Last Thursday night I was at Ozz Billiards in Provo when I heard Michael Bublé coming from behind a thick black curtain that separated the building in half.
“I feel very Mad Men right now,” I said to my date. Curiosity eventually overcame us and we wandered past the curtain. What we found was a world that would make Don Draper proud.
Benjermin Cooke bought Blue Tango from a friend who had moved on and was going to shut it down.
“He was on and up to bigger and better things and in order to go do that he had to close the venue down,” Cooke said, who couldn’t bare to let Blue Tango fade into nothingness. “I kept the dream alive.”
Cooke took over because he felt that young people of Utah County needed something different to do socially.
“We have a lot of young people here that need an eye-opener to what life has to offer,” Cooke said. “And blues music and jazz offers that.”
The thing that draws you into Blue Tango in the first place is the difference in vibe and music from other dance venues. You won’t hear any Taio Cruz or Rhianna here. For those who are concerned about standards, Blue Tango has your back.
“The cool thing about the music that we play –blues and jazz –is that if you listen to music and the upper part of your body starts pouncing to the music, yeah, that’s probably good music and you can do a lot of dances to that. But when you hear something that moves your lower part, moves your hips or your core, that’s when it really hits you,” Cooke said. “It’s real life, it’s true and that’s why it reaches down into your soul, into your heart.”
When it comes to getting the youth out to Blue Tango Cooke has one thing to say, “‘Why not?’ You can go to other dances and other clubs but you’re dancing by yourself or with a group. Or, you can come to Blue Tango and dance with somebody in an intimate dance to where you can really get connect, one on one, and you can make some wonderful friends.”
And isn’t that the reason social dance was invented in the first place?