Review: Tango On The Nile

5th April 2009

Dates: March 23 - 29, 2009

Teachers: Monica Romero and Omar Ocampo

Location: Guess...

Introduction

I have just returned from a fabulous holiday that was arranged by Marisol and Alfredo Sepulveda, who run the Bailarin Tango club in Windsor.

The teachers on this tango holiday with a difference were, Monica Romero and Omar Ocampo, who are of course the fabulous Los Ocampos.

Sailing up and down the Nile, beautiful sunshine, pleasant company and dancing tango, I asked myself have I died and gone to heaven? I really can't think of anything bad to say about this holiday it was a success from start to finish.

The holiday

The boat was billed as a 5*Deluxe, although some might say it was not what we might think as 5*, was indeed comfortable, clean and the cabin staff were attentive and ensured that our accommodation was well maintained. They also enjoyed a bit of towel origami, and I came into my cabin to find a towel, duvet and pillow crocodile awaiting me, whilst on another night two towelled swans, one wearing my sunglasses and reading a book!

The food was good, and four days out of the seven it was really good. The wine was... well ... wet, and after a glass or two it didn't matter about the taste...

The Egyptian beer was very palatable and certainly made up for what the wine lacked. Lots of bottled water and the two guides supplied us with free water when we were on our trips.

Our guides were great fun, Waleed. a travel agent in Egypt, spent lots of time making sure that his guests were enjoying themselves. The other guide was Eid, who taught us the rudiments of Egyptian... "shakran" ("thank you") and "la" - especially "la" - ("no"), which was very useful with the pestering stall sellers. In return Eid learnt tango with the rest of us, and I have to say he caught on fast, and walked his way around the floor leading the six.

The days started at 7am, wake up call, breakfast at 8am, [the military had nothing on Eid getting us organised], then out on the many and various trips during the morning, which included of course Luxor, Aswan, Edfu, camel rides and balloon rides and the amazing Valley of the Kings.

The people

There were about twenty-eight of us in total. The people on the cruise were great fun, we all got on really well and the party included people from France and Denmark as well as England. The men danced with all the women, and Omar made sure he had a tanda with each of the women every night. Dancing with Omar was one of the highlights of the holiday and an experience not to be missed.

My friend had one of those special '0' birthdays whilst we were there, and the staff made a huge fuss. They paraded with the cake, and played their music to serenade happy birthday to her. We partied and she enjoyed her tango birthday dances which started with Omar, definitely a birthday she will never forget. I have made some lovely friends from the cruise and will look forward to travelling up and down the country to dance with them again.

The classes

The tango lessons were fitted around the return from the sights, eating and sunbathing. I was not disappointed with what Monica and Omar taught and their enthusiasm, energy, and passion for the dance was gifted onto all of us.

The attention they paid to their students was exemplary. They wanted people to enjoy and have fun as well as learn. In trying to achieve this Monica and Omar spent more time teaching than what they had actually been paid to do.

They were generous with their time, and expertise. They joined in with all the activities, enjoyed the sights and danced with us until midnight and beyond every single night.

On each night Los Ocompos gave us a display of their beautiful musicality, connection and fabulous dancing. This couple stinted on NOTHING. They definitely brought smiles back to tango faces.

The finale

Los Ocampos did much to improve the tango skills of the group, but what we didn't know was that they had a surprise for us. What we were being taught was transformed into a little routine, and put together so that we could put on a display to consolidate what we had learnt on the last night of the cruise.

This experience really united the group, we worked it together, helping and encouraging each other, even down to ensuring we looked the part and co coordinated our outfits, on Monica's advice, the girls had that splash of tango red across our black dresses.

It gave us all a great boost to see the difference in ourselves from when we started, all going in differing directions, to the grand finale, where we picked up the formations, synchronised our footwork and danced to the music in unison. What a confidence booster and great fun!!

Summing up

A truly fabulous time was had by all. Thank you to Alfredo and Marisol for organising this event, thank you to fabulous company from the lovely people on the holiday, and last but by no means least, thank you to Monica and Omar, as Bruce would say ...'you are my favourites'.

More details: www.bailarintangoclub.com/

- Rosie, 5th April 2009

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