Past TangoClub Events in 2009

TangoClub's special events in 2009 included a free beginners lesson for members of the public nearly once a month, as well as milongas in which Argentinian guitar player and singer Flavio Romanelli gave some beautiful performances.

Recent past events
Past events in 2010
Past events in 2008

TangoClub Events in 2009

Free beginners tango class with Craig (Sooty) Love

Sooty's free beginners class on Sunday 29 November 2009 really catered to tango dancers of all levels. Starting with getting students to walk on the beat, then stepping every two beats, then taking two steps to every beat, the idea of musicality was introduced. The principles of leading and following naturally had to be mastered also, and this concept was woven into the overall theme of musical interpretation.

Sooty teaching

Free beginners tango class with Martyn Atack and Vikki Brannagan

Martyn and Vikki took students further than the average beginners class on Sunday 25 October, teaching them how to lead and follow ochos. Hopefully these beautiful steps will inspire them newbies to keep on dancing tango!

Students in class Ocho exercise

TangoClub Labour Weekend milonga with guitar performance by Flavio Romanelli

A young and talented musician from Buenos Aires, Flavio Romanelli played tango on the guitar and sang for us at TangoClub's milonga on Friday 23 October 2009. Even though it was the start of a long weekend, we had a good turn-out and a very enjoyable evening. Thanks to all who came along!

Flavio Romanelli en vivo

Free beginners tango class with Martín Bratina

Argentinian tango teacher Martin Bratina got students to focus on walking technique in the free beginners class on Friday 23 October organised by TangoClub. Exercises in walking forwards, walking backwards and basic ochos were introduced to practise the concept.

Martin Bratina dancing with Marion Henton Martin helps some students

Free beginners tango class with Daniel Hurley

In the free tango class on Sunday 27 September, Daniel taught students the basic 8-step, as well as important things such as moving to the music, correct posture, and how to show courtesy to your partner.

Students in class Teacher Daniel Hurley and partner

Free beginners tango class with Antony and Jessye Purcell

Antony and Jessye introduced students to the concept of leading and following on Sunday 30 August, reinforced by exercises including suggesting motion with just one finger!

Antony and Jessye Purcell Students in class

TangoClub weekend milonga with extra Argentine flavour

With Maida away for the month, TangoClub had another opportunity to hold a milonga on Friday 28 August 2009. We were in for a special treat, as Sarah L kindly offered to bake us empanadas in different flavours: beef for the traditionalists, and tuna for the pseudo-vegetarians! Other tangueros also pitched in, most notably our cheesemaker friend who brought in a giant round of brie. Great food, great friends and great dancing— what more could you ask for?

Sarah's empanadas Dancers at TangoClub milonga Food table lit by candles

Free beginners tango class with Grant and Karyn Fromont

Before our milonga on Friday 28 August 2009, Grant and Karyn gave a free beginners tango lesson, emphasising in particular the feeling of the dance. Grant read a quote which best described the communication between a couple dancing tango as being a "Vulcan mind meld" (so learn tango to experience this kind of intimacy, you Star Trek fans out there!). After taking students through a series of exercises, the teachers gave a demonstration of milonga traspie, where they indeed seemed to be able to read each other's minds, with their quick steps completely synchronised.

Beginners tango class Milonga demonstration

TangoClub weekend milonga with guitar performance by Flavio Romanelli

TangoClub organised a special milonga on Friday 31 July 2009, as it was a month with five Fridays, and we didn't want to see a weekend with no dancing! It was fantastic how it began without anyone really noticing—those who arrived for the milonga simply blended in with students practicing after the preceding free class. It was an incredible evening, if we may say so ourselves. Dancers had to opportunity to experience not only dancing amongst candles and balloons, but also moving to live music in the beautiful performance by visiting Argentinian guitar player and singer Flavio Romanelli.

TangoClub weekend milonga

Free beginners tango class with Carl Robson and Sandy Dinsdale

Wow, what a difference it made to hold a free class on a Friday, before our special milonga on 31 July 2009. People got dressed up, turned up with friends, and a good number stayed behind afterwards, contributing greatly to the atmosphere in the studio. Carl and Sandy gave a beautiful demonstration of salon tango and got everyone working on their walking technique. The students were also engaged, asking some very insightful questions.

Carl Robson and Sandy Dinsdale Practising the basic walk

Free beginners tango class with Craig (Sooty) Love

Those who braved the rain and wind on Sunday 28 June 2009 were treated to a highly entertaining and informative tango class taught by Sooty, who introduced the history of tango, from canyengue to tango nuevo, mixed with musicality and technique exercises throughout. Starting with getting students to do a leisurely walk alone, then with a partner, and remembering the relaxed feeling in their bodies, the focus then moved onto walking to the music, taking a longer step on the first beat of each bar. Milonga, tango and vals music styles were all introduced, and students learnt to lead and follow steps in the three directions that exist in tango (forwards, backwards, to the side) as well changing weight between feet to synchronise steps with their partner. Finally, Sooty demonstrated how you might dance with someone special, slowly and closely, using several beats for each step, and dimmed the lights for everyone to try doing the same!

Walking exercise Craig (Sooty) Love

Free beginners tango class with Cecile and Nigel Bale

Winter seemed to have arrived suddenly, but the cold did not stop budding tangueros and some more experienced dancers from attending tango class on Sunday 24 May 2009, a week before the Tango Festival in Wellington. Cecile and Nigel took everyone through the basic 8-step (which includes forward, back, and side steps, as well as the cross) in addition to some connection exercises.

Teachers Cecile and Nigel
Enjoying tango Enjoying tango

Free beginners tango class with Maida Zanaboni Doleman

Maida gave a new twist to our free beginners tango class on Sunday 26 April 2009 by getting students to play a game of "superheroes". Leaders were encouraged to think of holding their special powers in their hands, which they had to begin sending before moving. Followers standing in front of them a step away would then be able to feel their intention and move along with them. Afterwards, followers had the opportunity to take control by saying the phrase "I want to dance tango" in different ways—leaders had to interpret the speed, rhythm and feeling of what was said and to lead some steps accordingly. Finally, the exercise was repeated in close embrace, and magically, toes did not get stood on. Good work, everyone!

Maida demonstrating superhero powers Students in the class

Free beginners tango class with Grant and Karyn Fromont

Our free beginners tango class on Sunday 29 March 2009 was taught by Grant and Karyn, who emphasised the importance of the three basic components of tango: dancing technique, paying attention to the music, and respecting your partner. They also mentioned three different styles of tango and made use of a bit of each: the class ended with milonguero steps danced in a salon hold to tango nuevo music!

Grant also surprised the other members of TangoClub by presenting us with gifts in appreciation of the work we have done for tango in Auckland. What he neglected to mention was how much he has put in himself—we can't thank you enough, Grant!

Students in class Grant and Karyn Fromont

Free beginners tango class with Daniel Hurley

Twenty minutes before our free beginners tango class on Sunday 22 February 2009, we discovered that the Cricket Grandstand where it was to be held was inaccessible, as workmen were still packing away scaffolding left over from the previous evening's Starlight Symphony. Thanks to resourceful teacher Daniel Hurley, however, an alternative venue was arranged nearby at cafe The Pavilion near the Wintergarden of the Auckland Domain.

The class may have begun half an hour late, but it was worth it. It was beautiful dancing outside under a tree, and Daniel went through the basic steps, then asked students to tango to music to which they feel an emotional connection, not necessarily tango music. A particularly enlightening part of the class was when roles were changed and ladies tried to take the lead.

A big thanks to the staff at The Pavilion for letting us play our music and dance there, and to Daniel for making the class happen. We will definitely consider holding future events at that location, as the atmosphere was great, we had members of the public taking interest, and food and drinks were available for purchase.

Teacher Daniel Hurley Dancing at the Pavilion in the Domain Students in class

Free beginners tango class with Martyn Atack and Vikki Brannagan

Our first free tango class of the year took place on Sunday 25 January 2009. It was a hot summery day, not to mention in the middle of a long weekend, so it was great to see students making the effort to turn up. Teachers Martyn and Vikki got everyone stomping to the rhythm of tango with a focus on improvisation and gave a beautiful demonstration of possibilities of the dance at the end of the class.

Rhythm exercise Martyn and Vikki