Festivals

Early Bird Registration for ASU Tango Experience 2012 – take advantage of a great price!

Check out these Early Bird Registration Prices

On sale now through Thanksgiving!


The Arizona State University Tango Club is proud to present our second tango festival:

The ASU Tango Experience 2012

March 2-4, 2012

Early Bird Registration discounts will be offered through Thanksgiving


Register today!      

tangofest.events.asu.edu

 

Derek Somo
ASU Tango Club Festival Coordinator 2011-2012

tangofest.events.asu.edu

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Taxi Dancing with Rommel Oramas

I’m on my way to another Tango Festival and I am excited to visit with old tango friends and to create new ones.
It is usually during a weekend like this that followers will commiserate and share the hopes and desires for their evening milongas. Their desire to dance all night long, to connect, to have that amazing tanda or 2 that keeps us all coming back for more. And unfortunately, sometimes this doesn’t work out as perfectly as we had hoped. Taxi dancing might be a solution.

I first came across taxi dancing on my trips to Buenos Aires.  Dancers, usually female, hire a male dancer to partner them at milongas. Then when I started my tours to Buenos Aires I hired taxi dancers to assist in milongas and in the classes. I have always had mixed feelings about taxi dancing but found it absolutely essential and beneficial on my tours.

My partner Rommel Oramas is a taxi dancer and he speaks passionately about taxi dancing. I was struck by his articulateness and dedication to being a taxi dancer and asked him to shares his thoughts with me here.

“It’s a paid profession for me,” says Rommel. He started taxi dancing in Phoenix, AZ to enhance the confidence of some of his female students in dancing socially.  “My intention and purpose varies with each partner.  Most dancers just want to have a  nice dance, a tanda or 2 without having to wait 2 or 3 hours or all night to dance. Sometimes  it is about mismatched skill levels and therefore, taxi dancing becomes a solution for that dancer.  Sometimes partners want to be shown off at the milonga so other dancers can look for them.”

“Taxi dancing has a code of conduct,” Rommel continues, “knowing that a tango dancer flirts with sensuality and sexuality the code of conduct is necessary. To be come a good taxi dancer, I have to be respectful of my partner, kind, and professional.”

“R.A.P,” he says, smiling.
“RAP?” I ask him.

“Yes, Respectful Amicable and Professional!  Respectful – because I understand that the dance is for my client, for the compañera de baile. I have to put my effort and attention into that person so that they look good and so that they feel comfortable and confident and safe. It’s not about me in that moment.  I wear my smile, I introduce her to other dancers – this is important. Professional – I’m doing a job – I’m there to dance, it’s not a lesson, I’m not there to teach or criticize”.

I asked Rommel how he handles a follow who might feel heavy or who is squeezing his hand too tightly and he admitted that every once in awhile he might give slight feedback especially if he feels that it is physically hurting him, like his back or his shoulder.  And that would be given after a song or even the tanda is finished. He usually already has a good rapport with that dancer and knows that they are open to it. He continues, “I know as a skillful dancer that I can adjust myself in order to continue to make her look good. So for example – I relax my arm if she is pushing too strongly or if she feels heavy I open the embrace slightly. Usually she notices through this silent communication and adjusts as well, ie: she relaxes that arm. If she asks for feedback I tell her that it’s a milonga and we’re here to dance. If she has a good time and has good dances and doesn’t ask for feedback then I’ve done my job. And this encourages the referral system – they speak highly of me and will tell their friends. Most of my business is done by word of mouth”.

I ask him if he ever says “no”?  “I am always open and available. I start with 2 or 3 tandas. If there’s a good rapport we can take it from there. I try to spread out my time of tandas with a single person over the course of the milonga – to change the energy – to dance with others. Sometimes there are musical preferences – ie: she likes vals tandas or milonga or a tanda of Di Sarli. This allows me to share that tanda with that person and then go dance with others. I can have several paid tandas in a milonga”.

Rommel feels strongly that taxi dancers need to be trained. “Not all great dancers can be a good taxi dancer.  You have to be able to morph to your partners’ needs and to their level of dancing. You have to have the tools necessary to make the dancer the most important part of the dance.  A taxi dancer is good if his intentions are to serve the partner and to serve the art form of tango”.

“Taxi dancing has made me a better dancer. It has helped me to better understand my partners and their needs in the dance. In reality they aren’t far from my own. I want to connect, have a good time, enjoy the dance, and maybe learn about my partner a little bit more”.

“Everybody has a right to pursue happiness, to get their needs met. Taxi dancing offers this possibility”.

I am always fascinated to watch Rommel in action at a milonga. He moves from 1 tanda to another from 1 partner to another pretty seamlessly. You might never know if he is “working” or just dancing. But the ladies always seem pleased with him and they hire him for the events they know he will be attending.

I know that taxi dancing can be very controversial and often brings out strong opinions in people, like most tango-things! But options are a good thing and if having a taxi dancer improves your quality of life and brings a smile to your face, then why not.

 

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ASU Tango Experience 2012 – Are you ready for a different kind of festival?

I am pleased to announce that Arizona State University Argentine Tango Club is hosting a new kind of festival experience in March 2012.

For all of those who crave learning and remembering that which you learn, this event is for you!

March 2, 3, 4, 2012

On the campus of ASU in Tempe, AZ

3 world class teachers:

Graciela Gonzalez

Tomas Howlin

Jaimes Friedgen and Christa Rodriguez

Each class is followed by a guided practica with 1 of the guest teachers and local teachers.

Registration Opens SOON! and there will be a Special Sale.

 

 

 

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El Mundial

It has been a week since the closing of the Mundial de Tango in Buenos Aires. This year marked the 9th World Argentine Tango Competition in Buenos Aires. Only 9 of them so far which doesn’t surprise me considering the majority of those people who started tango around the same time I did are self-proclaimed dedicated social dancers. The thought of Argentine Tango as a competition was and still is poo-pooed by many of us. “it’s a social dance!” we all cry in protest. And this was me too, until this year, which is why I am now very interested in the Mundial.

Let us look at some statistics to really begin to appreciate the growing scale of interest in the competition.

The competition has 2 categories: SALON and ESCENARIO. (Salon or Stage Tango.)

The Ministry of Culture estimated half a million people participated in some way in over 150 events during the two week festival. (The estimate for 2010 was 350,000.)

All events were free.

More than 500 artists performed.

492 couples competed and came from 26 countries.

The Winners: In the category of Tango Salón, Diego Julián Benavídez Hernández y Natasha Agudelo Arboleda (Colombia) and in the category of Tango Escenario, Max Van de Voorde y Solange Acosta (Ciudad de Buenos Aires).

It was estimated that out of all those people who gained entrance to the performances that 86% were from the US; 12% from Brazil; 7% from each Germany, France, Mexico, Colombia and Japan; 6% from Venezuela and Chile; 5% from Spain: 4% from Uruguay; and 3% from Canada.

The remaining 14% were Argentines!

It is a very exciting time to be part of the world of Argentine Tango. Especially when the 3rd place winners in Tango Salon are tango friends, Brian Nguyen and Yuliana Basmajyan – currently residing in Los Angeles. They were the winners of the 1st Buenos Aires government sanctioned US competition that took place in April this year in San Francisco. Great dancing Brian and Yuliana! Congratulations!

Brian and Yuliana

http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/cultura/noticias/?modulo=ver&idioma=es&item_id=3&contenido_id=58520

http://www.buenosaires.gov.ar/areas/cultura/noticias/?modulo=ver&item_id=3&contenido_id=58193&idioma=es

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