WESTWOOD, Calif. – It might be the last person you would expect to see twirling their wife around on the dance floor, but when people learn that Tommy Chong loves to tango, he often gets asked what he has been smoking?!
"That's one of the reasons I dance tango, is cause I can smoke and dance at the same time," said Tommy. "That way when I make mistakes I don't care."
Known as half of the Cheech and Chong duo that found success in the 70s and 80s with their stoner comedy, Tommy and his wife Shelby found tango years ago when they were in Paris, and then again years later while in Buenos Aires.
Little did he know, the dance would one day save his life. While on Dancing with the Stars in 2014, Tommy was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and says he needed to do something that would fool his body into thinking he was young again.
"Tango was the only physical activity that I could get through and here I am today with I don't know how many years now, but cancer-free,” said Tommy.
For the past five years, Tommy and Shelby dance with couple Marcos Questas and Ruta Maria, who are the founders of the International Tango Summit. The Chongs are sponsors of the event that's happening at the LAX Hilton from September 12 through 15 and can be seen there dancing together.
"Tango has its beautiful challenges, as soon as we get a taste of something we like, we want a little bit more, so seeing him grow in this dance has been truly rewarding for myself," said Maria.
For those in L.A. looking for a chance to grow and try something new, the tango summit has something for everyone.
"The Tango Angeleno Experience is for somebody who doesn't have yet the tango experience that they want and they want a taste of Buenos Aires here in L.A.," said Maria.
No matter the level of skill there's always something to learn.
"You never conquer it," said Tommy.
"But that's the reason you keep coming and taking lessons, because you don't conquer it," said Shelby.
If you get all tangled up, just tango on.