Episode 97 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
My guest today is an internationally renowned DJ based in San Francisco, CA. He has DJ’d at a number of big-name festivals, marathons, and events, including the Taiwan Tango Marathon, The Southern California Tango Championship, The San Diego Tango Festival, the Austin Spring Festival, and many others. If you live in or ever visited the San Francisco Area, you’ll see him DJ’ing at many of the popular venues there.
Let’s meet Jonas Aquino…
More on Jonas here:
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Episode 93 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
Today’s guest is a Tango DJ based in Charlotte, NC. He is also a master craftsman, and designs mobile dance floors that have garnered praise from tangueros everywhere. He and his wife started the renown Queen City Tango Marathon, and we’ll hear the interesting story of how that came about.
Let’s meet Mark Mindel…
More on Mark and the Queen City Tango Marathon:
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Episode 88 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
Ok, my guest today began his Tango journey while he was a student at Arizona State University. Later, he would become an influential presence with the ASU Tango Club, where he now teaches regular classes and guides the next generation of young dancers.
Let’s meet Marco Antonio Licon…
More on Marco here:
Episode 82 of Joe’s Tango Podcast is now online!
My guest today is Jim Chow; he is the owner of Belltown Dance Studio in Seattle, WA.
Jim established the studio back in 2005, but he’s been a passionate dancer all his life. He’s familiar with a variety of dances, but salsa is his specialty so it should come as no surprise that he’s Belltown’s head salsa instructor. Belltown Studio is home to a number of other dance genres, including Argentine Tango.
So why interview a studio owner? Well, studio owners provide venue space for tango classes and milongas – In many cases, we tango folks wouldn’t be able to do what we do without people like Jim. But I also thought it’d be fun to hear about the challenges, the behind-the-scenes action, and the highs and lows of running a dance studio…
With a dance like tango, any number of figures can be initiated at a moment’s notice. And so we prepare ourselves to react quickly.
In order to react quickly, we feel we have to guess what will happen next. But viewing tango as a constant guessing game is stressful, which leads to a lot of bad things like physical tension. Physical tension makes communication with our partners more difficult, and this guarantees bad reaction time.
To be able to move and react quickly, we must focus on the moment. Instead of worrying about what will happen next, we must concentrate on what’s happening right now. Oddly enough, to be able to react quickly we must learn to slow down our thinking.
With tango, the shape of our bodies – regardless of size – presents a number of limitations. In addition to that, the amount of space we have to dance in, physical obstacles on the dance floor, and the length of each song create yet more limitations. And we’re also limited by the extent of our dance knowledge.
We should be aware of boundaries in our tango, whether they be physical or mental. We should test them, stretch them, and on other occasions, work within them.
But it’s counterproductive to think of limitations only as hindrances to our dancing growth. Paradoxically, the creative nature of tango can’t come to light without them.
Written by: Joe Yang
For many of us, tango dancing is not a strict discipline. For instance, multiple teachers will introduce multiple ways to execute the same step. Two teachers may contradict each other, yet still both be correct. There is no universally agreed-upon method of instruction, and what works for one group of dancers won’t necessarily work for us.
Learning tango, and developing our own style can be like wandering through the woods without a map; we’ll have to find our own way instead of following a trail. Becoming a good dancer in an environment such as this requires a willingness to experiment, and to discover a bunch of ideas that won’t end up working.
But even without a “map,” we can successfully navigate the tango “wilderness” by indulging our curiosity. Add a strong dose of pure determination, and we’ll be on our way. Don’t panic if the journey gets messy. That’s just the way tango is sometimes.