Fairfield Ledger
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Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Aug 17, 2018

May I have this dance?

By Andy Hallman, Ledger news editor | Jun 05, 2018
Photo by: ANDY HALLMAN/Ledger photo Gaelyn Hutchinson lifts Lilu Papp off the ground while dancing the Argentine tango during Fairfield First Fridays in Central Park.

Early birds to Fairfield First Fridays were treated to a feast for the eyes courtesy of Lilu Papp and Gaelyn Hutchinson, who demonstrated the Argentine tango to “oohs” and “aahs” from the crowd.

The pair danced several numbers in Central Park surrounded by onlookers taking shelter from the sweltering sun under nearby trees. The duo dazzled the crowd with graceful steps, elegant dips and powerful spins.

Papp has danced tango for four years, while Hutchinson has been at it the past 3.5 months.

“I was interested in dance all my life, and when I went to a weekly tango class, I fell in love with it,” Papp said. “Gaelyn and I teach a class every Monday.”

Hutchinson said he’s been doing partner dances for decades.

“We have a great tango community here in Fairfield,” he said. “I’ve been able to dance five or six nights a week ever since I started in February, sometimes logging several hours per day.”

Hutchinson said Morning Star Studio, HFI Creativity Lab and the Argiro Student Center all host tango classes during the week.

The pair have done many other types of dances during their careers. Papp did swing and ballroom, but lost interest in them because they didn’t measure up to tango. What’s special about tango?

“I think it’s the connection that the two dancers can develop between each other,” she said.

Hutchinson added that many dances have a basic step that all beginner’s learn. It’s the default movement that the couple often returns to in between more complicated moves. He mentioned the revolving basic in Lindy Hop and the sugar push in West Coast Swing.

“In tango, the default movement is as simple as walking,” he said. “When you have that connection with your partner and you understand where their weight is, and tango is all about feeling your partner’s body through that connection, then you can do all sorts of extemporaneous movements. Some of it is taught, but a lot of it is just play where we’re responding to each other.”

Except for a few choreographed steps at the beginning of their first dance, all of Papp and Hutchinson’s movements were improvised.

“Even the lifts were improvised,” Hutchinson said. “The goal isn’t to make it look choreographed but rather to make it follow the music.”

 

 

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