memorable moments…of music, dance & friends

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This video was taken at Cachirulo (Saturday) now at Villa Malcolm (originally Maipu 444) in Buenos Aires August 2011.

The music is by Carlos di Sarli with Roberto Ruffino vocals. This milonga is from the Golden Age entitled “La mulateada “.

What an incredibly fun Saturday night that was. I had gone out for dinner with my friend Graciela to a parrilla in Palermo where we had dinner and enjoyed a few glasses of Malbec.

We were feeling pretty good when we walked into Cachirulo. Hector (the organizer) asked me if I was going to dance (demo) because it was my Birthday. I said sure.

So very quickly I had to find a partner to dance with. Luckily Jose Luis, a friend of mine, who is a great dancer and teacher, cabeceo’d me to dance a tanda and then I had the opportunity to ask him if he would like to do the demo with me. Happily he agreed. I think we had only danced one milonga together at El Beso on a Sunday.

Anyway, the place was packed, there was definately a party atmosphere going on and mainly all the best dancers in Buenos Aires were there.  We had a lot of fun doing the demo but were equally happy to relax afterward and enjoy the rest of the night at the milonga.

Tango Tea – Project Winter Survival on January 7th.

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The Toronto Tango community is incredibly textured with hosting wonderful events by locals and invited guests from afar.
This Saturday I have been invited to come out and DJ at TalDions Tango Tea at El Almacen again.
This time the charity is Project Winter Survival,  what an important initiative this is.
How many people have perished with the cold here in Toronto?
Unbelievable to me that this can even happen.
Please come out and bring some warm clothes, donations, good will and enjoy the Social!
Click here to visit Project Winter Survival & find out more...

Explore your tango embrace…

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Practica El Beso would like to invite everyone to come out and share an evening  for an exploration of  the Tango element “embrace”.

This will be the first workshop in our new home at Swansea Town Hall.  We hope you will be able to join us.


Date:        Tuesday January 3,

Time:         8:15 -10:00p.m

Cost:          $22

Location:  Swansea Town Hall

Coming home!

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It is truly an incredible feeling to have the chance to go back “home” especially this time of year.  Unexpectedly the opportunity arose.  We will be moving from Vivace Studios to Swansea Town Hall.

Over the years Swansea has been an important part of my life, we have collaborated together on so many occassions I can’t even remember them all.  This space is absolutley special to me.  Over the years it has been my pleasure to rent innumberable rooms in this building.  So many memories of mainly vibrant, engaging, creative, emotional times.  From hosting my students year end piano recital (with my daughter being the master of ceremonies), teaching weekly adult singing classes, facilitating international voice/movement/acting workshops, teaching childrens ORFF music classes to hosting my own impovisational group…etc.  This place has always encouraged me to come and spend some time here.  Thank you Swansea Town Hall you have always been there to welcome me.

Please come join us for a five week Tango Fundamental series.

Each week we will investigate a different fundamental element of  Tango Milonguero (close embrace).   Improve balance, core strength, confidence, grace, musicality and more.

All levels welcome.

Date:        Tuesdays

Time:        8:15p.m. starting January 3

Cost:         $22

Location:  Swansea Town Hall 95 Lavinia Avenue


This article has been translated in articulos en espanol.

What are you doing tonight?

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Why not take a Tuesday tango break ?  and join us at Vivace Studios

Class:      7:30 – 8:30

Practice: 8:30 – 10:30

Everyone is welcome… take a break from the pre-holiday rush… and give yourself the gift of Tuesday Tango.

Hasta pronto !!

Drop Ins:

$25 for class and practica

$20 for class

$8 for practica only

Give the gift of tango for the holidays…

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Find the hidden passion

that is Argentine tango

as we guide you through

two private classes with

your partner.

What better gift to bring two people together in a new way?

There’s a reason why they say…

it takes two to tango.

Take advantage of this Holiday Promotion

$150.00 + HST for 2 private 1 hour classes

Contact Nicolai or Isabella at

Something to look forward to…

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Watch this blog (or better yet subscribe so you will always be the first to know) for details of Alicia Pon’s first visit to Toronto.

Isabella will host a weekend of workshops (March 3~4) as well as other special events that will be announced in the new year.

Thank you Lydia for the introduction…

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For a quick introduction to Isabella and Nicolai, the organizers of Practica El Beso, you can read this interview by Lydia the author of Tango In Toronto.

This interview was originally published on her blog on November 6th, 2011.

How did this teaching partnership between you and Nicolai come about? Isabella:

After one of my long trips to Buenos Aires I must have asked Nicolai if he would like to teach with me and give back something to the community after all the experiences in dancing tango that we have had over the years.

Nicolai:  My relationship with tango has been focused on reaching a high level of emotional satisfaction for me and for my partner. Tango music when it spoke to me required me to move, to dance … there was no room for standing and teaching; there was only room for dancing.  It was my egotistic period.  When Isabella asked me to consider teaching, something opened inside me and I just felt it was the right time to share …

Is this is a first time teaching tango for both of you?

Isabella:  Luckily I have had the chance to teach a few seminars on “musicality” and assist in countless classes here and in Buenos Aires. Some of the classes I assissted in this year have ranged from Alicia Pons to Julio Duplaa.

Nicolai:  When I visited my tanguero nephew in Belgrade, last March, he asked me to do some workshops on men’s technique.

Isabella, you are already heavily involved in arts education, how does teaching tango differ from your other teaching experiences?

Isabella: Every class has a different dynamic and is full of different personality types. My challenge is to inspire, engage, and affect the participants. If people come to class with an open mind to have a great experience, they probably will!

What factors did you consider when choosing your location?

Isabella: Vivace Studio on Jane Street is a beautiful space, lovely floor, with a real feeling of community. I love this.  This studio is all about creating art and is an environment that encourages this. The studio reflects an openness to new and old expressions of the arts.  Wonderful! It is run by people who really care. This means a lot to me.

Something that concerns many Toronto tango students is leader/follower balance. How do you plan to handle this?

Isabella: Anyone who is interested in the class would be strongly encouraged to “try” and bring along a friend, relative, co-worker, neighbour, of the opposite sex to start this new journey. Tango needs new people!

Nicolai:  An important perennial issue.  The resolution will depend on the participants interest to explore role reversal; a valuable learning experience in itself.

What do you hope will make your 10-week workshop different from other Toronto tango classes?

Isabella: My hope is really to inspire participants to love and explore Argentine tango. It would be my greatest desire to pass on some of the things I have learned in the milongas of Buenos Aires. Some of the old milongueros such as Tete Rusconi and Puppy Castello are not around any longer but; I did  have the pleasure to dance with them numberous times, lately having danced with: Alberto Dassieu, Chiche, Ricardo Suarez, El Canario, El Nene, Ruben de Pompeya, Tono, Luis Rojas, Jose Luis, (to name a few) … have taught me a few things about tango.  It would be nice to pass a bit of this on.

Nicolai:  The 10 classes will deal with the introduction to tango, perhaps the most important and crucial time for any aspiring tanguero/a … will they continue or will they stop.  Helping each students reach some intimate internal connection to tango so that they will want to/need to continue is the challenge.  Being “in a conversation” with each student can help the teacher offer insights that may reach the student.