Clay Nelson began teaching in 1964 at Arthur Murray Dance Studio to help support himself through college at the University of Illinois. After completing a Ph.D. in Theoretical & Applied Mechanics, he taught engineering for six years at the University of Portland, and nine years at Texas A&M University. In 1990 Clay returned to his favorite part of the country–the Northwest, to pursue his favorite activity–social dancing.
For eight years he owned, operated and taught at Clay’s Dance Studio in Portland, Oregon. In 1993 he experienced his very first exposure to true Argentine Tango and fell in love with the special grace, beauty, elegance, and the social and improvisational nature of this dance. From that point on he has focused his teaching and learning activity on tango. As a result he has hosted and studied with dozen of Argentine tango maestros and is the organizer and inspiration for the the well known Portland October TangoFest, the Portland ValenTango in february, the Seattle TangoMagic in July and the McCloud Burning Tango in June.
Clay believes that the basic principles for good teaching are universal and apply equally well to both engineering and dance. He also believes that no other dance can compete with the passion and intensity of Argentine Tango! Clay continues this training by attending classes and workshops presented by various Argentine Tango Maestros in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Vancouver, Miami, Denver, Amsterdam, Buenos Aires, etc.
If you’d like me to teach in your city, I require travel expenses, a place to stay, pleasant company, and payment of whatever you think is fair. Example topics for tango workshops include:
(1) Essential Basics from Absolute Beginners to Advanced
(2) Tango Technique for all levels: posture, balance embrace, torsion, walking, musicality etc.
(3) Three Elements to Achieve Tango Nirvana
(4) Turns in Tight Spaces
(5) 101 Variations on Ocho Cortado
(6) Torsion: the Secret Ingredient for Effective Leading and Following
(7) Unraveling the Complex Rhythm of Vals Crusada
(8) The Ebb and Flow of Tango
(9) What Men Want/What Women Need in Tango
(10) It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Aint Got that Swing: Traspie, Musicality, phrasing and navigation
Clay has taught Tango for the following cities:
Tulsa, OK; Medford, OR; Ashland, OR; Bend, OR. McCloud, CA; Menphis, TN; Ann Arbor, MI; Juneau, AK; Coeur d’Alene, ID; Boise, ID Hailey, ID; Seattle, WA; Portland, OR, Cleveland, OH