Agape Pappas, Argentine tango instructor and owner of Dance Tango Chicago

41 // Argentine tango instructor and owner of Dance Tango Chicago *
From: Belmont Central
Lives in: Avondale
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Pappas is Greek to her core (“Greek family, Greek school, the whole Greek thing”), but she’s lived and breathed Argentine tango since the late nineties. The Loyola University business grad took her first tango steps while living in Madrid, and it wasn’t long before she was en route to Buenos Aires to study the dance full-time.

What’s special about tango? “It’s a social dance about connection. It’s about two bodies moving as one. It’s a three-minute connection with a stranger—you try to see how well you move together.”

Sounds . . . intense. “It’s not for everyone. It’s for people who are looking for something passionate—it’s a very passionate dance. It’s not what people think, with the rose in the mouth. It’s about really feeling the moment with someone, listening to beautiful music, and dancing together.”

On asking a lady to dance: “There’s a look. A head nod. You kind of check her out. You look at her and share a secret—‘Can we dance?’ That’s the right way to do it. But sometimes you don’t have the right angle, and you have to go ask her to dance. It’s a lot of drama.”

On being a gentleman: “The gentleman has to dance for the woman [in tango]. He dances for her pleasure, but because he’s the leader, he has to dance for her. There’s a code in everything. There’s a line of dance that goes counterclockwise. He has to be careful not to hit other people. He has to protect his partner from being run over or someone jabbing their heel into her.”

On Facebook: “We’re all trapped in Facebook now. It’s not good. It’s good for whomever created Facebook, but we were just fine without it. We’re connecting with people online, we say hi, and that’s great. But we don’t really go out with these people anymore. If we wanted to connect with people, we would have found a way to do it.” —L.S.


* interested in women   * interested in men

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