The Tango Lesson

The Vistas, Emerald Lakes
Gold Coast QLD  4211

Phone: 0404842104

The Tango Lesson

BACKGROUND

We are John and Cheryl Lowry. We live and work at the Gold Coast, near Brisbane, Australia, It is sub-tropical resort city of something over half a million people. We met at a social dance at the age of 18, when the Saturday dance was the place to go and Rock & Roll was king. We have been dancing and making beautiful music together ever since.

In 1999 Tango discovered us (or is it the other way around) and our lives took a new direction. Our first private class with Daniel Trenner in the depths of a cold Boston winter was a near disaster. After the long flight from Australia we missed the appointed time, but Mr Trenner obliged by re-sheduling the class. So our Tango Quest began.

In 2000 we ventured to the fledgling, but very well organised 2nd CITA Congress where we were exposed to the world of Tango in Buenos Aires, complete with all the best orquestas and popular teachers. We particularly enjoyed classes with Rodolfo & Maria Cieri and Capussi & Mariana. Confused, tired and sore after 10 hours of dancing every day we knew only one thing. Real social Tango was our goal. We studied with the best teachers available to us including workshops with visiting teachers such as Daniel Bissio and others, but always concentrated on our first love, close-embrace social Tango.

As we continued to dance and promote Tango in Australia, we also found ourselves performing demonstrations and we continue to enjoy public and private Tango demonstration.

Both at home and in our travels people admire our dance and asked us to teach what has become our style of dancing Tango, very similar to the dance that people remember from the milongas of Buenos Aires up to 1970, we are told. In late 2002 we started a guided Practica in Brisbane that developed into regular classes. The classes were popular until 2003, when we abandoned them for other business commitments. After that time we have concentrated on private and semi-private classes and workshops when we are available. We have found this way of teaching very satisfying.

Our business travel took us to many destinations and we have been fortunate to enjoy milongas in San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, Vancouver, Montreal, Ithaca, Capetown and throughout Australia.

We continue to dance, teach and perform Tango in Australia and wherever people want our very connected dance.

WHAT WE STAND FOR...

Tango is a beautiful dance. It is a wonderful part of our life and in many ways mirrors life, but it is not life, or life and death. Enjoy the dance. Enjoy the journey.

Tango is an intimate communication. Communicate with your body. Be gentle, listen to the woman’s body, her breathing, the beating of her heart. Wait. Allow her to listen to and respond to your movement. Listen to the music with your heart. For the man, be aware of where you are and your surroundings and other dancers. Concentrate on the music, so that it fills your mind. For the lady, submit to your body and the communication you are feeling. Lose yourself in the dancing.

Gradually the dance is distilled into pure pleasure.

Dance for your partner and yourself. Respect the people around you. Avoid performing, unless you are performing. In this context, enjoy the dance, enjoy the music, your partner and your friends that you make.

“I will forego figures for the embrace every time” -- Carlos Gavito.

HOW WE TEACH.....

Our teaching aim is to get people enjoying social close-embrace Tango quickly in a fun, non-threatening, non-intimidating environment. Our emphasis is on balance, rhythm, music, posture and embrace, movement and simple directional walks and turns that allow them to navigate the social dance floor safely and confidently, emphasising that Tango is based on a handful of basic skills, not dozens of rote-learned figures. We then decorate the basic elements with good technique for interventions (sacadas, blocks etc.), hiros, ochos, decorations and other basic and advanced skills. The primary aim of teaching these elements is to assist dancers to navigate a crowded dance floor and build figures to decorate and add interest to their dance. We demonstrate figures primarily to 1) demonstrate the possibilities that can be developed from strong technique, and 2) for those who are interested in demonstration / performance, to show that good amateur performance develops from strong technique and musicality rather than choreographed routines based on poor technique. Ultimately we want everyone to dance their own Tango.

Our favourite dancers and teacher were Tete (passed away 2010) who showed us a lot about dancing in busy milongas with energy and style and Rodolfo & Maria Cieri who showed us the old dance.

TEACHING HISTORY

2002 – Tango Abrazo guided practica, Brisbane, Australia.
In March 2002 we commenced a guided practica to support visiting workshops in close-embrace Tango. At that time there were no resident close-embrace teachers in Brisbane. The practica had a regular attendance of 30 to 50.

2002 - 2003 – Tango Abrazo Tango school, Brisbane, Australia.
In November 2002, Tango Abrazo moved headquarters to Brisbane. We established the business and marketing programs and undertook half the classes. Our classes in basic Tango and Tango technique attracted a regular attendance of between 25 and 30. At that time we also established a weekly milonga for students and local dancers. The milonga is now run by friends who took it over as El Aranque practica.

2003 – The Tango Lesson
In March 2003, due to business pressures, we withdrew from Tango Abrazo. In November of that year, under pressure form former students, we formed The Tango Lesson to offer occasional workshops and private classes in close-embrace social Tango, Vals, Canyengue and Traspie-milonga.

2007 - The Tango Lesson
Once again into the breach, dear friends! . After moving to the Gold Coast, we found that there was little emphasis on milonguero style Tango . We decided to introduce this style and so we are once again involved in focus classes to promote pure milonga-style, close-embrace Tango.

PERFORMANCE HISTORY

2001 – Una Historia del Tango
During 2001 we were among the principal dancers in the first Australian major stage production to tour Australia. The tour commenced in Perth, WA and toured Bunbury and Albany before coming East to Brisbane and Canberra where we performed in front of the Argentine Ambassador to Australia. The tour successfully played to an audience of around 2,500.

2002 – Tango Con Amor
In 2002 we were part of a cast of 6 in what we called a Tango Seminar. It was intended to have an educational element. The successful performance was a tribute to famous Tango bands, singers, dancers combining music dialogue, performance and audio-visual display. It played in Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane.

2002– 2004 – Tango Paradiso Dance Group
In 2002, Tango Paradiso, Brisbane's 5 piece Tango orquesta, performed a concert at City Hall where they invited us to perform. This performance was the genesis of the Tango Paradiso Dance Group. We performed demonstrations at festivals in Brisbane and Noosa until choreographer and band flautist, Carla, developed a successful stage show that performed at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in 2003 and 2004 to sold-out audiences. The other major event for the band is the annual Woodford Folk Festival.

2002, 2007 - Woodford Folk Festival
Woodford Folk Festivalis a major annual folk, blues and cultural festival that attracts a 100,000 + audience over a week each year. We performed with Tango Paradiso performed on stage in 2002 and 2003. We returned in 2006/7 with Tango Cuartro, a traditional dance band, headed by Uruguayan pianist, pablo Boccassino. On each occasion we undertook what we now call “the big class” teaching basic Tango to an audience of about 500 people. Apart from being great fun, these classes generated a lot of interest in social Tango.

Other Private Performances and Demonstrations.
Other demonstrations and performances include:-

Fly By Night Club Cabaret, Fremantle WA, 2001
Christmas Party Rio Rhythmics Latin Dance School, 2001
Moulin Rouge Ball, Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre 2001
Brisbane City Outdoor Concert series, Brisbane 2001
AIQS 30th Anniversary Dinner, National Museum Canberra 2001.
Desiree Posse-Brazada Argentine Dinner, Noosa 2001
Aust Hotels Assn. Excellence Awards, Jupiter's Casino, Gold Coast 2002
Noosa Latin American Festival, Noosa 2002
Milonga Para Los Niños, 2002
Kangaroo Point Milticultural Festival, Brisbane 2002, 2003
The Valley Fiesta, Brisbane 2003
Marion Roberts Charity Lunch, Brisbane 2003
Cooroy Latin-American Festival, Noosa 2003
Sophia Alvarez 15th Birthday, Cooroy 2003
Brisbane Spanish Centre Argentine Folkliric and Tango Concert, 2003
Riorhythmics Milonga demonstration, Brisbane 2004
Latin Party demonstrations, Brisbane 2005,2006

TESTIMONIALS

“We want you to teach (Tango), because people need your inspiration”. We love to watch you dance”. --Angelo

“Chris was really intimidated after doing the workshops with (visiting Argentine teacher) but after your class he is really enthusiastic to learn more.” -- Janelle

“We three absolutely loved last Wednesday night. Sammy was quite overwhelmed at how different Tango is compared to Merengue. He is now very enthusiastic about learning Tango.
Chris and I learned a lot about Tango and loved your class.” -- Janelle, Chris, Sammy(age 16).

“I was encouraged to take lessons with (well known female teacher) in Buenos Aires. It was very military. I much prefer your lessons”. -- Pam.

“I just had the best lesson ever. Cheryl & John are really great teachers” -- Vicki (visiting from Tasmania).

You walk very nicely (Miguel Zotto)

The Tango Lesson is a school of Argentine Tango based out of the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. John & Cheryl Lowry, have been dancing and teaching Tango in Australia since 1998. We specialise in the close embrace, Almagro, milonguero style of Tango

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