Tango in Madison this weekend was great and it was all because of Adam Hoopengardner. He wasn’t even there, nor was his partner, Ciko. Just the fact that they were coming to Minneapolis on November 7-9 was enough to make a normal tango weekend in Wisconsin’s capital city, 300 miles away, into the best one I’ve seen since I arrived 10 months ago.
Throughout my entire eight-year tango education Adam and Ciko have always been in the background.
At the NYC dance studio You Should Be Dancing on 8th Avenue, where my favorite tango instructor, Dragan Ranitovic, taught for many years, they host an alternative milonga that is always well-attended.
Of the many tango festivals I’ve attended all across the country, Adam and Ciko were frequent performers as well as teachers.
For three years I attended the Tuesday practica of the Penn State Tango Club and I was always asked if I’d be attending an Adam and Ciko workshop which was always in the not-too-distant future.
When they were teaching in Media, PA, at the Sangha Space tango studio, I just had to go. It was such an experience that I blogged about it when I first began writing about tango regularly. It wasn’t my greatest piece of writing but it was an awesome event!
The teaching duo’s events are more than instructional sessions; they are religious revivals! That is because their charisma generates an enthusiasm that motivates their followers to get out and spread the word.
This weekend, three of those infected with AdamandCikomania, came to Madison to proselytize. This trio of college students were very well-versed in the art of dancing tango. Their demeanor at both milongas they attended was the epitomy of what is known around here as Minnesota Nice. They made every man and woman with whom they danced feel special, including me and I have to say that I am overwhelmed!
This is not a new phenomenon. Everywhere Adam and Ciko go there is a fervor in anticipation of their arrival. I experienced it in NYC, in Philadelphia and on Penn State’s main campus in the heart of PA.
Having participated in several of their workshops I can say the expectation is not mere hype: these guys deliver!
I had a great time this weekend and I am looking forward to the Adam and Ciko festival in November, I hope to see you there so we can all 'pray' together!!!
For more of the Kayak Hombre, read my books Fear of Intimacy and the Tango Cure and River Tango. Available at Amazon.com in paperback or Kindle editions.