arts

Tango expert teaches locals



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Caesar Pacifici dances the Argentine tango with partner Chris Collins on Friday evening at the tango workshop at The Lodge. Dancers learn primary steps from Florencia Taccetti, a premier Argentine dance instructor. Sevil Mahfoozi Buy Photos



The Milonga served as the dance that concluded a weekend of Tango instruction from Taccetti that brought people from all over, including Purdue’s Tango Club.

Taccetti teaches at the University of Minnesota, where she started the tango dance program. She travels all over the country teaching the social dance at festivals. She said she started the Austin Spring Tango Festival, where she emphasized the idea of changing partners to enhance performance and social interaction.

Sofya Zemlyanova, from the Purdue Tango Club, said she was excited to come to the Milonga because of her “addiction” to tango and to meet Taccetti. She said her addiction began at a Russian party on a New Year’s Eve three years ago.

“Once I saw the dance and heard the music, I went to the tango club meetings at Purdue, and I just thought it was beautiful,” she said. “It’s a social dance. It makes you feel good.”

Athanassios Strigas, a sports business professor from Indiana State University and member of the Bloomington Argentine Tango Organization, said he had only been dancing the tango for eight weeks, but he was very impressed with the social aspect of the dance.

“Many modern forms of dance look very individualistic,” he said. “Everything is very much inside the body and alone. In tango, you have to connect with your partner.”
Taccetti said dancing in general should not be about isolation.

“No matter where you come from in life, you have to make dance and the expression of it personal and real to you,” she said. “It’s not about being pretty and having an excuse to wear a nice dress and shoes. It’s about feeling something and comfort.”

Taccetti said when it comes to interacting with your partner, you have to listen.

“Dancing the tango, especially, is just like training in relationships,” she said. “There’s a lot of equal give and take. Give yourself to your partner, and the rest is simple.”

The Milonga, to the dancers present at the tango, stressed socializing and intimacy.  

“You don’t have to be afraid to approach people and ask them to dance,” Strigas said. “It’s a very friendly atmosphere.”

Taccetti said you do have to keep in mind that when you’re asking someone to dance, proper etiquette usually requires a dance of three or four songs where you can vary your movement, choosing to lead or follow with your partner in the dance, in time to
the music.

“The beauty comes from dancing socially,” she said. “It’s like any other party, where you need the good music to bring out the best in dancers so that they are really expressing themselves.”

Bloomington Argentine Tango Organization member Cheryl Sweeney said being comfortable enough to express yourself by dancing tango takes a lot of time and commitment.

“I heard this on NPR – an Argentine tanguero said it takes a lifetime and a half to learn all the ins and outs of tango,” she said.

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