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LEARN...

In today's world it is incredibly easy to learn anything. We have at our disposal all the tools to learn, we can find everything about everything. Therefore learning is not the biggest challenge of these times, maybe the most important thing is to know how to ask the right questions to discover the heart, the core of the things we learn and not to get lost in an endless web of information.

When we started learning tango, we didn't have videos, youtube, cell phones, we could only learn directly from the source: our teachers and the milonga (understood as the dance space).

The teachers at that time did not come from dance schools where they had learned the mechanics of the movements of the human body to be able to understand and explain it, but they had all the experience of a lifetime of tango. Their dance was the fruit of many, many, many, many hours of dancing, of listening to tango, of talking about tango, of living it 24 hours a day.

The only way to learn from them was to watch them, over and over again, to ask them to repeat the step during the classes, to watch them while they danced in the milonga and to try to understand not only the movements but to understand how they listen to the music and how they felt the Tango, the embrace and the communication in the couple.

Oscar had the good fortune to learn with many great teachers, but there was undoubtedly one in particular who remained in his heart: Jose Domingo Monteleone or better known as Pepito de Avellaneda. His classes remained forever in his mind and heart, the endless hours spent in the kitchen of his house sharing mate and croissants before going to the classroom to take his class, were full of tango essence. Pepito liked him to arrive earlier, but not 15 minutes earlier but 2 hours earlier, to bring him the croissants so they could have breakfast together and then talk...talk and talk...and show some steps still wearing his pajamas.

Oscar remembers the day he saw him for the first time as a very funny anecdote. He was looking for a milonguero teacher who could teach him the secrets of dancing at the milongas, the "yeites" as we call them in Buenos Aires. He had heard several times about a certain Pepito Avellaneda", he had been told wonderful things about him, his teaching, his way of dancing, how he listened to the music and he couldn't wait to meet him. It was a little complicated to get to know him because Oscar had a life full of commitments.

At that time he was part of the Ballet Folklórico Nacional directed by Norma Viola and El Chúcaro, two other great teachers, and he was also attending the Universidad de la Danza, which at that time was called "Profesorado de la Escuela Nacional de Danzas". But finally the day came and Oscar managed to go to Pepito Avellaneda's milonga. Let's remember that at that time, back in 1993, there were no videos available to see and know the people, as it happens today that we can quickly look it up on Youtube. So Oscar in his mind had formed an idea, an image, of what Pepito was like, built according to the narrative of the people who had told him about him. That night, while he was sitting in the milonga watching the dance floor, he tried to look for him among the couples, but he could not find anyone with the characteristics he had been told about. Finally he went out to dance with a milonguera and at the end of the tanda, when he returned to his table, he was approached by a short woman with oriental features and a strange accent. She asks him his name and then says: - I am Suzuki, Pepito Avellaneda's partner. It's the first time I see you in this milonga but your dancing attracts my attention because you have Pepito's musicality! - Her words showed curiosity, as if to know where Pepito's student was from, since she had never seen him in his classes. Oscar told her that he was looking for Pepito to meet him and start taking classes, to which Suzuki told him that he couldn't come that night...so he still had to wait. The following week Oscar returned to the milonga and finally got to meet him. After a while of dancing, a man, short, chubby, with suspenders and a nice smile, approaches him and says: - Hello! You are Oscar, right? Suzuki told me about you! I'm Pepito! -

- From that moment on my life changed! - With these words Oscar describes that meeting. There were many hours of classes where Pepito gave all his knowledge, his experiences and his feelings. He was more than a teacher, he was a kind of tango father because he also added an extra energy charged with faith towards Oscar's future by repeating to him: -You are going to take tango around the world! -

So it was, so it is and so it will be.


SUZUKI & PEPITO AVELLANEDA picture.

Here I share with you some videos of Pepito and Suzuki that thanks to Youtube today you can still appreciate them all over the world:


Aqui una entrevista a Pepito en la web de TodoTango.com una web excelente declarada “De interés Nacional”:

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