Valentango festival 2011

It turns out that our wonderfully weird city of Portland is a top spot in the nation for Argentine tango.  Who knew?

Well, I started taking classes in October, and now I am a fully fledged tango addict.  Once you get hooked, it is hard to stop.  Especially in Portland, where you can easily dance every day of the week.  It is simultaneously wonderful and terrible because the vicious cycle of dancing –> wanting to dance more –> dancing more –> wanting to dance even more.

In the five months I have danced tango, I have been fortunate enough to attend two festivals and soon a third.  Festivals are always amazing because you have the opportunity to take classes from world-class instructors and dance with people from around the country, or even other countries in some cases.  This week I’ll be heading to ASU’s Tango Festival in Tempe, AZ.

Photo by Ethan Brown

Tango is such a different world: you converse in a glance, connect with your heart and listen to each other, follow the music, and find a new center, a new meaning in the dance.  There is a different language here too: cadena, tanda, volcada..

One of the most inspiring and encouraging people for me in the tango community is a one Momo Smitt.  He is a tango dancer/musician/rapper.  He invented the niche of tango rap – which may sound a little funny, but is really amazing.  See for yourself: