Argentine dance arouses interest in High Country |

Argentine dance arouses interest in High Country

Summit Daily/Jennifer Harper

FRISCO – Hands clasped, the couple stands only a few inches apart. The woman then closes the gap between them, leaning her weight into the man’s chest. She closes her eyes, gets lost in the music and follows the rhythm of his body.Obsession, passion, beauty – the sensual Argentine tango has a personal meaning to each dancer, but these central feelings resonate within the dance. And although Summit County may not come to mind when thinking of Argentine tango, there is a growing number of people in the High Country eager to learn this intimate dance.Dave and Sheryl Wetzel started Argentine tango classes at the Frisco Mall on Main Street at the beginning of September. Instructed by Denver dancers Chas Gale and Gaya Banovich, the next series of beginners’ classes starts Monday, Oct. 3, and is held from 7:15-8:30 p.m. for four consecutive Mondays.”It is a dance where people totally connect in both your mind and your body,” Sheryl Wetzel said. “We all need to be hugged, and (the dance) puts you on that person-to-person basis.”The Wetzels wrapped up their first tango series Monday night. They started with 17 couples in the group, but only eight couples made it to the final class.

“We knew we’d lose some tonight because of Monday night football,” Sheryl Wetzel joked.Now married for 43 years, the couple first met at a square dance.”After that, we started dating, and we just never quit dancing,” she said.About a year ago, the couple saw the movie “Shall We Dance” and realized that the tango was the one dance they hadn’t learned.”I said, ‘Before we can’t dance anymore, I’d like to learn to tango,'” she said.The Wetzels started taking tango lessons last November in Denver, where they met instructors Gale and Banovich. The two have been dancing together since April 2004. The Wetzels asked them if they would teach the Summit class, and they happily agreed.

“These two show the beauty of the dance and the passion of the dance that stands with it,” Sheryl Wetzel said, watching Gale and Banovich gracefully move around the floor Monday night.Sheryl Wetzel insists that no prior dancing experience is necessary to take part in the Argentine tango classes, and anyone, any age, single or coupled is invited to join. And although some male dancers may have been lost to the Broncos-Chiefs game, she said that doesn’t speak to men’s desire to be a part of the group.”I don’t know of any men in here that have been dragged to this class,” she said.Jim and Cindy Earnst of Summit Cove just finished the four-week series. The couple has been ballroom dancing for several years.”It’d be nice if we could get enough people to start a tango club,” Jim Earnst said. “But all this is going to die out if we don’t get some younger people.”Sheryl Wetzel said the age range of the last series’ group was late 20s to 60s.

Jim Earnst added that people shouldn’t worry about having a partner to join the class and said that deodorant is a good idea.Even though the Argentine tango is a submissive dance, according to Sheryl Wetzel, some may think women actually have the upper hand in the dance.”Anything that goes wrong, it’s his fault,” she said. “All I have to do is close my eyes, feel him and the music and just dance.”Argentine tango new beginners’ classesp When: 7:15-8:30 p.m.

Mondays, beginning Oct. 3p Where: 409 E. Main St. in Frisco, downstairs in Frisco Mall p Cost: $40 per unpaired single, $75 per paired couple for the four-week seriesJennifer Harper can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 248, or at

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