Sunday, July 22, 2012

Tango Dance Class

The dance class began in the Zebra Room (2609 Gower Street), at 2 A.M. Tango Productions run by Amy Allison, featured Victoria Sarquisse and Federico Jorquera, for the first time teaching workshops in Orlando. Victoria and Federico were both born and raised in Argentina and have been teaching Argentine tango in the Tampa area for the last 5 years.

Students arrived slowly, socializing and changing their shoes. The workshop began with Victoria leading everyone in warm up exercises. They all faced the mirrored wall stretching along with Victoria. I only had enough time to sketch Victoria with her hands stretched over her head. Men and women then separated into two groups. Frederico showed the men how to lead and the women were shown their embellishments.

Victoria explained that walking with dignified intention can be the most beautiful aspect of any Tango. The movement is initiated from the chest. She plucked the fabric of a participants blouse to demonstrate. Every step had deliberate confidence. The first important thing in Tango is a good embrace and the second is walking. There are many nuances built around every deliberate move. When men and women danced together, with volcadas in close embrace, they were instructed to feel the connection. In one exercise the men were instructed to take a small step back and the women would lean forward into his chest. Even though there was often space between them, every nuance needed to be communicated and felt. Victoria stressed that they needed to enjoy the journey. With the lessons complete, everyone danced with abandon, learning from each new partner.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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