First Annual Columbus Tango Festival

Welcome to Tango at Ohio State! Please join us for the First Ever Columbus Tango Festival from Friday April 3rd to Sunday April 5th, 2020.  All information can be found below.



For OSU Students: This event is completely free but we would appreciate it if you could RSVP to

A La Carte

  • Per Day Milonga: $10
  • Per Night Milonga: $15
  • Per Workshop: $10


  • For Saturday & Sunday Workshops (6): $50
  • For Saturday & Sunday milongas (3): $30
  • Friday pass (1 workshop & 1 milonga): $20
  • Saturday Pass (3 workshops & 2 milongas): $45
  • Sunday Pass (3 workshops & 1 milonga): $35
  • Saturday & Sunday Pass (6 workshops & 3 milongas): $75
  • Full Pass (7 workshops & 4 milongas): $90



  • PayPal ( – please include your name and which package you would like to buy
  • Eventbrite
  • Venmo (@Mackenzie-Jones-86) – please include your name and which package you would like to buy
  • Pay at the door, but must RSVP with Mackenzie first (



Friday April 3rd

  • 6:45-8pm: Tango History Lesson and Tango Workshop by Alejandro Pinzon
  • 8pm-midnight: Traditional milonga DJ’ed by Alejandro, with surprise performances

Saturday April 4th

  • 11-12:30pm: Workshop by Catherine and Craig: Listening to your partner – This workshop is all about games and exercises to help facilitate a deeper communication between partners so that they can collaborate creatively during their tanda
  • 1:00pm-2:30pm: Workshop by Catherine and Craig: Split-Weight Possibilities – How to use split weight to create some interesting dynamics and vocabulary
  • 3:00-4:30pm: Workshop by James: Alternative
  • 4:30-6pm: Alternative milonga DJ’ed by Mackenzie
  • 9pm-2am: Traditional milonga DJ’ed by Chewy AND live music by Cuarteto Rotterdam AND performances by Chewy and Yulia, James and Lenore, and Catherine and Craig

Sunday April 5th

  • 12:00pm -1:00pm: Workshop by Sha Sha: Follower’s technique
  • 1:30pm-3:00pm: Workshop by Catherine and Craig:  Improvisation games – Learn how to take a figure apart into its components and then create your own figures out of those individual pieces
  • 3:30pm-5:00pm: Workshop by Chewy and Yulia: Musicality, Rhythm and Phrasing – Musicality is the single most important aspect of dancing. Dancing is really just moving your body to music.  We will focus on what to listen and dance in the music (melody, rhythm, beats, phrasing etc.. )
  • 5:00pm-7:00pm:  Afternoon milonga DJ’ed by Penny Johnson AND live music by Ben & Winnie from Cuarteto Tanguero



Las Palmas Restaurant (the only Argentinian restaurant in Columbus) 46 N Pearl St Columbus Ohio 43215



Parking Options

Buckeye Garage Parking Lot: 55 E Long St, Columbus, OH 43215, Weekend Rates: All day $5

Or street parking


Here’s a list of all our instructors, DJs, and photographer for our event:

Friday Workshop Instructor and Friday night traditional milonga DJ: Alejandro Pinzon

Alejandro Pinzón is an experienced teaching artist with a quest to inspire others through innovative programs and artistic experiences. His varied repertoire of activities and projects has taken him around the world. As the co-founder and co-director of “Camerata 33,” he helps promote Latin-American chamber music in the United States, but he is also a bandoneon player with a broad artistic curiosity.

Alejandro studied in Berlin, Germany in 2005 with conductor Christoph Hagel, at his invitation. He has conducted symphony orchestras and symphonic bands, chamber orchestras, choirs and opera productions in Mexico, USA, and Argentina.

In 2007, he starts a serious study of Argentine tango, both music and dance. In 2015, after being a violinist for 20 years, he becomes the first bandoneon player from his home state.

That same year, he starts developing his “Maestro Tango” concept, with which he travels internationally to teach dance workshops and music master classes, conduct concerts, perform with chamber ensembles and orchestras, and to give lectures about tango. “Maestro Tango” has been featured in over a dozen US states, as well as in Mexico, China, Vietnam, Spain, Greece, and Germany.

For information about Alejandro’s international activities and to learn more about “Maestro Tango,” please visit or follow him on Facebook @MaestroTango.


Saturday and Sunday Workshop Instructors: Catherine Young and Craig Rypstat

Catherine Young

When Catherine discovered tango she was intrigued by the balance of embodiment, expression, and collaboration by the dance. Her dancing and teaching are influenced by her experiences as a singer, music educator, theatre director, choral conductor, and performer of corporeal mime (with athe White Church Theatre Project/Theatre de L’Ange Fou). Catherine believes that tango offers unique opportunities to connect respectfully with others and thus spread a little more love into the world.

Craig Rypstat

Craig has been dancing for over twenty years. He started pursuing tango with intent and desire about thirteen years ago. Part of that journey included founding the Tango House of Madison dance studio which he opened in his home. His approach to tango is inflected by his martial arts and massage therapy background. He likes to use high-detail, biomechanically-oriented explanations of movements while also keeping classes engaging and fun


Saturday Workshop Instructor: James Valentino

Since its inception two years ago, Detroit Tango Nuevo (DTN), an Argentine tango dance team founded by James Valentino, strives to share the love of tango through education, performance, and competition. Incorporating the techniques of their coaches, Los Villagra (Claudio Villagra y Helena Fernandez), DTN has achieved first place rankings at the 2019 Michigan Dance Challenge and 2018 Motown Showdown Dancesport Challenge. Members of the team also performed at Denver’s 2019 Tango on the Rocks festival, where James taught a popular alternative tango class. Additional team performances include the Motor City Choreography Collective, City Style Tango showcases, and other local events in Detroit and Cleveland.

James and team member Lenore Brown have also competed individually and as a Pro/Am couple. As a Pro/Am couple, James and Lenore achieved numerous placements at the 2019 International Argentine Tango Summit, placing 1st in Bronze and Silver Pro/Am Fantasia, Bronze Pro/Am Milonga, and Bronze Pro/Am Tango de Pista; 2nd in Bronze Pro/Am Triple Crown, and 3rd in Silver Pro/Am Tango de Pista and Silver Pro/Am Triple Crown. Being the only couple to place in both Bronze and Silver Triple Crown categories, they were privileged to participate in the Honor dance at the Summit’s 2019 award ceremony.


Saturday Afternoon Alternative milonga DJ: Mackenzie Jones



Mackenzie is the President of the Argentine tango club at OSU. She has been learning tango since 2018 and is both an active leader and follower. She believes both partners should bring their own playful interpretation to the dance and plays music accordingly. She DJs both alternative and traditional milongas and practicas at OSU.


Saturday Evening traditional milonga DJ: Chewy

Bio below.


Sunday Instructor: Shasha

Shasha started her tango journey 15 years ago in Boston/Providence, and the upstate NY area. Since then, she has been travelling for tango in Asia and all over North America. Her style is often described as effortless, natural, flowy with a dreamy embrace and elegant footwork.  Her passion for tango is easily observable in her dancing. Over the years, she has taught and performed with various partners in Beijing/China, Syraucse/NY, Ithaca/NY, Providece/RI, Cleveland/OH, Columbus/OH, and Little Rock/AR. She is great with all tango styles, and loves to highlight the follower’s musicality.


Sunday Instructors: Koichiro (Chewy) Suzuki and Yulia Zhukoff

Husband and wife team Koichiro and Yulia have been dancing Tango together since 2007. They were introduced while they were both studying at Duquesne University. Koichiro and Yulia’s extensive background in music gives them a deep understanding of musicality, incorporating this in their dance and bringing a powerful presence to their performances. Yulia’s passion for tango and her ability to capture the attention of her audience, led by Koichiro’s experienced and yet vividly improvisational hand, combine on stage to poignantly reveal the essence of Tango: a man and a woman as one, lovers for the length of each dance they perform.

Koichiro and Yulia primarily studied with Julio Bassan, Ines Muzzopappa, Alejandro Larenas and Marisol Morales, Federico Naviera and Sabrina Masso among other world-class instructors. The couple has performed at various venues, including Tango en Huracan, Club Atletico Milonguero and Maldita Milonga, San Telmo in Buenos Aires, in addition to other performances in the United States, Canada and Japan. Currently, Koichiro and Yulia teach in Pittsburgh where they also organize weekly social dances. Their characteristic teaching styles complement each other effectively to cover fundamental as well as more advanced material thoroughly in an easy, progressive and very approachable manner.


Sunday afternoon milonga DJ: Surprise!


Photographer: Francesco Renna


Saturday Milonga

“Cuarteto Rotterdam can with good reason be regarded as one of the best European tango ensembles”, “excellent interaction”, “a great moment of tango”, “the best and most interesting tango music that I have heard in a long time”, “this tango quartet of European top class enthralls” – these are just some of the effusive press reactions over the last years.

Today, concert halls and international tango festivals like in Paris, Istanbul, Zurich, Amsterdam and even Buenos Aires can no longer be imagined without these four musicians who have always been able to inspire both concert-goers and tango dancers. In 2011 the quartet even won the 48th Klingenthal International Accordion Competition in the category of instrumental groups with bandoneón.

Brought into being in 2004, the ensemble was named after its birthplace in the Netherlands, where, at that time, the three founding members, Michael Dolak, Susanne Cordula Welsch and Judy Ruks, were studying tango at the Rotterdam Academy for World Music. Since 2007 they have been living and working in Berlin and Stuttgart.

Cuarteto Rotterdam is tango – full of passion, virtuosity and power – taking into account of more than 100 years of tango history. Being conscious of this tradition, they perform the early and more cheerful kind of tango music from the Guardia Vieja era with such ease that it makes everyone want to dance. In a compact quartet style, they present the Golden Age of tango from the 1940’s with the highlights of the grand orchestras a la Di Sarli, Troilo, D’Arienzo, Pugliese or Salgán. They feel so close to the challenging Tango Nuevo of Astor Piazzolla that the heartfelt melancholy and complexity of this music is noticeable all the time. And they are curious – curious about the new aspects of tango. In searching for the tango of the 21st century, they have included contemporary Argentine and European tango pieces in their concert and dance programme.

The quartet’s classic structure, consisting of bandoneón, violin, piano and double bass, provides a sound experience ranging between tradition and modernity. With their creativity, imagination and experience this small orchestra conjures up a world of tango for all kinds of emotions.

Check them out playing Loca here




At the Sunday milonga we’ll have Ben & Winnie of Cuarteto Tanguero!

Famous for packing the power of an orquesta típica into the compact and elegant setup of a duo, Ben & Winnie injects irresistible energy into the room with tanda after tanda of your favorite styles — D’Arienzo, Biagi, Troilo, Pugliese and more.

 Performing regularly at milongas and tango festivals around the world, Billboard Top 10 Musicians Ben & Winnie of Cuarteto Tanguero takes it to a new level with their newest CD, “La Próxima Traicion”.  Come and experience the recording artists themselves playing live for you at this rare event!

Check them out playing Loca here





Lorena Ferreira Jewelry

Contemporary Artisan Jewelry inspired by Nature handcrafted in the foothills of the Andes.


Raquel Shoes

The Best hand-made Tango shoes from Argentina! Now in Ohio Raquel Shoes Sponsor of the Tango world championship in Argentina.


Mimi Pinzon Clothes

Redeeming Tango’s spirit and seduction, the exceptional international dancer Viviana Laguzzi crafts her haute couture collection under her firm, “Mimí Pinzón”. Sensuality, elegance and enticement surface in these three carefully designed women clothing lines.

Pre-order your competition Stage and Salon dresses before March 15, 2020 and receive a 15% discount.

Visit the website: to make your selection. Dresses can be shipped to you in advance or hand delivered. Please contact Julie Long, US Representative for Mimi Pinzon at  248.224.9295  or


Celina Rotundo Clothes

Exclusive designs handmade by the designer and dancer from Argentina that holds true to her name. Unique and exclusive models for each of her clients, highlighting the beauty of the female silhouette and ensuring comfort when dancing. Fine fabrics, delicate and elegant, featuring hand embroidered stones and crystals.

Celina Rotundo is a professional Tango performer, she knows what you need to wear at the moment for a Social Milonga or Show, to feel comfortable and super elegant. You need advice for your look; what to wear and what hairstyle? Consult with her to get a better idea which is the best for you.


EyeDance Shoes

Dee (Istanbul, Turkey) is the founder of EyeDanceShoes, providing comfort and style that comes from protecting your feet with the highest quality of handmade leather shoes. The shoe masters in Istanbul are producing dance shoes for 23 countries all over the world; including ItalyGermanyEnglandHoland and Argentina.
EyeDanceShoes commits to your every step carefully selecting the collection of shoes, looking for quality, elegance, and comfort for dancers. Because you should enjoy it while you dance and have a gorgeous pair of shoes!

Please check our new models and reviews!