Study History
Alejandro Hermida (Buenos Aires) Jan 2007, Jan 2008 BsAs

Alex Krebs (Portland, OR)
May 2005 – Durham, November 2005   Austin, Jan 2006   Durham, April 2006   Atlanta, June 2006  Portland, Jan 2007  Durham, NC

Brigitta Winkler (New York, Berlin)
April 2005  Atlanta, Oct 2005 Durham, Jan 2007  Durham, April 2007  Atlanta, GA, Feb 2012 Asheville

Cecilia Garcia (Buenos Aires) March 2010  Buenos Aires

Chicho Frumboli (Buenos Aires)
Sept 2006 Baltimore Tango Fest, Sept 2009  Baltimore, Jan 2015 Atlanta

Damian Essel & Nancy Louzan (Buenos Aires)
August 2006  Durham, NC

Daniel Trenner ( North Hampton ,MA) June 2009 Asheville, NC
Eric Jorissen (Netherlands)
Sept 2005  Durham

Eric Lindgren– Sept 2010  Asheville, May 2012 Asheville
Fabian Salas (Buenos Aires)
May 2004, May 2005  Durham, Nov 2005 Austin, Nov 2006  Atlanta

Felipe Martinez- (San Francisco) Sept 2009  Asheville, May 2010 Asheville
Fernando Galera (Buenos Aires)- Feb 2009 in BsAs

Fernando Sanchez (Buenos Aires) Nov/Dec 2016 in BsAs

Gaston Torelli (Buenos Aires)- March 2010 , March 2011, March 2012 , Sept 2012, Oct 2014, March 2015 BsAs, Nov 2018

German Salvatierra ( Buenos Aires)- Sept 2009, Sept 2012, Oct 2013 , March 2014, Oct 2014 BsAs

Guillermo Merlo and Fernanda Ghi (Buenos Aires)
2004  Durham, Nov 2005  Austin, Jan 2006  Durham

Gustavo Naviera and Gisselle Anne (Buenos Aires/Boulder)
Sept 2003  Atlanta, July 2007  Atlanta

Homer and Cristina Ladas (San Fransisco)
June 2005 Toronto, Sept 2005  Atlanta, April 2006  San Fransisco, June 2006 SFTX, Sept 2006  Asheville, Sept 2007  Asheville, Nov 2007  San Francisco, Sept 2008 Asheville, Sept 2009  Asheville, Dec 2009 St Louis, Sept 2010 Asheville, NOV 2011 Asheville, NC, NOV 2012 Asheville, May 2014  Asheville, May 2015 AVL

Horacio Godoy (Buenos Aires)Jan 2009 Houston, March 2013  Buenos Aires

Jak Karako (New York)
Nov 2003, June 2004, July 2006 Asheville, NC

Javier Antar– May 2013- Asheville,NC, Nov 2016 BsAs
Javier Rodriguez (Buenos Aires)
Jan 2007- BsAs, Argentina

Kara Wenham– July 2009  Asheville,NC, May 2013  Asheville, NC

Liliana Castro (Asheville)-w/ Harby Gonzalez
1997, 1998

Luciana Valle (Buenos Aires)
Nov 2003  Durham, Sept 2004  Durham, Nov 2005 Austin, Feb 2009 BsAs

Lucas Molina Gazcon (Buenos Aires)
March 2007, Wash DC

Luis Bianchi and Daniela (NYC, Buenos Aires)
Sept 2007, NYC, May 2008, Durham, Sept 2008  Lenox , MA, May 2011  Asheville

Marcelo Gutierrez (Buenos Aires) Jan 2008, Feb 2009- BA, Argentina, June 2015 Asheville, Knoxville

Matias Facio ( Buenos Aires) March 2012

Melina Brufman- (Buenos Aires) Oct 2013

Moira Castellano (Buenos Aires) March 2011, March 2012

Nelida Boyer (Buenos Aires)
Dec 2004  Buenos Aires, Argentina

Ney Melo (New York, Buenos Aires)
August 2006  Durham, August 2007 Durham, Dec 2009  Charlotte, NC

Özhan and Serkan (Turkey)
March 2007, Wash DC

Pablo Kliksberg (Buenos Aires)
Dec 2004, Jan 2007, Jan 2008 BsAs

Pablo Inza (Buenos Aires) March 2011  BsAs

Rebecca Rorick Smith-Sept 2010 Asheville, May 2012 Asheville
Robin Thomas (New York)
April 2006 Atlanta, July 2010  Asheville, NC

Rosa Corisco- (NYC, San Francisco) Sept 2009- Asheville, May 2010- Asheville

Sean Dockery (Berkeley, CA) Sept 2008- Asheville

Sebastian Arce & Mariana Montes (Paris, BsAs)
Sept 2006- Baltimore , Sept 2009- Baltimore

Serkan Gökçesu(Istanbul, BsAs) March 2010- BsAs

Tate Di Chiazza (Buenos Aires) March 2010 BsAs, March 2011 BsAs, March 2013  BsAs, July 2013 Asheville+ Tidewater, VA, Columbia SC, March 2014 BsAs, Oct 2014 BsAs, March 2015 BsAs, Oct/Nov 2015  VA, Asheville, New Orleans, March 2016 BsAs, Sept 2016 6 wk Tour US, Aug 2017-2018 TOUR 1 year US, Aug 2019-Aug 2020 TOUR

Tomas Howlin (Montreal, Buenos Aires)
April 2005- Atlanta, Dec 2005- Durham, Jan 2007- Durham, NC, April 2007, April 2008- Atlanta, GA, May 2008-Montreal, Sept 2008- Durham, Nov 2008-St Louis, Jan 2009-Houston, May 2009-Asheville, June 2009- Durham ,Aug 2009- Baltimore, Jan 2010- Asheville, April 2010- Atlanta, Aug 2010- Durham , NC, Oct 2010-Lenox, MA, Jan 2011- Asheville, NC, May 2011- Montreal, Sept 2011- Atlanta, Feb 2012- Durham, Aug 2012- AVL + CLT NC, Aug 2013- Durham, NC, Asheville, NC, April 2014- ATL, Aug 2014 Tango Learning Asheville, May 2015- Montreal, Sept 2015 Durham, NC, May 2016- Asheville, NC

Valencia Batiuk (Buenos Aires) Feb 2009- BA, Argentina

Vanessa Fatauros (Buenos Aires)
March 2007, Wash DC

Yanick Wyler (Buenos Aires)- Jan 2008, Feb 2009 BsAs, July 2009 Asheville, March 2016 BsAs

as well as others…

Teaching and Performances

Teaching / Performances / Demonstrations
Since 2003, 
Karen has been teaching all levels of workshops, group classes and private lessons in Asheville and around our SE region. She has organized numerous larger events with guest instructors. Karen is currently partnered with Tate Di Chiazza, a native of Buenos Aires. Tate and Karen on tour Aug 2109- Aug 2020. Karen often works alone and has had the great pleasure to work

with a variety of highly skilled partners.

Tangogypsies hosted weekly fundamentals classes, followed by a milonga

from 2006-2015 in Asheville, NC

Karen’s teaching style can be described as relaxed and fun, technique based, with comfort, clarity, connection and communication taking a high priority, with the music creating the platform within which we dance.  Understanding Argentine Tango as a language, Karen works to help dancers build a strong foundation at entry level, to prepare to build upon with further education. We learn the “alphabet”, then words, then sentences, etc….  focusing on the natural flow of the energy from lead to follow, relative position and timing for any given movement, subtly communicating through each step. Her perception of the dance is that the base is “one step”, moving from a very quiet place, where “less is more”, seeing “how littles does it take?” With both roles being active; leader “invites” and follower “answers”, we create the dialog of this dance ….all with a healthy dose of playfulness!


Once the mechanics of a given movement are grasped, the focus will come back to “how” we move; refining and clarifying the quality of the connection and communication. In the end this is a social dance, and we want to experience a good feeling with our partner, no matter what movement we are creating together.

With this philosophy , comes the understanding that there really are no mistakes, only awareness, and adaptation in every moment. Even the best dancers cannot possibly anticipate exactly what the partner may actually “say”.


Aug 2019  tour with Tate Di Chiazza- multiple cities

April 2019 Fundamentals for Arg Tango Asheville

March 2019 Deep Followers Technique – Asheville

Feb 2019 Valentines Weekend-  Cincinnati, OH

Jan 2019 Workshops at Asheville School

Jan 2019 DJ and presentation at Queen City tango Marathon- Charlotte NC

Jan 2018-Aug 2018 Teaching/Performing on 25 city US TOUR 

with Tate Di Chiazza

Oct 2017 Workshop & performance at LEAF Tate

August 2017 – Aug 2018 US tour teaching and performing with Tate Di Chiazza

April  2017 Pivot and Dynamic Turns- Asheville

April 2017 Teaching/performing w/Tomas Howlin Asheville, Knoxville

March 2017 Birmingham AL workshop weekend

March 2017 Path to Tango and Close Embrace Workshop, Asheville

March 2017  Isa’s Bistro- downtown Asheville, Argentine Night

Feb- May 2017 Converse College Spartanburg, SC Lawson academy of the Arts Intro course

Sept-Oct 2016   Tour- w/Tate Di Chiazza Teaching and performing numerous workshop weekends, & “Taste of Argentina” presentations, Asheville, NC, Knoxville, TN, Birmingham, AL, Portsmouth, VA, Richmond, VA, Christiansburg, VA, Detroit Metro Area, Toledo, OH, Columbia, SC.

Aug 2016  On Your Path to Tango- Asheville, NC

July 2016 DJ and History presentation Columbia Marathon, SC

July 2016  Path to Tango- Asheville, NC

July 2016  w/Daniel Arredondo at Isis Los Obrojitos performance

June 2016 w/ Rick Harris at Isis Los Obrojitos performance

April 2016  w/ Tomas Howlin, workshops and performances-Asheville, NC Knoxville, TN

Feb 2016  Diana Wortham Theatre- Asheville, NC “3 David’s” performance with Harby Gonzalez

Feb 2016 Lecture/presentation at Warren Wilson College

Feb 2016  Christiansburg VA Weekend of workshops and VA tech workshop, Knoxville, TN KATS workshop weekend and UT workshop

Jan 2016 Los Obrojitos performance w/ Julian Ingram


Dec 2015 Djing Charlotte Candlelight Alternative Milonga

Oct-Nov 2015  Tour w/ Tate Di Chiazza -Asheville, Newport News, Va, Knoxville KATS and UT, New Orleans, Birmingham, AL, Detroit. MI, Atlanta GA; workshops and performances

Sept 2015  with Tomas Howlin, Durham, workshops and performance; Christiansburg VA workshop weekend

Aug 2015  Knoxville workshops

June 2015  with Marcelo Gutierrez AVL and Knoxville, workshops and performance

April 2015  Lecture at Warren Wilson College

April 2015  Knoxville, TN- Tango concepts, 2 systems of walk, ochos workshops

Feb 2015  Knoxville, TN- Path to Tango and Next Step workshops, DJ


Dec 2014  Asheville, NC- Vals Intensive

Nov 2014  Columbia, SC Regional- DJ, Navigation class and performance to live music A. Zigler orq w Daniel Arredondo. DJ Milonga Maleva- CLT, NC. Weekend of teaching in Christiansburg, VA.

April 2014  Follower’s technique, Asheville, NC; Sacadas and musicality workshops w/ Harby Gonzalas, and DJ, Columbia, SC,

March 2014  Workshop with Tomas Howlin- Asheville, NC

Jan 2014  Follower’ technique- Asheville, NC


Nov 2013  Teaching, performing and Djing at Columbia, SC Regional tango Weekend

Aug 2013  Teaching and performing with Tomas Howlin- Durham ,NC

July 2013  Teaching and performing w Tate Di Chiazza – Tidewater, VA, Columbia, SC, Asheville

June 2013  “Summer Soiree Contra Weekend” INTRO – Asheville

Apr 2013 Argentine Wine Tasting- Whole Foods w Michael Jaffe- Asheville

Apr 2013  Workshops-Columbia SC

Feb 2013  Perform w Michael Jaffe- RMCS “SHINE” Fundraiser- Asheville

Feb 2013 Path to Tango and INT classes with Harby Gonzalez- Asheville

Feb 2013   Boleos Intensive- Asheville


December 2012  DJ at Candlelight Milonga- Charlotte, NC

October 2012 Performance (reversed roles) for Western NC Aids Project

August 2012  Teaching with Tomas Howlin in Asheville and Charlotte, NC; performing with the Asheville Tango Orchestra with Tomas.

May 2012  Teaching and performing with Jay Abling- Asheville

April 2012  Change of Directions Intensive- Asheville

Feb 2012 Assisting in classes w/ Tomas Howlin – Durham , NC

Feb 2012  Teaching and performing with Brigitta Winkler- Asheville

Jan 2012  Performing with the North Carolina Symphony, dancing with Daniel Arredondo- Raleigh/Chapel Hill, NC

Jan 2012  Ochos Intensive- Asheville


Dec 2011  DJ for Charlotte Candlelight Weekend

Sept 2011  Sacadas Intensive -downtown Asheville

Aug 2011  Musicality Intensive- downtown Asheville

Aug 2011 Workshops in Charleston , SC, performing with Michael Jaffe

May 2011 Regional Tango Weekend- Asheville, NC teaching and performing w/ Daniel Arredondo- Fundamentals track

Feb 2011 Follower’s technique workshop- Asheville, NC, Charlotte, NC

Jan 2011  Teaching and performing with Tomas Howlin- Asheville,


Dec 2010 DJ for Charlotte Candlelight Weekend- featuring Pablo and Flavia Fontana

Sept 2010  Teach and perform w/ Daniel Arredondo- Charlotte , NC

July 2010  Teaching and performing with Robin Thomas (NYC)- in Asheville, NC

May 2010  Regional Tango Weekend- Asheville, NC teaching and performing w/ Daniel Arredondo- Fundamentals track

April 2010 Teaching and performing with Daniel Arredondo – Blango Nuevo Weekend – Charlotte

Jan 2010 Assisting and Performing with Tomas Howlin – Asheville


Dec 2009  More to Milonga Workshop, Performance at Salseros 828 event w/ Daniel – Asheville

Oct 2009  Intro Weekend w/ Daniel Arredondo- Asheville

Sept- Dec 2009  UNCA classes

Sept 2009  demo with Homer Ladas, Labor Day event- Asheville

Aug 2009- Special-Followers technique class- Asheville

July 2009  Taught 1 week Intro course- SUUSI, Radford , VA

June 2009  Assisted and performed with Daniel Trenner – Asheville

May 2009 Assisted and performed with Tomas Howlin- 5th Regional Tango Weekend Asheville

April 2009  Performed with Harby Gonzalez- Piano , Passion and the World of Tango- Bishopville, SC

April 2009 “Milonga “ Workshop with Daniel Arredondo- Asheville

April 2009  Supervised Tango Asheville Practica

March 2009 “Followers Technique” Workshop- solo in Asheville

March 2009  “Close Embrace” Workshops with Daniel Arredondo- Asheville

Feb 2009 Performed with Harby Gonzalez- “El Dia Del Amor”- Asheville

Feb 2009 “A Few Seductive Moves” class w/ Harby Gonzalez

Jan 2009  Performed with Joe Leonardo – FILO

Jan 2009 Asheville-“ Navigating Close Embrace” and “Ocho Cortado” with Joe Leonardo ( Portland)

Jan 2009 “Jumpstart Intro Weekend”- with Daniel Arredondo- Asheville

Dec 2008  Performed with Daniel Arredondo- Tango Asheville Holiday Milonga

Dec 2008  Classes with Daniel – “Free leg”, “Deepening Connection”

Nov 2008  Performed with Olivier Poudou- FILO and Salseros828

Oct 2008  River Sculpture- Performed with Michael Jaffe – Asheville

Oct 2008 Fiesta Latina- Performed with Daniel Arredondo -AshevilleIncreasing Sensativ

Oct 2008 -Sept 2008– Beyond Beginner series- Asheville

August 2008 Charleston, SC – Classes and DJ’d at Mistral, demo with Michael Jaffe

July 2008 Radford , VA- “Intro to Argentine Tango” at SUUSI

July 2008 “Milonga Intensive Seminar” in Asheville with Daniel Arredondo- demo at Filo

May 2008 “Regional Tango Weekend” in Asheville- Demo with Michael Jaffe, Daniel Arredondo

April 2008 Durham, NC- DJ’d for Luis Bianchi and Daniela Pucci Weekend

March 2008 Greenville, SC- Classes with Harby Gonzalez

March 2008 Washington DC Tango Marathon- Taught Beginner Intensive Weekend with Josh- Demo with Instructors

Dec 2007 Tango Asheville Holiday Milonga at FILO- Demo w/ Michael Jaffe

Dec 2007 Charlotte Candlelight Milonga- Taught class w/ Harby Gonzalez, demo w/ Tito Restucha (Raliegh)- tango, and w/ Daniel Arredondo (milonga)

Nov 2007 Demo with 3 Amigos in Asheville,NC

Nov 2007 Bravo Series- Pre-concert lecture on history, music and regional Tango activities, demo with Michael Jaffe- for “Tango Buenos Aires”

Oct 2007 Teaching and Demo at Atlanta Regional Tango Exchange w/Daniel Arredondo

Oct 2007 Fiesta Latina- Asheville- Demo w/ Daniel Arredondo

Oct 2007 “Caravanserai”-Asheville- Performance w/Daniel Arredondo

Sept 2007 “Caravanserai” Sculpture and Dance- Asheville- performance w/Harby Gonzalez

Sept 2007 Demo with Homer Ladas at the Joli Rouge, Asheville- “Labor Day Weekend”

May 2007 “Piccolo Spoleto Festival”- Charleston, SC- Demo w/ Daniel Arredondo
and the “3 Amigos”

May 2007 “Regional Tango Weekend” in Asheville- Performance with Tony Lucido (Atlanta)- vals
Taught classes for weekend.

February 2007 “Tango by the Lake” Columbia, SC. “An Evening in Buenos Aires” show. Live music w/ “Tango to Tango” Osvaldo Barrios & Ruben Stefano, performance with Michael Jaffe and cast. Taught classes for the weekend with regional instructors .


December 2006 Tango Asheville Holiday Milonga- performance w/Harby Gonzalaz, Ronda & Manuel Patino (Tango Rio, Atlanta)

December 2006 Charlotte Candlelight Milonga- “An Evening in Argentina” at Masquerade Ball, Columbia ,SC w/ live music by “Tango to Tango”Osvaldo Barrios & Ruben Stefano, performance w/ Michael Jaffe and cast. Taught classes for the weekend with regional instructors .

November 2006 “Caravanesai 2”- Where sculpture meets dance for an afternoon-performance w/ Daniel Arredondo

October 2006 “An Evening in Argentina” at Masquerade Ball, Columbia ,SC w/ live music by “Tango to Tango”Osvaldo Barrios & Ruben Stefano, performance w/ Michael Jaffe, and cast.

Sept 2006 Columbia, SC. Milonga- demo and class w/ Daniel Arredondo.

Sept 2006 Hosted Homer Ladas (San Fransisco) and Anne Sophie Ville (Wash DC) for an Intermediate and advanced Tango weekend in Asheville

Sept 2006 “Caravanesai”- Where sculpture meets dance for an afternoon- performance w/ Michael Jaffe, Daniel Arredondo

July 2006 “Fred’s Speakeasy” performance w/ Daniel Arredondo , also featuring Agralolla and The South French Broads

May 2006 “Lake Eden Arts Festival”-Black Mtn, NC- Teaching and Demos w/ Daniel Arredondo

May 2006 Mount Pisgah Academy Jr/Sr Banquet performance, performance -w/Michael Jaffe

May 2006 Co hosted with Tangophilia (Durham), Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville. Taught classes solo and with regional instructors. Demo with Michael Jaffe.

March 2006 “El Alma Desnuda” Asheville, NC- performance w/ Michael Jaffe and : Matacaballo con Miriam Allen; August Hoerr; Miguel Flamini, Natasha; Kima Moore; Juan Luis Merced; Scott Gornick, Marcela Ashburn

February 2006 “Tango by the Lake” Show, Columbia, SC- Performance with Michael Jaffe, also featuring Harby Gonzalaz/ Emily Tobias, Daniel Arredondo/Alexandra. Taught classes for the weekend with regional instructors.


December 2005 Charlotte “Candlelight” Milonga- Demo with Michael Jaffe

November 2005 Rainbow Mountain Benefit- performance with Michael Jaffe

November 2005 Asheville Arts Center- performance with Jon Berbaum, featuring Craig Einhorn, Harby Gonzalez and Brandy Rosier.

August 2005 Co hosted with Tangophilia (Durham), Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville. Taught classes with Jon Berbaum and with regional instructors. Demo with Jon Berbaum.

July 2005 Cabaret at SUUSI- Blacksburg, VA- performance with Michael Jaffe.

May 2005 Co hosted with Tangophilia (Durham), Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville. Taught classes with Jon Berbaum and with regional instructors. Demo with Jon Berbaum.

April 2005 “The Red Night Cabaret”- Asheville, NC- performance with Jon Berbaum, accompanied by Mirium Allen, August Hoerr


Nov 2004 Fourth Regional Milonga- Parizade Café- Durham, NC- demo with Jon Berbaum, featuring Edwardo Tami y Mariano Castro

October 2004 “Lake Eden Arts Festival”- demo with Jon Berbaum, also featuring Maria G. of salseros 828

Sept 2004 Tangophilia- Durham- demo with Jon Berbaum

August 2004 “Old Farmers Ball”-demo with Jon Berbaum

August 2004 Third Regional Milonga – Durham, demo with Ernest Williams – Milonga

July 2004 Orange Peel Asheville- demo with Jon Berbaum, featuring “Eta Carina”

June 2004 Second Regional Milonga- Durham, NC- Talullas Rest- demo with Jon – also featuring Jak Karako

May 2004 Montas Salsa Club- demo with Jon Berbaum, also featuring Fabian Salas and Carolina Del Rivero

April 2004 Tangophilia- Durham , NC – demo with Jon Berbaum, Jason Laughlin/ Gulden
2003- Various group and private classes w/ Jon Berbaum

as well as others….

Social Dance

I regularly attend festivals around the country to study and to enjoy a higher level of social dancing!.

May 2019 the THING Portland, OR, Bailongo Montreal

Jan 2019 DJ at QCTM 

Dec 2018 Candlelight Charlotte NC

Oct-Nov 2018 Buenos Aires

May 2018 Bailongo Montreal

Dec 2017 Candlelight Charlotte, NC

May 2017 Bailongo Montreal

March 2017 Austin Spring Festival

Feb 2017– Valentango, Portland, OR

Jan 2017– Atlanta for Brigitta Winkler 

Nov 2016– 5 weeks in BsAs

Sept-Oct 2016– Milongas w/Tate on tour

Aug 2016– Pasional Marathon Chicago

July 2016– Columbia, SC Marathon

June 2016- Portland Marathon

May 2016– Bailongo- Montreal

March 2016– 5 weeks in Buenos Aires


Dec 2015– Candlelight Weekend Charlotte, NC

Oct- Nov 2015 Milongas with Tate on tour

Sept 2015- Tango Utopia- w/Tomas Howlin- Durham ,NC

Aug 2015- Chicago Pasional Marathon

July 2015- EUROPE- Munich, Zurich, Amsterdam

June 2015– NYC Marathon NY

May 2015– Bailongo Festival Montreal, CAN

April 2015– Natural Tango Festival- Denver, CO

March 2015– 5 weeks in Buenos Aires


December 2014– Candlelight Weekend, Charlotte, NC

November 2014- Columbia Regional, Milonga Maleva Charlotte, NC, Christiansburg, VA.

October 2014- 1 month in Buenos Aires

August 2014– Tango Learning w/Tomas Howlin – Asheville, NC

June 2014- New York Tango Marathon, NYC

May 2014- Homer and Cristina Ladas ,Asheville, NC;

Portland Tango Marathon, Portland, OR

March 2014– Tomas and Shorey in Atlanta, GA

Feb 2014- 1 month in Buenos Aires


Dec 2013- Candlelight Milonga. Charlotte, NC

Nov 2013- San Francisco Tango Marathon

Nov 2013- Columbia, SC Regional Weekend

Oct 2013- 3 weeks in Buenos Aires

Sept 2013- Jackies 60th -Lenox, MA Homer and Cristina

Sept 2013- Rebecca Rorick Smith and Eric Lindgren ATL, GA

August 2013-Tomas Howlin- Durham NC

July 2013- Tango Element- Baltimore, MD

July 2013- Tate -Asheville, NC

June 2013- Robin Thomas- Atlanta, GA

June 2013- Los Angeles, CA

May 2013- Kara Wenham and Javier Antar- Asheville, NC

April 2013- Alex Krebs in Atlanta, GA

Feb/March 2013- 4 weeks in Buenos Aires

February 2013- Zenaida bday – Columbia, SC

January 2013- Anso Memorial Event- Wash, DC


December 2012- Candlelight Milonga – CLT, NC

October 2012- Portland Tango Fest

September 2012- 3 weeks in Buenos Aires

August 2012- Tomas Howlin weekends – AVL + CLT, NC

June 2012- LA visit

May 2012- Regional Tango Weekend – Asheville, Montreal Neo Fest

March 2012- 4 wks in Buenos Aires

Jan 2012- LA Marathon- Los Angeles


Dec 2011- Hot Winter Tango- St Louis

Oct 2011- Portland Tango Festival, OR.

Sept 2011- Atlanta, GA w/Tomas Howlin

Aug 2011- Tango Element festival- Baltimore . MD

June 2011-Oxygen Milonga Los Angeles, CA

May 2011- Neo Tango Festival – Montreal

April 2011- Regional Tango Weekend – Asheville

March 2011- 5 wks in Buenos Aires

Jan 2011- Houston Tango Marathon


Dec 2010- Hot Winter Tango- St Louis

Dec 2010- DJ’d Candlelight Weekend, Charlotte, NC

Oct 2010- Tomas Howlin in Lenox, MA

Oct 2010- Portland Tango fest

Sept 2010- Teach , dance and DJ in Charlotte , NC

August 2010- Tomas Howlin- Durham , NC

July 2010- Robin Thomas in Asheville

June 2010-Oxygen Milonga Los Angeles, CA

May 2010- Montreal Neo Tango Fest

April 2010- Atlanta Tango Fest

March 2010- 1 month in Buenos Aires

Jan 2010- Houston Tango Fest


Dec 2009- Candlelight Weekend, Charlotte, NC

Dec 2009- Hot Winter Tango ,St Louis

Oct 2009- Tango de los Mortes- Boston

Sept 2009- Jackie’s Bday, Lenox , MA

Aug 2009- Baltimore Tango fest

July 2009- Kara Wehnam and Yanick Wyler in Asheville

June 2009- Daniel Trenner in Asheville

May 2009- Neo Tango Festival – Montreal

May 2009- Tomas Howlin – 5th Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville

March 2009- Atlanta Tango Fest

Feb 2009- 3 weeks in Buenos Aires

Jan 2009- Houston Tango Fest


Dec 2008-St Louis Hot Winter Tango

Oct 2008- Portland Tango Fest

Oct 2008- Durham- Nick and Luiza

Sept 2008- Jackie’s bday -Lenox,MA

Sept 2008- Durham – Tomas Howlin

Sept 2008 – “West meets East” Labor Day Tango weekend- Asheville

August 2008- Charleston Mistral Milonga

May 2008– Montreal Neo Tango Festival

May 2008– Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville

April 2008– Durham- Luis Bianchi and Daniela Pucci

April 2008- Atlanta Tango Festival

March 2008– Washington DC Tango Marathon

Feb 2008– Charlotte, NC Valentine Milonga- DJ’d
Jan 2008 – Buenos Aries Trip (2 weeks)


Dec 2007 – Candlelight Weekend- Charlotte, NC
Nov 2007 – Tango trip to San Francisco
Sept 2007 – Baltimore Tango Fest
Sept 2007– Jackie’s Bday Lenox, MA Labor Day 2007– Homer in Asheville Fest
July 2007– Gustavo & Giselle in Atlanta
June 2007– San Fransisco Tango Exchange
May 2007– Regional Tango Weekend in Asheville
April 2007– Atlanta Tango Festival
March 2007– Wash DC Tango Marathon
Feb 2007– Tango by the Lake- Columbia, SC
Jan 2007– Festival De Tangophilia- Durham, NC
Jan 2007– 3 weeks in Buenos Aires
Dec 2006
– Candlelight Weekend- Charlotte, NC

Sept 2006 – Baltimore Tango Festival
June 2006 – San Fran Tango Exchange
May 2006 – Tango Fantasy- Miami
April 2006 – Atlanta Tango Festival
March 2006 – Wash DC Tango Marathon
Feb 2006 – Tango by the Lake- Columbia, SC
Jan 2006 – Festival De Tangophilia- Durham, NC
Dec 2005
– Candlelight Weekend- Charlotte, NC

Nov 2005 – Fandango- Austin, TX
June 2005 – Toronto Tango Fest
April 2005 – Atlanta Tango Fest

Dec 2004 – Buenos Aires trip
Sept 2003
– Gustavo & Giselle in Atlanta

Prior to 2003 – I traveled to dance in Durham, NC when possible, otherwise danced only locally.





Table of Contents

1 Study

2 Classes & Events

3 Music basics

4 Etiquette

5 Floorcraft

6 Personal hygiene

7 Asking for a dance

8 Declining a dance

9 Ending the engagement

10 A brief history

11 More about the music

12 How the dance exists today

13 Argentine vs Ballroom- What’s the difference?

14 Embrace

15 Walking

16 A Poem

17 Closing and Biography

revised August 2016


Welcome New Tango Dancers

Thank you for your interest in this wonderful social dance!

1 STUDY Come to class and keep coming!

Keep going to classes and practicas – Go to social dances – Observe the etiquette at social events – Watch people dance – Get out on the floor and dance – Keep it simple. The journey is a long one but one well worth taking!! I recommend practicing- yes!! You have to have something to practice first!! It is essential to have a confident working knowledge of the basics before moving into more challenging movements.

Find an instructor. Watch them dance. Do you like the way they dance? There are many different styles and many ways to approach teaching the dance. You find what is right for you. Talk to people. Try out a class (or several different ones). Find someone who you “click “ with to learn from. If you are fortunate enough to have a few teachers to choose from, check them all out! It is beneficial to study with different teachers. Just understand that there are no absolutes in the dance. You may get conflicting information. That’s ok. They are just different perspectives. Along the way you will begin to get a feel for how you’d like to dance, and you will migrate toward a teacher who can help you get there. I encourage you to practice the basic skills of posture, walking and connection, until you are very comfortable navigating a social floor before picking up more “moves”. When you are ready to learn more, make sure you are learning from someone who is qualified to teach you, so you don’t learn poor, or no technique. The appropriate time to give feedback to your partner and dialog about what you are doing is during class and practica.

During the milonga is simply not the place for this.

Note- “Milonga” is the name given to the social dance party. It is also a more upbeat staccato form of the Argentine Tango dancing, with a different technique and music, that preceded the Tango.

I encourage the use of “I” statements and positive words during this process. If, during a practica or class, your partner starts to “teach” you, and you are uncomfortable with this, it is ok for you to ask to keep things more simple.

Be kind to yourself and your partner. This is a challenging dance in many ways! It takes most people about a year before they start to really feel comfortable navigating the social floor, just with the basic movements of the dance. Just like building a house, you want a very solid foundation! This is key to building the rest of your dance! Be kind especially to the leaders, as the learning curve for the leaders early on is much steeper than for the followers. (In the beginning… the followers hard work comes further down the road!)

Tangogypsies offers workshops for newcomers and experienced dancers, as well as special weekend events throughout the year. Watch for these special events on my announce list or website-

We are fortunate to have more and more opportunities to study and dance within the SE region, with Tango groups throughout the SE.

Generally, there are more women than men at any given event- Just the way it is. I also encourage dancers to learn both roles. This offers valuable perspective in the learning process, AND women do not have to sit and wait at a social event if they can lead!


Get on my mailing list to keep posted on what is happening with Tangogypsies.

Join Tangogypsies Yahoo group. It is a moderated (by me) group mailing list.

You will receive news of Tango events in Asheville, and no junk mail.

Go to:

Click “join this group”, fill out the profile and include the email address where you want to get your news! There is also a facebook group- Asheville Tango Community for much more about events all over the Southeast and beyond.


There are different types of music you will hear within the “family” of Argentine Tango music; Tango, Vals (a waltz rhythm) and Milonga (a more staccato, faster rhythm). The dance varies, based on the music. Listen often to Traditional Tango music- this way you become familiar with the nuances and intricate rhythms of the music. Becoming familiar with the “Golden Age” classics is key to progressing in your dance musicality. Tango Nuevo is electronic music made for tango. Alternative is any other music (non tango) that you choose.

Some traditional music I recommend;

Juan D’Arienzo- El Rey Del Compas

Carlos Di Sarli- Instrumental & y su Orchesta Tipica w/ Rufino

Osvaldo Fresedo y su Ochesta Tipica w/ Roberto Ray

Tanda; At milongas, the DJ will play music in sets (called tandas) of 3 or 4 songs by the same orchestra from the same period. Traditionally, the DJ will play a cortina between tandas. A cortina, or “curtain” is a short piece of non-tango music that tells the dancers this tanda is over and a new tanda is about to begin. The next tanda will be a different style of music and is normally danced with a new partner.

Traditionally, one will dance the Tanda with the same partner, to develop a connection and hopefully share a few Tango Moments. This is the time to change partners if one desires. It is not required, and often couples who come together to a milonga may choose to dance exclusively. It is also nice to mix and experience different partners at a milonga, but it is the choice of each person. Generally, when the cortina plays, all couples clear the floor, whether they will continue to dance or change partners.


Argentine Tango has fairly strict codes of behavior that apply to the dance scene worldwide. A “milonga” or social dance party, is just that….purely social dancing. Dancers are there to enjoy themselves in the connection and dance with their partner. The idea is to dance at a level not above one’s partner, keep it simple, musical and connected.

Teaching or talking on the social dance floor (milonga) is simply not acceptable behavior in any Argentine Tango community. It disrupts the energy of the milonga, the line of dance, and can be disturbing to the dancer who is “being taught”. Instead, make mental notes for later discussion.

If you must talk on the floor, keep it to a minimum. No one else should be aware that you are talking. If you must dialog with someone, never do so on the main area of the dance floor; find a side area that does not obstruct the other dancers. Under no circumstances should you correct your partner while on the social dance floor, even if they ask.

Part of the issue here is a lack of education about the etiquette. This dance has a long history and rich culture, which include these codes of behavior. It is important to observe, reinforce and respect these codes in all communities. Tangogypsies curriculum includes teaching these codes so that every dancer can enjoy the milonga experience


The dance floor is like a highway, with lanes for every type of traffic. The Line of Dance progresses counter clockwise. Stay in your lane of traffic. Passing only when absolutely necessary.  Leave a one step safety buffer from the couple you are behind and from the edge of the floor, tables, chairs, etc.

Don’t overtake unless absolutely necessary and, if it is necessary, do so only on the left not on the right (blind) side of the leader in front of you. The outer most lane is for continuous traveling. The inner central area is for divergence. If you want to do moves that require you to stop, move to the center. 

Note- If there is a large space in front of you it means there is a large crowd behind you!!

As you enter the Ronda (Circle of couples that form the line of dance), leaders, make eye contact with the leader of the couple you are getting in front of. Leaders, you are also responsible to watch where you are going to protect your partner. KEEP MOVING when possible. Each couple is dancing not only with their partner but also with every other couple on the floor. Respect your fellow dancers. NO traveling backwards against the line of dance.

Everyone, keep your feet on the floor, unless you are SURE that your embellishment is directed to empty space. It is always a follower’s option not to perform any movement, if she thinks them unsafe. Remember, too, that the leader proposes a movement then follows his partner’s response. Leaders- don’t drag a follower through whatever is was you wanted to do!

Reminder; Generally, when the cortina plays, all couples clear the floor, whether they will continue to dance or change partners.

When not dancing, don’t impede the line of dance (LOD) by standing around chatting or walking on the dance floor when the music is playing unless absolutely necessary; if you must walk on the floor, stay at the edge and remember that it is your responsibility to stay out of the way of those dancing.


Argentine Tango can be an intimate experience. Please use deodorant. Wear a clean shirt and bring a spare if you worry about getting sweaty. Refrain from wearing strong perfumes or other scents for the sake of others. Some people are actually chemically sensitive, while others just don’t appreciate smelling like the person they danced with for the rest of the evening! If you must use some fragrance, please use it sparingly. Breath mints or gum are also a good idea to have. If you have a cold, flu, or stomach bug, please stay home and get better before coming back to dance! Wash your hands frequently.

7 ETIQUETTE; MIRANDO & CABACEOasking for a dance

There is a charming, face-saving traditional way to invite a dance- the mirando cabeceo. The immense charm is in its subtlety – it avoids an awkward situation and unpleasantness by the smallest of gestures, whose meaning – particularly if the woman declines – is kept private between the couple involved. Followers generally sit and scan the room (miranda) for leaders they would like to dance with. Try to make eye contact with these leaders. The leader is also scanning the room and either makes or breaks eye contact, signifying that he does or doesn’t want to dance. Once eye contact is made, acknowledgment from both parties can be a smile, a raising of eyebrows or a subtle head nod (cabeceo) toward the dance floor. If you happen to make eye contact with someone you do not want to dance with, make no reaction, simply look another direction to decline. This ensures that no follower is invited by a leader with whom she doesn’t want to dance, and no leader suffers the embarrassment of being refused. Only when you are standing face to face, eye to eye, should the woman get up to dance. (This prevents crossed signals, where the intended partner may be sitting in the line of site, but one or two rows back).

More often now, in North America and Europe, one may be asked directly: “Would you like to dance?” If you choose to use this method, be prepared to be declined, and remember, it is rude not to take the first “no thank you” for an answer. If you travel to Buenos Aires, in most milongas, even today, the cabeceo is the preferred way. Using the miranda & cabeceo also shows that you are a dancer who has been educated in traditional etiquette!

At a milonga, serious dancers (leaders and followers) often won’t dance with somebody they haven’t seen dance, so both leaders and followers need somebody to show them off when arriving at a milonga where they are not known. This is why it is also traditional for couples and friends coming to a milonga together, to dance the first (and often last) tanda or tandas of the evening together!

Showing off the follower is a big part of tango – keep her between you and the edge of the floor as much as possible. This also keeps her safe!

*Do keep in mind that we were all beginners once. I encourage everyone to dance with a new or newer dancer at each event.

It can be considered impolite to invite somebody you know for the last song of a tanda, since it implies that you want to dance only one dance. This does, however, provide a good way to find out how well somebody you don’t know dances. This is especially true for leaders: an experienced follower who is not dancing by the last song of a tanda will usually risk one dance with an unknown leader.

8 ETIQUETTE; declining a dance

If a potential partner does not recognize that you broke, or worse yet never made eye contact, just say “No, thank you”, with or without a big smile. This is important! If dancers allow themselves to be pressured into dances they don’t want or otherwise accept rude behavior, they encourage it. ALL dancers have the absolute right to decline to dance with anyone, at any time (even in the middle of a dance), for any reason. You may wish to offer a courteous excuse such as, “I am resting/would rather not dance to this music, etc.,” to soften the refusal. If you would like to dance with this man at another time be sure to say so. If a partner declines, please take the “no thank you” politely.

9 ETIQUETTE; ending the engagement

“Thank you” is the traditional way of saying, “I want to stop dancing”, no matter what the reason. It is customary to dance 3-4 dances (the whole tanda) with the same person before saying the magic word “thank you” and moving on. If you decline a person before 3 dances, it will convey the message that you don’t enjoy dancing with them, (which is sometimes necessary) and it should be done only if you are very uncomfortable with your partner’s dancing or other behavior. Once you say “thank you”, the engagement is ended.

At the end of a tanda, or between songs, if you want to continue to dance, use other phrases; ”That was really nice”, “I enjoy dancing with you”, etc.. Remember- Traditionally, when the cortina plays, all couples clear the floor, whether they will continue to dance or change partners. When the dancing is finished, it is nice for the man to walk the woman back to her table. It can be disorienting after dancing, when the room is crowded, for the woman to find her table. Besides, this is just a courteous way to end the engagement!




for a healthy and respectful Tango community!


The exact origins of tango are lost in myth and an unrecorded history. The generally accepted theory is that in the mid-1800s and early 1900, while Argentina was undergoing a massive immigration, African slaves were brought to Argentina and began to influence the local culture. About 2 million immigrants arrived in Buenos Aires. The intermixing of African, Spanish, Italian, British, Polish, Russian and native-born Argentines resulted in a melting pot of cultures, with each borrowing dance and music from one another. Most immigrants were single men hoping to earn their fortunes in this newly expanding country. They were typically poor and desperate, hoping to make enough money to return to Europe or bring their families to Argentina. The evolution of tango reflects their profound sense of loss and longing for the people and places they left behind.

Most likely the tango was born in African-Argentine dance venues attended by young men, mostly native born and poor. Men danced together – there were few women, but tango inevitably moved to where the women could be found. They took the tango and introduced it in various low-life establishments where dancing took place: bars, dance halls and brothels. It was here that the African rhythms met the Argentine milonga music and soon new steps were invented and took hold.

Although the high society looked down upon the activities, their sons were not averse to slumming. Eventually, everyone found out about the tango and, by the beginning of the 20th century, the tango had established a firm foothold in the fast-expanding city of its birth. It soon spread to provincial towns of Argentina and across the River Plate to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, where it became as much a part of the urban culture as in Buenos Aires. The worldwide spread of the tango came in the early 1900s when the sons of wealthy Argentine families made their way to Paris. They introduced the tango into a society not entirely averse to the risqué nature of the dance or dancing with young, wealthy Latin men. By 1913, the tango had become an international phenomenon in Paris, London and New York. There were tango teas, tango train excursions and even tango colors—most notably

orange. The Argentine elite who had shunned the tango was now forced into accepting it with national pride. The First World War brought a hiatus to the development, but during this time the first films were made, the tango lyrics and music developed and recordings were made. Tango emerged from the small venues, where sex and machismo were the everyday, to become mass entertainment, danced by thousands of respectable citizens in many prospering cities: Argentina was now one of the richest countries in the world. The dance was then refined to the slick and elegant ‘salon’ style, the lyrics of the songs slowly moved from lamenting the poverty and loneliness of the immigrant men, to more generic love songs for the mass market. By 1930 Tango was out of fashion in Europe, but in Argentina the Golden Age was starting, with a flourishing in music, poetry and culture, and the tango came to be a fundamental expression of Argentine culture. Then, the depression also changed the character of tango, and the lyrics reflected the renewed poverty and social divisions in the country. However, the Golden Age lasted through the 40s and 50s, and this is the period of its greatest development and expression.

Tango continued to change with political and economic conditions, and we can hear this in the music. In poorer times, orchestras were smaller, and as political repression developed, lyrics become political too, until they started to be banned as subversive. The dance style changed, as large salons closed, and dancers were once again forced into small venues with less space. Tango eventually went out of fashion, crushed like many other dances, by the arrival of American swing and rock and roll, and was repressed by the nationalist government. From the 1960s to the 1980s it was only danced and played by a few of the older generation and enthusiasts. The tango survived in smaller, unpublicized venues and in the hearts of the people. The current revival dates from the early 1980s, when a stage show Tango Argentino toured the world creating a dazzling version of the early and golden ages of tango. This is said to have stimulated the revival in the US, Europe and Japan. With the arrival of democracy in Argentina, and a search for a national culture, tango interest was revived, and although still ignored by many young people, there is enough interest to supply the world with a steady stream of hopeful tango teachers and a market for musicians to rediscover and reinvent the music. Since the 1990s there has been an explosion of interest around the world with places to dance in many cities and towns, and a growing circuit of international festivals.


Some people see tango as primarily a dance – a connection between two people. However most will say tango is the music, and the lyrics, and the dancers’ interpretation of that music, and the sentiments it expresses. Getting to know the music is part of learning tango. Learning the music enables you to dance with much more confidence and enjoyment.

The classic tango orchestra or ‘orquestra típica’ is made up of bandoneons, violins, piano, and bass. The guitar is also a common instrument, especially accompanying singers. The Bandoneon, perhaps the key to the tango sound, was originally developed in Germany for churches that could not afford organs.

As the music developed it became less rigidly rhythmic, more harmonic and melodic, and the hallmark tension and release was developed. Many interwoven layers of music can be picked out and danced to, each with their own rhythm and feeling. The ‘traditional’ orchestras (e.g. Canaro, D’Arienzo) played it simple and pleased the dancers. Composers and players, such as Pugliese, Salgan and Piazzola were more interested in the music, and played for listening. Their music takes the tension and release further, with time changes, and they also introduced spectacular pauses and accelerations. 

Different tango music tends to suggest different styles of dance when we hear it. Some music suggests a “pushing” or “driving” dance with its strong rhythm, while others are more flowing or “pulling”, while still others are full of tensions and accelerations. In the end it is up to the couple how they dance, but it is important, and more interesting, to really listen to the music, and not just dance the same all the time.

More recently- The so-called post-Piazzolla generation (1980-on) Piazzolla and his followers developed Nuevo Tango, which incorporated jazz and classical influences into a more experimental style. Even more recent trends can be described as “electro tango” or “tango fusion”, The music still has its tango feeling, the complex rhythm and melody, but with the addition of strong electronic components for a unique and modern tango sound.


The social dance is what we see in the setting of a milonga, or “dance party”. Within the structure of Argentine Tango, the social dance is improvised, from step to step, based on the music, the couple dancing, and the entire floor of dancers. The movement is decided based on actual space available to progress in the line of dance. This is the way Argentine Tango is danced today in the salons of Buenos Aires and around the world.

The social dance embrace varies, depending on the venue and music, and the preference of the couple. In close embrace, which is the more traditional form, dancers have their upper torsos touching the entire dance. In an open embrace, more of a Nuevo style, or “new tango”- the embrace can be anywhere from barely open to a full arms length away. The embrace is fluid and dynamic. Often a couple will move from close to open, at times even releasing the embrace, to return to a closer embrace again, all within a single dance.

Performance Tango or Show/Stage Tango was originally developed so that the dance could be seen on stage from the back of a theater. The embrace opened as the dancers incorporated larger “showy” movements into the dance. These larger more complicated movements required more skill, more practice, and necessitated the dancers choreographing the dance. This movement toward choreography for the stage continued into what most stage productions are today, well organized, rehearsed professional choreographed shows.

Often at the milongas there are demonstrations by couples, some choreographed, some are completely improvised. I feel it is important to note, if you are watching a performance or demonstration, to know that you are watching an improvised dance or a choreographed routine.

A recent trend, especially with younger dancers, is to dance Tango to non-tango, nuevo tango, or electronic music. This is happening both socially, as well as for performances, or show Tango. Also becoming more popular is to blend other dance forms within the Tango structure/movement. Some will argue that this form of tango is pushing the line of defining the dance as Tango.

In it’s essence, the tango is simply a walk, connected with your partner, moving to the music. It can be very simple, and very pleasing in that simplicity. It can become quite challenging in the learning process, to balance the desire to learn more “Moves”, while maintaining the balance of connection with your partner, and simply moving together to the music.

13  ARGENTINE TANGO VS BALLROOM TANGOwhat’s the difference?

Argentine tango consists of a variety of styles that developed in different regions and eras, and in response to the crowding of the venues. The present forms developed in Argentina and Uruguay, but Argentine tango has been an evolving dance and musical form, with continual changes still occurring every day on the social dance floors in Argentina and in major tango centers around the world.

Argentine Tango relies heavily on improvisation. While there are default patterns and

sequences of steps, even in a sequence, every step is led, not only in direction, but also speed and quality, and the default patterns can be “blocked”. Essentially, there is no “basic step.” Styles vary as much as individual personalities.

Ballroom Tango (also referred to as International Tango)

Steps, sequences and techniques derived from Argentine, Hollywood and other socially popular influences of the time were standardized by dance studios for instruction and competition, and have been relatively fixed in style for decades. There is little room for improvisation.

14  ARG VS BALLROOM; the embrace

A striking difference between Argentine Tango and Ballroom Tango is in the shape and feel of the embrace. Ballroom Tango technique dictates that partners arch their upper bodies away from each other, while maintaining contact at the hip, in an offset frame, the head looking over the left shoulder. Arms are elevated, and the embrace is fixed and static. In Argentine Tango, it is nearly the opposite: the dancers’ chests are closer to each other than are their hips, and often there is contact at about the level of the sternums (the contact point differing, depending on the height of the leader and the closeness of the embrace). The embrace can vary from very open, in which leader and follower connect at arms length, to very closed, in which the connection is chest-to-chest, or anywhere in between. In close embrace, the sternums of both the leader and the follower are in complete contact. In open embrace, there can be as much space as desired between the partners, and the head is neutral and comfortable over the spine. Even when dancing in a very open embrace, Argentine Tango dancers do not hold their upper bodies arched away from each other; each partner is over their own axis. Whether open or closed, an Argentine Tango embrace is not rigid, but relaxed, like a hug, and always dynamic, changing and fluid.

15   ARG VS BALLROOM; walking

In Argentine Tango the leader may freely step with his left foot when the follower steps with her left foot. In English, this is sometimes referred to as a “crossed” or “uneven” walk (or as “walking in the crossed system”) in contrast to the normal walk which is called “parallel” or “even.” The dance is essentially walking with a partner to the music. Musicality (i.e. dancing appropriately to the emotion and speed of a given tango) is an extremely important element of dancing Argentine tango. Since Argentine tango is almost entirely improvisational, focus is on clear communication between partners. Each step is an invitation from the leader, with an answer from the follower. As the dancers become more experienced, this this “give and take” appears seamless to the outside observer.

In Ballroom Tango “crossed system” is considered incorrect (unless the leader and follower are facing the same direction). The couple dances together through known sequences that fit to the music in a standard time, with a clear beginning and end to each sequence.

16  POEM “Tango is More than just a Dance”

By Nito- World renown Tango dancer and instructor

It comes into your life as a simple interest, develops into a nice hobby, slowly grows into an obsession… And gradually becomes your lifestyle…

Tango is not just a combination of pretty steps…

it is a bouquet of human emotions – passion, anger, happiness, desire, lust, jealousy, love…

interpreted uniquely by each individual person…

and expressed on the dance floor…

Our vocabulary is rather limited…

there is only so much that you can say in words…

You can write pages and pages of romantic letters to the woman

that you love, and still have a hard time expressing your true feelings…

but a single touch, a sole motion on the dance floor

can let her know so much in a single moment!

Tango allows you to communicate your feelings and emotions much stronger…

you are happy you dance one way…

you are sad or angry – you dance another way!

The steps and moves that seem to be the same will come out

differently depending on how you feel at that particular

moment, what music you are dancing to, and who you are dancing with…

Precisely because of that no Tango is ever the same!

Every dance is always unique… it is pure improvisation!

You may know the steps in your head…

but your heart tells you where to move.

Tango brings together people from all walks of life…

and erases their differences! It does not matter how old you are…

it does not matter who you are or what you do for a living…

all that matters is that you want to dance…

When you are on the dance floor… nothing else exists around you
You surrender to the music and let it move you… it gets deep inside your
heart and your soul, engulfs you completely… captivates you…

Tango is not just a dance… it is a lifestyle… it is distinctively timeless and everlasting…

It spans through decades, continents, nations
and people! Tango is a unique culture, rich with history, thrilling and
controversial, passionate and mysterious…

And with every single song, with every single dance it draws you to it

stronger and stronger and makes you want to be part of it more and more…”


Every person who dances Argentine Tango has their very own perspective of the dance, or will eventually, based on their personal experience, their training , and their personality. My personal journey has been a wonderful, long and challenging process. Studying, dancing socially, and teaching others has been, and continues to be, for me, a wonderful vehicle for personal growth!!

I began my Tango journey in the winter of 1997, and still to this day, continue on my path …..traveling to study, dance socially and to share my passion for the dance by teaching others what I have learned!

This journey is a unique one, different for each of us. I encourage you to enjoy the process, be easy on yourself and your partners along the way. Like many of the best things in life, this is not something that comes easily or quickly to most people. The journey is a long one, with many challenges along the way and ultimately it has no end…….there is no “arrival”…….so enjoy where you are in every moment!

Thanks for your interest!

Information compiled from my personal Tango journey,

as well as from these sources:

For me, Tango is a metaphor for life. The tango journey is a life long process

Perfectly imperfect in every moment!

Karen Jaffe, Tangogypsies

Biography Part 2

She enjoys working with a variety of partners, striving to bring new ideas and creativity to the dance itself, as well as to teach in a way that makes the dance accessible and enjoyable to all who are interested. As the owner of Tangogypsies, Karen is committed to share her passion for the social dance. Since 2003, she has taught Fundamentals and upper level classes and hosted social dances in Asheville, NC. (Weekly from 2006-2015). She has organized large events with guest teachers in her local community. She guest teaches outside of Asheville, and since 2013, tours the US with her partner Tate Di Chiazza, a native of Buenos Aires, who has been dancing and working in Tango since his teens. Together they offer workshops and performances in many manifestations. Private lessons, small and large group events, from fundamentals to intensive courses available by request.

Biography Part 1

Karen began dancing Argentine Tango in 1997 after an extensive history of theatre, gymnastics, and an eclectic mix of dance disciplines. She quickly realized that her love of the dance required a more intense commitment to learning. As a result of working with many very skilled and inspirational teachers over the years, she now greatly values a dance in which the partners coexist in its creation, where the follower’s role prioritizes the connection with the leader, but also is active and expresses individual personality and musicality. Being a leader as well as a follower has given Karen a unique and valuable perspective.

Her reputation in both the SE region and wider Argentine Tango community is that of a skilled and engaging partner with well refined technique, as well as a knowledgeable and capable instructor. Always seeking further education and refinement in the dance, Karen travels annually or more to Buenos Aires, where she works with a variety of skilled practice partners, continuing to study with world renowned teachers and enjoys dancing in the popular milongas in the heart of the Tango world.

Ongoing Events – Detail



Tate Di Chiazza available for private lessons $100/hr 3 for $250,

Karen & Tate together $150hr, 3 for $400, small groups up to 6 OK. 

August-Oct on tour, see special events for tour details.

Group classes at $200/hr

NOW booking 

Karen private lessons $75/hr up to 4 people.

3 hour packages $200

Group classes at $100/hr

to schedule-

call or text-n828-215-1177



Podcast interview- Listen here: 


For more information about AAAC & Explore Asheville click on the ASHEVILLE Logo

Special Events – Detail

 Tate Di Chiazza & Karen Jaffe continued TOUR details!

Click on events for links- inquiries


Gainesville, FL Feb 20-23 

Thursday Feb 20 at Thuys (message Steve for directions)
730p- 9p WS1 “Advanced Fundamentals” followed by practica until 10:30p. Every experienced dancer knows the secret to better dancing is to revisit the all important fundamentals. The base, axis, posture, intention, impulse; explore with us to recognize, refine, rethink and recalibrate your foundation. It’s all in the details!

Saturday Feb 22 Hip Moves Dance Studio, 708 NW 23rd Ave, Gainesville, FL 32609
12pm-130p WS2 “Intelligent Embrace”
Work less and produce more. Structure, tension, timing and flow. Explore how to adapt your embrace for more clarity, comfort, and connection.
2-330p WS3 “Co-Creation” Create more dynamic movement by collaborating. BOTH dancers contribute to the whole, to express a larger variety of qualities, amplitudes and feelings, perhaps even to find some unexpectedly pleasing moments. Share the experience.

JOIN US Saturday NIGHT We’ll be driving to TAMPA for DIva Tangos milonga w/ Jose Garafulo
at SImones Salsa 8336 W Hillsboro Av

Sunday Feb 23 at Thuys
4p-530p WS4 “Musical Tools” followed by practilonga until 7p
Dive more deeply into the intricacies of the beautiful traditional music to better “draw” the music with your dance! So much variety, so many possibilities……
It’s not WHAT you do, but HOW you do it.

Best deal! FULL- All 4 workshops/practicas;
$85 (payable Thursday)
Individual Workshops -$25 (includes practicas)

Schedule private lessons- 828-215-1177, or



Help bring Tate back for 2020!
Tate Di Chiazza is an international artist visiting from Buenos Aires. Since his teens, he has worked teaching and performing Argentine Tango, studying with masters, in some of the most famous clubs, including most well known La Viruta in Buenos Aires. Tate has traveled extensively, around the world with Tango, both as an instructor and performer. He toured with the famous show “Tanguera” from 2002-2009.

Karen Jaffe lives near Asheville, NC. In her 20 years of Tango she has supported dancers through offering weekly classes, social dances, has organized dozens of events and has traveled extensively to continue her own education. Currently she teaches and performs locally, regionally and tours the US.

Together they have over 40 years experience dancing, teaching and performing Argentine Tango! This event is part of their US tour 2017/2018. If you are interested to study with Karen and Tate, watch the Tangogypsies website for details of the tour to see when they may be visiting a city near you. If you are interested to host them for workshops in your community, contact Karen.

Inquiries and registration-


Private lessons available

Tate $95/h Karen $75/h Both $150/h 

3 hour packages Tate $250, Karen $200, both $400

prices do not include floor fee


TOUR 2020! More details as we organize each event! and on FB, ask to join our tour group; where ALL events will be posted


Refunds: Cancellation; we will refund the full amount 2 weeks before event date;

 50% if you inform us 24 hours before START of event,

 after which NO REFUNDS. You must contact Karen at (828)-215-1177    

100% payment refunded if the organizer cancels the event.

(A 10% usage fee will apply for all Paypal refunds)

Ongoing Events – Summary



Karen $75hr      3 hours for $200

Tate Di Chiazza available Aug 30, Sept 1,2,3 $100/hr 3 hours for $250

does not include floor fee



Karen’s interview on Joes Tango Podcast! 



Tangogypsies is a member of the Asheville Area Arts Council the collective voice for the arts, advancing Buncombe County by delivering resources, developing innovative collaborations, and fostering creativity in the community.

Thank you for your support of Tangogypsies events, since 2003!