Monday, February 4, 2013

Tango & Swing weekend: dances & workshops

Chris & Holly Owens

Duke Gardens' new Health & Wellness Series continues this weekend, Feb. 8 & 9, with a fun-packed schedule of dances and beginner workshops.

On Friday, Feb. 8, we'll host an Argentine tango milonga (dance) in the Doris Duke Center's Kirby Horton Hall (with a gorgeous hardwood floor that's perfect for dancing). Jason Laughlin and Cecilia Pagani, of Tangophilia, will teach a beginner lesson from 7-8 p.m., which is included in the price of admission. You need not show up with a partner. Everyone will rotate partners (except those who prefer not to), so you will get to know others at the event very quickly.

The dance will run from 8-11 p.m. This is Argentine tango, not the choreographed American tango you may have seen on "Dancing with the Stars." Argentine tango is a gorgeous dance to experience or even just to watch. Check out the video below to see the dance style you can expect at Friday's dance. Argentine tango can be danced in close embrace or open embrace. Beginners generally dance in open embrace.

On Saturday, Feb. 9, we'll start the day earlier with some dance workshops with Chris Owens & Holly Beeson Owens, of What a Shuffle and the Eastern Balboa Championships. We'll start with a beginner Balboa workshop from 2-3 p.m. Then Chris & Holly will build on that beginner class with a beginner 2 workshop from 3-4 p.m. From 6-7 p.m. they'll offer a beginner Charleston workshop.

Then you can stay for the evening swing dance, which runs from 8-11 p.m., after a 7-8 p.m. beginner East Coast Swing lesson with Chris & Holly that's included with the dance admission. DJs Chris Owens & Ray Crampton will spin tunes through the evening.

Please see our swing dance web page for more info about workshop fees, dance tickets and other details, including a discount on advance tickets for Duke staff & students and members of Duke Gardens, CDC & TSDS. More info on the tango milonga is here. We'd love for you spread the word about these events via our Facebook page, too.

Below are some videos to give you an sense of the dances and what to expect. The first is Chris & Holly previewing the Balboa workshops. The second is a demonstration of some Charleston moves. The third is Jason and Cecilia dancing tango. And the last one is an East Coast Swing demo.

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