Get to know RIT Tango Club from Rochester. I was lucky to get some information from Amalia, as these guys are busy teaching and performing. Right now they have one of the youngest Argentine dance communities in NYS, possibly the US.
– Amalia, what’s is the history of RIT Tango Club?
The RIT Tango club was founded back in 2010, but attendance dropped to 0 by 2011 in spite of the founding members’ efforts to sustain membership and general interest. It was at this time that Curtis Burtner, a young but already experienced Argentine Tango dancer, enrolled at RIT and took the reins of the Tango Club. Membership was still almost non-existent until 2012 when the club started gaining consistent members. Although club membership stayed above 0, the club saw little growth from Fall of 2012 through Spring of 2016. It wasn’t until Fall of this year – 2016 – that the club grew exponentially through the dedication of several key members who took up tango the previous year.
– What about the coaches and how many members there are?
As a club, we focus entirely on a single dance – the Argentine Tango. Curtis Burtner, who has been dancing the Argentine tango for 8 years, still teaches our weekly lesson even though he has already graduated. We also have a guest teacher, Alexandra Carcich who has also been dancing for 12 years. We bring in new, inexperienced dancers who are eager to learn Argentine tango. The size of the club tends to fluctuate week to week with about 14 dedicated members. The years of experience range from 3 months to 3 years.
– Where do you teach?
We teach free Argentine tango lessons every Wednesday and an intermediate course that collaborates with the University or Rochester on Fridays for free. We also host dances for the community and students and occasionally perform for various dance collaborations.
– And your future plans?
As a club our goal is to keep bringing more young dancers into the Rochester dance scene in order to expand the Argentine Tango community here in Rochester.