Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 15, 2013

Tango in town

Dance classes to begin Sunday at Kyova Mall

Lee Ward
The Independent

ASHLAND — To many, tango is tango.

But not so if you really know the dance.

Tango is specifically Argentine.

“Tango was born in the area of the Rio de la Plata (Argentina/Uruguay) in the 1880,” instructor Patricia Paz of Cincinnati said. She will be the instructor for a series of Argentine tango classes set to begin Sunday at the Kyova Mall. “What people recognize in the United States as tango, or American tango or ballroom tango, is the American version of the Argentine tango. Ballroom dance took the folk dances from other countries and did their own version and choreography but it has nothing to do with our dances.”

Paz began dancing in her 20s while studying physical education in college.

“One of the classes we had to take was folk dances,” she recalled. “After I took that class, I decided I want to become a dance teacher. I started to dance tango and folk dances in 1985. I was a dancer for the Ballet of the University of Buenos Aires for 10 years.”

She was invited in 1995 by the University of Cincinnati to present a tango show during the school’s Spanish conference, where she met a dance group that invited her to teach. She began teaching a series of classes every year, which is how Gayle Riggs met Paz and invited her to teach classes here. She has done workshops previously in the Tri-State, having started a dance group that meets weekly.

“Gayle Riggs is responsible for all this and she is doing a lot for the Argentine Tango in town,” Paz said. “I am planning to keep coming every month or every other four or five weeks for beginners lessons and keep working with the intermediate.”

Paz, who is a fan of folk dancing, said no experiences is need to learn the Argentine tango.

“The only requirements are enthusiasm, commitment and dedication,” she said. “If you have all those ingredients, in six months you can start to feel confidence with the social dance.”

LEE WARD can be reached at lward@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2661.