Firehouse Tango


November 16,  2017 Newsletter

November at Firehouse Tango


No Tango at Firehouse on Thanksgiving Day, November 23rd


Firehouse Tango will be closed on Thanksgiving Day: Thursday, November 23rd.  We hope you'll enjoy the day with your family, as we all will - and, of course, we'll look forward to seeing you on the following Thursday evening, November 30th.
Happy Thanksgiving!

November 30

No birthdays, just great dancing, eating, and socializing with wonderful people.  


End of Year Celebrations 


Firehouse Tango Holiday Party/Milonga - Thursday, December 7 


Firehouse Tango will celebrate the  holidays on Thursday, December 7th.  

As always, expect wonderful friends, door prizes, food, and dancing; but dress for a party.  Holiday cortinas and the decorated hall will set the mood, and we'll give you an extra half hour to celebrate.  Keep your eyes open for the yearly visit from Santa on the 7th.


As always, our $15 admission charge will also include beginner (7 - 7:30) and intermediate (7:30 - 8:30) lessons taught by Fran Chesleigh and buffet dinner.

Bring a dish to the Holiday Milonga on December 7th

Here are the contributions so far for our holiday milonga.  Please let us know if you would like to bring something:

  • Sue Dallon - Brisket with potatoes, carrots, string beans, Turkey
  • Mike Porro - Salad
  • Hilda Genni - 2 Flans
  • Terri Lopez - Arroz con pollo - chicken with rice
  • Frank Reich - Apple pie
  • Flo Salierno - Her famous English Trifle 

 If you would like to make something for the Christmas/Hanukah/New Years milonga, please let me know.  It doesn't even have to be home made.
 Mike Porro and Al Ko Third Annual New Year's Eve Milonga at Grand Ballroom in Midland Park


Ring in 2018 with Argentine Tango


Fourth New Years Milonga

To Simply Enjoy Dance & Friendship


Grand Ballroom

Authentic Argentine Tango Music provided by

DJ Al Ko

8:00 PM – 1:00 AM

December 31, 2017

Latin interlude - Salsa lesson 10:00 PM

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Light Nibbles


Champagne at Midnight

$30 before 12/15

$35 12/16 – 12/30

$40 at the door (if space is available)

Mail checks payable to “Tango Loco” to:

Michael Porro

180 Old Tappan Rd. Bldg 5, Old Tappan, NJ 07675

Grand Ballroom Dance Studio

Midland Park Shopping Center (around the back)

85 Godwin Ave, Midland Park, NJ 07432

For additional information call 201-768-0218 or email:

TANGO LOCO MILONGA is a spontaneous event that arises when the spirit moves us and

we have the opportunity to host extraordinary teachers of dance for our tango community.

On this night, our extraordinary teachers are you!




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
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 played cortinas by Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole plus two great requests by Rudy. 

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 and 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  We welcome readers' contributions about Argentine Tango in general and Firehouse Tango in particular. Send your thoughts to
From Frances Gillespie (from Florida)

This coming veteran's day weekend is a time to be grateful to those who gave their lives for our freedom and for all to be good to each other. No fighting, just dancing. How delightful you are Sue for keeping on with giving people a beautiful venue to express their talent, joy and love. I miss you too.
Hugs, Frances
Tango Tip of the week
Hi everyone, Fran here with your Tango Tip of the Week. When I teach Tango, the very first subject area I focus on is what I call the “lead/follow mechanism.” In this primary skill set, the leader learns how to develop and incorporate a specific vocabulary of precise “body language” in order to communicate exactly what he wants his follower to do in executing each movement within the dance. At the same time, the follower learns to understand and respond appropriately to each element of the “language.”

When both leader and follower learn to “speak the same language,” the dance (eventually) becomes not only possible, but pleasurable. On the other hand, when one or both participants don’t learn this crucial skill set, Tango — or any other social dance for that matter — can often feel more like a wrestling match.

We’ve discussed the individual components of lead/follow many times during these Tango Tips. My hope is that, if you’ve been diligent in learning these skills, you are have at least the beginnings of a much more precise and comfortable way of interacting with a partner on the social dance floor.

Today, I want to talk about a related subject area, one which actually precedes the development and integration of lead/follow skills. As we advance through our lives, we automatically develop our own individual habits of behavior. Such habits usually stem from a combination of our own inherent physical characteristics, from emulating our parents, and from attempting to imitate peers whom we admire.

The result of all this is that when we embark on the task of trying to learn a complex vocabulary of body language (such as the lead/follow mechanism in social Tango), we don’t begin our learning process from aneutral place. Instead, we bring with us an entire “vocabulary” of unconscious behavior, which we need to first become conscious of, and then possibly alter (or in some cases eliminate) in order to pave the way for appropriately executing our new skill set.

Let’s take a brief look at what you actually brought with you, when you first began your study of Tango — your natural, unconscious way of standing still, of moving through space, and of attempting to interact with a person in front of you.

To begin with, some people just can’t seem to stand still. They fidget constantly; they shift back and forth from one leg to the other; they bounce up and down; you name it — they’re in constant motion! Look around you, and watch what many of your peers are doing. Better yet, look in the mirror. You may be very surprised at what you see.

This brings us to our first change in unconscious behavior: Learn to stand still. You might find this easy to accomplish. Alternatively, you might find it next to impossible for a while. But if you pay attention, if you become conscious of this habit, you’ll eventually attain this primary skill:

Learn to stand still.

Next on the list: learn to move without “lurching.” Some people glide through space, when moving. Most, however, lurch. Lurching is really an aggressive way of falling from one step to the next. Like fidgeting, it’s virtually always unconscious. It usually involves picking the foot up off the floor, and planting it heavily onto the next place. Are you a lurcher? Do you lurch, when you move? Ask your teacher. (Don’t have a teacher? As I’ve said many times: Get one!)

Learn to stop lurching.

Once you lose the lurch, and can glide when you move (your teacher can’t wait to work with you on this), you’re ready to address the complex action of interacting with another person — in this case, your dance partner. This, of course, means learning to incorporate the lead/follow mechanism. But first, you’re going to have to face the fact that your partner (your follower) is not a statue; she’s a flesh and blood human being —who has her own consciousness and is eminently capable to reading and responding to the slightest stimulus on your part.

In other words, you don’t have to shove her in order to put her in motion. There are all too many leaders out there who don’t seem to believe this. How will she know what I want unless I give her a push? (I sometimes refer to this euphemistically as “indicating.”) The answer is that she’ll know through the mechanism of lead/follow. You’re going to have to learn that the lead/follow skill set really works:

Learn to stop pushing.

Let’s talk about another somewhat unpleasant habit: Squeezing your partner to death. You envelop her roughly with your right hand around her back, probably pulling her wildly off balance (your teacher may have even taught you to do this, heaven help us!). At the same time, you create a vice-like grip with your left hand, not noticing that her own right hand is turning purple. You fail to recognize that this is not the dance connection — it’s sheer torture. Please, please, don’t do these things. Become conscious of the way you’re connecting yourself to your partner.

Learn to avoid squeezing your partner to death.

Got that? Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Now, at last, with these unconscious, hopelessly counterproductive habits a thing of the past, you’re ready to approach the difficult and complex — but ultimately satisfying — process of learning how to lead.

Oh yes, and one more thing. Nowhere in this discussion have I referred to “steps.” You know, as in “Just show me the steps; I’ll learn the other stuff later.” And nowhere in this discussion have I referred to the joys of adornment for followers: “If only I could do those really great adornments, life would take on new meaning.” I have nothing against wanting these things. Really, I don’t. But until you master the skill of lead/follow, these are serious distractions. I know you don’t believe me right now, but they are.

With this in mind, our final admonition is:

Learn to renounce the siren song of steps and adornments. Lead/follow is the yellow brick road to success in Tango.

Trust me.
Fran and Pat now offer a new class in American Social Dance
In a recent interview appearing on YouTube, the renowned milonguero Flaco Dani said he strongly believed that passing down the music and dance tradition of one’s country from one generation to the next was a necessary mandate for those who had the power to do so. Pat and I agree, and to this end we’ve begun what we call the American Social Dance Project, an all-new initiative designed to preserve and nurture real American social dancing – the way it was meant to be.


We’ve kicked off our project with what we call “Class One” – a weekly exploration of three important American Social Dances: Foxtrot, Triple Swing, and Salsa. (Yes, we know Salsa is from the Caribbean – but here in America, we’ve adopted this and many other social dance forms as our own since the 1920s.)


We hope you like the idea of keeping American social dance alive, not competitive or performance dancing, but real social dance the way it was traditionally done. To that end, we invite you to join us every Monday evening at 8:00 p.m. for a fun-filled social dance fix. We guarantee that you’ll have a ball!


Here are the details:


Class One

Concentrating on authentic American Foxtrot, Triple Swing and Salsa

Mondays, 8:00 p.m.

Studios 353

353 West 48th Street, Second floor (between 8th and 9th


New York City


Don’t miss this chance to keep American Social Dance alive!

Saturdays with Fran and Pat at Dardo Galletto Studios
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 & 7th Aves)


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 at


Events in November and December
Los Pitucos Milonga this Saturday, November 18


    A little bit of Buenos Aires in Oakland, NJ 
Please join us for another great Milonga on
Saturday, November 18th, 2017
Special guest instructor - Alicia Cruzado

Alicia Cruzado is an authentic master of salon tango, experienced as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and artistic director. More information on her site -

Milonga Los Pitucos is the first and only Milonga to offer gourmet food, prepared fresh,
by our chef "El Tordo".  This month the meal is Thanksgiving inspired.

Pre Milonga Workshop At 7:00pm
Social dancing will start at 8:00pm

Couples, singles and beginners welcome! No partner necessary.
Admission $15, including the workshop and home cooked "delight"
65 Oak Street
                  Oakland, NJ 07436                
For directions click here

Los Pitucos Milonga brings the best of Argentine Tango to Northern
 New Jersey. Experience the finest of Buenos Aires at our
 night Milonga at the American Legion.

Los Pitucos is a Monthly event which is held on the Third Saturday
 of the month...

Find yourself engulfed in the spirit of Buenos Aires, circa 1940.
  Mingle with other delightful Tango dancers. Allow the romance of
 the period music to move you.

Your evening's hosts "El Tordo" and "El Zurdo" are dedicated to an
 authentic and enjoyable Tango
experience.  Our DJ (and instructor) El Tordo, incorporates
 composers from the "Golden Age of Tango" to replicate the best of
 the Milongas of Buenos Aires.

Milonga Los Pitucos is the first and only Milonga to offer gourmet
 food, prepared fresh,
by our chef "El Tordo".  Chef Tordo takes pride in creating a new
 dish for every event.
We have been bringing the finest Tango events and music to
 New Jersey since 2009. Beginners Welcome... no partner necessary.
● Munchies & Finger food (Feel free to bring a dish to share...)
● The evenings "delight" is made fresh before the Milonga by chef
 "El Tordo"
Facebook Members: Please join Los Pitucos Milonga group by
 clicking here

Nelson and Madalyn Avila - Astoria Queens Friday, December 1

 Greetings Tango Amigos,

   We had a very lovely night. The brave “soles” 
who came to dance with us on this brutally cold November night
  enjoyed everything:
  The Dancing,  The Music  
  Food and Friendship.
Our next La Milonga Tango Argentino de Madalyn and Nelson Avila 
 at HOME Restaurant and Lounge 
    Astoria, NY 
will be :  
Friday Night,  December1st
7:00 PM to Midnight

We are starting earlier so come for dinner, the  food is awesome!!!

So Save the date… We look forward so much to dancing with you!!!

Below is a recommendation from Steve Brown who has come to 
all our events and here is what he has to say about our new TANGO HOME
Jersey since 2009.
Simply Social Dancing - November


Latin Night at La Havana 59

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:


Our cancelation policy - We STILL rarely cancel

Even though we had to cancel once last 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.

  • Steve Turi
  • Lynn Gross
  • Tsipoyra Sartan
  • Jesse Barton
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Mike Porro
  • ​​​​​​​Steve Maisch

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  -
  • Pearl Chan - Noodles
  • Nina Grynyk - Salad
  • Brigitte & Sandor Szarka - Vegetables
  • Rudy - Apple Pie
  • Ingrid Jacob - Cheese Cake

And these people brought wine 
  • ​​​​​​​Mary Pagano
  • Barbara Lombardi
  • George Ngo
  • Bob Brillo

Tango in New Jersey and New York