Do you have any Argentine background?
No, no, though we’ve visited Argentina and would love to go again. My husband Bill and I were born in New York City, and later moved to Wisconsin. I’ve danced since I was about 18—I love rhumbas, cha cha, and the American-style waltz—but Bill had never danced until we retired to Knoxville in 1996 and took up ballroom dancing. Then we saw this lovely movie, The Tango Lesson, and we were sold. There weren’t teachers here, so we purchased CDs and DVDs, and went to workshops anywhere within striking distance, like Asheville.
And now you two teach, starting Nov. 4 in a new location?
Yes, we do salon-style tango—what you would see at a dance hall in Buenos Aires. KATS functions like a non-profit. It’s $20 to be a member for a year, and $5 for a floor fee for each dance. We’ll be at the The Flynn Center on Thursdays, see if people prefer that. We also tango at Regas on Mondays.
Do you watch Dancing With the Stars?
Yes, and I enjoy it—not the stars, but the pros. I like Cheryl, because when she dances the tango, she tries to be authentic.
Are there lots more women than men at the lessons?
You would think so, but it’s funny—it really varies week to week. Women do love to tango, though. Men love it, too, eventually, because they are the choreographers. The lady doesn’t move unless he invites her to move. It doesn’t look like that when you’re dancing, but that’s the way it is.
Will most people who want to tango be able to learn?
Absolutely. As long as they have balance, they can learn.
What’s most important to remember when you’re learning to tango?
I tell the ladies not to help—we have to wait for them. For the men, my husband is the expert there, and he says, “Just lead.” The lady’s not a mind reader.
Beginner Tango is 6:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Thursdays at the Flynn Center (828 Tulip Ave.). For more information: knoxvilletango.org or call Connie at 579-1955.