The “Dancing to Heavy Vocals” Workshop

Ten years ago, Jennifer Bratt and I took a private lesson with the legendary Villa Urquiza milonguero _____________. The class was over 2 hours long and we mostly talked and sipped mate. I can’t remember any steps that were taught in the class. One of the only things I remember is when I asked about Gerardo Portalea. It is a well-known fact that milongueros always criticize each other and the milonguero responded as I thought he would….with criticism: “Portalea?? Ufff, el no tiene pasos!” (Portalea?? He has no steps!”) “Pero….el si tiene cadencia” (But…..he does sure have cadencia.”) 
And there it was: the word that began my quest for tango perfection: cadencia. 

Since that day I have asked every milonguero/a or master teacher I have met about cadencia. Their answers have been beautiful and colorful and have influenced my dance and my teachings.

Finally, in November 2014, I decided to develop a workshop that solely focused on this concept. Part of the reason was that that time of my life had some turmoil and I found myself listening more to the orchestras of Pugliese/Moran, Troilo/Marino, Fulvio Salamanca, and many others. When I would use these tangos for a class, I found that although my students were performing the rhythm and the steps that I taught perfectly, they were missing something: cadencia. It is only by being able to embody the “speed of sadness” that a tango dancer can interpret a “heavy vocal tango” such as Pugliese/Moran’s “Y Mientes Todavia”. So I finally felt confident enough to introduce a workshop based on my explorations of cadencia over the last 10 years. It has been a hit since then and many organizers have requested that workshop topic.  

I leave you with this thought:

A good tango dancer must have rhythm, technique……..and emotion. Rhythm and technique can be learned. Emotion, on the other hand, is a work that affects the personality. What’s that saying?: “People change for two main reasons: either their minds have been opened or their hearts have been broken.” I believe tango has the power to do both. 

I hope you can join me in this special workshop and allow me to open your mind or break your heart and discover a beautiful way to interpret these amazing tangos.

There is also an accompanying playlist I made on Spotify:


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