By Jessica Anstice
Full of rhythm and passion, the Tango is part of Carlos Argentina’s identity.
Growing up in Venezuela, Mr Argentina’s early years were steeped in tango, from tango music as a baby, to the love of dancing from his musically gifted family.
At 16, Mr Argentina and his family made the decision to permanently leave their home country behind and start a new life across the other side of the world, in Australia.
His unbridling passion and love for tango remained with him and he has been teaching the sensual ballroom dance for the past six or so years.
“I grew up with tango but then sort of went sideways into rock and roll, water skiing, football, work and backpacking, so it took me 40 or 50 years to get back into it,” Mr Argentina recalled.
“I’ve learnt that if you put things off the only thing that happens is you get older.”
Notwithstanding a double knee replacement in 2013, Mr Argentina established the non for profit organisation Tango Gippsland in 2016, with the aim to spread the culture of the Argentinian tango.
With weekly classes and workshops in Pakenham, Narre Warren, Warragul and Traralgon, Mr Argentina believes tango is an entire lifestyle, and encourages everyone who is anyone to dive into the dance.
“You don’t need any experience and you don’t need to bring a partner,” he said.
“The first step is to say ‘I can’, and if you can count to eight and walk, you can tango.
“Tango is so easy, and in my classes you will be virtually dancing from the first class.”
However, you can’t expect to be a top-notch tango dancer from the get goes, as Mr Argentina explained.
“The sad part is that people come and they expect to be superstars in one day but that’s not how it works,” he said.
“They will learn that everybody can learn to tango but it is a journey – not a snap, crackle and pop.
“Some have been on the tango journey for 30 years and they are still on the journey.”
Tango Gippsland classes provide an opportunity to enjoy the wonders and pleasures of Argentinian tango.
“I love seeing how people capture the concept and they become well infatuated and the pleasure of knowing I helped them achieve that,” he said.
“I don’t do it to get ‘thank yous’ but it is rewarding to see people develop.”
To get involved in Pakenham classes contact Outlook Community Centre on 5940 4728.
For classes in Narre Warren, Warragul and Traralgon, contact Mr Argentina on 0419 098 083 or firstname.lastname@example.org