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Touch of tango

  • Leslie McCauley, right, and Karl Forsyth dance an Argentine Tango during the SoCo Tango Co-op dance practice at the Lomitas Schoolhouse in Santa Rosa on Oct. 17. (ALVIN JORNADA / The Press Democrat)

Anyone who has ever seen the movie “Cabaret” knows the words: “What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play.”

But some people, including the members of the new SoCo Tango Club, have acted on that advice. They come out to exercise, socialize and even fraternize, but mostly just to dance.

Their style varies from ballroom and West Coast Swing to salsa and tango, but the appeal is the same. It's fun.

“You form a community with the people who do the dance you do. The people who do salsa have a salsa community. The people who do ballroom have a ballroom community,” said Dyana Foldvary, who founded the SoCo Tango Club earlier this year.

“All dance is social, but tango is on a whole different level of social, going toward almost intimate,” said Foldvary, a Forestville graphic artist and dance teacher. “In the tango community, because of the nature of the dance, you learn more about other people's lives.”

Dance groups have produced many friendships, some romances and a few marriages, Foldvary said.

Leslie McCauley, a Santa Rosa Junior College arts instructor, said “Tango Obsessive Compulsive Disorder” drove her to join Foldvary's new group.

“Five years ago, after a solo adventure to Buenos Aires, I became addicted to the joys of tango. Really, this dance has changed my life and, I think, made me a better person,” McCauley said.

North Bay tango aficionados often drive to San Francisco or the East Bay for the chance to dance, she said, and they welcome the new local group, which meets regularly at the Lomitas Schoolhouse, off Chanate Road in Santa Rosa.

“It is so nice to be able to dance locally. These dancers are people we know, we enjoy dancing with, and who are a part of our tango family,” McCauley said.

There are other options in Santa Rosa for people who like to dance. Dance studios put on their own events, and Monroe Hall on West College Avenue hosts regular dances featuring of variety of music and dance styles.

Susan Lombard, president of the Redwood Empire Swing Dance Club, prefers the West Coast Swing style of dance, which allows partners to improvise some of their moves to blues, jazz, pop and even rock 'n' roll music.

But whatever the style of music, Lombard thinks dancing is good for people. Beyond the obvious opportunities to get some exercise and socialize, she believes it meets basic human needs.

“Dancers come out to be touched, to touch another human being and get to know other people,” said Lombard, a part-time dance teacher in Santa Rosa.

(You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com. See his ARTS blog at arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.)

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