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Developing an Argentine tango community

Dave Sherohman
Gary Peterson
Jacques Gauthier



Date:    Tue, 28 Jul 1998 08:29:20 -0500
From:    Dave Sherohman
Subject: Re: Interactive lead-follow

At 10:11 AM 7/20/98 PDT, Ray Moreno wrote:


[some stuff deleted]

>How can one gets an AT group going? Can some of you share experiences?

Well, Ray, unhelpful though this may seem, you just do it.  Start teaching
classes.  You can recruit from various other dance groups in the area and
build from there.

Here in Minneapolis, tango is a little over 3 years old and that's how we
started.  We initially started out with people from the local university's
ballroom dance club, but grew a lot more from the west coast swing dancers
coming over.  Just recently, we've gotten some broader publicity (thanks to
a visit from Forever Tango) and are finally getting decent numbers or
non-dancers coming in.  (Of course, you have to have an established core
group before you can really take advantage of something like that.)

Let us know how it goes!

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Date:    Tue, 28 Jul 1998 15:03:59 -0400
From:    Gary Peterson
Subject: Developing an Argentine tango community


Ray,

You asked:

>>How can one gets an AT group going? Can some of you share experiences?

We here in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina may be in the same
boat you are. We have had classes in AT in this area for only a year.
Getting a handful of dancers to a practica is a chore in itself. However,
until last week when the dance studio burned down, we were offering at
least one practica a week.

We have a website that has been on line for a few months. I design flyers
for all the AT events in the area and distribute then at dance events, and
I have an e-mail list of about 80 people with which I keep them informed
about offerings.

We now have two local instructors who teach a beginning form of AT. We have
a few moderately accomplished dancers.

On August 7 we will have our first well established AT instructor, Matej
Oresic, here to do a series of workshops. We are networking actively to let
people know about the workshop.

With the Orseic workshop offering and with three local instructors teaching
AT in the fall, we are expecting to begin to expand the community. There
are only a few of us in the core group at this time. As more people get
exposed to the form, we hope that number will grow.

Having effective dance facilities in a community may help. For the past few
months I have been involved in getting a local town to install a 3400
square foot cushioned wood floor in a community center they are renovating.
In another town, a few of us are working to develop a 4000 square foot
cushioned floor in a renovated bakery.

I have heard that an experienced instructor will sometimes work out a
relationship with the AT dance community to come to instruct and help
expand the interest in the area. Daniel Trenner is reported to have
accomplished that in several communities.

Good luck in developing your group. I bet there are dozens of Argentine
tango communities like ours that are struggling to become established. If
anyone has a stunning success story to offer, I would love to hear it.

Best regards,
Gary

Gary Peterson
Chapel Hill, NC
Triangle Tangueros
www.symphonicdata.com/argtango/

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From:    Jacques Gauthier
Subject: Re: Developing an Argentine tango community


> >>How can one gets an AT group going? Can some of you share experiences?

> Good luck in developing your group. I bet there are dozens of Argentine
> tango communities like ours that are struggling to become established. If
> anyone has a stunning success story to offer, I would love to hear it.

I've asked this questions to people who helped form their own
little dance communities.  Lindy Hop in Boston, (Tony & Aurelie
Tye).  West Coast Swing in Toronto  (Toronto Swing dance
society members) and West Coast Swing in the New York area.
(Debbie Ramsey & Westley Boz).

One thing that was mentionned to me in each case was
that they would go dancing in clubs where they had
live bands that played the type of music for their
dance.  In the case of Lindy Hop it was Jazz clubs,
in the case of West Coast Swing it was bars where
Western, Blues, Disco, or Techno music was played.

When non-dancers in a club see dancers do their
stuff they are usually very impressed.  Even if the
dancers they see are somewhat new to the dance.  If you
are able do to some of the basic stuff of your
dance and be comfortable doing it, it will
impress onlookers and they will often walk up
to you and start asking you questions as to
what it is you are dancing and where you learned it.

These people who come up to you can become
the newest dancers of your dance community.

In the case of Argentina Tango, it is unlikely
that you will find a club in your area that
has Argentina Tango music bands.  I think
though, that Argentina Tango can be
danced to blues music and that a blues
bar can be a good substitute.  (You just
need to find a bar that permits dancing
and has enough room to allow it.) Soon,
people will walk up to you and ask you
what it is that you are dancing.


Jacques G.

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Garrit Fleischmann Aug.98
Email: kontakt(at)cyber-tango.com