Patrick has been dancing tango for almost a decade. With his animated energy, wonderful sense of humor, and solid communication skills, Patrick’s lessons are informative and a lot of fun! He co-instructs tango clinics with Lori. Keep your eyes and ears open for the next time you can catch him at the studio!
WHERE WERE YOU BORN?
Bryn Athyn, PA
HOW DID YOU ENCOUNTER TANGO?
I encountered tango about 8 years ago. I had tried match.com for a month and realized there is no way I can meet somebody spending time behind my computer: I’d rather go do something interesting. I saw that they were teaching drop-in classes on Wednesdays at a very cool bar. So, I dropped into the one hour lesson and it was all 20, 30, and 40 somethings, about 15 people and it was fun. They didn’t teach steps, they taught connection. They got everyone connected together first and then they would teach basic walking and things. That was how I got my introduction to tango. One of the connection exercises got me hooked, where you had hands together with your partner, eyes closed, lights down, sensual music, and you were just supposed to follow your partner that way. Both of us had such an intense connection experience, that it hooked me.
ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE NEW TO TANGO?
It should be fun. There is no wrong in tango.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE TANGO IN 3 WORDS?
There’s no wrong.
(The implication you don’t hear in the back of my head is: it’s not the leader leading, it’s not the follower following, you’re both just out there trying to connect together by dancing. So, whatever happens it’s not wrong. It’s only wrong if you make the other person wrong)
WHAT’S THE BEST THING ABOUT EXCHANGING ROLES?
Every leader should learn to follow, because you don’t appreciate what you’re putting a follower through until you‘ve experienced it yourself. You don’t know what you’re asking of them until you’ve been asked of it yourself. You have just a whole new appreciation for balance, posture, timing, gentleness, consideration.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT TEACHING AT SANGHA SPACE?
The dynamicism of co-instructing with Lori. The Sangha Space community is wonderful to work with. I learn more co-instructing with Lori than I do when I’m taking lessons from someone else… and I like being the center of the universe (;
SOME SAY TEACHERS ARE LIFELONG LEARNERS. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE CURRENTLY LEARNING MORE ABOUT OR WORKING ON AS A TANGO TEACHER?
Personally, I’m working on posture and really trying to learn to dance small. When you’re stuck in a small space behind everybody, what are the small, little things you can do to keep it interesting with your partner, so you’re not just standing there?
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE TANGO SONG/ORQUESTRA?
Télon – Homero Manzi and Lucio Demare
What other activities are there? I guess I enjoy doing normal things, but this is the big thing for me now. I used to kayak, but at my age I can only do so much.
IF YOU WERE TO WIN THE LOTTERY, HOW WOULD YOU SPEND YOUR TIME?
Flying rescue helicopters. I’m a licensed helicopter pilot, so I would love to do that.
WHAT’S SOMETHING SECRETLY AWESOME ABOUT YOU THAT PEOPLE MAY NOT KNOW?
I can juggle flaming torches on a 6-foot unicyle. I haven’t done it in a while, but I can do it.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO ADD?
The follower can do no wrong. And for god sake’s it’s just walking, have some fun! There is way too much drama in tango.
The 2 things that changed my tango: One finding a consistent dance partner that fits, it makes all the difference. And the other is when I realized I’m not Argentinean and I stopped trying to be Argentinian. When I started dancing as myself, my dancing improved dramatically. The dance is different for everyone’s body, because everyone’s body is different. And that’s when I started enjoying tango more, when I stopped being somebody else.