Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, is one of the liveliest centers of Argentine tango in the Midwest. You will easily find tango lessons, tango classes and tango workshops to learn this amazing dance. And our calendar of tango dances, milongas, and other tango events is a bonanza of creativity and friendly socializing. Below are some featured recent news and announcements.
Inside Illinois magazine (3/15) has an entertaining article about tango on our campus. Here’s an excerpt.
Ask Claire Barker how she became a tango dancer and she tells a story that begins when she became a nun. Barker – a professor of internal medicine at the University of Illinois – had a friend who was staging a production of “The Sound of Music” at a local theater and needed more holy sisters for the abbey scenes. Barker auditioned, and was cast not only as a nun but also as a dancer in the ballroom scene.
Dance coaches for the production noticed Barker’s knack for the Viennese waltz and encouraged her to continue dancing. She enrolled at the Regent Ballroom in Savoy, Ill., and soon fell in love with the Argentine tango.
From the Yang Sheng newsletter of Tai Chi and Chi Gong practices, comes an article by Chen T’ai Chi teacher Yang Yang called “Overview of Best Practices in T’ai Chi.”
In this article I read many aphorisms that seem relevant to Tango practice.
If you study something—anything—in an efficient way, you can learn it in a fraction of the time. (-Chinese Proverb, literally “half the work, double the result.”)
Many other traditional gems of wisdom concerning physical training are, in my view, directly applicable to learning a dance form such as tango.
- 苦练十年,不如名师一点: Ku lian shi nian, bu ru ming shi yi dian. One word from a knowledgeable teacher will save ten years of hard practice.
- 诀窍奥秘, 须经明师口传心授:Jue qiao ao mi, xu jing ming shi kou chuan xin shou. Tricks of the trade and secrets of practice must be passed on by sincere instruction from a teacher who understands the art.
- However, it is also said that, ultimately, a teacher can only point the direction for student—it is up to the student to make the journey. (Shifu ling jin men, xiu xing zai ge ren, 师父领进门, 修行在个人, which literally means “the teacher will lead you to the door, but it is up to the student to improve.”)
- Much of the importance of the teacher is to outline efficient curriculum for the student. The single best question a student can ask is “what should I be practicing, and what percentage of my practice time should be spent on each exercise?”
How do you formulate your approach to learning tango?
Patricia Muller said she found these videos that a traveller left behind at her house. They show dancing in Buenos Aires in the early to mid 1990s. These videos are […]
Dance exhibitions 1940-1980 Raúl Bravo y Haydée Antonio Todaro y Tití (su hija) Pedro Villafañe y Alejandra Kalisay y Tita Oscar y Beatriz Omar Boragno y Marta El […]
This biographical documentary on Troilo is very good. It includes many excerpts from performances throughout his career, and has interesting interviews with his fellow collaborating musicians from various eras. One […]
2nd Saturday of each month, typically.
A full night of dancing in the inspiring atmosphere of the chapel at Channing-Murray Foundation.
1209 W. Oregon, Urbana, IL
9 pm - 1 am
For exact dates and details, see calendar.
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