by Lanny Udell
Dancing tango since: Shana and Conrad started their tango adventure a year and a half ago. She had been a modern dancer for 20 years and has a graduate degree in dance movement therapy and also in psychology. Both enjoy Contact Improvisation, a form of contemporary dance with two people.
Why tango: Conrad says he had a vision of traveling around the world dancing tango. He and Shana had the desire to travel but not just as tourists. They thought that a couple of privates with John would be all they’d need. Ha! (The three of us had a good laugh over that.)
“We discovered we have a lifetime of learning ahead of us,” says Shana.
They started taking classes in the East Bay, then found Alma del Tango online. “We were slow learners, we were scared to go to class,” says Shana. So they started taking privates with John. After a year, they worked up the courage to go to the Level 2/3 class on Friday night.
Favorite part: Conrad jokingly says it’s the food. Getting serious, he says: “When we figure things out it’s very rewarding.” Shana likes tango because it’s an alternative way to connect. “It’s so delicious to come together and share. We’re on the same level–we’re bad together.”
About Debbie & John: “We think they’re great, we love watching them dance,” the couple agrees. “John is really smart in the way he teaches,” says Conrad. “He boils it down in a constructive way to think about it that works for me.” Shana adds, “I feel like we found a teacher not just in dance but in life. He teaches with heart. He understood right away that we want to create a beautiful connection. Debbie is very warm and welcoming, and a beautiful dancer.” They find the Friday night mini tandas with Debbie and John very helpful.
What surprised them: “Tango is difficult, I never suspected it would be so complex,” says Shana. “It will be something I’m working on for the rest of my life. I’m also surprised it’s grabbed both of our joint inspiration.”
Next step – being comfortable at milongas in San Anselmo, then maybe the Boulder Tango Festival…and dancing tango in Paris!