He said, she said

September 30, 2014

He:  That hair color doesn’t suit you.  It’s horrible.

She:  You can’t imagine how horrible it is if I don’t change the color.

He:  You need to add a few pounds .

She:  I wish you could give me the pounds you need to lose. ;))

Cortina mood swings

September 25, 2014

There was an excellent post recently about the cortina music in the milongas. 

I attended La Milonga de Elsita on Friday where Gabriela Laddaga has charge of the music.  I hadn’t been to the milonga for a long time.  Her tandas were excellent, but her cortina music was a  mood killer.  Each one was a new tune with the volume turned up too high.  I used earplugs during the milonga.  At one point, several couples were dancing to one of the tunes as if it was the rock ‘n’ roll tanda.  A regular partner nearby invited me to dance.  There we were dancing to what we both thought was the beginning of a tanda.   After a few seconds, we heard vals.  Oh, it wasn’t the rock ‘n’ roll tanda at all.  This had never happened to us before, especially not at Lo de Celia where there is only one cortina.  We danced the vals tanda.  If two seasoned dancers can’t tell the difference, then the deejay needs to adjust.  I don’t see why she has to play new tune for every cortina during the milonga.  Perhaps someone can enlighten me.  I felt like someone threw a bucket of cold water on me after each tanda.  The loud music killed the mood of the entire milonga.  I mentioned this to two men who were leaving the milonga as I was, and they both agreed the cortina music at La Milonga de Elsita needs improvement.

Last night I attended Lo de Celia with the best deejay in Buenos Aires.  I’m not the only one who says that about Daniel Borelli.  His cortina music is a mood lifter.  All I know from Dany is that it’s a popular tune in Portuguese.  It’s the nicest music for walking off the floor.  I found myself humming the tune while walking ten blocks to my apartment.  And most importantly, I was happy during and after the milonga.  Cortinas do matter to me.

Hugo Belvisi

September 18, 2014

September 18, 1936 –

Hugo Belvisi en Centro Region Leonesa

A stroke in November has kept Hugo away from the milongas.  He told me he’s fine when we talked a few weeks ago.  He is eager to get back to tango and see friends in the milongas.



Troilo spotted on Avenida Corrientes

September 18, 2014


Roberto Segarra

September 16, 2014

September 16, 1920 –


Roberto is amazing at 94.  He is always smiling and flirting with the ladies.


Nisha Manglani (Mumbai, India)

Nisha Manglani from Mumbai danced salsa with Roberto in Lo de Celia


Nestor Gonzalez

September 14, 2014

September 14, 1936 –


One word comes to mind after dancing with Nestor — amor.  His passion for the tango is obvious.  His embrace is gentle.  His dancing is divine.


Desperate Milongueras

September 5, 2014

The milonga is still macho territory if you ask a milonguero viejo.  The code is a man invites a woman with a subtle head movement while seated at his table.  It’s been done this way since the early 1940s to avoid the public embarrassment of rejection.  This tradition has endured, but new dancers are revising the codes.

I overheard a conversation among several women in the ladies’ room.  They were upset they didn’t dance more tandas and complained about all the men who weren’t dancing.  They expected the men to dance all night long for them.  I don’t know if they even considered that the men choose when and with whom they dance.  The milonga isn’t a gymnasium with one machine to use after another for a physical workout.

I see desperate milongueras in action every week from my corner table.  I watched in disbelief as one of them got up from her table and walked over to the bar to persuade a milonguero viejo to dance the tanda with her.  Being the gentleman that he is, he accepted.  She didn’t consider that he is 20 years her senior, only that he was convenient when she wanted to dance.

On one occasion, I gave my table to two women and moved to the front row right next to a desperate milonguera.  I learned her secret technique.  As men pass by, she catches one’s attention and says in a low voice, isn’t this a nice vals, Francisco?  She rarely sits during four hours.

An Argentine with years in the milongas isn’t flattered by an invitation from a woman.  He’ll be a gentleman to a point.  I’ve seen others flatly refuse women who approach them, and women do the same to the men.  If only women knew how the men feel about this issue.

Milongueros have told me they don’t dance with women who invite them.  Recently, I had an opportunity to ask a milonguero for his opinion.  He said:  I don’t like it.  The women are too desperate.  I want to enjoy the music and dance only when I feel like dancing.  Sometimes I go to the milonga and don’t want to dance.  Then I spend the night avoiding eye contact with the women who expect me to dance with them.  Things aren’t the way they once were in the milongas.

Fernando Hector Iturrieta

September 2, 2014

September 2, 1937 –


Fernando is never shy about posing for photos.  He’s always at Lo de Celia for a few tandas, especially milonga con traspie.

Ismael Heljalil

August 30, 2014

August 30, 1929 –


He’s happy he can still dance every Wednesday and Sunday in Lo de Celia.


Jorge Uzunian

August 28, 2014

August 28, 1930 –

Jorge Uzunian

I had the pleasure of a tanda with Jorge in Lo de Celia on the day I took this photo of him.



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