Argentine Tango Club exposes students to dance

Andy Mannix

The Argentine Tango Club is adding some spice to Tuesday evenings by offering beginner and intermediate tango dancing lessons on the East Bank.

Tango dancing lessons expose students to a foreign dance style that strays from the University’s popular culture.

Lindsey Stratton, the Argentine Tango Club president, is in charge of organizing the lessons.

“It’s a unique part of campus,” Stratton said about tango lessons. “It’s a great place for people who want to explore beyond the norm.”

The Argentine Tango Club holds beginning and intermediate classes every Tuesday in

Coffman Union and Northrop Plaza. There have been two classes so far this semester.

James Angstman, a sophomore majoring in biology, is one of approximately 50 people who have attended the beginner class this semester.

Angstrom was attracted to the foreign “sexiness” of the dance, he said.

The classes are taught in six progressive weekly sessions by experienced community members. The beginner class teaches rudimentary tango dancing with a partner. After graduating to the intermediate class, slightly more complicated dancing is introduced.

The lessons are open to students, staff and faculty at the University. Non-University affiliates are admitted only with sponsorship from a University member.

The first lesson is free and additional lessons can be purchased in individual lessons, six-week sessions or by semester.

The money goes toward paying the instructors and renting spaces, Stratton said.

James Regan, a University staff member, started taking beginner lessons when he was a sophomore and still attends intermediate lessons.

Regan said he also dances socially at studios and bars around the area.

“Tango is extremely intimate,” Regan said. “It’s like dancing by yourself and dancing with someone else.”

The Argentine Tango Club has been holding tango dancing lessons since fall 2004. They also host social events and fundraiser dances.

In an attempt to draw more people in this year, the Argentine Tango Club performed “tango bombs” – where club members danced to tango music in front of Coffman Union and handed out fliers.

Regan said actually seeing tango dancing performed intrigued people more than just hearing about it.

The result has been the tango club’s biggest response ever, Stratton said.

Niko Salgado, one of the tango club’s two instructors, also teaches tango at the Social Dance Studio in Minneapolis and is an instructor for the University’s salsa dancing club.

“It’s great to teach and lead a group into something you’re touched and inspired by,” said Salgado.

Stratton said that tango is a unique element in campus culture because it provides the opportunity to learn about an uncommon dance form.

“A lot of people don’t want to just ‘grind,’ ” she said. “They want to have fun with dancing, not feel like they’re at a meat market.”