Get to Know Us
The Owner, Founder, Director and Master Teacher of The Tango Room is Angel Echeverria.
Angel embodies authentic Argentine Tango. Born in Buenos Aires, the mecca of Tango, Angel grew up in Palermo, a neighborhood where tango music poured out of every window, where people danced tango in their living rooms, on their patios, where tango music was on the radio night and day. He lived around the corner from one of the titans of tango, Anibal Troilo and down the street from where one of Argentina’s most renowned poets, Evaristo Carriego, had grown up. Tango infused his life, it’s in his DNA.
As an adolescent Angel began by watching the masters of the Golden Age of Tango and doing what they did. That was the only way to learn. There were no regularly scheduled tango classes. Tango wasn’t a business then, it was part of the culture and the way to learn was to sit at the feet of the masters, or rather try to dance at the feet of the masters. And the masters were hard on the young ones, unforgiving of mistakes, demanding perfection, not allowing the boys to dance with girls until they had achieved a certain level and understanding of what tango really is. Angel was not allowed to attend a tango club (milonga) until his master said he was ready.
Once he began going to the milongas Angel danced every night and had the great privilege of dancing to the music of the live orchestras of the giants of tango that played everywhere, every night. His experience would be the equivalent of an American dancing every night to the live music of Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Tommy Dorsey. Angel danced while on stage Osvaldo Pugliese and his orchestra played, while the orchestras of Carlos DiSarli, Anibal Troilo, Juan D’Arienzo, Miguel Calo played. It is safe to say that Angel Echeverria is the only tango teacher in Southern California who truly lived tango.
The Tango Room’s other Owner, Founder, Director & Master Teacher is Julie Friedgen (Julieta Marta Maria del Pilar Angelita Cristina Francesconi-Sanchez).
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Julie studied ballet and flamenco rigorously from the time she was a little girl until she was a grown woman. Her connection to tango came through her father, Julio born in Mexico City, who had friends from Buenos Aires. As a child, her parents would take her to their parties as Latin families do. After dinner it was customary to put the children in a back room to play so the adults could have their time. They would roll back the carpet in the living room, someone would bring out a guitar, someone would sing, someone would recite and eventually everyone would dance. Julio’s friends would always play their tango records and dance. The music called to Julie. She would sneak out of the back room to watch the grown-ups dance. At home Julio always played tango records where the voice of Carlos Gardel wove itself into her memory bank. At one point in her life, Julie had moved to New York to study singing. She worked three jobs to pay for her lessons. One day she had exactly one dollar to her name and she was hungry. In those days you could buy a loaf of bread for 99 cents. As she walked into a corner market right in front of her was a rack of 99 cent albums. She had no intention of spending her last dollar on a record but one album caught her eye, Carlos Gardel. She bought it.
Julie moved back to Los Angeles and began to work in television where she eventually became a successful television writer. It was her work in television that brought her again to tango. She had sold a police-drama pilot to NBC and a D.A. investigator was her technical advisor. One day they had a long drive ahead of them, the investigator asked if she’d like to listen to music. Of course! He put in a cassette (this was obviously some time ago) and the music was Tango!! Surprised, Julie wondered how he had come to have a tango cassette. He responded that his parents danced tango and when his dad died, his mom had sent him the cassette they had danced to. The investigator and his wife were taking tango lessons, he invited Julie to go with them to the Argentine Association where every Sunday night there was a dance. The rest is history because it was there on the dance floor Angel Echeverria and Julie Friedgen met in 1996.
What is The Tango Room?
Opened in 2004 The Tango Room is a boutique studio that was and still is the only studio dedicated to teaching the art and culture of Argentine Tango.
Since then it has become the home & heart of Argentine Tango in Southern California and recognized around the world as THE place to learn and dance Tango.
It is not a generic dance studio. It is not a one-size fits all, learn to dance in five easy (but expensive) lessons. It is not a franchise where you need to sign a contract.
The Tango Room is where you learn how to dance Tango, where you learn about Tango, the art, the culture, the history, the codes, the etiquette.
The Tango Room Dance Center is where all the great names in the world of Argentine Tango come to perform and to teach.
The Tango Room is where all tango classes are taught by an Argentine who has grown up dancing tango. For our teachers, Tango is not just another dance; it is their heritage.
We invite you to open the door to The Tango Room and become a part of our family.