6 to 15 the tango experience was a totally different experience.

I booked a ‘tango week’ in Granada, Spain, and didn’t really find out much about it before I went - I was looking forward to the break and the new dance. The group was split into two levels, beginners and intermediate. I (being an absolute beginner) was every day in the dance studio around the corner from the hotel from 10.00 am to 12.00 pm. This was to be a workshop to give a foundation to beginners.

On arrival at the studio I was delighted to see that this was a completely professional set up. The dancers were a couple from Argentina called Carlos and Debora. They spoke no English and had an interpreter with them. I quickly realised that this made no difference at all as they began to teach, it was a dance about responses. The man must lead and the woman must follow, synchronising her steps to match those of her partner. There must be no anticipation of steps (as this could cause a nasty accident as the man leads a woman one way and she has ‘decided’ to go the other). There were a few mishaps in the class such as this and a couple of times couples landed in a heap on the floor but luckily no casualties!

The first night we were taken to the only tango club in Granada which is owned by an Argentinian gentleman (Juan) who told us (again with an interpreter!) about the history of tango. I was completely blown away as I leant that tango music through times changes with migration and happy and sad times. For instance, the tango we are used to hearing and music we recognise dates back to the 1930s and the later music such as the ‘Gotan Project’ is very upbeat thus requiring a faster and happier style of dance.

In my opinion, tango is a very spiritual dance. They say if you can walk you can tango which is I would say is true in a very loose way. It is very important to learn and understand the steps. Only a professional tango dancer could interpret this style of dance in such an easy-going manner. For the rest of us, it is hard work but completely rewarding and gives a feelgood factor that only dance can do! I was amazed at how important the theory that Juan gave us taught me to understand this most special dance. The dance has so much history and feelings that I completely fell in love with it!

 - Julie Lewis