Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 4/1/2017 (1143 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
They say it takes two to tango and having two left feet I thought I’d be amply qualified. Such was not the case.
I’d often mentioned to my wife that it would be nice to take formal dance lessons. But of course we never followed through and did anything about it. So it was a bit of a surprise when she told me she’d signed us up for tango lessons.
To be fair, we had tangoed before, having taken lessons in the Finnish tango on a trip to Minnesota just last year.
Yes, to my surprise the tango is very popular in Finland and the Finns even have their own version, which similar to the more popular Argentinian tango.
Being purists, we were now to be taught the more traditional version by our amply qualified instructor, Horace Luong.
Horace, a former ballroom and Latin dance competitor in B.C., shares his love of dancing by teaching classes at the new Active Living Centre at the University of Manitoba. He is a member of a Canadian Dance Sports Federation and trains Manitoban ballroom dance competitors.
For 10 weeks we gathered every Wednesday evening with about six other couples as Horace put us through the paces. He taught us the basic steps first — how the man leads the woman into a series of forward, figure-eight-like swivels called forward ochos. Then he steps in and checks her movements and reverses her into backward ochos.
Horace taught us some signature moves — such as a leg hook, referred to as a "gancho" — to add dynamic flourishes and give the impression that you actually know what you’re doing.
Then there was the Captain Morgan, whereby the man sticks out his leg, as if resting on a barrel of rum, then the lady, if she doesn’t trip over the judiciously placed leg, can rub against it sensually before making a dramatic step over movement.
Then there were the leg sweeps and a rotating bicycling movement that partners performed together with their feet synchronized.
Horace made it all look so smooth and simple. They say he has a day job as a chemistry professor but I think he just moonlights at that. His real vocation is as a dance teacher.
We struggled at times but the lessons were a lot of fun.
They say you should dance like no one’s watching — but, believe me, somebody is always watching.
Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
River Heights community correspondent
Trevor Smith is a community correspondent for River Heights.