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June 13, 2003 - Image 58

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-06-13

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) JN Digest

Selected news and feature stories
from the Detroit Jewish News.

Dance Of Romance

) Back In Time

Look for Alexis P. Rubin's "This
Month in Jewish History" for

Metro area Jews discover the allure of the Argentinian tango.

) What's Eating
Harry Kirsbaum?

Special to the Jewish. News



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t the tender age of 3, while most of us were
learning our ABCs, Utica's Lori Burton was
beginning to twirl her way from ballet classes to
a career in ballroom dance.
Her mother, Olga Fuchs Burton, a Holocaust survivor
who immigrated from Poland, lived to watch her daughter
dance, shuttling her from lesson to lesson. By the time Lori
turned 16, a junior at Southfield High, she was a name to
watch out for in the world of competitive dance.
"My life was really outside high school; I didn't even go
to the prom because I was so involved in dance," Burton,
now 46, reminisced.
"I was competing. I was dancing every day. I'd leave
school and go to teach and to train. By the time I was 20, I
was teaching at the Fred Astaire national dance headquar-
ters in Florida."
And while she opened her first dance studio in 1983, it
was just 10 years ago — when she was introduced to the
Argentine tango — that Burton found her true passion.
"It's a very romantic and sensual dance. It has a mystique
to it," said Burton. "For me, it's a way of connecting with
people, almost a spiritual connection. You become one
body with four legs."
She began traveling back and forth to
Argentina, perfecting her craft among the
masters, including Aurora and Jorge Firpo and
Kely (a Russian Jew) and Facundo Posadas.
And as her passion grew, so did that of her
students. Soon the tango filled Lori's dance
card and in March of 2001, she opened up
Argentine Tango Detroit in Utica, where she
holds private and group lessons, as well as
tango parties.
The classes draw students from near and far.
For Leslie Acevedo, her Wednesday ritual
begins with a drive all the way from Flint. A
librarian by day, she puts on her high heels
and becomes a different person at night.
"I'm a Birkenstock girl, but now I have 3-
inch tango shoes," said Acevedo. "When you
dance the tango, it's like taking on a new per-
sona. I listen to tango music on the radio and on CDs. I
even think differently about the clothes I wear now."
Acevedo had never taken dance lessons before, unless you
count the many Saturday nights she spent at the Jewish
Community Center in Oak Park with her Hashomer
Hatzair youth group friends, learning Israeli dances.
She became fascinated with the South American dance
after seeing The Tango Lesson, written and directed by
Jewish filmmaker Sally Potter. It is one of many movies
that have highlighted the Argentine tango.
"I can't believe that here I am, at the age of 46, dancing,"
said Acevedo. "It's like the light in the middle of my week.
I can't tell you how many times I've gone there grouchy
because something has happened at work, and I just forget
it when I start dancing.

Top: Judy Roth and Joey Selik of West Bloomfield enjoy
lessons at Argentine Tango Detroit in Utica.

Above: Susan Morse and Ed Geren of Beverly Hills
take classes weekly at Argentine Tango Detroit.

"I always leave happy, really happy. Now on my list of
things I want in a man, along with no smoking and no
drinking, is that he has to love to dance."
It wouldn't be much of a surprise if Acevedo met more
than a tango partner at Argentine Tango Detroit. The
dance studio has become a haven for both singles and cou-
ples alike.
"I had a student, a wonderful man in his 60s, and he'd
never been married," Burton said with a twinkle in her eye.


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