by Lanny Udell
Dancing tango since: Newly divorced and thrilled to be single again, Gayle went to a speakeasy party in 1994. “A couple got up on the stage and did something magical,” she says. It was Argentine Tango. The couple was Al and Barbara Garvey, legendary Bay Area tango dancers. That was the beginning of her love affair with tango.
Kevin started dancing tango a year ago. “I was not a dancer,” he says. “Gayle brought out the dancer in me.”
Why tango: Gayle had done ballroom and Latin dancing, and she was a competitive ice skater during her teen/college years. When she saw the Garveys dance, she says, “they were in such harmony with each other, I knew I wanted to do it.”
Back story: With a man she met salsa dancing, Gayle signed up for tango classes through Mt. Tam Adult Education. About the same time, she met John Campbell who was in her Psychology of Dreams practice (a pioneer in the field of dream psychology, people come to her to understand their lives better through dreams). She recommended that he take a beginner class of Argentine Tango. “It’s a wonderful way to meet people,” she told him. He took her advice and we know where that led!
Gayle gave up tango in 2004 to begin harness training to help her learn jumps for skating. It required that she be out early in the morning, so late night milongas didn’t work for her. But, last year she was drawn back to tango and Alma del Tango
“Tango is so much better now,” says Gayle. “A mere 20 years ago, women weren’t taught…they were just expected to follow. But, thankfully, that’s changed.”
About Debbie & John: “They are the best teachers I’ve ever had,” says Gayle. “They break it down, talk to the leader and follower, not like in the old days.
I feel like Rip Van Winkle, I woke up in a paradise of tango!”
Kevin adds, “I appreciate John and Debbie because they break things down and explain. You can see what you’re doing wrong. I’ve got a few bad habits I keep repeating. I’m hoping that more and more things will become second nature.”
Anything else: We’re sorry to say, Gayle and Kevin have left Marin to make their home in Florida. But they haven’t left tango. They are determined to continue dancing. Gayle’s vision is to have milonga house parties. “We will create our own tango world.”
Last word: Buen Viaje, Gayle and Kevin! We hope you’ll come back to visit and dance with us again.