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Published January 15th 2017
Viva Dance- where Melbourne's Latin Dance craze started
Argentinean Christian Drogo of Viva Dance is credited with bringing Argentine Tango to Melbourne almost 30 years ago. If you want to learn the Tango, go to Melbourne's Maestro and his premier specialist Argentine Tango studio. Viva Dance is in Fitzroy, which is now regarded as Melbourne's Latin Quarter.
Argentine Tango is characterised by its intimacy and attention to detail. It is a partner-dance, well-suited to those who love learning, are looking for social connection and who value a sense of community. Fundamentally, Tango is a walking dance, which means that it is based on clear walking rhythms and has forms that naturally enhance physical coordination and beauty. That means that even as a beginner, you will be able to dance some basics within a short period of time.
Christian teaches regular social-group classes in both Fitzroy and Lilydale.
The Viva Dance studio is small, which makes it non-intimidating and non-elitist. Tango dancers and students come from all walks of life – and as a 'street-style Latin dance', new people are always encouraged. Viva has an area to sit where you can put on your shoes and chat to people before the class begins. As well as being a sublime teacher and performer, Christian Drogo is an elegant and warm host.
As a dancer and choreographer of extraordinary talent and international repute, Christian manages to extend all of his students. Usually, class numbers are small, which means that he instinctively adds 'layers' for those who are ready for the next challenge. Known as 'The Technician', Christian pays great attention to 'how a lead actually works', and individualises tutelage when possible or appropriate. Christian highlights musicality and interpretation for more advanced dancers, which sky-rockets their improvement through a better understanding of the dance and partnership connection.
Viva runs classes in a variety of Tango styles, for different skill levels. On Tuesday nights, there are two classes in Salon Tango: Beginner Level and Basic Revisions from 7-8pm; and Intermediate or Continuing Level between 8-9pm. Those in the outer suburbs are not forgotten: Christian Drogo runs a day-time Tango workshop in Lilydale from 2-3.30pm every Saturday and every month on a to-be-named Sunday, holds 2-hour workshops in Salsa and Tango at the Warburton Golf Course.
Argentine Tango is suitable for people of all ages.
For intermediate-advanced or adventurous students, Viva offers regular Thursday night workshops in the lesser-known styles of Argentine Tango, such as the very sexy Electro-Dub (Nuevo), the funky Milonguero-style and the ever-elegant Vals (pronounced Waltz). Workshops run from 8-9.30pm and operate on a 4-week rotation cycle so check Viva Dance Melbourne on Facebook for regular updates. The Thursday night workshops are preceded by Practica Milonguero (regular practice session run by Viva students) from 6.30-8.00pm which is free-of-charge. Viva is the only Tango school in Victoria that runs regular workshops in these styles. If you are a Tango dancer visiting from interstate or overseas, feel free to come to a workshop, even if you are not able to do commit to the full 4-week cycle.
Viva Dance holds a monthly Milonga on the last Friday of every month and new people are always welcome. A light supper is served, an Absolute Beginner class kicks off the dancing at 8.15pm and Classic (Salon) Tango, Electro-Dub, Vals and Milonga music is played all-night long.
Make it easy on yourself: if you are wanting to learn, take a friend with you to a beginner class and enroll for at least 4 classes.