Saturday, June 8, 2013

Tasting the treats of tango: San Diego keeps sexy dance form alive and well

Expert tango dancers move with the music at Pampas Argentine Grill. 

Is there a dance more sexy than the tango?
Is there any ballroom movement more appealing? More showy? More bold and dramatic?
In a lifelong fascination with the form, I've taken tango lessons in Argentina! That takes chutzpah! I've applauded tango shows every chance I get -- in many other places in the world, including smokey basements in Manhattan, and spacious ballrooms in London.
 Tango is intimate, calling for quick,
decisive moves as a couple dances.
Imagine my surprise and delight to find that San Diego is tango crazy! I love it. There are tango clubs, an abundance of world-class instructors and several venues which feature tango and welcome newcomers.
A North Park Club even celebrates tango love on a regular monthly basis, with parties and dances every fourth Sunday from 8-11 p.m. It's Tango Addicts Milonga. (Google San Diego tango and you'll find a wealth of references and information and fine teachers to encourage.)
A tiny venue in San Diego features magnificent tango in a setting that might surprise you!  In the heart of busy traffic and city life, Pampas Argentine Grill in a small shopping mall at 8690 Aero Drive offers enthusiastic tango and tasty fare.
Legwork is part of tango teamwork.
We sampled the enticing package with our sailing buddies, Melanie and Larry Cogsdill. We laughed and sighed and applauded -- a tango-tinged, bang-up evening -- and we recommend it to tango aficionados and fans of small clubs.
The much larger and opulent Tango Del Rey can accommodate parties of 50 to 250 and is glorious for its decor and drama.
 The intimate atmosphere at Pampas lends itself to tango up-close and personal. It's great to be close enough to observe and enjoy the chemistry between the dancers, and to see, savor and appreciate the intricacy of the quick, precise moves and steps.
Pampas provides that, with a dozen tables and a small but ample square wood dance floor on which the performers do their thing.
Tango has been around for at least 150 years, and most historians believe it was born in the working class neighborhoods of Buenos Aires.  Its success before and after the First World War took tango to international heights and its Golden Age from the mid 1930s until the coup in Argentina in 1955.
For a time, tango was in the closet. The art form experienced a "dark ages" when the dance was pushed underground and persecuted, and the fabulous Tango renaissance which has spread the dance once again all over the world.  It's sexy, romantic, beautiful -- to watch or try yourself.  So I'm exercising, practicing my turns and polishing my red heels! Keller is hat-shopping!
Larry Cogsdill delights in the dancers.

COMING SOON: Our tango loving travelers take a turn at the
glider port, sail on the vintage yacht Jada and celebrate the
glories of Montana summer. Remember to explore, learn and live!

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