by Oxygen Tango
“You have to know the past to understand the present.” - Carl Sagan
How did Tango in Los Angeles start ? Who were the dancers and community developers who laid the groundwork for the rich and diverse Tango community we participate in and enjoy today ?
LA Tango dancers Mitra and Holly started wondering about our community's Tango history. Holly started reaching out and interviewing many experts on Tango in LA, including Joan Yarfitz, Loreen Arbus, Linda Valentino, Julie Friedgen, Homer Ladas, and many others, all of whom generously shared their time and their stories. We're so grateful to all of them for all they have done to build Tango in LA.
In the process, Holly got in touch with Paul Palmintere, who personally witnessed much of LA's earliest Tango history unfold. In this series of open letters, Paul shares with her some personal stories from the earliest days of Tango in LA. We share them with the community here with the hope that learning about where we came from as a community can give us fresh ideas on how we might grow in decades to come. Read the first letter here!
Paul Palmintere, who currently lives and teaches in Las Vegas, is a long-time tango veteran, and was a founder of the big Los Angeles Tango Community in 1986. Over the years, he has trained extensively with a great many of the famous instructors of Buenos Aires. A highly experienced and respected teacher, Paul is well-remembered for his pioneering classes throughout Southern California: Hollywood, Burbank, Los Angeles, Orange County, Riverside, San Bernardino, Redlands, and Palm Springs.