Tangoing all the way to Argentina is the aim of Banbury social worker Aseem Bandali who will be putting on his dancing shoes for Parkinson’s UK.
Mr Bandali, 43, of Broughton Road, is a tango student and, starting from Oxford on November 28, plans to dance in France, Spain, Gibraltar and Morocco before ending up in Buenos Aires, in Argentina – and he plans to complete it all in 80 days.
The challenge is inspired by Aseem’s friend and fellow Tanguero Antony Brown, 74, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008 but continues to dance at every available opportunity.
Mr Bandali, who is aiming to raise £1,000, will be dancing at local ‘milongas’ – Tango social dances – en route and will be offering his services to various projects in exchange for meals and a bed.
He said: “Eight months ago I decided to take a career break and do some travelling which is how the Argentina trip came about. Instead of jumping on a plane, I thought it would be nice to make it an adventure.”
He has already made contact with organisations for voluntary work including a group in France which helps people with disabilities go on holiday.
The tango originated in South America at the turn of the 20th century and spread to the rest of the world.
Mr Bandali said: “Tango is a sensual dance so it didn’t have a good reputation at the time. When it became fashionable in Paris in the 1950s, it became more mainstream.
“You go to a tango lesson once a week, you learn the basics and for the first five years you are a beginner in essence.
“Once you feel more confident, you attend social dances and it opens up a whole new scene. You meet people all over the world, it breaks down barriers between cultures and it doesn’t matter what social class you are, you can dance with anybody.”
On raising money for Parkinson’s UK, he added: “I have seen Parkinson’s turn people’s lives upside down, leaving a future full of uncertainty and there is currently no cure. Parkinson’s UK strives to ensure people have whatever they need to take back control – from information to inspiration.”
He is also offering his car as an advertising billboard to companies in exchange for a donation. To sponsor visit https://www.justgiving.com/Tangoing2Argentinain80days.