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Learn Sultry Tango From a Master at Flushing Town Hall

By Smriti Rao | July 25, 2012 1:23pm

FLUSHING—It takes two to tango, but when Mayte Vicens performs the sultry dance, she's transported into her own world.

“It’s like meditation,” said Vicens, a Spanish native who teaches and performs dance around the city. “You make small moves, it’s very peaceful.”

On Aug. 12, dance fanatics will have a chance to experience the bliss of the Argentine tango when Vicens gives a lesson and performance at the Flushing Town Hall, on Northern Boulevard and Linden Place.

Part of the Hall’s summer concert series, “Planet Music Global Vibrations,” Vicens, whose real name is Maria Teresa Vicens, will first instruct the audience in the basics of tango before hitting the dance floor with her partner, who goes by the name Musa, for a live demonstration.

Participants can take notes on how to “embrace elegantly” and how to lead and follow their dance partners.

“It’s a very intelligent dance because you have to follow in a second what your partner is telling you…from their gestures, from their embrace,” she said.

Vicens, who lives in White Plains, fell in love with the Argentine tango when she moved to the United States in 2000. Originally from Spain, the trained flamenco dancer, who also performs and teaches salsa and ballroom dances in the city, said she was hooked the instant she saw the tango being performed in a show in New York when she first moved to the city.

Vicens said the dance, which originated in Argentina, had several variations, but the basics were the same across different cultures.     

“It’s a very unique dance," she said. "It feels wonderful and very sensual.”

While Vicens’ 1½-hour private lessons in her downtown Manhattan studio cost $25, she will share her tango tips at the Flushing Town Hall for free.

“It’s always a full house when we have tango performances,” said organizer David Bromley.

Vicens, who is holding the lessons for the second time this year at the Town Hall, said she loved watching the audience’s expressions as she instructed them on how to sway, dip and twirl.  

“Most people are excited, but they are self-conscious,” she said. “But once they take the first step, they realize how easy it is.”

Vicens’ dance class begins at 1 p.m, followed by a performance at 2 p.m. Then, the dance floor is thrown open for the audience after the show to encourage them to shake a leg.

“When you dance, everything else stops,” she described. “You to have to focus…and learn to surrender to the music.”

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