This year the Puerto Rico Tango Marathon highlighted daily milongas on the beautiful San Juan Isla Verde Beach. I had the pleasure of being there and found the marathon awash in an almost speakeasy feel, relaxed, comforting and entertaining. The atmosphere was about dancing the Argentine tango, meeting friends and dancers from all over North America & Europe, and sharing our passion for tango.
Within an intimate setting, the Puerto Rico Tango Marathon was five days of wondrous opportunity for tango aficionados to watch others and to dance non-stop all day and night.
I had the pleasure of speaking with the event's organizer, Tai Maria.
Tai Maria Helfeld - PRTM Organizer
How did it all start?
About five year ago I went to my first Tango Marathon and it was a life changing experience! After many hours of dancing with so many different dancers I felt my body and my Tango had changed. It was as if I stopped thinking and started dancing! That is when I became really addicted to Tango! I started traveling for tango almost every month and met many new amazing friends. I thought I was in Tango Heaven going from one event to the other, meeting old and new friends, enjoying Tango at its best! At the same time I was working in PR, organizing local milongas, practicas, teaching at our school Y Entonces... Tango and passing on my enthusiasm to create a more active tango community!
What was the idea for Puerto Rico Tango Marathon (PRTM)?
Tree years ago I started organizing PRTM because I wanted all this wonderful dancers and dear friends that I have met around the world to come visit us! I wanted to share with them the magic of dancing by the beach in our beautiful Island of Puerto Rico :) Also I wanted to give my community the possibility of experiencing a tango marathon, because for me this has been one of the most wonderful thing in my tango life. To have the opportunity to connect, to share abrazos, tandas and friendship, with dancers from many other communities. To make lots of new friends and to reunite with old ones in an awesome party environment specially designed for this!
Tell me about PRTM this year's highlights.
This year at the marathon there was Beach Milongas from 1pm to 6pm and All Night Milongas inside the salon from 9pm to 4am Friday, Saturday and Sunday! The weather was absolutely beautiful and the energy was spectacular everyday! There was 10 amazing djs, and many wonderful dancers from the US, Canada and Europe! Yoga classes in the morning follow by a delicious brunch, two outstanding performances one by El Circo National and one by the famous theater company Y No Habia Luz and to close the weekend we sailed away on an epic After Party Boat Trip! If you missed this amazing event, make sure to save the date for next year ;)
How is a marathon different from a tango festival?
Both kinds of event are wonderful on their own way. The main difference is that marathons usually have more hours of dancing and more food, no classes or Tango performances and most are gender balance.
How can someone register for PRTM or find more info?
The Marathon registration opens every year first by invitation. If you wish to receive the invitation you can join the mailing list at: puertoricotangomarathon.com.