Upon meeting William Temples, you may think he is from Latin America.
He is fluent in Spanish and calls himself Guillermo. He shops at the Spanish grocery store on South Boulevard and listens almost exclusively to Spanish music. His home is covered with paintings and photos from Buenos Aires and he often wears a wooden necklace resembling a rosary around his neck. To a non-Spanish speaking person, even his accent seems to hint at a foreign birth.
Temples, 42, is from southern Georgia. But he might not admit it.
Twelve years ago Temples was just coming out of a divorce when he decided to learn Spanish. To make himself more fluent, he visited Buenos Aires, Argentina, because he was told it was beautiful.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
Before he reached the hotel there, Temples was stopped by a sight that would forever change his life.
All around him an accordion's bittersweet melody filled the air. Couple's torsos and cheeks pressed together as they floated to the music in a dance he had never seen before, and never forget.
That dance was the Argentine tango.
For the next two weeks, Temples forgot his pursuit of Spanish and learned to tango. He visited a different tango school every day. His instructors taught him as much as one can learn in two weeks.
Upon returning to his south Charlotte home, Temples went to dance studios seeking to continue his education. But he kept running into the same problem - the only tango taught in Charlotte was ballroom tango - an entirely different dance.
One day he met a man also looking for an Argentine tango class. Originally from Argentina, Daniel Arredondo knew significantly more tango than Temples. Temples begged Arredondo to start a beginner's class in Charlotte and Temples, who worked at the former Tower Club in uptown, was able to borrow studio space.
Arredondo came up with the name Passion for Tango for his newfound school, and Temples, who had a degree from Savannah College of Art and Design, drew the logo, a couple dancing, inspired by what he saw in Argentina.
Having been put online by a friend, the logo started showing up at the top of Google image searches and Temples was contacted by people from all over the world, wanting to know if they could use his image for their tango school or music artwork.
Temples found that he couldn't stop drawing tango dancers and scenes from Argentina. The dance that was becoming more and more a part of his life was spilling onto his canvases.
It also was spilling into the Charlotte community. Soon the class moved to various sites, including Bistro 100, RiRa's, Patou Bistro, Morehead Street Tavern and now, Lynn's Dance Club.
After a few years, Temples also started instructing in Charlotte. Now, Passion for Tango offers classes at various locations four days a week and usually at least one milonga (tango dance) per week.
Temples has frequently visited Argentina where he met his current wife Mariana. Thanks to her, he says his connection to Argentina is stronger than ever and he is becoming more inspired with his art. "I can't imagine a life without tango," Temples said.