friends of argentine tango family...
"Tango saved my life!"
I discovered Tango at a difficult time in my life - shortly after the loss of my mother. Dancing Tango helped me through the feelings of despair and work my way toward the confidence and strength I would need to go on. In the social setting of milongas, I learned how to navigate the Tango community's codes and found a home in the mix of people sharing the love of dance. Tango reveals so much about people. A special intimacy can develop and last only a song or two, or it can continue for a lifetime.
Tango has given me so much that I want to give back to others, by helping them embark on their own Tango journey. With my colleagues at FoAT, we're bringing Tango to people outside the usual dance world - reaching out with programs for seniors, children, people with chronic diseases, and disabilities. It's fulfilling work and it honors my personal debt to the Tango.
"I was an outsider and I found my home in the Tango!"
I started to dance tango when I was eight years old. I was a fat little boy with thick glasses and no interest in sports. This made me a complete outsider in Buenos Aires. Dancing gave me a community and an artistic goal. I felt like I belonged in the conservatory, surrounded by other children who loved to dance and participating in an art form that was part of our shared culture.
Although my passion and ability were appreciated, my teachers discouraged my ambition to perform. I simply didn't 'look the part' of a professional dancer. They assured me that I could become a Tango teacher and steered me away from the stage.
At seventeen, it was time for my metamorphosis! I lost weight, replaced my thick glasses, and pursued a stage career. When I teach, I bring the experience of being sidelined at every class. I know how it feels to be rejected, and I want all my students to feel welcome. There are no outsiders in FoAT.
Dance has always been a source of joy in my life! Scottish Country Dancing was my first experience and after moving to the United States, I danced at the Daughters of Scotia Club. Years of rock and roll and disco dancing was next. Upon arriving in New York City I signed up for dance lessons at a Fred Astaire Studio.
When newly retired from UNICEF at the United Nations a neighbor asked if I would like to learn to dance Argentine Tango. Without hesitation I replied “Yes!” and began lessons at the Argentine Consulate. This led to classes and private lessons with Alicia Cruzado and Walter Perez, both who have become wonderful friends. So when Walter asked if I might be interested in joining a new organization he was forming, Friends of Argentine Tango, I signed on immediately!