Wrap your arms around life and let yourself go
The Third New Orleans TangoFest
July 9-11, 2004


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I just wanted to congratulate Alberto and Valorie on another superb presentation for 2004. I deeply appreciate the full-time commitment they have made to the Tango scene in New Orleans, and I'm sure many of the other students feel the same way. They are true gems.
-- Ed Cherrie, LA

Just wanted to take a minute to say thanks again for putting on such a first class weekend.  The workshops, milongas, dinners and accommodations were just about perfect.  We hope to be able to come down again next year.

-- Joyce and Walt Newman, GA

Congratulations on a successful Tango Fest!! Sorry that I was not able to participate, but hope to be a "regular" again soon!
-- Faun Fenderson, LA

Thank you very much for organizing and working hard to make the Tangofest a wonderful experience for us.
We had a bit of trepidation when we enrolled in for the event as we were just the beginners with only a few lessons. It turned out, however, the Tangofest was a very stimulating and informative as well as enjoyable event.
We spent day one in the beginners class and were very much impressed by the instructors for their patient and precise basic exercises.     We were much challenged during the second day at the intermediate level but again thoroughly enjoyed all the instructions. The two evening events were spectacular and we were much inspired by so many good dancers on the floor.
Having organized events for different types of meetings during my active days, I know how demanding it is to organize events such as this.
I want to be one of the firsts to enroll for the 2005 Tangofest so that we can join in the splendid tango lovers you managed to assemble this year. Thanking you for the memorable weekend in New Orleans,
-- Ken & Teruko, NY

The only thing we did not like was that the event was over with too quickly... Alberto and Valorie know how to make tango dancers feel good, no matter what their level is. They inspire people to hang in there and feel good with what they have accomplished and will continue to accomplish in the future. To our fellow New Orleans tango dancers, you are the best and we thank you for the help you have given us.
-- Linda and Roy, LA

Once again, Alberto and Valorie completely outdid themselves! Each year the festival creates an opportunity for us students to measure our progress, our stamina, our endurance for muscle aches and foot pain, and how truly lucky we are to have Alberto and Valorie here in New Orleans. It was also a wonderful time for renewing old acquaintances and making many new friends and converts (we hope) to tango.  Thank you for another sensational tango weekend!
-- Denise, LA
For us locals, the festival is like taking a tango vacation without having to travel anywhere.  We're so fortunate to have a festival of this caliber here at home.
-- Julio, LA

Just wanted to put my two cents in about the festival, which in one word was MAGNIFICENT.  The entertainment was extraordinary and, of course, Valorie's touch with the decorations and and food selection couldn't have been better.  Congratulations on a job well done.
-- Brenda, LA

We had one of the best times ever (tango and otherwise) at N.O.L.A. 2004. Thanks for EVERYTHING, which was top-notch (not a surprise): the instruction, the milongas, the dinners, the entertainment, the hotel, ... everything! We are already looking forward to N.O.L.A. 2005.
-- Michael and Julie Ann, CA

Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend! The hotel was fabulous and the dancing superb. I hope to have you here this fall or late winter to give a workshop.
-- Christine, FL

What a great time we had (surprise, surprise), and we even learned some tango while enjoying ourselves. The classes were not only good, they were fun. Time went so fast.. the teachers were very attentive to individual needs and were still able to cover plenty of material. I think the organization of classes into levels of experience helped that. The lowest common denominator was pretty high! As always, we enjoyed doing our exhibition, and we thank you for the opportunity (not to mention the special honor).
-- Walter, NY

Just wanted to share a few special memories, and to tell some people how proud I am of them...of their work, and of their presentations at the Festival.
All thanks, of course to Valorie and Alberto without whom there would be no Festival..and without whom I would not be dancing!!
But more especially, at this time I want to express my delight at seeing Linda and Roy perform. We go to class together week after week, and see each other work and struggle to master our dance...trying again and again....well, Sunday night, it all came together...Linda and Roy, you were MARVELOUS!! I was so proud of you both!!
The other performance that impressed me so much was that of Brittany dancing with her Auntie Valorie. In that family, a talent for movement must be in the genes! I certainly was not up to doing what she did after only dancing for one week! It is also thrilling to see a love of the dance being passed on to the next generation.
I don't mean to neglect the rest of our local dancers..all of whom danced with grace and just that I think there's a legal limit on the length of Emails!
It was a wonderful weekend...I am already looking forward to TangoFest 2005 !
-- Jessica, LA

My wife and I just returned from the "Third New Orleans TangoFest," and I have to recommend that you attend this annual event. Festival hosts Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart really put on one great time. The Tango lessons and instructors were top-flight. Teachers included Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart, Daniela Arcuri and Armando Orzuza, and Marizabel Arango and Todd Martin.
Three levels of lessons made this event accessible to every Tango dancer. Lessons covered Tango, Mlionga, Vals. Marizabel and Todd treated attendees to lessons
in candombe and milonga candombera.
The festival was held at the Hotel Monaco, a new hotel that offered gourmet food and many outstanding ammenities. (The hotel was once a Masonic Temple, and
the architecture must be seen!)
The crowd was very friendly and courteous to one another on the floor. Classes began at 10 am, and the nightly Milongas lasted until the wee hours.
I highly recommend it and hope to see you there next year!
-- Doug, MI

It was a wonderful weekend. It was the best festival yet and the memories continue. Today, Sun the 18th, in the living section of the T-P is a picture of Todd and Marizabel during their performance on Sat with some familiar faces in the background. Thank you Alberto and Valorie for making such a beautiful event possible. I know the months of work that go into putting on your festival and you made it look easy. It's not. It's your grace and knowledge that make it seem so. We are so lucky to have you here. I love you both, and I thank you for teaching me (and others) this dance that we all love so much. Viva Tango!
-- Sabina, LA

I had such a great time at the Tango Fest this year. I feel that I learned a lot. It was really nice having an intermediate class this yr. All of the teachers were terrific - Todd & Marizabel were especially fun. I am looking forward to next yr's fest already.
-- Ainslie, TN

Thank you for the lovely TangoFest 2004! As a beginner, I could not have picked a better first time experience and teachers (I'll be spoiled for future events!). I thoroughly enjoyed your hard work and attention to all details and will look forward to  the video and 2005!
-- Rae, MO


The Main Attractions
Photos courtesy of George Long

Alberto & Valorie
Daniela & Armando
Marizabel & Todd

Photos by Carla Burns

Photos by Joyce Newman

Photos by Walter Kane

Check the Times Picayune Living Section on Sunday, July 18, 2004

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