by Lanny Udell
Editor’s note: Dottye and Dart were first profiled in 2012. At that time, they’d only been dancing tango for three years. A lot has changed since then and we thought it would be fun to check in with Alma del Tango’s long-time devotees again. Most of you know Dottye and Dart as our friendly, loyal door managers. Here’s your chance to get to know more about them.
As Door Monitors, Dart and Dottye have been greeting and registering tangueros who come to study and dance at Alma del Tango for many years. Their friendly faces are there to greet you every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and for Dottye, on Saturday as well. They love getting to know everyone.
“If we were just attending classes we wouldn’t have the same in-depth experience with people,” says Dottye.
“It’s fun to see students improve and advance to the next level,” adds Dart. “We enjoy watching them grow and progress.”
As Performers: Dart and Dottye have performed in seven Alma del Tango student productions, five with Debbie and two with Rose (including the performance scheduled for July 6 at the Marin County Fair where they’ll compete with other dance groups.)
Those shows have included:
- All About Tango 2011
- Tango Tales 2012
- Close Embrace 2013
- Tango Magic 2014
- Moment to Moment 2015…
- and a showcase at the San Francisco Argentine Tango competition
in which their group placed second
What keeps them performing tango? “After 10 years of dancing, you can become complacent and not challenge yourself to go to the next level. Rose’s performance group has revived our focus on tango,” says Dottye. “We encourage anyone who’s interested [in performing] to do it; it helps you progress more quickly because of the intensity.”
What other changes have they noticed: Dottye and Dart agree, Debbie and John’s teaching has evolved. “Their presentation has grown and developed. They seem more relaxed…they still have high standards, but they understand that not everyone can grasp it immediately. We ’re always looking forward to their next challenge.”
Words of advice: “We encourage people to attend Tango 1 and 2 to reinforce the basics…and to remind you what you need to do to stay on track.”
Anything else: According to Dottye, “Tango keeps our outlook fresh and youthful…it keeps everything firing—mind and body.”
“I’d never performed in front of a group before,” says Dart. “It has brought out another side of his personality,” teases Dottye. “It was hiding,” admits her lifelong partner.
On rare occasions when they’re not dancing tango, Dart and Dottye can be found tending their amazing backyard Garden Railroad.
Dart and Dottye are a treasure to Alma del Tango, always enthusiastically pitching in to help wherever needed. They make our lives so much easier…and fun. They have such a youthful and joyous energy, ready to take on anything! We are often in awe watching them dance and we are very proud to be their teachers and friends.”
-Debbie and John
And, oh yes, a story about Dottye and Dart wouldn’t be complete without mentioning their award-winning costumes at the Alma del Tango Halloween party every year!
Read Dart and Dottye’s 2012 Student of the Month profile