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Two to Tango: Dance lessons, etiquette taught around OKC

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Hazel Lopez, owner of the International Dance Studio, dances with Ricky Sepulveda, where beginning and advance Tango classes are held each Wednesday evening.  mh
  • Hazel Lopez, owner of the International Dance Studio, dances with Ricky Sepulveda, where beginning and advance Tango classes are held each Wednesday evening. mh

Many people believe that the most sensual and exciting dance is the tango.

Now you can be the judge thanks to Oklahoma City’s International Dance Studio, which is offering a unique opportunity to join the tango community through classes and social dances.

The introductions to Argentine tango classes are from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. on Wednesdays. Beginning dancers will learn the different walking systems used in tango and the basic eight-count method of staying in time with the music.

The classes will be taught by Gus Gonzalez, who is originally from Mexico and has been dancing the Argentine tango for three years.

“The way [most people] were introduced to tango is through a performance on stage that is choreographed. When you [do that], you have the room to be very flamboyant in your dancing. In a real-life setting, it’s not very considerate to be that big in your movements because you can risk injuring people ... It’s a very natural, relaxed, very passionate dance,” Gonzalez said.

Dancers will also learn the social etiquette associated with the Argentine tango.

“As opposed to walking up to a person to ask them to dance ... it’s very popular to nod from across the room, and that’s very counterintuitive for me,” Gonzalez said.

Once partnered, Argentine tango dancers will dance three to four songs together and spend the first minute of the song and the time in between songs chit-chatting.

Dancing brings health benefits like physical coordination and stress relief to members of the tango community.

Gonzalez credits dancing as a means of relief from daily agitation.

Center couple, Gus Gonzalez, instructor, shows student Beata Barna a few Tango steps during a regular Wednesday night class recently.  mh
  • Center couple, Gus Gonzalez, instructor, shows student Beata Barna a few Tango steps during a regular Wednesday night class recently. mh

“I’ve noticed that during the time that I’m dancing, I don’t have any worries of my other day-to-day stress activities,” Gonzalez said.

For the last fifteen minutes of the beginner class, the advanced dancers will join so the beginners can practice what they have learned. The advanced classes start at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays.

A session of four consecutive classes costs $35 per person. While not required, dancers are welcome to bring a partner to the classes.

Hazel Lopez, originally from Guatemala, owns the dance studio and teaches the advanced Argentine tango class. The studio also offers classes in Zumba, Jazzercise, tai chi, ballroom dancing and Latin dancing.

Hazel and Gus will perform some of the steps for the beginning dancers during their classes.

Every other Friday, the studio hosts a social dance, called a milonga. International Dance Studio is located at 3001 NW 73rd St. Visit idancestudio.com to register for classes.


Print headline: Passionate progression, Tango classes ease your mind while working your hips.

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