CHICAGO MINI TANGO FESTIVAL
April 10-14, 2014
Liz Haight and Masami Hirokawa(Santa Fe)
Liz Haight began dancing at the age of five, studying ballet, modern, tap, and jazz throughout her childhood in New York City. She performed with the Jose Limon Dance Co. at Lincoln Center and later through the Julliard School of Dance. As an adolescent, she was a scholarship student at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Center, where she trained with Judith Jamison.
Since 1991, Liz has focused on authentic club-style social dances originating in Latin America. She has been dancing Argentine tango since 1997. While she has studied all forms of the dance, her love lies in the close-embrace "milonguero-style" tango - the tango of the Golden Age and the tango of the crowded dance floors of Buenos Aires. In this style, she has studied extensively with Ricardo Vidort, Alicia Pons, Susana Miller, Osvaldo & Coca Cartery.
Liz has had her own business teaching Latin social dances in Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1997. She has been teaching tango since 2002 and now works full-time teaching exclusively milonguero-style Argentine tango both privately and in group classes. In addition, she teaches tango nationally in weekend workshops with her partner Masami. Since 2005, she has taught regularly at the Denver Tango Festivals, both with her partner Masami Hirokawa and with Ricardo Vidort, a renowned milonguero of the Golden Age. Liz has been hosting milongas in Santa Fe since 2002, including the Carlos Gospel Cafe, the Hotel St. Francis, the Cloud Cliff Cafe and Artspace, and the Joe’s Diner Milonga. Masami Hirokawa, her partner in life and tango, assists her in all her classes.
Liz's love of people, her technical ability in both leading and following, and her passion for the energetic and emotional elements of the dance have led her to develop effective ways of teaching not only the physical and functional aspects of the dance, but also the more elusive, transcendent qualities of the dance. Her exploratory form of teaching allows for a visceral experience of tango as a form of communication, creativity, profound connection, and the joy of self-expression.
Liz holds an interdisciplinary Bachelor's degree in art and psychology from Bennington College and a Master's degree in clinical psychology with a specialty in body/mind integrative therapy from Antioch University. She gave up her career in body-psychotherapy in 1998 in order to devote herself to teaching dance full-time.
Masami Hirokawa comes to tango with a deep understanding of the creative process and a natural, delightful ability to interpret music. In his words, "Argentine tango is like working on a piece of art except, in the case of tango, we are each other's canvas".
Masami has been an artist his whole life. In his youth he studied ballet and tap dance as well as music and sports. In his twenties he was a nationally-ranked motorcycle racer, and in his thirties he competed nationally in various ballroom dances. He has been a successful free-lance illustrator since 1971. He is now semi-retired.
Masami has danced milonguero-style Argentine tango since 2002. He has also studied with Alicia Pons, Ricardo Vidort, Susana Miller, and Osvaldo & Coca Cartery, 2004 world champions.
Masami has been assisting Liz Haight teaching Argentine tango since 2005 in Santa Fe, in workshops out of state, and at a number of the Denver Tango Festivals. In his work with Liz, he is an integral part of developing both subject matter and experiential methods of teaching.