Queer Tango is taking over NYC. Lexa Roséan teaches a beginner's tango class at El Cid Restaurant.
However, this dance isn’t like others, there’s no restriction on gender roles.
Jack Hanley, who is a co-founder of Rainbow Tango, says, “You have to give up your ego to dance somebody, you have to let go of your life, you have to be in the present, you have to be totally committed to the person you are embracing and accept them.”
Hanely’s past experience with dancing wasn’t a good one as a gay man.
“I remember in the late 90’s actually being told to please leave or please stop dancing with this man because we aren’t comfortable with that. That wouldn’t happen today,” Hanely said.
Rosean had a similar experience in the late 90’s and was kicked out of places when wanting to dance with women.
“I can dance anywhere now. I feel good about that. It gets a little bit better every time but I think a lot has happened this year, so maybe it’s the time,” Rosean stated.
Therefore, Rainbow Tango was born
Hanely explained, "We wanted a place for the LGBT community who enjoy open role dancing to enjoy a comfortable space.”
Every Tuesday night, participants can feel at ease if a man wants another man to follow, or if a woman wants to take the lead.
Queer Tango has a small scene in NYC, but organizers hope to help it grow.