Firehouse Tango


August 10,  2017 Newsletter


Next week, Thursday, August 17th - nameday of Maria Zampetoulas


New Firehouse friend, Maria, asked if she could celebrate her name day next week with us.   The more of you who join in her birthday tango, the happier she will be.  So, to all of you Firehouse tangueros, let's give her a great big welcome.


Hi Sue,

I had mentioned my name-day celebration on the 15th to you Thursday night;
I was wondering if it would be possible to have a name-day dance similar to the 
birthday one on the 17th. (where everyone takes turns dancing with you). 

I missed my birthday one and thought this could replace it ! Also, I may have a song that I would like to play; I will send it to you when I find it !


Last week, Thursday, August 10th

Since the death of Joe Dallon (my dear husband, as well as my Firehouse Tango partner and co-founder) three years ago, I have marked his August 11th  birthday by using one of his wonderful playlists.  Herb's birthday is August 12th,  so I honored both of these very special guys on Thursday, August 10th.   Joe's playlist was the evening's music, and we celebrated Herb with cake and a birthday tango.  I started the dance, and all of the Firehouse Tangueras followed.  He loved it!  

Although it wasn't my birthday, some of the tangueros decided that it should be, so I danced along with Herb.  

Thursday, August 3rd - omission

I send out this newsletter at about 1 am every Thursday, so I often make mistakes.  Two weeks ago, we celebrated the 90th birthday of Georgina's dad, Nardo, who came all the way from Buenos Aires to celebrate this milestone.  As I said, it was an amazing evening.  However, I completely neglected to mention that Nardo's family came from all corners of the United States to celebrate with us.  As we would expect, they were all delightful.  Each of the daughters took her turn and started the birthday tango.  I then cut in and was followed by many more Firehouse tangueras.  We all loved the dance and contributed to a fabulous evening.  



If heaven is anything like celebrating one’s birthday at Firehouse Tango, it has a lot to recommend it.  Frankly, I’d rather be at Firehouse.  Thank you lovely tangueras, for a birthday memory I shall cherish.  Con mucho amore,
                                                                Steve Turi

I keep saying I do not want to celebrate any more birthdays, but how many men will line up to dance with me, if not for the traditional tributes on birthdays.....oh  well, you know that is not really true because our tanqueros dance with all of the ladies...
                                                                Terri Lopez
August at Firehouse Tango

August 10
See above


August 17

See above
August 24

No celebrations.  Just great dancing, learning, eating, and socializing.

August 31

No celebrations.  Just great dancing, learning, eating, and socializing.
Tibor out in August - Elena Titova at the door
Tibor will be away for five weeks, but our very capable friend, Elena Titova, will man (woman?) the door during August.  Bringing exact change will make life easier for her. 


Cortinas on Demand

I'm waiting for more suggestions for cortinas.  Let me know if you have some favorite non tango music, and I will try to play it.  Last week, I used Joe Dallon's music for cortinas.  Next week, I'll honor Glen Campbell, who died this week.  

A cortina (curtain) is a short piece (20–60 seconds) of non-dance music that is played between tandas at a milonga (tango dance event). The cortina lets the dancers know that the tanda has ended. The partners can then without insult thank each other and return to their own tables, to find a new dance partner at the next tanda. Cortinas are used at many of the milongas in Argentina and Uruguay but are increasingly common elsewhere- Wikipedia


Let us know if you are celebrating an occasion or would like to request special music for that night’s cortinas.  We will try very hard to accommodate you.  ​
Reader's Corner
 We welcome readers' contributions about Argentine Tango in general and Firehouse Tango in particular. Send your thoughts to  We welcome readers' contributions about Argentine Tango in general and Firehouse Tango in particular. Send your thoughts
From Elena Syrett

 My dear dear Sue,

 I am SO happy for you and shall feel it from afar this Thursday. It is a sweet thing that you are doing celebrating and honoring both Herb and Joe together; I wish you from the very bottom of my heart to have a wonderful evening and my best wishes for a great birthday evening to Herb (and regrets, too)  that I shall not be able to dance with Herb and thus honor both him and yourself. 

 With much love from Paris and warm hugs 


From Carol Sussman

Dear Sue – My thoughts are with you on this upcoming memorable day.    Sometimes, when my computer is supposed to be sleeping,
it starts to run photos I have transferred to it in the past.  The other day, while I was running around and came back home, the computer
monitor was showing  the photos from the first Milonga in Westchester that Lucille and I had done together.  There you were standing
with Joe enjoying  the professional Tango couple.  And here it is his birthday. I will be with you in spirit.  Carol

Tango Tip of the week


AnchorHi everyone, Fran here with your Tango Tip of the Week. In our last Tip, we talked about what a skilled leader expects from his (skilled) follower during the dance. Today, we’ll focus on the expectations of the follower. I’m going to begin this Tip with a quote from one of my female students, who has been toiling valiantly in the Tango trenches:


“I really try my best to use the lead/follow system you teach, but most of the guys I dance with practically pick me up and run me around the floor from the beginning of the dance ’til the end; I’m hanging on for dear life, so there’s no chance at all to find balance between steps.”


Anyone out there recognize this state of affairs? I hate to have to report that this complaint is all too common among follows today. Is it because men are extremely slow to learn the elements of good lead/follow? Or possibly that they just don’t want to bother learning? Could it be that the majority of people teaching Tango today don’t teach — or don’t know how to teach — the elements of lead/follow?


I really don’t know the answer to these questions, but what I do know is that familiarity with the lead/follow mechanism seems to elude a great many leaders and followers in our Tango community.


Nonetheless, let’s identify precisely what a skilled follower expects from a skilled leader in dancing social Tango. In the first place, she knows that her leader will “construct” the mechanics of their dance by inviting her to execute six possible fundamental elements:


1.      Weight changes in place

2.      Pauses

3.      Side steps

4.      Back steps

5.      Forward steps

6.      Pivots


He will ask for these elements one at a time. When she has responded to his invitation, and finished executing one of these individual elements, the leader will take great care to let the follower bring herself into complete balance, after which he will ask for another movement, if he so chooses.


What will enable the couple to accurately communicate with one another is the lead/follow mechanism, a very precise skill set, which good leaders and followers depend on to ensure an efficient and comfortable ongoing interaction during the dance.


Between the completion of one movement and the beginning of the next, the skilled follower expects to be offered the opportunity to bring herself into a state of balance. It is from this crucial state that she will then be able to move anywhere the leader may ask of her with his next invitation. If she hasn’t been able to achieve balance, her ability to freely move in any of the six possible directions will be severely compromised, if not totally negated. (Parenthetically, it is for this reason that I teach both leaders and followers to regard balance at the end of each movement as a separate — and indispensable — component of the total lead/follow mechanism.)


In briefly summarizing what the follower expects from her leader, we could focus her expectations on three simple requests:


1.      “Tell me what you want me to do (through the lead/follow mechanism).”

2.      “Give me the chance to actually execute the invited movement from start to finish.”

3.      “Let me bring myself into balance before you ask for something else.”


To put it another way: As a leader, I invite movement; I let her finish; I enable balance. As a follower, I execute movement from start to finish; I bring myself into balance.


Both of us realize that without balance in between individual movements, the dance simply falls apart.


If leaders could somehow incorporate these ideas into their dancing, their overall skill level would automatically increase dramatically, and their followers would be far better able to effectively produce their half of the dance equation. This would, of course call for a significant commitment on the part of leaders to actually learn how to dance rather than continuing to lose themselves in YouTube fantasies, while consistently ignoring the basic needs of their followers.


Followers, you have a right to expect these skills from your leaders. And you shouldn’t allow yourself to accept anything less. Leaders, what do you say? Your follower knows what she needs from you. Why not let her have it?


Come on, give the lady a break.


Fran and Pat’s Guided Saturday Practica at Dardo Galletto
The longest-running and friendliest practica in NYC! Come join our happy group of social tango dancers, whose sole purpose is to enjoy dancing and to practice what they’re learning. Everyone dances! Essential Tango Therapy! Pat and I will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, and help you with material you’re working on. Plus you get a new “must-have” move each week! No partner required, all levels. Dardo Galletto Studios, 151 West 46th Street, 11th floor, (bet. 6th & 7thAves)


If you’d like a private lesson, you can visit our website at, call Fran directly at 212-662-7692, or email him at Join us on Facebook

Other Events






Lucille's Tango in the Park in New York - Sunday, July 2


Between 15th and 17th Streets on 2nd Ave, West side of the street!
For Sweet Summer Evenings
 6 to 9:00 
Free Introductory Class —6-7:00


Live Music Sets from 7:20 with GUILLERMO Vaisman on Keyboard &
LAURA Vilche on Bandoneon
Between 15th and 17th Streets on 2nd Ave, West side of the street!


Again Dance among Beautiful Flowers! Around the Lovely Fountain! and later, 
love us!

Our thanks to the Stuyvesant Park Neighborhood Association (Hooray!!) and its
President, ​​​​​​​ROSALEE Isaly (Hooray again!) tanguera, and co-host! 

 afforded us by 
the SPNA and the Parks Department of the City of New York

For additional information call/write LUCILLE Krasne,



July and August at Simply Social Dancing



Hi dancers,

Classes start next Monday, July 10th.  
I hope you will join us.

Spend the summer to get a solid foundation in two dances.

West Coast Swing on Mondays

Argentine Tango on Tuesdays
There will also be a beginner Salsa class & a Women's class.

_______ AUGUST WORKSHOPS _______

August 7, 14, 21

July 10, 17, 24
West Coast Swing Workshop - 6 weeks 
7:30 to 9:30 pm   Foundation and practice time

This is danced to current popular music, mainly R&B.

Several students have expressed an interest in learning this dance.
Here is where you start.

I have noticed intermediate students who need to refine their basics.
Get your movements clean and your lead clear.

Cost: $15.00 per workshop if you pay in advance for a minimum of 4 dates.

Cost: $20.00 for an individual workshop


July 11 & 18
August 1, 8, 15, 22

Beginner Salsa 
 - 6 weeks
6:30 to 7:30 pm    Basic level  

Perfect for beginners to learn the basics of Salsa.

Intermediate students, If you are taking the Tuesday workshops, this class is free.
Come and inspire the beginners! 

Cost: $10.00 per class if you pay in advance for a minimum of 4 dates.

Cost $15.00 for an individual class.

Argentine Tango Workshop - 6 weeks
7:30 to 9:30 pm    Foundation and practice time

When danced socially, Tango is a quiet elegant dance.
What you see on the internet is performance style Tango.

Here is your chance to learn how to do the basics well.

Intermediate students have a chance to improve their posture, body lead, and balance.
You will never dance intermediate steps well without a solid foundation.

Cost: $15.00 per workshop if you pay in advance for a minimum of 4 dates.

Cost: $20.00 for an individual workshop


Monthly class:
July  15th
August 19th

Women's Exercise & Technique Classes 

8:00 to 9:00 am 
Strengthening and Stretching to support your dancing

You will learn a mix of pilates, yoga, and dance exercises, which will result
in you feeling limber and toned.

This class will prepare you for the technique class by building your awareness of 
different ways your body can move.


9:00 to 10:00 am
Technique class for Lain and Swing dancing

We will work on posture, balance, footwork and isolations to improve your gracefulness 
and refine how you dance.

*No men - so the women can stay focused on improving without feeling self-conscious.  Please wear comfortable clothes to workout in.  

Cost: $20.00 for both hours.

Cost: $15.00 for one hour.




________ JULY & AUGUST EVENTS _________

Latin Night at La Havana 59
110 Moonachie Ave, Moonachie NJ  

Tuesday, July 25th & August 29th
(The last Tuesday of each month)

7:00 to 10:00 pm

Mostly Salsa and Argentine Tango... some Bachata, Merengue, Rumba, & Cha Cha.
A Latin evening for those who enjoy Latin music, food, and dancing!
An Argentine Tango lesson to start (for all level dancers).

$20.00 cover includes 2 house drinks or 1 drink & 1 Latin Night appetizer

For reservations and directions:


Biagio's Restaurant for Dinner & Dance
299 Paramus Rd,  Paramus  NJ

Sunday, August 20th
6:00 to 9:00 pm

A mix of music for all types of partner dancing.
This is a good place to invite new dancers and friends.
A beginner dance lesson to start off the night.

$35.00 for dinner and dancing (includes tip) / Cash bar

For this event, reservations are very important. 
It allows our host to prepare the room and enough food!

For reservations and directions:


All Classes will be held at the CMDE Studio

CMDE Studio in Hackensack.
84 Euclid Ave, Hackensack  NJ    07601
This site will provide directions to the studio:

Lisa Skates
Simply Social Dancing




Our cancelation policy - We STILL rarely cancel



Even though we had to cancel once this year because of a blizzard, we still rarely cancel!

We want to remind everyone that if the weather looks really bad, we will leave messages on our web site and my cell phone 201-826-6602. Feel free to leave a message.


We cancel only when absolutely necessary (only about eight or nine times in all these years - including, unfortunately, the Thursday that I was in Florida, but please check whenever you're not sure. If there isn't any message, we're on.

During Hurricane Sandy, when we had only cell phone service, I was able to leave a message on my cell, so I guess that the best number to call is 201-826-6602.




A final thank you

The following folks helped set up, break down and clean up before and after the milonga. Without them, there would be no Firehouse Tango.



  • Elena Titova
  • Lynn Gross
  • Steve Turi
  • Steve Maisch
  • Nina Grynyk
  • Pearl
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Herb Kahn


And of course, without Terri Lopez and Steve Turi  we would have to close up shop.


A reminder that Firehouse Tango does not supply wine - Your fellow tangueros bring it. Therefore, if you drink it, please make sure to bring a bottle every so often.

The folks below brought food and wine this week  - 
  • Henry Kim - Cookies
  • George Ngo - Carrot Cake


And these people brought wine 

  • George Ngo
  • Barbara Lombardi
  • Merlyn Shapiro
  • Bob Brillo
  • Megumi Garfin
  • Rifky Mackeen
  • Bijoy George
  • Francis & Marie


Tango in New Jersey and New York