The fall semester is currently underway, and for those who need an escape from papers and exams, the Hollingsworth Auditorium on UT’s agriculture campus is where you will find Vol Tango. This event offers students, faculty and the community free tango lessons on Monday nights from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“We regularly offer free lessons for the UT community,” said Diana Orozco, president of Vol Tango. “We love tango. It’s a great opportunity to meet new people and relax a little bit.”
Monday’s lesson began with the basics in footwork and body movements, followed by practicing dancing with a balloon, which was used to help beginners feel more comfortable with the dance before switching to an actual partner.
“We do the actual tango that is danced in Argentina,” UT faculty advisor Juan Luis Jurat-Fuentes said. “Usually people come with some ideas of what tango is, and it turns out to be something different than they thought. They think its ballroom tango, but here we just dance with different people and have fun.”
The instructors continued adding to the routines while encouraging participants to keep trying.
“There isn’t a steep learning curve, but (tango is) a very deep dance,” said Carl Britt, UT senior and vice president of Vol Tango. “It’s pretty easy to pick up, but there’s so many little things you can concentrate on and ideas you can explore to make the dance better for both individuals.”
During the last half hour, not only did participants begin dancing with actual partners, but they were also instructed to switch partners at the end of each song. Each couple took their time focusing on the movements and the music rather than the people around them, making the dance look almost effortless.
“(The dance moves are) all improvised, there’s no particular pattern. The creativity is really fun, and everything you’re doing is interpreting the music you’re dancing to,” said UT professor Lauren Whitnah.
The dancers got to take their balloons home to practice. As the night concluded, not one person left without a smile on their face.
Featured Image and contribution by Hannah Mills
Edited by Hannah Hunnicutt