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The 'gift' of having parents who are tango teachers

posted Nov 5, 2014, 11:03 PM by Sophia de Lautour   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 8:27 PM ]
This video of a young boy dancing with his mother captured my attention...


Their display was filmed in 1991 at the Teatro Regio in Buenos Aires. The boy is Pablo Pugliese. His mother is Esther Pugliese. Esther and her husband Mingo were among the most influential figures in the contemporary history of Argentine tango. I remember taking classes with Pablo's father Mingo about ten years ago in Buenos Aires. This highly respected teaching duo taught an entire generation of social dancers. Further, many of today's internationally renowned tango professionals have at one stage been taught by Mingo and Esther.  

Pablo was born in Mar del Plata, Argentina and began learning Argentine Tango at the age of nine with his parents. He began performing professionally in Argentina when he was ten years old and, by the age of fifteen, had gone on to teach and perform  across the United States, Europe and Asia. He continues to teach and perform tango and is currently based in Montreal. 

So cutting forward 22 years - here's footage of Pablo with his dance and life partner Noel Strazza. Here they dance the vals Pedacito de Cielo ( Denver 2013).


Watching these videos made me think what a gift it was for Pablo to have parents who were tango teachers and how lucky he was to start learning tango so young!  

This naturally made me think of my own children. As some of you may know, my children (formerly known by many in the tango community as 'the tango twins') were also given the 'gift' of tango teaching parents... but they perhaps do not consider this a 'gift'. They are certainly in no way as fascinated by the dance as young Pablo was! 

I started teaching my children tango with some of their school friends when they were in year 5, at the request of their friends' parents. My children (at the risk of bragging) were clearly the best dancers and I would not attribute this to genetics or extra effort on their part or mine, but rather to the 'osmosis effect' - the result of having tango music playing in the background for the (then) ten years of their existence; and having watched their parents and countless adults dance tango.  

Who knows, maybe my children will be drawn to tango in their later years when they understand and appreciate the emotional and sensual nuances of tango, and how enjoyable it is to embrace the opposite sex! At this stage their passion is soccer (futbal) and I have to be content with watching them perform on the soccer field rather than the tango floor.

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 'the tango twins' in Glebe 2012

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