About Us

Connecticut Argentine Tango Academy was established in 2003 as Tango Sueño by Dale Ellison and Gem Duras, after they walked into the Milford Arts Council proposing to offer Argentine Tango classes. Since then the Tango Sueño Academy classes, milongas and all inclusive tango activities expanded to include more than 10 cities in Connecticut and Westchester, NY. Dale currently teaches professionally in Charleston SC as the director of Tango Rojo, while Gem continues the New England activities as the director of the Tango Sueño Academy.

In addition to the regular classes and milongas, the CT Tango Fest features internationally recognized dancers as guest instructors each year. To make the tango experience complete for their tango communities, Dale and Gem organize an annual Buenos Aires tour each November combining dancers from the Carolinas and the New England.

Jorge "Gem" Duras
Founder-Director, Argentine Tango Instructor
Gem Duras

Gem Duras started his tango training in 1995 initially with the original cast members of the famous show Forever Tango in particular the legendary Carlos Gavito. Later he visited Buenos Aires numerous times to study ballet as well as advanced technique and stage tango with younger Forever Tango stars Jesus Velazquez and Francisco Forquera becoming a certified tango instructor and dancer. He is the director of the Tango Sueño Academy and holds regular classes throughout Connecticut as well as Westchester, NY|

Dale Ellison
Co-founder, Guest Argentine Tango Instructor
Dale Ellison

Dale Ellison, known in Buenos Aires as Delia, has been dancing Argentine tango for more than 19 years, and teaching for more than 10. She has developed a reputation as a dynamic Argentine Tango teacher and performer in salon, milonguero, nuevo and performance styles of tango.

Originally a San Francisco resident, Dale received her tango training from the stars of the famous show “Forever Tango” most notably Carlos Gavito and Marcela Duran. Initially a salsa dancer and club style salsa instructor, Dale was drawn to tango for its sensuality and passion, later winning the first prize in the first San Francisco Tango Competition in 1998. Dale Ellison teaches and runs tango activities as the director of Tango Rojo in Charleston SC.

CT Tango Fest Guests
Manuela Rossi and Juan Malizia
2014 World Champions, CT Tango Fest 2016
Manuela and Juan

Manuela Rossi and Juan Malizia won the first prize at the most prestigious tango competition in the world, “Campeonato Mundial de Tango” in 2014, competing at the ultimately respected Stage Tango Category. The same year they won the first prize at the Buenos Aires competition in tango vals category. Subsequently they became one of the most sought after tango couples and performed and taught in countries such as France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Belgium, London, Turkey, Chile, Brazil, USA, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, China and Angola. They also were selected to take part in the movie “Our Last Tango” featuring the life of Maria Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes, with Juan playing one of the lead roles. 

A dancer with comprehensive artistic training, Juan Malizia has studied many legendary tango dancers and instructors. He performed with leading tango companies and shows such as ¨Tango X 2¨ under the direction of Miguel Anguel Zotto, Tango Fire, Corporación Tangos, Estampas Porteñas, Tango a Tierra, Ayres de Tango, Tangos Corazónicos, Radio Latina, Tango Lovers and Tango Legends. Manuela Rossi is a former Ballet dancer, with diplomas from "Instituto Superior de Arte del Teatro Colón" and “Rosella Hightower” School in Cannes, France. She started dancing tango at the age of seventeen. After discovering tango and its passion she traveled throughout the world. Before her partnership with Juan Malizia, she was a runner up at the World Championships three years in a row in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In 2015 they launched a new tango show called Rojo Tango, premiered at the famous Faena Hotel.

When they are not touring the world, Manuela and Juan perform at the historic venue Café de los Angelitos in Buenos Aires.

Valeria Zunino & Alejandro Figliolo
CT Tango Fest 2019
Valeria and Alejandro

Valeria Zunino started dancing at the age of four, and later attended the prestigious “Escuela Nacional de Danzas Clasicas” where she studied ballet first. After working as a jazz dancer at various musicals in Buenos Aires and performing at various ballet theaters, she was introduced to tango and started an impressive international tango career. She has been invited to teach and perform in most countries in Europe as well as Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. She has worked as a main instructor at Confiteria Ideal, one of the most important historic Buenos Aires tango venues, which has been featured in many feature films and documentaries. Alejandro Figliolo dancer, teacher and choreographer studied Tango at the Municipal Dance School of Morón, “José Neglia”, obtaining there a “Tango teacher” degree. Furthermore, he was part of the school’s company, and later on he continued his studies at the “Buenos Aires Tango University”, receiving the degree of “Tango Dance and History Professor”.

Valeria and Alejandro were guest instructors at the CT Tango Fest 2019.

Carolina Leonardelli & Gabriel Salvo
CT Tango Fest 2017
Carolina and Gabriel

Carolina Leonardelli and Gabriel Salvi have been dancing together since 2008 performing at various tango festivals and stage shows in Argentina and the world. Their training and intensive artistic experience at numerous tango companies and shows has enabled them to create a unique artistic style with a strong presence, technical perfection as well as impeccable artistry.

In 2016 Carolina and Gabriel were finalists at the most important tango competition in the world, the “Mundial de Tango”, in the stage tango category. They are currently invited guests at the international show “Tango Buenos Aires” on the Royal Caribbean cruise line in addition to regular appearances at the most prestigious Buenos Aires stage shows Señor Tango, Esquina Carlos Gardel and Piazzolla Tango.

They teach master level tango in Buenos Aires as faculty members of the “Escuela de Danza Tradicionales Argentinas de Lomas de Zamora.”

Ana Padron & Diego Blanco
CT Tango Fest 2018
Ana and Diego

Ana Padron, born in Miami to a family of Cuban decedents, has been studying ballet from the age of 4 and was well familiar with rigorous training required by classical studios and Cuban-influenced classical dance with its emphasis on virtuosity and high physical skill. A daughter of a professional musician, she has embraced musicality as part of her training since the earliest years. Upon graduating from New Word in 2004, she has been a member of Martha Graham Dance Ensemble’s junior division. Diego Blanco, born in Colombia, came to the U.S. as a nine-year old and quickly embraced dance which, because of his father’s passion for tango, has always been part of his upbringing. Trained in the traditional Argentinian approach filtered through multicultural influences of his new home, he has been performing the tango at milongas and arts centers since the age of 11, winning awards and gaining recognition as a skilled performer and choreographer with highly personal, evocative style.

Learning and evolving together, Ana and Diego quickly raised to become world-class performers, winning many accolades for their tango presentations, including a 2008 Soka Gakkai Malaysia, a prize awarded by an organization dedicated to championing art that embodies Buddhist principles of humanism and peace. They have been performing in many festivals in the US and abroad, including appearances in off-Broadway and Broadway productions in NYC.

"Los Totis": Virginia Gomez & Christian Marquez
CT Tango Fest 2012
Los Totis

United for their common passion, Virginia Gomez and Christian Marquez, known as “Los Totis” have been traveling a long path to become a tango couple known for their consistency, maturity and their authentic tango style. Working together since 1996, they studied with renowned tango masters in Buenos Aires, and in 1997 they gave their first performance. Soon after they participated various important shows such as “Los tangos de la Cábala¨, ¨Piazzolla Tango¨, ¨Copes Tango Copes, ¨O´Tango¨y ¨Coorporación Tangos¨.

Since 2002 they have been traveling to Europe and Asia becoming one of the most sought after tango couples. They have recently been invited to teach and perform at workshops and festivals in Istanbul/Turkey, Hong Kong. In 2006 they were the featured dance couple on the video clip of Gotan Project “Diferente” and second year in a row they have been invited to the International Argentine Tango Congress (CITA) in Buenos Aires, where they regularly teach and reside. They visited the United States as guest instructors in 2012.

Daniela Kizyma & Pablo Velez
CT Tango Fest 2013
Daniela and Pablo

United for their common passion, Pablo Velez and Daniela Kizyma are rising stars of a younger generation of Argentine Tango dancers and performers. Born in Argentina with Ukrainian, Lithuanina and Italian heritages, Pablo and Daniela started dancing as teenagers first studying with Walter Gomez. They formed their partnership in 1998, to start a successful career of performances in shows such as La Ventana, Gala Tango, El Viejo Almacen, Madero Tango, Che Tango, Complejo Tango, Bien de Tango and Mora Godoy Company.

In Buenos Aires they teach at the Mora Godoy School, Milonga El Tacuari as well as Gala Tango. Their international engagements took them to four continents to teach and perform in countries such as Denmark, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Japan, Paraguay and Brazil among others.

Pablo Nievas and Valeria Zunino
CT Tango Fest 2014
Valeria and Pablo

Internationally renowned dancers and teachers, Pablo Nievas and Valeria Zunino both started dancing in their childhood. Pablo initially learned tango from his grand-father at the age of five, later he attended the “Escuela Municipal de Danzas” to study tango and Argentine folk dances professionally. Valeria started dancing at the age of four, and later attended the prestigious “Escuela Nacional de Danzas Clasicas” where she studied ballet first. After working as a jazz dancer at various musicals in Buenos Aires and performing at various ballet theaters, she was introduced to tango and became partners with Pablo to create a long and impressive international tango career.

They have been invited to teach and perform in most countries in Europe as well as Asia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South America. They were guest instructors at the 2014 CT Tango Fest.

Analia Carreño & Luis Ramirez
CT Tango Fest 2015
Analia and Luis

Analía Carreño and Luís Ramirez, master dancers and choreographers, have been dancing together for ten years incorporating their elegant, dynamic and passionate style, into their performances in stages and dance halls throughout the world. Analía and Luís have performed regularly in major tango shows such as Esquina Carlos Gardel, Tanguera, Tango Emotion and Señor Tango. 

They have been invited to teach and perform at numerous important tango festivals in major world cities such as Moscow, Berlin, Hamburg, Shanghai, Beijing, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Sydney, Melbourne, Bali, Brunei, Kuala Lumpur and Manila. They have appeared as a guest at the CT Tango Fest in 2015.

Oscar Mandagarán & Georgina Vargas
CT Tango Fest 2008 and 2009
Oscar and Georgina

Oscar Mandagarán began his career as a professional dancer of tango and folk dance in 1988. He was a member of the tango company “Señor Tango” in Buenos Aires for 2 years. He performed as a member of the cast in the Oscar nominated film “Tango” under the direction of Carlos Saura. Between 1998 and 2003 he starred in the Broadway hit show Forever Tango and toured with the company all over the world.

A multi-talented professional tango dancer and tango singer, Georgina Vargas starred in Tango x 2 in Italy as well as Con Sabor a Tango, a dance company and show that she co-founded in Argentina. Together they are one of the most sought after Argentine couples from Buenos Aires, teaching and performing in more than 20 Countries. Known for their elegance and superb technique they embody the passion and intensity of tango in their dancing and teaching.

Carolina Jaurena & Diego Blanco
CT Tango Fest 2010
Carolina and Diego

Carolina Jaurena has performed at major halls and tango festivals internationally: Tango & Tango, Tango Fantastico, Tangos for la Milonga” with the Romulo Larrea and Sudwestfalen Philarmonic at the Symphonic Tango night in Hilchenbach-Lutzel, Germany, the D.C. Tango Festival, Boston Tango Festival, and Stockholm Tango Festival. Carolina is also a much sought after performer in television and film, having appeared on such shows as Fox 5 “Good Day New York”, “Today in NY” on NBC, Sábado Gigante on Univision as well as a role as a dancer in the feature film Random Hearts directed by Sidney Pollack and starring Harrison Ford.

Award-winning Argentine Tango dancer Diego Blanco has performed in many productions including Tango: It takes more than two, Noche de Passion, Fiesta Latina, Jennifer Muller the Work, Lets Speak Tango, Tango undress and The 4 Tango Seasons among others. His tango style is energetic, rhythmical, and innovative, and through his fluid moves he fuse nuevo tango with the close embrace look of traditional tango. He incorporates Classical Ballet, Jazz, African, and Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and Jennifer Muller techniques to his Argentine Tango to create a unique dance technique.

Victoria & Federico
CT Tango Fest 2011
Victoria and Federico

Born and raised in Argentina, Victoria Sarquisse and Federico Jorquera are young salon and show style tango dancers and instructors. Their tango technique is elegant and dynamic, yet relaxed and focused on connection and musicality. Victoria is the creator and director of TANGO-Flex, the newest Tango workout specialized for increasing flexibility, balance, and body control specially designed for Tango Dancers. She also specializes in footwork technique and woman embellishments. Federico specializes in musicality, body positioning, and connection.

They have taught and performed in various cities in the US, Argentina, and Ecuador, including the “Cancilleria Argentina” for the Argentinean Government and at the “Escuela Argentina de Tango” in Buenos Aires. They were featured at the Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night’s Swing Festival as well as the US Tango Congress and Festival in Miami with performances. They have also performed with the famous Neo-Tango Orchestra Otros Aires at their US debut and on live TV for Channel 11 in New York City.

Victoria & Federico live and teach in Tampa, FL, and are the Directors of Tampa Tango Argentino.

Guest instructor of honor Omar Vega
Guest March 2008
Omar Vega

Omar Vega, who was one of the main dancers/actors in the well-known movie “Tango Lesson” by Sally Potter, visited Connecticut as a guest of Tango Sueño  in March 2008, few months before his passing. An obituary can be found here...

Omar Vega