Go Fund Me for Teachers 

Go Fund Me: CATS Pay It Forward Tribute to Our Tango Teachers

We did it! We just exceeded our initial goal of raising $10,000 for our teachers! Thanks to all of you for your generosity and support. Whether you were able to contribute money or helping to spread the information or consistently supporting our efforts you helped make this happen. Thank you beyond words.This was the best Anniversary present ever! 

I will close the campaign now and will be distributing these funds to all of our lovely recipients by the end of next week. I’m so very proud of our extended community stepping up to help make a difficult situation much better. You are a class act. I can’t wait until we can embrace and dance in person again. 

In the meantime Anda, Pram, Kathy and I send everyone an enormous hug and Besitos!!

Donate: https://gf.me/u/yztxyz

October 3, 2020, will mark 19 years of C.A.T.S. (Connecticut Argentine Tango Society) hosting a monthly milonga in New Haven, CT.  But there will be no C.A.T.S. anniversary celebration milonga nor workshops this year. The Corona Virus pandemic has upended the tango world and threatened the livelihood of our beloved teachers. Now is our time to give back to help sustain them through this difficult time. 

Judy Phelps and C.A.T.S. have long believed in the concept of consistent study over time with strong teachers, as opposed to just taking classes with a revolving door of teachers. True to this belief, Judy has curated her invitations to bring teachers who, through their repeat visits to Connecticut, present a comprehensive, compatible and structurally sound philosophy of teaching. This approach helps develop tango dancers who integrate skills and expression in a well-connected social dance. They’ve given us so much, enabling our community and each of us as dancers to grow and thrive. 

These teachers include:

•   Pablo Pugliese and Noel Strazza

•   Luciana Valle

•   Fernanda Ghi

•   Guillermo Merlo

•   Mariana Fresno 

•   Rebecca Shulman

We treasure all the times they each travelled to Connecticut just for us. We took workshops, private lessons, soaked up performances - every year for the past 19 years. This year, we have an opportunity to express our appreciation for what they’ve given us in the past and our hope for the future of tango by giving generously to this campaign.

All donations (100%) will be divided among this list of teachers who can’t be with us this year. To be clear, this is not a fundraising effort for CATS but rather for the visiting teachers we hold dear.  

A foundation in authentic traditional Argentine Tango with a focus on connection to partners, culture and music can provide a lifetime of pleasure in social dancing. Like the elegant traditional Argentine Milongueros and Milongueras, we can continue to grow into this dance indefinitely… but only if we sustain the vital teachers who help make that possible right here in Connecticut. 

With your help, we will embrace again.

CATS Organizers: Judy Phelps, Pramila Vishvanath, Anda Horvath, Kathy O'Shaughnessy

For more information about these teachers:


PNC CT crop

Born in Argentina, Pablo Pugliese began his study of the Argentine Tango at age nine with his legendary parents Esther and Mingo. By fifteen he was performing and teaching master classes in cities across the United States and around the world. He was awarded a scholarship at the Alvin Ailey School, and has shared the stage with renowned Tango musicians and composers. The Village Voice described him as “… an arresting dancer, capable of speed, liquidity, and fire.  At his best, he lets the dance consume every part of his body, leaving nothing inert.” He is a guest artist/teacher at Studio Tango Montreal and was a frequent guest teacher at Dance Manhattan studio in New York City. 

Noel Strazza, born in Buenos Aires, studied contemporary dance and ballet and enjoys a reputation for original and arresting choreography in international stage shows and films. She has worked with Cirque du Soleil as a movement-tango consultant and teacher. She has danced tango since 1997 and taught and performed with Pablo Veron for 5 years in Europe, Australia, Asia and North America. 

•   Luciana Valle: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=luciana%20valle


Luciana waist

Luciana Valle, a member of Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas' "Tango Investigation" group from 1995-1997, has long been a favorite visiting teacher of local tango dancers, beginner through advanced. She is both an expert leader and follower, and has won widespread recognition as the best female teacher to come out of Buenos Aires in years. She teaches with fantastic energy and exuberance, has a wonderful eye for detail, and uses descriptive movement images, making complex actions accessible. Her classes focus on the structure of the dance, the technical keys to moving comfortably and expressively, and the strong connection between leaders and followers challenging and benefiting both leaders and followers alike. 

Luciana's teaching is held in high regard in Buenos Aires, Europe and all across North America, where she regularly tours to teach tango to a dedicated and passionate following.

•   Fernanda Ghi: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=fernanda%20ghi



Fernanda Ghi and her former partner, Guillermo Merlo were one of the most prominent couples in the world of Argentine Tango. Renowned for their style, interpretation, choreography, command of the stage and clear teaching technique, they have taught and performed in prestigious tango festivals throughout the world, received awards in the World Argentine Tango Championship and a Tony Award for Best Choreography for “Forever Tango” in 1997 and 1998. 

Fernanda is committed to helping produce a high standard of dance and promoting Argentine Tango as an art form, and has established their professional tango school and studio, the Fernanda Ghi Dance Academy, in Boston. The Academy teaching focuses on the fundamentals that contribute to improving the quality of the dancing when applied to all elements of material. 

•   Guillermo Merlo: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=guillermo%20merlo

Guillermo dog

Guillermo Merlo is a true legend in the world of Argentine tango. Renowned for his elegant style, unique interpretation, creative choreography and powerful command of the stage. Guillermo is a dancer, performer, choreographer, instructor and coach. As a Tango Artist and Instructor, he seeks to share the richness that tango has to offer- compassion, respect, vulnerability and coexistence without competition. 

He has toured internationally for well over a decade now.

Guillermo Merlo was a recipient of the 1997 and 1998 TONY AWARD for Best Choreography for the show ‘Forever Tango’ on Broadway and won first place in the WORLD Argentine Tango Championship in 1999.

Guillermo has performed in concert with several Symphony Orchestras (New Mexico, Long Beach, Costa Mesa, USA) and was commissioned to create a Tango Ballet for the Tulsa Ballet Dance Company. He was featured dancer on the PBS special ‘Tango Magic’ with Pablo Ziegler and the Orpheus Orchestra and had the honor of being the first non-Asian ever invited to perform at the Imperial Theater in Tokyo. Guillermo served as a judge at The Tango Mundial, The World Competition for Argentine Tango in Montreal Canada.

•   Mariana Fresno: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=mariana%20carmencita%20fresno 


Mariana flower at La Luna

Mariana Fresno is an exciting professional tango dancer, choreographer and teacher, hosted of one of the most popular Milongas in NYC, and her new passion is to host a milonga and DJ here in the New Haven area!Mariana Fresno has established herself as an outstanding instructor in the field of Argentine Tango by performing in numerous shows and motion pictures. A graduate from the National School of Dance in Buenos Aires, she studied ballet, folklore, jazz and modern dance until she discovered tango – and her calling. Since 2004, she resides in New York City, teaching and performing in several milongas, festivals, and private events around the Tri-State area, Europe, and South America. She has hosted her La Luna Milonga in New Haven since 2015.

•   Rebecca Shulman: https://www.facebook.com/search/top?q=rebecca%20shulman

Rebecca crop

Rebecca Shulman is an innovative teacher and performer with an original “take” on the way tango works and how people dance it. She was a founding member and performer with "Tango Mujer", a contemporary women's tango performing company with an international cast, and she coordinated Dance Manhattan's celebrated Argentine tango program for many years. After extensive dance training her tango career began in 1991 with Daniel Trenner, with whom she began to perform and to visit Buenos Aires. Her teachers include Mingo and Esther Pugliese, Gustavo Naveira and Olga Besio, and many more recognized original Argentine Tango teachers and dancers . She has performed with the finest dancers of this generation. Legions of students across the U.S. and in Europe seek Rebecca's sense of fun and clear instruction on improvisation, technique and adornments.  Rebecca teaches tango at the NYU Tisch School and organizes numerous esteemed guest teachers to teach special workshops in Manhattan.

© Dragorange5 2012