by Lanny Udell
Dancing tango since: Esther’s introduction to Argentine Tango was in 1998 when she saw the film, The Tango Lesson. She was so intrigued, she started taking lessons. Doug’s interest came a little later, when on a flight home from Hawaii Esther asked him if he’d be willing to take tango lessons. He said, of course—even though he hadn’t done any type of dancing before.
Why tango: “Once I got introduced to Argentine Tango I didn’t want to dance anything else,” says Esther. She especially likes the improvisational part. “Other dances don’t allow that much self-expression.”
Doug admits: “At first the music gave me a headache. And I found it frustrating that different teachers said different things. Now he enjoys the connection… with a partner, the music and others on the floor. “You have to be very much in the moment. It gets into your heart – it’s like nothing else,” he says.
Favorite part: Esther finds the community very embracing. She also likes the complexity of the dance, and “the way I feel emotionally. I connected with it immediately.” For Doug, tango is always a unique experience – different dance floor, different partner, different music. “One thing that stays the same is establishing the connection and sharing the passion for the dance and one another. You can feel the passion going back and forth between the leader and follower.”
About Debbie & John: “They are very giving…they really want to share a lot of what they know,” says Doug. Esther agrees, “We are very fortunate to have this in San Anselmo.”
Anything else? Doug and Esther have been to Buenos Aires twice.
Half-way through the first trip, Esther was very quiet. “I could see the wheels turning,” says Doug. “She said, we’re coming back in April.” And they did. That time they took classes with Eduardo Saucedo, danced to a lot of live music and got to experience the culture. “Buenos Aires is like an acquired taste…but once you acquire it…you’re hooked,” both agreed.
They’re going back again next April, this time for a month.
Last word: “We have our tango fights,” they admit, “but we get over it. Tango helps us communicate better.”