This weekend is a special one for me. Because today I am going to meet someone who danced in the golden age of tango in 1940s and is still dancing at milongas in Buenos Aires. Her name is Nelida Nely Fernando. She was born in 1935 and began to dance at milongas in Buenos Aires in 1947. She has been dancing at milongas for 70 years, and is one of the most respected old milongueras in the world. Despite her age, she still dances and even teaches abroad.
When I heard that she was available for a trip to DC, right away I decided to organize her workshops. Because I believed that her wisdom will surely benefit everyone who will take her classes. I still do.
I knew about Hernan Alvarez Prieto, Nely’s partner in tour, as I was preparing for their workshops. It seemed that Hernan’s dancing philosophy was well aligned with Nely’s, in that the root of their dancing was social dancing. Hernan had more energy and more dynamics and his own tricks, but his dancing was still the dance of a milonga, as opposed to the dance of a performance.
As I put together their workshop topics, I decided to give emphasis on receiving their wisdom and secrets on social dancing. In this context, I put three workshops on the deep secrets of social dancing for Saturday – one on embrace, one on cadencia, and one on navigation. Sunday workshops are meant to be built on top of the Saturday’s foundation – one on milonga for which Nely and Hernan are famous, one on giro and enrosque in a tight space, and one on figures which can be used on a crowded floor.
Some may have not known about them and some may think that the topics of their workshops are not exciting enough. But, these classes are what I wish I had had years ago :) Because these will open the door for enjoying dancing with deep satisfaction and simplicity.
I hope that many of you will learn from them.
With much excitement, Rick’s Tango Club presents Nelida Nely Fernando and Hernan Alvarez Prieto to Washington DC, for a week of workshops, private lessons, and performance.
Nelida Nely Fernando was born in 1935 and is a life-long milonguera (milongueros and milongueras were used to mean the people who frequent milongas, regardless of their dancing style), who started dancing tango in the golden age of tango of 1940s. She teaches how to dance, but she embodies more than that – she has, emanates, and teaches what it is to be tango. I am thrilled to bring her to Washington DC so that my fellow DC tangueros/tangueras can have a chance to meet her and her 70 years of tango. Below is Nely’s dance with her late husband Roberto Pocho Carreras.
Hernan Alvarez Prieto has been dancing and teaching tango for 18 years, in Buenos Aires as well as in America, Europe, and Asia. He has learned from many old milongueros and milongueras, and many old milongueras have chosen him as their performance partner since he can do a wonderful performance with social dancing vocabulary. His teaching and performing career has recently been receiving international recognition, including being invited to Seoul Tango Festival in 2017. Below is Hernan’s dancing with Ines Muzzopappa.
The combination of the old and the new, but both of them being deeply rooted in social dancing, makes an exciting opportunity to learn how to have deeper and more fulfilling enjoyment of dancing at milongas. Please take a look at their class topics and grab this rare opportunity to meet 88 combined years of tango!
The main concept of the weekend is the wisdom from the decades of social dancing experience of milongueras and milongueros.
Saturday: Secrets of social dancing
|2pm||W1. Advanced closed embrace technique|
|3:30pm||W2. Cadencia: subtle yet powerful flavor|
|5pm||W3. Technique for a crowded floor|
Sunday: Having fun on a crowded floor
|2pm||W4. Milonga: no sweat milonga traspie – Nely’s specialty!|
|3:30pm||W5. Giros and enrosques for social dancing|
|5pm||W6. Figures for a crowded floor|
Performance at La Milonga de Dupont on Saturday (not organized by Rick’s Tango Club)
Saturday and Sunday workshops: Balance Gym Foggy Bottom, 2401 M St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Parking: Street parking
Thursday performance: Eastern Market Tango Club, 225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Parking: Street parking
Saturday performance: The Church of the Pilgrims Fellowship Hall, 2201 P St NW, Washington, DC 20037
Parking: Street parking
$30 payable at the door
The Saturday milonga with Nely and Hernan’s performance is unfortunately not included in the passes (not organized by Rick’s Tango Club).
10% discount for full-time students (send an email to or show your student ID at the door)
Message to book a private lesson ($100/hr for one person, $130/hr for a couple. They teach together).