Meet Tracey and Leonardo. Tango Teachers/Performers at Tango Fandango, London, UK
Tell us about the London Argentine Tango School?
Our School has 4 communities. We hold group lessons every week in Weybridge, Wimbledon and Balham. In addition, we hold monthly workshops at Benson near Oxford. These are our regular Teaching commitments but we also get asked to teach in other Milongas around the UK. Our Teaching School is called Tango Fandango. We also run popular Tango weekends around the UK and abroad under our sister company, 2Tango. The London Argentine Tango School is the brand name of our methodology and syllabus which we have developed over the last few years.
How did tango find you?
Leo was born into a ‘Tango Family’ in Buenos Aires and was taught Tango from the age of 7 by his father who was also a milonga organiser and Teacher. He can’t remember a time without Tango and is a unique character as he has memories of many of the famous musicians and singers of the day, (to which we all dance to), at his family home in Avellaneda. Since arriving in the UK 13 years ago, he has been passionate about sharing his love and enthusiasm for Tango and he has taught and created a vibrant, friendly Tango community throughout the South. Leo and Tracey are full-time Teaching professionals and dancers of the improvised Argentine Tango. They have worked together for 5 years. In 2013 they established the London Argentine Tango School which has it’s own written syllabus and carefully constructed teaching methodology based on Leo’s dance style. They also established their own 3 year Teacher Training Programme so that the valuable knowledge that Leo has acquired over 47 years continues to be enjoyed by many more people in the UK. Tracey discovered tango as a result of seeing a show in London. She has had a passion for dance all her life and has experienced and performed many dance styles. Purely by chance she saw a Tango Show and she knew that she wanted to learn more. So began the mission to discover everything she could about Argentine Tango, which continues to this day.
Where did you learn to dance?
Leo was taught by his father and subsequently other milongueros of the time. Tracey started from workshops, videos and anything that was available. However Tracey believes she really started to learn Tango when she met Leo 5 years ago at a Milonga and he subsequently started to retrain her.
Who has inspired you?
Leos Teachers were his father, followed by Tango Greats such as: Pepito Avellaneda, Carlos Gavito, Carlos Rivarola, Luis Grodona, Tete Rusconi and the most important, Roberto Paulini, a friend of the legendary Cachafaz.
What are your aims for the future?
To make sure that the improvisational Tango continues to be danced and enjoyed.
When you are NOT dancing?
Go to the cinema and watch Marvel comic films!
If you could give one piece of advice to anyone learning tango?
LEO – Enjoy the journey!
TRACEY – Forget everything and open your mind.
What is the greatest challenge to teaching tango?
Helping people understand that it’s an improvisational dance not a succession of sequences and making people connect.
What is inside your head before you go on to perform?
LEO – My country, which is my family.
TRACEY – I just try to relax as all our performances are improvised.
Which performance has been your most memorable?
LEO – The next one…
TRACEY – probably the Tower Ballroom, Blackpool is one of the most memorable because it’s such a beautiful Ballroom to dance in.
Honestly, how many pairs of shoes?
Leo has more shoes than Tracey!
Vals, Milonga or Tango?
LEO – Tango
TRACEY – Vals
LEO – Anibal Troilo
TRACEY – Francisco Lomuto