Tackling the Tango: Ballroom Dancing is Growing in Popularity

It's called a magical cocktail of music, romance and poetry, and it's one of the most popular forms of modern ballroom dance.

"I've danced for a long time and I've always loved dancing, so when I started classes at Western as a freshman, I saw some advertisements for Tango and I've always wanted to learn tango," said dancer Crystal Kaya.

Yasar Kaya began his dancing career learning Latin dance.

"I started dancing when I was 18, before I never danced. I couldn't do anything," Yasar said.

Crystal and Yasar now perform with Tango Nashville, a dance troupe that entertains everywhere from universities to weddings, which shows that the interest in ballroom dance has reached an all-time high.

"As a couple we don't get to do a lot of stuff together. We're running around taking care of the kids and working a lot, so we decided we wanted to to have a date night and go do something together," said Darryl Young, a participant in the Bowling Green-Warren County Community Education ballroom dancing class that took place this spring.

Like so many other couples, Darryl and his wife Tonya decided to try ballroom dancing, a nationwide trend that knows no social barriers.

Elizabeth Slattery, who instructed the course, said, "I love it! I have a great time. You get all walks of society, different levels of ability and the most important thing is that the couples leave having a good time."

Slattery has been teaching ballroom dance for 10 years. She credits pop culture for its recent rise in popularity.

"Since 'Dancing With the Stars' started I probably get calls weekly from people wanting to learn, not to compete, but just because they think it looks like fun," Elizabeth said. "It's something they can do with their partner and enjoy time together."

Although there are many variations of the tango, Crystal and Yasar prefer the Argentine Tango, because of its passionate style. The intense emotion of the tango has extra significance for Crystal and Yasar. They met, fell in love and got married while learning it.

"We started doing a lot of performing together at Western, that sort of thing, so we were spending a lot of time together, a lot of time. And so I got to know him really well, and yeah, we started dating and things went from there," Crystal said.

The two can now share their special bond on the dance floor, in front of audiences eager to learn more about this captivating facet of pop culture.

For fellas wanting to learn the Tango:

For ladies wanting to learn the Tango:

Both images courtesy of BBC


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