Premier Tango teacher to headline workshop

Students interested in learning to dance the Argentine Tango from one of its premier teachers will have the opportunity this weekend.

The Bloomington Argentine Tango Organization and the IU Tango Club are sponsoring the weekend workshop, “A Night at the Milonga” with Florencia Taccetti from Friday to Sunday at The Lodge.

Graduate student and co-founder of BATO and the IU Tango Club Amaury de Siqueira said this should be a great opportunity for the community to participate because of Taccetti’s unique teaching style.

“She really emphasizes body awareness,” de Siqueira said. “She makes you understand your body better. It’s not really about learning the steps.”

The opportunity for Taccetti to bring her style of teaching to Bloomington originated in a friendship that began 10 years ago, de Siqueira said.

“I explained to her that this was an early-growth community,” he said. “With the economy being the way it is right now, we really want people to participate, so we tried to price it accordingly. Whatever money is left over after paying for the workshop will go back into BATO.”

He also said some of the extra money will be used to promote the Argentine Tango community in Bloomington as well as a sense of longevity for anyone with a fresh idea.

“As usually is the case, when an organization like this is created, it doesn’t live long because when the person founding it leaves, the organization leaves,” he said. “We want anyone with an interest in tango to take on leadership roles so that this may live as long as there is always an interest in the community.”

Junior Elise Boruvka, president of the IU Tango Club, said BATO and her club work to promote an all-encompassing community atmosphere where people are challenged physically and mentally.

“We are trying to give anyone the chance to lead and take part in the fun of tango,” she said.

Boruvka said students who are unable to participate in the entire workshop or have private lessons with Taccetti can attend the Saturday Milonga from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m.

“It’s a great chance to get everybody together to meet and dance with different groups of community members and students to socialize,” she said.

Boruvka said the Milonga originated as an etiquette dance between cowboys in Argentina.

“There were so few women around where the cowboys were dancing,” she said. “Everyone would go to the Milonga, and everyone would check each other out. One of the cowboys would cross the floor and ask a woman to dance. If a woman turned him down, it was such a great embarrassment.”

She said the cowboys then developed a system of etiquette that employs head nodding across the room to potential dance partners that proved to be much less embarrassing and socially awkward. That system still stands today.

Boruvka said that today, the codes of etiquette aren’t meant to constrict people who just want to dance the tango, but of course, it is always preferred for men and women to dress up for a night out on the dance floor.

“You just have to get out there and dance,” she said. “I don’t think anyone can be terrible at tango. If you can waltz, you can dance the tango.”

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