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First tango embarrass

What's afoot? Dance lessons for Pa. pairs

What's afoot? Dance lessons for Pa. pairs

March 25, 2007|by KATE S. ALEXANDER

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.-Brian Terhorst smiled as he gave his wife, Kelly, her birthday gift on Saturday.

Holding her gently in his arms, the Fairfield, Pa., man whispered a quiet "sorry," removed his foot from atop her foot and continued dancing.

"Slow slow, tango close. Promenade!" dance instructor Steve Silver called. "Slow slow, tango close."

Smiling back at her husband, Kelly Terhorst quickly recovered her balance and returned the apology.

Learning to dance the tango in one day might have been her birthday gift, but it was much harder than she thought it would be.

"Don't pay attention to how it looks," Silver said to the group assembled for the daylong class. "The smoothness, the refinement will come with practice."

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For many of the 17 people gathered at The Wood Center Stage Theatre in Chambersburg, the tango was their second "Learn a Dance in a Day" workshop.

Dance partners Newell DeFreest and Danielle Boock said they plan to take all of the workshops.

"Dancing is fun, and the workshops are relaxed," DeFreest said.

Athena DeFreest, who assists Silver as he instructs, said the workshops teach beginning dancers not only the basic steps, but the confidence to dance in public.

"The dancers will be able to go dancing and not feel out of place," she said.

While the series teaches a variety of dances, Silver said Saturday's workshop focused solely on the American social variety of tango.

Walking among the couples, Silver said part of what makes the tango different from other dances is the air and attitude that come from the music; what makes it similar is the mechanics of dancing.

"What you learn in one dance translates to many dances," Silver said. "The mechanics of a move are the same no matter what you dance to. All that changes is the rhythm and the footwork."

After six hours of footwork and promenades, members of the class asked Silver to do a Tango II workshop.

"I have been dancing for six months, and I like to learn more," Boock said. "I get better each time."

As her daylong tango lesson came to a close, Kelly Terhorst still was smiling.

"It is harder than it looks, but I enjoy it," she said.

A Tango II workshop presently is not scheduled, but Silver said he plans to offer one.

The next workshop will teach the waltz on April 21. Silver emphasized that both singles and couples are welcome.

A DVD of the tango lesson can be purchased at The Capitol Theatre.

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