“This is number 13,” the taxi driver insisted as I stared dubiously at the building from which no light was emerging.
He very kindly agreed to wait while I went to investigate. The first door I came to was locked. I went around the corner to the next door and looked inside. No dance floor, no tango music, but what seemed to be an office. Luckily there was still someone there and to my relief, he knew what I was talking about when I asked him about a tango event in the vicinity. He pointed me in the direction of the Community Hall which was within walking distance, but the taxi driver insisted on dropping me off.
When I arrived, the practica had just started. The confusion in finding the venue meant that I was a few minutes late and the group of about 15 people were gathered on the left side of the room behind the two teachers. I was greeted by Kelly, one of the teachers, and invited to join the group once I was ready.
We started off with some warm up exercises, first doing individual work to improve balance before going on to practice pivots. After the warm up, we moved on to practice the giro in pairs. This is a figure I consistently manage to get wrong. Would I finally get the hang of it in Darwin?
After that, there was less instruction and the event started to feel more like a milonga. The evening I was there, the other dancers seemed to all know each other and the ones I spoke to had been dancing for at least several years.
The people I met were really friendly and while we were dancing, we talked about tango and I also got some tips for the rest of my trip. As I had suspected, there are no longer regular tango events organised in Alice Springs, which was to be my next stop. But I did get some useful information from Chris, the other teacher, on where to find information about tango events in Sydney and Melbourne.
I had been hoping to attend some practica during my trip and so I was really excited that I managed to get to one during my short stay in Darwin. I really liked the exercises at the beginning and it was nice to practice in such a relaxed atmosphere.
Thank you to Kelly, Chris and all the other dancers at last Monday’s practica for welcoming me into your group – great to meet you all, I had a lovely time!
Northern Tango is the only organiser of tango events in the Northern Territory. Apart from the Monday night practica, they also organise a weekly class on Thursdays and a monthly milonga on the last Friday of the month from 8-11pm.
Practical information: Entrance to the practica is 5 AUD. Malak Community Hall is about a 20 minute drive from Darwin city centre. There is a bus service, but it takes more than an hour and requires a couple of changes. If you want to try that you can find information about the bus routes here If, like me, you find yourself at Malak Community Square, just walk around the corner past the football pitch and turn left at the end of the road. The Community Hall is on your left. Taxi fare is about 35 AUD from the centre out to Malak.
Northern Tango also has a group on Facebook, which you can find here.
Like this post and/or want to share your experience of dancing tango while travelling? Make me very happy and leave me a comment below 😉
Update: I have had the opportunity to practice the giro since Darwin and I think I am a bit better… thanks again guys!
View from Bicentennial Park, Darwin