After eleven years living, dancing, teaching tango, and writing in Buenos Aires, I came home to L.A. in 2014, where I'm reconstructing my life.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The New Astaires?


is the title of the article on this brother (21) and sister (16) in the current La Milonga Argentina magazine. Do you think they have ever been to a milonga?

Anyway, they have a fabulous studio in Caballito where they teach private and group lessons.
And yes, they say they go to La Viruta, Canning and La Ideal.

Will Federico be the new Fred? And what ever did happen to Fred's sister Adele?


miss tango in her eyes said...

Isn´t a brother and sister duo for Tango just a little bit incestuous?

David said...

I like the new design and layout.

Cherie Magnus, an expat Californian who lives and teaches tango in Buenos Aires. said...

Well yes I think so. But there are also father and daughter and mother and son duos, so what do I know?
I also don't like to see children dancing tango. Better that they study ballet or folklore. Tango can come with maturity. But who asked me?

tangocherie said...

Thanks, David, but it's still not the way I want it. I'm working on it.

Natalia said...

I'm sure you've heard this quote before, but in reference to belly dance, Bert Balladine once said, "A woman doesn't have anything to dance about until she's over 35 years old."

I'm not quite 35 yet, and I think I'm an OK dancer, but I've definitely seen how every passing year of life and experience comes out in my dancing. And that's just dancing by myself! I've spent less than half of my life dating and dealing with relationships, I can't imagine having much to bring to the dance floor tango-wise.

miss tango in her eyes said...

I think it is their whole overall effect, the skimpy clothing, kama sutra poses, that makes it seem so incestuous.

I don´t think I would be so shocked about them dancing tango otherwise.

Elizabeth said...

It is sad that we really don't have "anything to dance about" until we are 35 or older, but then it is so much harder, we have so much to overcome in our older bodies. Although I do not feel old in my fifties, and I have danced one dance or another for my whole life, I see that to be 20..well, they have flexibility, energy, beauty.
In my town there is a great energy building around young people dancing a very athletic, (and beautiful) dance that they call tango. Some of these dancers have had a distinguished, but naturally short, history in ballet, and this is the next act for them.

For me, I love the old milongueros, and I only know their rare visits here. and also from the You Tube! I feel it in my body when I see it. It is (and I know you know it) a deeper, sadder, more soulfull place that I search for in every dance. And, it is different phyically, in a way I cannot describe.
Everthing has it's place?

Cherie, thanks for your note. I hope to visit with you in BA. You have many interesting observations and I look forward to talking with you.

Juan said...

Hello everyone. it's Juan from Buenos Aires. Ayelen and Federico are my tango teachers. They are great! Very very good dancers. They are the owners and directors of one of the most important tango schools in Buenos Aires. I know them very well and they are professionals and I think they would get rather upset to read certain comments. What they do is ART. I'm sorry to read that some people might see it as an incestuous couple! what a narrow minded person! this is art.
Something very important about them, they don't extra charge tourists when they go to their school, we all pay the same for our classes. I wish you could get to know them when you come to B.A. They are really nice guys
Thanks for reading :)


tangocherie said...


You are absolutely right about the physical skills that young people can bring to the dance. As you mention, in your town several ballet dancers have gone into tango. But I'm willing to bet it's show tango, and not social tango where physical flexability, for example, is not very important. What is important is musicality, sensuality, connection to their partner, improvisation, and The Embrace.

Now I'm willing to bet that these tango-dancing kids are not into those qualities--you did use the word, "athletic."

Because there has been so much stage tango for export, there is a huge confusion about what you will learn when you sign up for a tango class.

Stage tango and social tango are two completely different dances, generally even the music is different.

Stage tango is for the young and beautiful and flexible, preferably with ballet training. Social tango is for normal people who are attracted to the qualities of musicality, etc., I listed above.

And this social tango, or tango milonguero, needs time to season in a person. The beauty is that the stage dancing kids have a limited time to do their splits and lifts, but tango milonguero can be danced forever. There is always something new to learn and to bring to the dance.

tangocherie said...

Hola Juan,

Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment.

I'm sure that Ayelen y Federico ARE very nice people, no one is questioning that.

It's just difficult to imagine a 16 year old girl and a 21 year old boy being owners/directors/teachers of one of the "most prestigious tango schools in BsAs" and have something to teach beyond the acrobatic skills that they show in their photos.

The tango that most people want to learn is very very complicated to teach: improvisation, musicality, connection, sensuality, elegance, and the embrace. It takes years and years to learn how to do it beautifully so that you can give your partner a wonderful experience on the dance floor. And many more years after that to learn how to teach it.

I've been a dancer all my life, and have been dancing tango for ten years. It has taken me years and years to mature and to understand this dance. And now I can teach it.

What does a sixteen year old girl have to teach me? Choreography? We don't do choreography in the milongas. Each tanda is an unique experience.

I'm sure they are great teaching other teenagers who want to be stage dancers. But most people who study tango want to dance in crowded milongas, want to learn the tango culture and the codigos. Perhaps their teachers should be more mature and have more experience.

I think it's wonderful that young people study any kind of dance!

Juan said...

Dear Cherie,

Thanks for posting and answering that fast! :)
I'm sorry to tell you that I disagree with you in many things.
Firstly, I would like you to watch them dance tango salon before you talk about them. Federico once told me: "Never judge someone because of his/her age". Eventhough he's just 20 (not 21!) he has been dancing for 10 years, too. And he goes to milongas every night (plus he dances 4 or 5 hours per day). So it makes around 2000 hours per year. In ten years...20.000 hours! What I want to show you with it is that he is a professional who devotes his life to what he does. He's not a simple milonguero who goes to a milonga to dance 2 or 3 tandas and then goes home.
Summing up, a teenager dancer has A LOT to teach. There are a lot of old milongueros who never went to a tango school and they dance. BUT THE PROBLEM IS THAT THEY ARE ALWAYS MAKING THE SAME MISTAKES, perhaps they have developed a good musicality, but there are very weak points that many milongueros have.
I hope you change your mind about teenager dancers, I don't know from where you are, but here in argentina we feel our music, eventhough I'm just studying, each time I listen to a tango song I remember all of my family, when my grandmother used to playing some tangos in her old radio. Each time I hear a tango...for me is something incredible. I'm sorry it took you 10 years to understand it, for me and for many argentinians...that feeling came when we danced our first tango. tango is in our veins! It's like a brazilian dancing Samba or a Cuban dancing Salsa or an American dancing Hip hop. Each dance is part of the culture of each country.
I hope you could understand my poor english and I wish you could answer this, too.
Thanks for your time.

Abrazos milongueros!


tangocherie said...

Juan, first of all I congratulate you on your excellent English!

And I congratulate Ayelen y Federico on their amazing success with their dance school at such young ages.

You wrote that Federico started dancing tango ten years ago when he was only 10 years old! I started ten years ago too but I was very much older! So we've been dancing tango for the same amount of time.

One thing that is so wonderful about tango is that there is not just one correct way to dance; we all dance who we are. I looked on YouTube to find a video of them dancing, but unfortunately there are not any.

What I think people may object to is that for a 10 year old to dance a passionate and sensual dance with his sister sometimes can be seen as inappropriate. I understand that it's all for show and nothing more.

But in social tango, the passion, emotion, and sensuality of the dance between the couple is real. And that's what we like; we like the feeling, not the "show" in sexy clothes worn by such a young girl.

But in the tango world, there is room for everybody, don't you agree?

It would be fun if Ayelen y Federico would come to a milonga and dance with Ruben and me, maybe at Los Consegrados?? What a great moment for taking pictures!!

Un beso tanguero!

Juan said...

Cherie!!! thanks for writing :) You're right, everything is ok as long as we enjoy our dance. I told Fede about this Blog and he was so happy about it :)

Tell me your name and where I can find you, perhaps we can dance :D it would be so much fun.

Besos y nos vemos pronto
Juansito :)

tangocherie said...

Hi Juan,
Ruben and I are at Los Consegrados (Nino Bien) every Saturday from 7-10.
Just ask anyone for us.
We dance at other milongas too, but this one we never miss.
Un beso!

2clicks said...

hey.. i forgot to say that they are EXCELLENT people, too!...
Very cool, both of them.