The FABULOUS 2005 NEW ORLEANS TangoFest has come and gone
August 5-7, 2005







The Romantic Tango Getaway

It is time again for another great New Orleans TangoFest! We know you had a great time last year at the beautiful and sensual Hotel Monaco, in the beautiful and sensual city of New Orleans, doing the most beautiful and sensual dance - the Argentine tango! So reunite with friends you made last year, and make new friends this year.The fourth edition of the New Orleans TangoFest follows the tradition of the granddaddy of all three-day festivals, the Reno Tango Getaway, successfully produced and hosted by VALORIE HART and ALBERTO PAZ from 1997 to 2001 at the Reno Hilton, Nevada.

The New Orleans TangoFest is unique because it is produced with the discriminating tango dancer in mind. Year after year many people continue to make the TangoFest the highlight of their tango year. The reason is that we work very hard to show you how we truly enjoy the joy of dancing tango by setting the highest standards of excellence.

The venue where the festival is held is the Hotel Monaco, a facility truly designed for the indulgence of all senses. It is a mere three blocks from the French Quarter, yet, it affords the civilized environment of a well appointed micro center with reliable public transportation within walking distance. People raved about our choice of the Hotel Monaco last year.

We need not tell you how wonderful the accommodations at The Hotel Monaco are - remember the lovely well appointed rooms (with Aveeda bath products and those sexy leopard terry cloth robes?), and the lovely complimentary wine hour held in the stylish lobby living room every day (with the in house masseuse ready to give your neck a complimentary massage). The regular guest rooms are quite luxe, including a goldfish to keep you company, but if you’d care to upgrade to a suite, at an additional charge, please let us know - the upgraded suites have large jacuzzis!
“The Tango Boutique” will also be happening again. We invite you, our participants, to sell any product you might want to present. We will also do the famous clothing exchange again so you can sell your gently worn shoes or clothing (and perhaps find something “new” for yourself). Tango T-shirts, music, videos, posters, trinkets, shoes, etc. will also be sold.

NEW THIS YEAR - we have invited renowned New Orleans folk artist Charles Gillam to bring some of his work to sell. Charles has created the famous “Folk Art Zone” here in New Orleans, and his work is featured in every House of Blues in the USA. This is a special opportunity to take a very unique piece of New Orleans home with you.

“Zarina French Quarter Fashions” will be back again bringing her fun fashions and accessories for your shopping pleasure. So what’s stopping you from coming back?!
Since you’ve been with us before, you know we produce first class, personal events designed for you. This is not a festival where you are just a face at the back of the room, whether it’s in a class or at a milonga. We love what we do, and we love sharing it with all who wish to partake. An added bonus is the city of New Orleans, and our wonderful local dancers who love visitors and are extraordinary, when they join us, in making you feel welcome. Laissez le bon tango temps rouler! (Let the good tango times roll!)

Your Hosts Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart Alberto and Valorie

ALBERTO PAZ and VALORIE HART are two of the premier professional tango event organizers in the nation. They are also as great teachers. They have developed a successful method to introduce, review and reinforce the essential elements of the structure of the dance, the codes and protocols associated with it, and the rituals that define the personal styling that characterizes a "bailarin de tango." They can cover basic, intermediate, and advanced technique, floor craft, and music awareness. Their classes are specifically designed to move beyond step collection, overcome short attention span, and correct the bad habits that result from imitation.

Like all of the natural 'bailarines de tango' born before 1945, ALBERTO PAZ never studied contact improvisation or modern dance. He grew up as a natural dancer on the streets of Buenos Aires as the Golden Era of tango was beginning to decline. Almost 40 years later ALBERTO led the Renaissance of tango in the USA as an active promoter in California managing visiting professional dancers, publishing El Firulete, the first Argentine tango newsletter, and hosting weekly tango dance parties and a tango radio program. Through most of the 1990's, ALBERTO developed long lasting friendships with and benefited from the guidance and life experience of Orlando Paiva, Eduardo Arquimbau, Rodolfo Cieri, Carlos Gavito and other great 'bailarines de tango.'

VALORIE HART is ballet trained with off-Broadway and summer stock dancing experience with a unique quality for dancing and teaching Argentine Tango. They studied together in Buenos Aires with renowned master Mingo Pugliese. Since 1997 they have toured the USA perfecting a clear and fair methodology for teaching successful promoting the authentic form of Argentine tango dancing in cities from Anchorage to Dallas, from Honolulu to New York and dozens of cities in between.

Since 2002 they have been invited to teach in Europe receiving praise for their solid understanding of technique and their clear and fair method of delivery. ALBERTO is recognized as a seasoned milonguero with a modern mindset. VALORIE epitomizes the powerful, yet exquisite role of the woman in the tango.

Introducing: The Paivas

Directly from Argentina, the Paivas live in Rosario, the city that gave the world the legendary Orlando Paiva. A new generation of Paiva offsprings are now teaching and performing also in Buenos Aires. They have taught and performed in Europe (Spain, Germany) and in USA (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Reno) where people loved the romantic and elegant style that has become the hallmark of the Paiva legacy.

Both are pure TANGO dancers and teachers. They were born and grew up in a Tango atmosphere, respecting and loving this dance. Following the basis of their special style, they dance feeling the floor. Their performances are distinctive in its movements and esthetic, giving you a masterful blend of ARGENTINA.

When you see them dancing, you will not only see their fluidity, foot position and precision, you will be allowed to see something very special.

They are incredibly wonderful instructors, but moreover, there character and demeanor are top of the line.
They represent the qualities of "old world" sincerity and simplicity which when combined with their skill make for an
incredibly dynamic duo“.

Whether you come to improve your traditional tango or to experience the the extension of a legacy, you will find their teaching to be excellent.

The Hotel Monaco
Visit the Hotel Monaco

Both classic and glamorous, the 250 room, 19 story luxury boutique hotel is a former Masonic Temple on St. Charles Avenue. In the eye of New Orleans' Central Business District and blocks from the French Quarter, the Convention Center and the Superdome, it caters to discerning travelers who are drawn to the Hotel Monaco's high style, plush residential feel and sublime service. Built in 1926, the luxurious Hotel Monaco's interior draws guests in with an exuberant embrace of all that is New Orleans.

Spicy? Certainly
Distinctive? Absolutely

But the attitude and ambiance of the Hotel Monaco New Orleans can't be captured by words alone. It must be seen, touched, experienced. Living room to guest rooms. It's nearly indescribable. What else can we say?

  • Pampering guest rooms, including CD stereos, luxurious pillow top mattresses, Italian-made bed linens, leopard print bathrobes, complimentary high-speed Internet access & cordless phones
  • Complimentary morning coffee service, evening wine reception with chair massage, shoeshine service, daily newspaper
  • Complimentary 24 hour on-site fitness room features Stairmasters, stationary bikes, treadmills, circuit weight machines and free weights
  • Cobalt: Modern restaurant, adjacent to the hotel, serving stellar American cuisine is located in the old Masonic Temple along the streetcar line of historic St. Charles Avenue. The exterior façade, bathed in a tranquil blue glow, is synonymous with its namesake. Upon entry, earthy elements such as copper, glass, wrought iron, concrete, cherry wood and marble come alive as they mingle with warm fabrics, columns and scatters of multi-colored mosaic tiles. The Piano Lounge, Oyster Bar and Dining Rooms exude a stylish yet welcoming environment that are comfortable for listening to live music, enjoying lunch, or a casual meal
  • The Egyptian Ballroom, playing off the Egyptian theme of the original columns and crown moldings, can accommodate 190 for a seated dinner party or 250 for a show  and milonga
  • The Paris Ballroom, incorporating original neoclassical elements, can seat up to 190 guests and can accommodate up to 250 for a milonga
  • Complimentary goldfish companion for the evening (upon request)
  • Pet friendly
Hotel lobby
Typical bedroom

The City of New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Crescent City has been charming visitors for nearly three centuries. What all this reveals, is the nature of this extraordinary city and its easygoing lifestyle. You'll hear it in the music - music that you can't just experience anywhere else - jazz, hot brass bands, cajun, zydeco, tango. You can taste it in the food, with its rich African, Spanish, and French influences. It is a city that knows the meaning of 'party.' New Orleans is an on-going festival of cultures, traditions and music. New Orleanians are some of the most hospitable in the world -- they love their city and are eager to share this love with visitors. This is the city we call HOME.
French Quarter Imagine tango against the magical background of wrought iron balconies, lush, leafy courtyards and quiet cobblestone alleys. Share the experience of a lifetime where it's all about you on center stage, with everything designed for your enjoyment.

In New Orleans you'll find a combination of tango, local attractions and genuine friendship. New Orleans is home to some fine tango dancers. Spend an exhilarating extended weekend in the Crescent City dancing to great music with the finest dancers in the country. It is all about you!

The Hotel Monaco, located in the eye of New Orleans' Central Business District, offers the best of both worlds -- the Old World allure of the French Quarter, with its elegant Creole restaurants, world-renowed art galleries and antique shops -- and the bustle of nearby Canal Street, the Crescent City's Champs-Elysees and downtown shopping thoroughfare.

Planned Activities
2003 New Orleans TangoFest
2004 New Orleans TangoFest

FRIDAY, August 5, 2005
  • Upon arrival at Louis Armstrong International, the Airport Shuttle or a taxicab will drop you at the doorsteps of the HOTEL MONACO, 333 St. Charles Ave.
  • At 5 PM Wine reception in the ground floor of the hotel.
  • At 8 PM Opening Night Tango Show RED HOT TANGO!
  • At 9:30 PM Meet N' Greet milonga dance party. A great opportunity to meet or renew friendships. Schedules and last minute updates are available for the weekend.

SATURDAY, August 6, 2005
  • At 9:30 AM people report to their assigned Tango classroom to attend two 90 minutes workshops with members of our faculty.
  • At 12:30 PM there is a break for lunch which people use to explore the mouthwatering offerings at neighborhood establishments.
  • At 2 PM people report back to their assigned Tango classroom to attend two more 90 minutes workshops with members of our faculty.
  • At 5 PM Wine reception in the ground floor of the hotel.
  • At 8:30 PM Delicious Dinner
  • At 10 PM "Lady in red" Grand milonga till 1 AM.   

SUNDAY, August 7, 2005
  • At 9:30 AM people report to their assigned Tango classroom to attend two 90 minutes workshops with members of our faculty.
  • At 12:30 PM there is another lunch break.
  • At 2 PM people report back to their assigned Tango classroom to attend two more 90 minutes workshops with members of our faculty.
  • At 5 PM Wine reception in the ground floor of the hotel with chair massage in the lobby.
  • At 8 PM Dinner buffet
  • At 9:00 PM The signature of the TangoFest: The Graduation Showcase, where participants perform
  • Then, we dance one more time until the last one leaves and begins to understand what it means to miss New Orleans.
Participants are welcome to bring video cameras to record a video notebook of the class material and the performances solely for their own personal use.

Registration Details

Download Registration Form (92KB PDF)

Includes all group classes, three milongas, two dinners, two showcases plus three nights accommodations at the Hotel Monaco
  • [   ] $ 525 per person, double occupancy
  • [   ] $ 625 per person, single occupancy
  • [   ] Extra nights at $110 per night available on a first come, first served basis while available


Another fabulous New Orleans Tangofest has come and gone. Over 120 people came together to celebrate social tango dancing at its best.

Friday night’s kick off event was the original show “Red Hot Tango”, a dance revue based on the social dance history of tango. Cleverly interwoven with a sensual voice over with spot-on musical interludes and  apropos tangos, valses and milongas, were examples of social tango dancing from the 1920’s until the present day.

Michael Serry and Julie Ann Stillman from Santa Barbara kicked off the dance numbers with a  sassy milonga/candombe to Di Sarli’s La Mulateada. Next up from Troy, Michigan came Doug and Suzanne MacGeorge dancing a precious canyengue to Julio de Caro’s El Pillette.

Threading the influences of other social dances that formed the tango culminated in a spectacular social dance style fox trot by Mike Muscemi and Susaune Yee McKamey (New Orleans), who looked as if they jumped out of a 1930’s black and white movie onto the black and white dance floor.

Then came the guest teachers, Orlando Paiva, Jr. and Rebekah Abbey, who danced to Di Sarli’s Comme Il Faut, in a flawless example of elegance, bodies held close, feet never leaving the floor, their tango filled with smooth music.

Up next, hosts, event producers and master teachers Alberto and Valorie, showed us the moves that led to the way we socially dance tango now, an homage to Petroleo, executing giro after giro to Troilo’s Guapeando.

The holy trinity of tango dancing was rounded out by Doug and Suzanne dancing a crowd pleasing milonga to Canaro’s Milonga Criolla; Orlando and Rebekah charmed everyone with a vals danced to Pugliese’s Desde el Alma.

Michael and Julie Ann did a wonderful rendition of the 1950’s petitero, segueing into a number by Alberto and Valorie danced to D’Arienzo’s El Flete, illustrating the caquero’s discovery of the milonguero.

Then onto to modern times, with Michael and Julie dancing a tango to Che Tango Che by Gidon Kremer.
Next, Alberto and Valorie danced slow, close and sensual to Color Tango’s Tango A Pugliese.

As the tradition of tango hospitality dictates, guest teachers Orlando and Rebekah closed out the solo numbers dancing a breathtaking tango to Troilo’s Quejas De Bandoneon.

For the finale, each man chose a lady not his partner, to dance the finale - Tanturi’s Una Emocion, to show that in social dancing, it is not only possible but enjoyable to dance with anyone who chooses to dance with you. None of the dancers had ever danced with their chosen ladies, nor had the ladies previously danced with the men.

The costume changes were imaginative and quick! Each outfit conveyed a different era. There was a lot of charming stage business. Highlights included Valorie dressed as a man marching the other bigger guys around the floor. Also amusing was the cast of porteños watching an imaginary movie screen, where Fred Astaire was performing Top Hat - the porteños made a game attempt to imitate Fred’s elegance, with comical results.

The show was sold out, integrating the TangoFest participants along with the general public. Much excitement was in the air, and new tango dancers were being born that very moment!

After the show, a great milonga went on until the last dancers happily dragged themselves off to bed to look forward to two day’s worth of interesting classes. Gourmet sandwiches and fresh fruit and sweets were provided, for those who skipped dinner, or just needed a little boost to keep up with the constant flow of dancing.

Saturday and Sunday classes were flawless and fun.
Each set of teachers challenged the dancers to improve their skill levels and understanding of the structure of the tango, thus enabling and empowering each of them to become a fully realized tango dancer. Two classrooms divided the dancers into a couples room or a singles room. The singles room actually had extra men!  The level of dancing was on an even keel.  Each class size was limited to no more than 36 persons, so that plenty of personal attention was given by both sets of teachers. Time was allotted for those wishing a private class.

Both dinners were so delicious. Saturday’s theme “The Lady In Red” brought out some fabulous red dresses on the ladies. Red feather boas and red beads were given to all, for just that added extra touch. No shows or announcements on this night so that all could dance socially to their heart’s content. Excellent state of the art dance floor and sound system (playing DJ Tangoman’s perfect compilations) kept everyone going well past 1 AM.

Sunday night is the highlight of the weekend. A student showcase happens. This idea came out of the dance halls of Buenos Aires, where you would often see a social dance couple take to the floor for a spot light dance to celebrate a milestone. It is done in the spirit of sharing your tango. It is a remarkable emotional love fest between the people watching and the dancers.

Anyone can volunteer to dance in the showcase. Some dancers may have taken their first steps in classes that weekend, and will come to center floor on Sunday night and receive tremendous support and encouragement. Seasoned dancers receive respect and appreciation. Social dancing improvised in the moment, in front of your peers, gives all an authentic experience and an exciting showcase.

This year in the true spirit of the tango, Linda from New Orleans and Tony from Phoenix stepped to the center for the first time ever (they hadn’t danced with each before) and shared the most connected and real and exquisite tango to Pugliese’s Nochero Soy. It felt as if everyone was a voyeur!

Others who generously danced that night: Fred and Beth (tango) from Nevada, Gordon and Laurie (vals) from Florida, Sabina and Eddie (vals) from New Orleans, Curtis and Laura (tango) from Florida, Julio and Denise (tango) from New Orleans, and soon to be a bride and groom in September, Alfonso and Anie (tango) from New Orleans.

Plenty of time was left to finish the very yummy Taste of New Orleans dinner (where it was heard that the best bread pudding ever was served!), and to dance until the last table was folded (going on 2 AM). Die hard dancers included Orlando, Rebekah, Patricia, Sabina,  Erwin, Michael, Jessica, Denise, Julio, Todd, Marizabel, Doug, Suzanne, Alberto, Valorie, and too many others to name.

The Hotel Monaco is the most sexy and classy and comfortable place to stay. It is done up in the grand style of the 1940's, which matches the tango so perfectly.

Every afternoon at 5 PM the wine reception (complimentary wine) was packed with chatty tango dancers. The plush terry cloth leopard bathrobes were sighted around the hotel on various tango dancers.
Everybody really loves the luxury of the guest rooms for relaxing in between classes and events (local dancers got their own Locals Lounge in the form of one of the well appointed and spotless guest rooms).

The Cobalt (hotel) restaurant is so cozy, and the shrimp over grits was seen on many a dancer’s plate!
The staff at The Monaco is friendly and helpful. The same desk people, chamber maids, waiters, doormen and managers remain year after year and they remember us as much as we remember them. The Monaco is a pet friendly hotel and it is so cool to see the pretty pooches laying at the feet of their owners in the beautifully decorated public living rooms.

The Planet Tango Boutique was packed with lots of good stuff - the Planet Tango T-shirt design and poster were especially good this year; new Tara tango shoes were seen on many of the ladies, and Charles Gillam the famous folk artist did an incredible painted wood carving of Caminito that was snapped up by a lucky guy from Florida.

Lassiez le bon temps du tango rouler! It was one hell of a party! Excellent dancers, excellent teachers, excellent place - next year, be there or be nowhere


Now that I have recovered and had a chance to process some of the things I learned at Tango Fest, I want to share my impressions.
What a great weekend! As a newbie to the tango scene, I wasn't sure what to expect. Twenty-four hours of tango over three days was a little intense.

Friday night was a real eye-opener for me. I never realized there were so many different styles of Argentine tango, from the oh so very up-close-and-personal to the wildly flamboyant. And then to see dancers with such different styles adapt so easily to one another on the dance floor The show was fabulous, the milonga afterward was great fun. I was inspired! Friday night really set the tone for the whole weekend.

I learned so much Saturday and Sunday, not only from the teachers but also from my dance partners. After six hours of class, I was suffering from too much information and too many hours in the same shoes. I decided to start a new dance craze --- barefoot tango. Do you think it will catch on? (BTW, thanks for the "Local's Lounge." It was great to have such a comfortable place to put my feet up before that night's dancing.) Where did Valorie find so many red feather boas for the Lady in Red milonga on Saturday? The food that night was incredible. Chef David English really displayed why he has such an international reputation. Cobalt has gone to the head of my list of restaurants to recommend to my out-of–town visitors.

The student showcase on Sunday was truly impressive. There were so many fine dancers from all over, but what really impressed me was the quality of our local dancers. Julio and Denise, Sabina and Eddie, the young couple, Alphonso and Anie, who gave us a preview of their wedding dance, they were all wonderful but what really blew me away was when Linda stepped onto the floor with Tony from Phoenix, a man she had never danced with before that night. WOW!

Every New Orleans dancer in the showcase was a testament to the excellence of the instruction that ALBERTO and VALORIE give us every Tuesday night.

Over the course of the weekend I met so many lovely people from all over: California, Florida, Illinois. I danced with experienced milongueros and beginners like myself. I saw people of all ages and backgrounds coming together to share a common interest. There was just enough show to allow us to catch our breath and get fired up and plenty of dancing to satisfy the most die-hard aficionado.

I had a wonderful time. Thank you.


We just returned from the fourth New Orleans Tangofest, held which was the wekeend of August 5 - 7 at the Hotel Monaco in New Orleans.

Friday night featured "Red Hot Tango," a Tango dance show that absolutely rocked the packed house. Tangofest participants received free passes - tickets were also available to the general public. (It was great to see the public at large eager to see Tango performances.)

The professional show covered the history of Tango and the development of music and dance in Argentina and lands beyond.

Workshops and classes filled the remainder of the weekend. (Nights allowed participants to unwind with gourment dinners that were included in the Tangofest package and nightly Milongas.)

Instructors included hosts Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart, and Orlando Paiva and Rebekah Abbey. Weekend workshops were held in twin ballrooms, accomodating all the dancers who attended the sold-out event.

Sunday night closed with a show featuring the many talented students - this New Orleans tradition was extremely well-received and enjoyed by all - the music finally stopped in the wee hours (around 2:00 AM!).

The hotel was a delight. Well-appointed rooms, personal attention from the hotel staff. A complimentary wine reception daily (5 -6 pm) gave everyone a chance to meet and catch up on the day's activities. Many new friends were made by all.

Another gem was "Cobalt" - the exceptional restaurant located at the Hotel Manaco. (Gourment dishes created by Chef David English.)

A HUGE bravo to Alberto Paz and Valorie Hart for amost unforgettable event.


Photos by Patricia Carroll

Photos by Julio Canosa

Includes all group classes, three milongas, two dinners, two showcases
  • [   ] $ 350 per person

  • - Half Day Class Pass $60
  • - Full Day Class Pass $120
  • - Friday night Show $30 includes Meet 'N' Greet milonga
  • - Friday Meet N’ Greet milonga $10 after 10 PM
  • - Saturday night dinner, and dance $70 all inclusive
  • - Sunday night dinner, showcase, and dance $70
  • - Sunday "Farewell" Milonga only, $10 after 10 PM

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