Tango club offers 'dance culture like no other'

Tango club allows students to experience a new social environment with a stress relieving vibe

Every Thursday night on the Tempe campus from 7:15 to 9:30 p.m. students can hear the mellow sounds of Argentine Tango music echoing through the social science courtyard. 

The club behind the music, ASU Tango Club, provides an outlet for students who want to learn the dance.

The dancers are taught by ASU alumnus Marco Licón, and club president Amelia Stahl. Licón has been dancing the Argentine Tango for nearly five years, while Stahl has a year and eight months of experience.

Their understanding of the dance shows during practice when the members of the club circle up around the two instructors as they go step-by-step demonstrating the basics to performing the dance.

Licón and Stahl explained that the Argentine Tango, unlike other forms of the dance, isn't incredibly difficult to learn and that students should not be intimidated to join the club.

“Tango can have a reputation for being kind of uptight, but when you pull back all the layers it’s just walking around and connecting with people,” Stahl said.

During the practice, there was a sort of focus about the dancers — many of the students said they use the dance to shift their minds away from their outside problems. 

Stahl is one of those students.

“It just became something at the end of my day I could look forward to," she said. "I had classes all day, and then something to relax with."

The same goes for Felicia Owen, a non-student who heard about the club from Licón and recently started partaking in the Thursday evening sessions. 

“For me it’s better than meditation,” Owen said.

Not only has it helped Stahl and Owen relieve pressure from their daily lives, but, according to Licón, it is a great way to meet new people. 

“I like connecting with people," he said. "Tango, if you hear me talk about it, is just all about connecting. It’s like learning another language, it’s learning non-verbal communication."

Stahl encourages students who may be nervous to join the club to begin the dance the same way she did: by taking the ASU Tango class. The class is taught by Stephanie Berg and Nicholas Tapia, 2014 Salon Tango USA champions. 

Almost immediately after beginning the class, Stahl was hooked.

“There is so much depth to tango that once you get into it, you can just explore all the different parts that make it special,” she said.

Dani Stilchen, liberal arts and science junior, has been a participant in the club for only three practices and already sees it as a hobby that she wants to continue. 

“It’s kind of a hobby for me," she said. "It would be awesome if it was a passion. I’d like to get good to the point where it is a passion."


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @AnthonyTotri56 on Twitter.

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