by Lanny Udell
Why tango: Allan had danced when he was in his 20’s, but then tennis and golf became his passions and dancing went on the back burner. But when his tennis and golf skills began to wane, he rediscovered dancing. Allan finds tango a constant challenge. “Every step is led,” he says, “so I have to concentrate on what I’m doing. It’s like a moving game a chess…you have to plan your next moves.”
Favorite part: “Because tango is danced in close quarters, it’s always changing and what you thought you were going to do is not necessarily what it ends up. It’s very challenging for the leader,” he says. Allan prefers rhythm over steps. “You can have rhythm without even taking a step,” he points out citing the check step as an example.
About Debbie & John: Allan found Debbie and John on Tango Mango and soon became a regular at Alma del Tango’s Wednesday classes, Friday practicas and milongas. “They are a great team and I love the fact that they make it real when they discuss what to teach … they have a good sense of humor.” He has also taken private lessons with Debbie. “She’s a wonderful teacher,” says Allan. “I tried other instructors but I liked her the best. I can ask her to help me with something specific rather than having set course material.”
Anything else? Allan dances two to three nights a week. At least one of those nights is ballroom. He loves to dance tango to non-tango music, if he can find a partner who is willing. For Allan, an ideal night of dancing would be a combination of ballroom and tango. His favorite music is Nuevo … he created a Gotan Project channel on Pandora so he can listen anytime..
Last word: “I’m never going to give up tango in favor of ballroom, and vice versa,” says Allan. “To me it’s the joy of dancing, not necessarily the dance I’m doing.”