Big news! Stefan and I are so happy to introduce you to the new owners of Oxygen Tango in LA, Magan Wiles and David Lampson. We are honored by their choice to accept the gift of O2 and take it forward.
In this moment we are filled with nothing but love and gratitude, and excitement and curiosity for the newchapter that's beginning.
David has been part of the Oxygen community since its beginnings, and gotten progressively more deeply involved, especially in the past few years, taking on a variety of roles including teaching and hosting. Over the years there were lots of times when Stefan and I got stuck, and Dave's kind heart and listening ear, insane attention span and capacity to focus deeply and think clearly were so helpful in moving through. We worked closely together on not only the Tango Lexicon, but also the 12 Fundamental Techniques of Tango. He's donated scores of hours of formal class instruction, and, probably hundreds of hours of informally helping beginners grow or simply experience Tango. Dave's depth of understanding of Tango, his commitment to continue to learn and improve, and openness to seek connection with all kinds of people, are a true inspiration. Dave's a graduate of Stanford University, a writer, and fluent in Spanish from living in Buenos Aires.
Magan came to us through the recommendation of our mentor Brigitta Winkler about a year and a half ago, dove into the Tango Challenge, and as she learned more about O2 she quickly saw that she could help the community by applying her business and financial skills to streamlining and documenting O2's backend administration. I appreciate that she fully comprehends the essence of Oxygen Tango and can speak inspiringly about co-creation and community, while also thinking clearly about the realities of business and working intelligently with risk, tradeoffs and deadlines. Magan received her MFA in acting from the University of Tennessee, and is the Founder of Hustle Creative.
We ask you to enthusiastically support them in their brave choice to lead this community. Their vision is to make Oxygen Tango a sustainable organization that will be around for the long-haul, and they have already started serving this vision using the funds of the transition period to create a reserve for O2, something we've never had before. Being owners of O2 is an exciting, creative role, and also one that brings with it responsibility, complexity and emotional challenge, as they will be making decisions that affect many people. It is a beautiful thing that members of our own community have stepped up to lead the organization they love in a way that will require them to give of themselves without expecting commensurate financial reward. Please thank them and welcome them into this new context, and support them and co-create with them, as we will be doing.
Stefan and I will continue participating enthusiastically in the Oxygen community in many of the same ways: facilitating the Tango Challenge and Steady Challenge, producing the Graduation Ball, leading clubs and learning labs, and just being around at practicas.
We are also looking forward to the opportunity to develop ourselves in new ways. We are working on establishing the Tango Hatchery, an organization that will provide resources and training for Tango organizers. We will continue to develop and expand the Tango Challenge and create the structures for making it available in new communities. Mitra will continue to develop a peer-to-peer learning system to provide a foundation for tango learning communities. Stefan will incorporate his roots as a choreographer into his Tango offering and create beautiful tango-inspired pieces for the theater, weddings and special events. We will continue to keep you posted about our new initiatives and endeavors. We are each looking forward to stepping into new roles where we can expand and flourish.
These past eight years we've spent working with community members to establish O2 have been incredibly rich. All of us have done amazing things together and we can all be so proud to be part of something that will endure in the hands of people who love it.
We are grateful to all the teachers, DJs, bears, challengers, helpers, advisors, donors, lenders, mentors, partners, members, buddies, friends. Alejandra DiBlasio, Alexandra Mason, Alex Bartos, Alexei Tsekoun, Ali Guerin, Alice Wang, Alicia Maccarone, Amy Zhou, Andrei Andreev, Anna Leon, Anna Shen, Anna Thanukos and Jon Wilkening, Annette Corsino, Annie Liou, Autumn Augusta, Ayano Yoneda, Bharath Sankaran, Brian Nguyen, Brigitta Winkler, Brittney Horner, Brooke Moore, Bruce Blair, Chad Wehba, Charles Whobrey, Christine Oustry, Cristina Ladas, Crystal Adams, Dan Martin, Daniel Rizzotto, Daniel Trenner, Darius Martin, David and Diana Crispi, David Lampson, Derek Tang, Devin McMahan, Diane Yoon, Dominique and Gary Hirschkron, Dong Sung An, Edith Chen, Elisabeth Raff, Elizabeth Arnold, Emmet O'Conlon, Eric Finke, Fabienne Bongard, Fay Woodward, Felipe Martinez, Frank Dong, Gary Ashwal, Gary Love, Glenn Campbell, Guillaume Chaslot, Henry Finkelstein, Hernan Bejarano, Holly Darling, Homer Ladas, Isaac Hagerling, Isaac Oboka, Jaimes Friedgen, Jane Liu, Jay Ocampo, Jenna Keltz, Jennifer Bae, Jo Nguyen, Johnny Nguyen, Joshua Beeler, Joy Kerin, Karen Baez, Kate Moxham, Katya Kosarenko, Kay Pih, Kim Eng, Koral Simpson, Korey Ireland, Kris Shinn, Kristen McCown, Kyla Mares, Lampis Zalavras, Laura Saenz, Lauren Kendrick, Lee Blaugrund, Lisa Hylton, Lissandra Ellyne, Liviu Barna, Magan Wiles, Marina Belozerskaya, Marjorie Martin, Martha Ganser, Marvin Lee, Mary Fu, Maya Reynolds, Melanie Merians, Melika Adams, Melodie Kao, Michael Grandcolas, Mike Koh, Nancy Duckworth, Naomi Hotta, Naz Martin, Nesli Erten, Patricia Bijvoet, Paul Duke, Paul Mejasich, Pei Pei Tan, Phoebe Park, Pierre Candelaria, Rebecca Shulman, Reza Kiandad, Richard Kim, Robert Le, Rose Bloomfield, Sabine Ibes, Sandra O'Donnell, Sarah Elmaleh, Scott Haller, Sergio Palermo, Shane Crosby, Sharna Fabiano, Shearon Bogdonovic, Shorey Myers, Solomon Russell, Steve Escarcega, Susan Bragg, Tania Darnton, Tanya Spektor, Ted Jastrzembski, Thomas Fischer, Tomas Howlin, Tyla Tabers, Victoria Godfrey, Vincent Wong, Vin de Silva, Vita Markman, Vladimir Sierra, Yukiko Sato, Yuliana Basmajyan, Zana Fong. I hope I didn't forget someone - there is a lot of history! There are hundreds who have given in their own silent, tiny, invisible, spirited ways - it's all those tiny ways that add up to community. We are looking forward to continuing to enjoy co-creating with all of you.
We are planning a reunion-renewal milonga party to celebrate this meaningful transition together some time in May or June and hope to see all of you there!
What makes Oxygen Oxygen? To us it is the mission to end the illusion of separation -- it's the spirit of co-creation; the way that everyone is encouraged to explore both roles; the ability to get together at least twice a week in the same spot; the culture of stretching and trying out new things..."Believe in yourself. Dare to live your dream. And dare to believe in each other." We believe in you, 100%. And in ourselves, and we are looking forward to where our dreams will take us all.
Love, Mitra and Stefan