Early days of Tango in Cincinnati 1985-2000
Tango lessons were first offered in Cincinnati by Richard Powers in 1985.
The first tango club was started by Dennis Fausz, Larry Brown, Tina Gutierrez, Michael Oppenheim, and a few other enthusiastic dancers in 1991.
Flying Cloud Academy of Vintage Dance
Richard Powers (who founded the Flying Cloud Academy in Cincinnati in 1978), began teaching early twentieth-century Ragtime Tango in the 80's and introduced current Argentine Tango sometime during that decade by bringing in Nora Dinzelbacher (Buenos Aires) and George Guim (San Francisco) to give tango lessons at the annual Vintage Dance Week hosted by the Flying Cloud Academy and the University of Cincinnati.
When enthusiastic tango dancers formed the Cincinnati Argentine Tango Society in 1991, Nora and George were often brought in to teach, along with Fabian Salas and other teachers from Buenos Aires. Eventually, this list expanded to include all the teachers mentioned at the bottom of this page: Local Teachers.
All classes, practise sessions, and balls were held at the "Heliotrope Ballroom" in the YMCA building at 270 Calhoun Street in University Heights.
The Declaration - September 6th 1991
Dennis Fausz, Larry, Tina, and others decided to form a tango society sometime in 1991. Michael Oppenheim, a tango aficionado from Buenos Aires, was living in Cincinnati and working for Kenner Products as a toy designer. He drew up the following document formalizing the creation of CATS, or the Cincinnati Argentine Tango Society (which he called a "club" on this document).
These are the signatories to the document that formally created the Argentine Tango Society of Cincinnati on September 6th of 1991:
Guglierno (Will) Hamrick,
Ellen M Bins,
Lou Ann Reese,
Mary Carolyn Minken,
Mary Beth Widmer.
In December of 1992, Tina and Larry traveled to Buenos Aires where they spent a month in the tango salons, studying with Domingo and Esther Pugliese. They spent their days in lessons with the Puglieses and with Fabian Salas and Cyntha Zebergs. By night they haunted the tango milongas in famous places like Cochabamba 444. By 1995, they were teaching the basics of Argentine Tango at the Heliotrope Ballroom in the historic Calhoun Street "Y". They continued their studies from by attending the Stanford University Tango Week hosted by Richard Powers from 1993 to 1997. Richard brought in some of the most famous names in Tango to teach daily lessons followed by nightly milongas. Teachers included Nora Dinzelbacher, Pablo Pugliese (Mingo and Esther's son), Danel and Maria, Nito and Elba, and (among many others) the legendary dancers Juan Carlos Copes and Pablo Veron. See Stanford Tango Week teachers.
Photo at top: Larry Brown and Tina Gutierrez, c.1992