John Flower and Felicity Rogers — an interview

John Flower and Felicity Rogers

John and Felicity have won the title of New Zealand Stage Tango Champions in the International Tango Congress of New Zealand for three years in a row since 2006, allowing them to represent New Zealand at the World Tango Championship on multiple occasions. The interview below with Felicity is reprinted from the March 2007 issue of the NZ Dancer magazine (which ceased publication from March 2008).

What prompted you to learn tango?

Felicity: From the age of 3 I had spent my childhood training and competing in the dance forms of ballet, tap and jazz. After having a break from dancing I was itching to get back into some form of dance again and started taking an interest in partner dancing. I tried a bit of salsa and ballroom and then I saw the movie "Tango" by Carlos Saura. I was mesmerised by the passion and beauty of the dance and music. Before long I was well on my way to becoming a true tango addict.

How did you start dancing with John?

Felicity: During my first few months of tango I met John on the dance floor and we soon became dance partners. My first public tango performance was a pretty special one as it was in Australia and for the first time I was dancing to live tango music. To add to the pressure the lead dancer Carlos Rivarola from the movie "Tango" was in the show and was present during our rehearsals and performances.

What was it like winning the NZ Stage Tango Championships?

Felicity: Like all big competitions it is always a pretty nerve-wracking time with exhausting training schedules leading up to the night and then the adrenaline filled evening as you perform and nervously wait for the results. But when we finally heard our names being announced as the Stage Tango winners, I felt an overwhelming feeling of relief and disbelief that the comp was finally over! Aside from that, another highlight of the Congress was the workshops and private tuition we had with overseas tango teachers later that weekend. I felt it was some of the best classes I've ever had and it was great to receive positive feedback from the international judges for our original choreography.

What do you think it will be like at the World Champs?

Felicity: We travelled over to Buenos Aires (my first time!) in 2006 and saw first hand what the Championship is all about. In short it is like a rock concert for tango. The level of competitors is amazing—the shows and tango orchestras breath-taking. We couldn't get enough! Going back in 2007 as semi-finalists in the World Stage Tango Championship is going to be an amazing experience. Just to have the honour of stepping out on to the stage with over 4,000 people cheering for you is going to be a very proud moment. We will be training very hard between now and then to make sure we are well prepared for the competition. After all the hard work we have put in over the last 6 years together this will be a very rewarding and exciting time for us.

Interview from NZ Dancer magazine, Issue 4: March 2007

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