For most of the country, Boulder Colorado is a fantastic place to visit when you want to enjoy the outdoors. The mountains to the west of town are stunning, with the flatirons being lit up by the morning light. The nightlife is ample with its many little restaurants and bars. You might conjure up images of red brick buildings and house music thumping and pulsing out onto the street from tiny little clubs and fraternities in the wee hours of the night. This is after all a college town. So when I tell you it’s one of the top places to go for intense tango boot camp, you might say: 1. Tango in Boulder? AND 2. What exactly is Tango boot camp?
O.K. I don’t think tango boot camp is a real term, but it DOES describe what’s happening in Boulder Colorado the last week of September and the first week of October these days. For those of us that dance tango, Boulder’s magic lies at the Avalon. That’s where we go to meet our masters of this dance. When exactly did this happen? When Gustavo Naviera and his wife Giselle Anne decided to call Boulder home sweet home. You might also ask…Didn’t Boulder just have some of the worst flooding in recorded history? Well….yes, but that isn’t enough to keep tango dancers away from Gustavo and Giselle. You see, before they came to the states, dancers would travel all the way to Argentina for weeks at a time just to study with them. Now all we have to do is head to Denver and brave a little inclement weather. Sounds like a no brainer to me. I can hop on a plane and be there in an hour and a half!
They’ve been perfecting their seminars and teaching to traveling dancers for years. Now they make Boulder an even bigger draw, by bringing in other big name dancers and having their own festival. It’s quite the sight when you think about it…200 adults taking classes all afternoon and then running to their hotel rooms to change and grab a bite to eat before dancing the evening away. Everything culminates with a big show Saturday night. I think we finally were treated to these amazing dancers at 1:30 a.m. You would think WE were all college kids. Imagine seeing Gustavo’s adult children Ariadna and Frederico dancing with their partners, then Gustavo and Giselle, and then finally seeing Chicho Frumboli and Juana Sepulveda dance. It was a show unlike any I had ever seen.
So next time you drive into Boulder Colorado, think about the rich tango tradition that is being cultivated and nourished right there at the base of the Rocky Mountains.