MYSO News

The latest news and announcements from Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra

Queila Griffin: Baila conmigo, “Dance with me”


Posted on July 16, 2017 by MYSO

Day 6

Guillermo, the tango instructor and painter we met in La Boca / Photo: Queila Griffin

Guillermo, the tango instructor and painter we met in La Boca / Photo: Queila Griffin

Today was all about dancing, and especially, the tango. We were able to revisit La Boca neighborhood today for longer than we were able to yesterday. We made a couple of classic tourist purchases, alfajores, magnets, soccer jerseys, etc. Along with all the tourist shops, and racks of paintings, there were many cafés and bars with enticing smells wafting out. 

Since it was a little chillier today, I stopped into a small little cafe and got hot chocolate. Right outside, there was a man painting watercolor next to his wares. I love watercolors, and stopped to look. He started up a conversation and I found out that he used to be a tango performer and teacher all around the world. Through the conversation I leaned he also taught creative art in colleges in the United States. I told him that my mom likes to paint watercolor too, and she is the one who taught me how to speak Spanish. He was very enthusiastic and told me to manda saludos a mi mamá (send greetings to my mom). So, hi mom! 

View from the old bookstore/opera house / Photo: Queila Griffin

View from the old bookstore/opera house / Photo: Queila Griffin

Obviously, by this point I needed a postcard to remember the experience. We got some and he told me to sign my name, and then in a couple of seconds, he drew a figure of two people doing the tango. 

After learning the bachata and the salsa (and by learning I mean having fun and kind of getting it), we went to an old opera house that had been turned into a book store called El Ateneo. 

Emma, Katie, Queila, and Kayla all dressed up outside Tango Porteño before the show Photo: Josh Roets

Emma, Katie, Queila, and Kayla all dressed up outside Tango Porteño before the show / Photo: Josh Roets

From there we went to Tango Porteño, which was an amazing experience where they served us a wonderful dinner and performed a tango show. There was a live orchestra with accordions that accompanied a troupe of tango dancers, two singers, and an arial acrobat. Honestly, I have been struggling with words to describe it. In a word, tango is passionate. Nothing about the dance is unintentional, yet it doesn’t seem forced or choreographed. It’s all about quick little movements, with flicks of the leg, and then slow drawn out flourishes. Each couple performed the tango in a different way, with a different attitude, but all still with the same intent. Maybe I was just previously completely ignorant before, (very likely), but I don’t think I truly had ever understood the tango until tonight. 


Like this post? Share it!