Adjectives like: sensational, excellent, superb, wonderful fall short in describing the workshop conducted by Tomas and Marta from Showy Dance on 18 December at Traralgon.

You can joke about country folk and joke about the distance (a lazy 2.5 hrs from Melbourne) but how many workshops have 30+ on a regular basis like we do?

Our studio at the VRI has A/C, kitchen, huge parking, and could accommodate over 100 dancers in comfort.

City folk how about visiting us sometime in 2019? To the 30+ at yesterday’s workshop: Congratulations.

The group

To Tomas and Marta: thank you and sincere congratulations on your teachings, we will have you back early in 2019 …. Thank you


WHILE it does take two to tango, in the traditional Argentinian form of the dance it takes one to lead – something which 78-year-old John O’Keefe has been working hard to learn.

While the tango can be complicated enough to learn of its own volition, Mr O’Keefe is legally blind and cannot see the dance moves which he is learning.

He hasn’t, however, let that deter him from learning to dance and to lead.

While Mr O’Keefe has only been month, he said the practice had helped him “find a bit of rhythm”.

“I got much more out of it than I expected,” he said. “I’m definitely more confident. “When you’re dancing, you’ve got to make room for the lady – that transpires to when you are at home, when you’re walking around, you’ve got to pick up something and instead of bashing into something and spilling something you’re holding, you step back and make room.”

Mr O’Keefe, a Bowen therapist, learned about the tango classes, which are run not-for-profit at The VRI hall in Traralon, through a client. “He told me how much he enjoyed it and he said ‘you should have a go at it’

…‘I’ll pick you up and take you down one night’ and that was it,” Mr O’Keefe said. “He brought me down and I’m still coming.

“I just think it is a great thing instead of sitting home and doing nothing. I get out, get up and move. It is a great motivator.”

Tango instructor Carlos Argentina said Mr O’Keefe had been coming to class an hour early to train with a fellow dancer. “The other challenge is perhaps when we show some new fancy steps, they are hard perhaps to describe in words,” Mr Argentina said.

“But when it comes time to dance, it is about feeling the steps.

“John is being a leader, that is what he has been trained to do and he is doing it well.”

Mr Argentina said he tried to bring in diverse tango teachers to the classes every now and again to “spice it up”, and would have a “fancy tango” instructor at the class next Tuesday.

“Tango [is] … extremely beneficial for people with any restrictions to their body, but also for people with Alzheimer’s, dementia because [tango] has the heartbeat,” he said.

Mr Argentina said new people were welcome to join the class, which costs $5 for two hours at the VRI Hall on Tuesday at 7pm, or to watch. For more information, visit Tango Gippsland on Facebook.

Published by The Latrobe Valley Express, Monday, 17 December, 2018

The question of ‘dress’ ‘what will I wear to a Milonga?‘ is often talked about by new and experienced tangueros.

The short answer: Dress like you are going to a cocktail party- dress your Sunday best.

Followers, a knee-length dress.

Leaders, business trousers and a shirt with collar and buttons (tie and jacket optional).

Pamela &  Richard from Southern Cross Tango in Geelong had this to say:

‘In the early days men and women who were not appropriately dressed were denied entry to the milongas. Men wore suits, women wore elegant cocktail dresses. Today, it is still customary for mature men to wear jackets when they dance. Shoes for men and women had to be in good condition. Shabby and shoddy just didn’t cut it at the milongas.

These days, young dancers might dress more casually, but women who take care with their appearance and look good get more invitations to dance, and women appreciate dancing with men who take care with their appearance too. 

We learn tango steps so we can look good on a dance floor. Clothes may not maketh the dancer, but it sure helps to look the part.’ 

Regardless of the season, you are usually going to be warm at a Milonga, so don’t wear any wool.

Followers don’t wear a very short or very tight skirt. You need to be able to lift your legs without showing your underwear.

Wear cloths and shoes that you ‘love’. Shoes need to stay on your feet with strap or laces and no rubber on the soles (it must not grip the floor).

Leaders make sure your trousers don’t have a turned-up cuff (this is one of the few things that can make you fall.)

No amount of Hollywood tape can save you if you go strapless.

One of my regular teachers said to me that many followers wear dresses that hug their curves but stretch and flow near their legs. Skirts with slits allow followers to move and are sexy. It is important to make sure that you can take large steps without hindrance. Depending on the milonga, men may either wear a suit and tie or dress slacks and an over shirt.

An Argentinian pen pal had this to say to me:  

Carlos, tell your group to wear their Tango-iest outfit!

They will look like a tango dancers and feel more confident.

Doing things that make you personally feel confident is a part of your tango technique.

Tango-ey clothes for women are dresses or harem pants.

For men, being Tangoiness is quickly invoked by wearing a nice shirt — and jeepers, you can go as far as you want — jacket, tie, vest, suspenders, the whole drill.

An Argentinian and also a Russian visitor to Australia commented that they were surprised at the lack of ‘formal‘ dress at most Milongas they attended in Australia. They did not see this as bad necessarily, but felt the tangueros were missing out on making the most of the Milonga.

Your thoughts, experiences about dress at Milongas will be most welcome.

Latrobe Valley Express gave Tango Gippsland a fantastic write up – front page – a few weeks ago.

Many new starters have come forward and I am still getting calls. Thank youLatrobe Valley Express for supporting Tango Gippsland, a community orientated non profit entity.



Cuando las flores de tu rosal,
vuelvan mas bellas a florecer,
recordarás mi querer,
y has de saber,
todo mi intenso mal.

De aquel poema embriagador,
ya nada queda entre los dos,
doy mi triste adiós,
sentiras la emoción,
de mi dolor…


When the roses in your garden flower again
you may remember my love,
and understand my sadness and my pain.

Of our intoxicating poem
nothing remains,
So accept my last goodbye
and for one moment
remember all the passion and the pain…

To read a work in translation is like kissing a beautiful woman with a handkerchief over her face.

On a very cold night nineteen Tangueros ventured out of their warm cosy homes to attend a two hour workshop with Leonel and Hanna at the Tango Gippsland Studio in Traralgon.

Leonel Colque is a director and main dancer of Victoria Tango, in Lygon Street, Carlton.

The attendees included raw beginners and intermediate dancers who have been taught the basics by Carlos; Leonel and Hanna performed their magic on the participants and the feedback is that everyone moved (some jumped) forward in their understanding and skills of Argentinian tango.

Thank you Leonel, thank you Hanna.

Leonel is available for private tuition on 0423 760 044

The Seaspray Surf Life Saving Club invited Tango Gippsland to give a ‘demo’ on Sunday 6 May.


Newcomers to tango, Dorothy, Allirra, Brian and Sergio accompanied Carlos.

We are told that the tango troupe gave a fantastic demonstration of Argentinian Tango.

The audience was also enthralled by how easily and quickly Carlos had some non dancers doing some basic tango moves.

If you want a tango demonstration at your club/venue please email Carlos on our Contact page.