'We do not lust after every one of our partners' Tango dancer Anne Bertreau reveals dancing secrets
French dancer Anne Bertreau reveals how she runs her London and Paris-based tango school Tango Space to Mandy News.
Anne, tell us where you’re from, what kind of dancing you do and when you first decided you wanted to dance professionally.
I dance Argentine Tango, which is a social dance: it is improvised and all about self-expression but also connecting with the people who are dancing around us. So, even though it is the ‘root’ of the tango shows you might see on Strictly, it is actually quite different, both in its form and philosophy.
I am also an actress, acting both in France and the UK.
How did you go about learning your craft?
I went to Buenos Aires as much as I could… But I also learnt from the amazing Argentine teachers who are touring the world. I’ve been known to go for a weekend away just because someone I admired was teaching there that weekend.
I studied acting in France and in the UK, and then performed and learnt on the go.
What was your first job? How was it?
I’m not sure if I remember what it was exactly but I remember the feeling I got: ‘I got paid… it’s the first time I am paid for my art!’
How did you then go on to get further work?
Once I created my school it became easier for my partner and I: we are more established, and get more people contacting us. For acting, because I don’t have much time to audition today I create my own work - I recently brought my show Behind Our Skin to the Fringe and planning touring.
Tell us about the individual and collective discipline of Tango dancing. What work can one do on their own as well as with a partner?
Ah, great question. In tango we are very depending on each other, it is an incredibly connected dance. But there is actually a lot you can do alone… especially improving your strength, flexibility and balance. Only when the two dancers are fully independent can they dance together. It sounds obvious, but when you practice social tango dancing, it is easy to forget.
Tell us about Tango Space.
We help men and women in London express themselves, feel confident, get challenged outside of work and meet friendly people with our tango classes. Our focus is on creating a community (we all meet to dance outside of the classes, and go out for drinks) because we know that you learn quicker - and you have more fun - when you are part of a family.
What have been your most interesting and challenging productions? Any interesting stories? Travelled much for work?
For both acting and dancing I have been incredibly satisfied (and still am) by the learning journey. For arts require commitment and practice and moving past your limiting beliefs. In addition to the sense of well-being you get from learning something new, I learnt a lot about life in those years of development.
Are there any dancing myths that people believe starting out that you can reveal aren’t true?
Hahaha; yes, a lot! Tango is a lot more meditative than a lot of people expect… No, we do not lust after every one of our partners. It requires too much concentration for that. In a way, it is very gentle. Also, you do not need a partner to join.
If anyone wants to give it a try, we organise free taster workshops at Tango Space. You can register here.
Tell us what you’ve got coming up and what you’re up to at the moment.
My show Behind Our Skin is coming to London. Check it out here.
Tango website: www.tango-space.com
Acting website: www.expressinghumanity.com