Spotted at: Union Square, SF
Occupation: Argentine tango enthusiast
Where are you visiting SF from?
Originally I'm from the Ukraine, but now I live in Seattle, and I came here to meet my sister who came to visit from the Ukraine. We both dance Argentine tango and that's why we came to San Francisco—to dance.
Are you both professional dancers?
Not professional, just for fun. We do social dance, but I do it quite often—it's an important part of my life. I come to San Francisco because the Argentine tango here is amazing.
How did you become interested in Argentine tango?
That's tricky to answer! I don't know, I started because my sister started. [Asks sister] “How did you get started?”
Sister: "I was just looking for any kind of dances that I'd like to dance. For children there are a lot of possibilities but for adults, there are only some groups where you dance without a partner. So that's why I started tango."
Anastasiia: It's like salsa dancing, but salsa is very popular. I've been to Buenos Aires, I've actually lived there for a while. I liked it a lot but I never danced there. I hope to go there again to dance.
Where do you go to dance tango here in SF?
Actually there are a lot of places. Almost every night there is an event—it's called a milonga: a party where you dance Argentine tango. People just organize it. I love San Francisco more than any other city because there are so many leads here! There are enough men here to dance with! In the Ukraine there are almost no men that dance tango. In Seattle, it's not that bad, but still there are many more followers than compared to San Francisco. The level is also really high here, so that's why I really enjoy visiting. The autumn is my fifth time coming here. I haven't seen my sister in about a year so we decided to meet up here because it's sunny, it's a very dance-oriented city, and we can just have a vacation hanging out and spending time together.
What other things will you be doing here in San Francisco besides dancing?
Shopping, and we're driving somewhere two hours north to go camping and visit some hot springs. We're also going to Mountain View to visit some friends who are working for Google. We have only a week here so . . .
What people or things have been inspiring you lately?
I went to Burning Man recently and it was my first time there. It's been two months already since I've gone but I still have a lot of new friends and new ideas of how to spend my life. I definitely recommend people go! It's something that can change your life, just a little bit.
Another thing that happened recently was that I met a friend who told me that he became a Big Brother (as a part of the Big Brother Big Sisters program). He told me all about his little brother, and that inspired me very much because it's something mindful that you can do with your life, to help someone. And now in the past several days I've been thinking a lot about becoming a Big Sister.
I also wanted to ask you how did you find all the things you're wearing today, especially this jacket!
Actually, I make a lot of clothes especially for tango. I have a lot of bruises on my legs from doing rock climbing, so I don't like the normal dresses. I do love pants—that's why I chose these. I made this jacket several days ago. I spent maybe two hours at the most on it, so it's very easy!
You must be able to sew really well to make things so quickly!
Well I don't do very high quality sewing! [laughs] I just do it! [laughs]
And the colors are just fun—I like the combo of the hot pink socks and the shoes!
I came here and I had new shoes that I didn't like because they're not very comfortable and I borrowed these from my friend!
Do you usually wear a lot of colorful clothes?
It's very important in Seattle when it's raining all the time! I hate it when people wear black all the time. It's awful.