Our History

Ron and Judith Gariepy

Ron and Judith Gariepy

The history of LexTango is the history of Argentine tango in Lexington. In 1995 Ron and Judith Gariepy attended a performance of Forever Tango in San Francisco. They returned to Lexington, Kentucky, with "The Passion" for tango. They shared with their dancing friends their discovery and their hope of learning this exciting dance. (Could they have imagined back then that they would become fast friends with both the creator of Forever Tango, and its most famous star?)

LexTango originated in 1996 with a group of seven aspiring tango dancers. The only source of instruction was a monthly visit by Michael Wizer from Cincinnati. “The Group of Seven” practiced every Wednesday evening in the basement of Barker Hall on the University of Kentucky campus in order to be ready for Michael's next visit. They also traveled to Cincinnati for lessons with Michael and to study with visiting teachers. After about three years The Group of Seven*, then Eight**, moved their practice sessions to ArtsPlace, which continue to this day as LexTango's Wednesday Night Practica.

Around 1999 Judith and Ron were asked to teach a beginner's class in Argentine Tango at ArtsPlace under the aegis of the Lexington Vintage Dance Society. They taught six-week sessions for beginning dancers for many years. With more tango dancers in the Lexington area the Wednesday Night Practica grew. In 2007, Lu Ann Pelle started LexTango’s monthly traditional milonga “2nd Sunday” which continues to this day. LexTango also sponsors special milongas at a variety of venues, and classes by Marcela Duran, star of Forever Tango, who moved to Lexington with her family in 2006. We hold occasional workshops with visiting teachers to hone our skills, and many of us travel widely to attend festivals and milongas in other wonderful places.

Thank you Ron and Judith for creating a community of Argentine tango dancers in Lexington,Kentucky!

*Group of Seven: Ron and Judith, Dwight and Lynda, Wayne and Lucie, and Mary Susan.
**Group of Eight: Ron and Judith, Dwight and Lynda, Wayne and Lucie, Mike and Kathy.