What: University of Colorado Club Tango
When: 7 p.m. Fridays
Where: The basement of Carlson Gymnasium, 1900 Pleasant St., on campus
Cost: $4 for CU students, $8 for everyone else
A flirty Latin dress with tango heels or satin pants and a silk shirt are not necessary to learn the Argentine tango.
Friday nights, the University of Colorado’s Club Tango meets in the Carlson Gymnasium, on campus, with only one requirement: Wear soft-soled shoes.
Some dance in jeans, some wear dresses and some even show up in sweat pants paired with heels.
“It’s pretty relaxed,” said co-president Kristen Potter, a CU senior. “People come in quite a variety of clothes.”
Potter said the class is very beginner-friendly, as half of the class is new to the dance.
“You go the first night and you really have no idea what you’re doing,” said Potter. “You pretty much learn how to walk in a straight line.”
The club hosts an all-level class taught by local professionals at 7 p.m. Friday nights, followed by a practica — a group dance with paired partners, said co-president and CU senior, Jenny Wagner. Renowned teachers such as Denver’s Nick Jones — one of the select North Americans to teach tango at a festival in Argentina — have taught the class.
“I think it’s pretty easy to pick up,” said Wagner. “It depends on how you approach it. I think you can teach someone everything they need to know about tango in two hours.”
Wagner fell in love with the dance when she joined freshman year.
“I like everything about the dance,” she said. “The most important part of it is that it’s totally improvised and everything is lead and followed.
“As a woman it gives me a chance to really listen and focus on somebody and embrace my femininity in a way that I don’t really do outside of dance.”
As for dancers with more experience, doctoral student Ben Pearre said skills can always be attained from the Argentine tango, regardless of how long the dance has been mastered.
“It’s a very deep subject for learning,” said Pearre, who has been going to the club for three years. “I’m always discovering new things about the dance. There’s always more to learn.”
Wagner said the club typically sees more than 100 people at the beginning of the semester, and tapers to a steady 30 to 60 dancers by midterms and finals.
Pearre said there’s one way to find out if the dance is for you: Try it out.
“It’s wonderful if you like learning complex skills and meeting really cool people,” said Pearre. “I’d recommend to any student to come try it out.”