Isabella Szymonowicz

Longing for springtime tango…

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old pink suitcase

Whether it be Portland, Chicago, Santa Fe, Buenos Aires or even Milan…who wouldn’t adore following the spring weather for a little tango travel? Time to brush off the suitcases, polish the soles of our shoes and follow our whimsy for a little travel.

If well planned one could experience the arrival of spring in many tango capitals for weeks on end and be truly refreshed for the dance floor… 

pink tango shoes

Maybe we will meet in spring flight …in Santa Fe and Chicago this April, ….Toronto in May,  …Costa Rica June or Buenos Aires  from June till September.  Until then may your dancing be a light as the spring sunshine !

Alluring improvisations….

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At times I have asked myself if other people that dance tango in the milongas truly adore the absolute thrill and visceral power of dancing totally “improvisationally” as much as I do.

When the opportunity arises to attend a milonga the anticipation beforehand is palpable.

What music will be played?

What should I wear?

How will my tandas be?

Will my favourite partners be there?

How will the floor/group feel?

Will I be able to open a little door and create some of the magic that will leave us both desiring more at the end of our beloved tanda?

isabella y juan carlos 2012

Having the experience of dancing here,abroad and travelling to Buenos Aires many times and residing there for months on end my desire to improvise something beautiful/passionate and completely in the moment has never been diminished.

I would be thrilled to hear some of your stories about interesting spontaneous tandas and would love you to share some of them here if you like.

Here is one of my last demos this year in Buenos Aires at Cachirulo,the Saturday night milonga hosted by Norma and Hector in Villa Malcolm. This tango is pure spontaneous improvisation….and to me, completely thrilling.

Isabella Szymonowicz currently is one of the hosts of a Monday night practica.
For details/times please check Swansea Town Hall


This article has been translated in articulos en espagnol.

Let’s join together…

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Dear friends,

sandy hookAs most of you already know I have had the honour of working for the school board here in Toronto for many years. I have shared my passion for music with many educators and students.

Fridays events have left me shaken (as with the rest of the world) and questioning my beliefs. In an effort to try and do ‘something’ I would like to invite you to make a donation with me to the families and community of Sandy Hook. I don’t possess to have any knowledge of how this must feel but I do know what it is to lose a loved one.

Today we will have our last practise of 2012. We will have a special envelope for anyone to donate if they wish with me.

If you are unable to join us this evening, online donations are accepted here.

We look forward to seeing you this evening, and I want to extend our wishes for a peaceful holiday and joyful new year to those who are unable to join us.

Come celebrate !

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We invite you come out and share our joy in celebrating our one year Anniversary of classes, workshops and special events at Practica El Beso with a little toast Monday November 12. 


Each week we offer Buenos Aires style Argentine Tango music in a beautiful space with wood floors, mirror, and barre.   In the Teiaiagon Room at Swansea Town Hall,95 Lavinia. 
We encourage you to come out and viscerally feel the music as styled from the milongas of Buenos Aires by Isabella and practise your beloved tango in a supportive environment.
Cost $8.00
From 8p.m. till 10p.m.
Stay tuned for upcoming events…

one night in Cachirulo…

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Laughter, beautiful embrace with my partner Javier Gramigna, Alicia Pons tapping the rhythm with her fingers, incredible vals music by Donato, La Tapera, selected by Carlos Rey and off we go for our second ‘despedida/cumple’ dance at Cachirulo in Buenos Aires recently.

The festive atmosphere, the seduction of mystery, the improvisation, the union of music and partner and the thrill of knowing that dance will never be repeated all hook you in deeply and keep you hungering for more.

Thank you to Hector and Norma for this latest invitation to dance.




Re-opening of El Beso, Buenos Aires

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Black door, relaxed chairs in a new alcove and upstairs  to the sounds of the milonga “Lujos”on Thursdays.

Once inside the main space, everything seems the same but so much better somehow.  The re-opening of El Beso on Riobamba in busy Buenos Aires may have created an even higher level of affinity towards this special place.  Briefly chatting with some of the regulars and very happily being seated at my ‘place’ the milonga slowly unfolds with much eagerness and high expectations of beautiful dances with incredible music.

This is the place to dream, share an artistic expression of tango music with a partner and enjoy!

Thank you to everyone who made this happen.

Join us for two weeks in May…

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Come join us at Practica El Beso on Mondays May 14 and 28th.
We will focus on explorations in connections and playing with beat and rhythm.
From 8:00p.m. – 9:00p.m. at Swansea Town Hall.
Drop in $20.

Isabella Szymonowicz & Alicia Pons… part 3

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Alicia & Isabella in Buenos Aires 2011

1.  Please tell us what you mean when you say “tango is life”.

Alicia:  Tango holds different states of mind, at times happy, at times not.  Like life we have connections that are more strong with some people and weaker with others.  We need to have dialogues, because in our heart a TANGO ALWAYS PLAYS.

2. Can you explain the main difference between milongas in Buenos Aires and North America?

Alicia:  In Buenos Aires you BREATHE  tango in the milongas,  the ENERGY is created by  each couple and at times all TOGETHER.  It almost looks like the floor  moves.  Each person dances with their partner creating a row of precious pearls and each dance opens the door to an emotion  within ourselves that we express to our partner.

3.  What do you think is missing in the milongas in North America?

Alicia:  The sentiment.  They are  too pre-occupied with steps done well and not for what the couple feels.

4.  How important do you think it is for students to spend time practising on their own?

Alicia:  It is important to practise to feel secure on the dancefloor.  But, I always say that “tango is produced in the moment”.  At times one practises a lot and then when dancing forgets everything.

5.  You are a wonderful milonguera, why do you think so many people love to dance with you?

Alicia:  Thank you.   I think I put all of my being into each dance, I express how I feel and let go so that I can FLY!

6.  What can we do to keep this dance alive?

Alicia:  Keep dancing and always learn more.

A Tango Video in Words

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(Originally appeared on Tango In Toronto  in an interview with Lydia)

In this blog’s last post, I asked Toronto’s Isabella Szymonowicz why dancers should experience the teachings of Buenos Aires tango instructor Alicia Pons when she visits our city early in March. In her reply Isabella included a video of the two of them dancing. Knowing that this blog’s readers have varying levels of tango knowledge and varying levels of ability to relate to a video, I asked Isabella to put in down in writing what is happening in the video. Here is her response to that challenge.

Alicia was asked last September to do a series of classes at La Milonguita which is a popular milonga a tiny bit out of the downtown core. The idea of the class was to do something simple, elegant and with the music.

During this clip Alicia and I are demonstrating the concept of simple weight change as an actual step. At about 28 seconds she verbalizes that we are only changing weight. The follower is simply walking backwards and the leader (Alicia in this case) is walking on one side of the follower and then on the other side of the follower. With great fluidity and ease the leader keeps hips level, leaves feet a bit open at times, and changes weight when he (the leader) hears it in the music. This is all done gently and with great precision. It sounds and looks so simple but really it is challenging.

The soft quality of the steps here follow the beautiful stunning music of this Osvaldo Fresedo piece with Ricardo Ruiz vocals. The music and lyrics bring forth a mood of gentle, sad, long forgotten promises never to be brought forth. The marriage of music, dance, partner, fuses into something incredibly haunting and unforgettable.

Despues del Carnaval by Osvaldo Fresedo with Ricardo Ruiz vocals.

… Fue una noche que
lloraban los violines
un triste tango de
promesas olvidades…
mientas la luna plateaba los jardines
un beso ardiente en la noche palpito.

Mas el encanto
de aquellas horas,
al morir Momo
si diluyo.
Y con mi dolor
a solas
LLore la muerte
de mi ilusion….

Another beautiful example of tango as danced in the milongas with simplicity and weight changes is this clip of Cacho Dante. He and Alicia performed and taught together.