Friday, April 27, 2007

Story of making the mother website,

***** This article was written in April 2007. Some of the information and links  may not be up to date *****


We value your ideas and opinions. Thank you for taking the time to respond to our letter about growing and uniting the tango communities of Hawaii. Here is a recap of what we discussed previously by email:

1. Brief description of who we are and what we are doing in Hawaii.
2. Ideas about the growth of Tango in Hawaii.
3. List of Forerunners of Argentine Tango on Four Islands and how to get in touch.

4. Ideas+ Meet in Kauai for weekend workshops and milongas
+ One monthly milonga rotating on Four Islands
+ Creating a Not for-Profit Website containing contact information for the four islands.


We are a couple who travel to teach and dance tango. It has been great to share our way of dancing with such wonderful communities. It is amazing to see Tango growing and flourishing here in Hawaii and yet we can't help but notice that each community stays pretty independent and unaware of what is going on elsewhere. We would love to see these different groups getting together. More experienced communities can help the fledgling ones take flight while newer dancers can infuse the community with much needed enthusiasm and a new perspective. With a cohesive network there is no limit to the growth and development of individuals and the whole. Any activity is difficult without support and cooperation. With more exchange between islands any obstacles can easily be surmounted and the success is shared by everyone.


There are four islands with at least one or two tango communities with strong leaders in each. On these four sister islands is the full range of very beginning to mature and experienced in all capacities, dancers, instructors, dj's, organizers, etc. Already in Maui there are two festivals a year drawing big name, world class tango instructors and many dancers from all over. Dance in Maui is flourishing and will continue to under the care of Gawain Bantle and Shastro. In Oahu there has been an existing community when no one even knew what tango was, led by George and K'ai Garcia who travel the world to teach tango, perform and judge competitions. Bruce and Yoko Wee, also on Oahu are a young and talented couple who will be teaching in the UH Outreach program. We are proud to see tango just budding in Hilo and taking baby steps even in Waimea on the Big Island, where Gordon Motta is introducing tango to a brand new group. On Kauai, Maurizia Zanin hosts great instructors and organizes weekend events several times a year. This particular community is small, devoted and a little far away.

One comment we keep hearing has to do with the expense of travelling around 3 -4 years ago. Inter island airfares were expensive until about a year and a half ago. Now with sales on fares ($19 on Hawaiian) this is no longer an excuse. Another possibility to look into is the Superferry starting up this summer It will have to compete with the airlines and vice versa, hopefully one way or another facilitating inter island travel. We have found it incredibly rewarding to travel between islands and experience their individual beauty. Which is why we encourage you to make use of all the wonderful resources already within your grasp and to keep the lines of communication open and connected.


Who's Who and What's Where: (as of 2007)
Gawain Bantle on Maui
Shastro on Maui
Suba on Maui. email at
George and K'ai on Oahu
Bruce and Yoko on Oahu (new, for support of Tango in Oahu)
Gordon Motta in Waimea on Big Island. email at
Maurizia Zanin on Kauai. email at
Larry Richelli on Kauai. email at


Workshops on Kauaii Maurizia is helping us to organize two weekends of workshops and milongas, sort of a mini festival. It will be an excellent opportunity to meet your fellow tango addicts on a neighboring isle, experience how they dance, the special places they meet, the music they listen to, as well as invest and share in the development of tango in Hawaii. In Kauai there is a list of Hosts for outer island travelers to facilitate and encourage visiting. They also have one of the most beautiful and unique milonga places we have ever seen, La Milonga Redonda created by Geo Hoffberg. It is an open air, tiki torched, beautifully floored dance space in the round with a tropical romantic twist.
Kauaii Host List:
1 BR+/share kit/bath no smoking/Koloa $40/night Lynne Torres 808-332-9767 lynnetorres@yahoo.FR
1 BR+ bath/share kit no smoking/Prinville $40/night Ralph Kitashima 808-639-8842
Yurt w/futon & tents no smoking/Kapaa negotiable Geo Hoffberg 808-346-3628

We have opened a blog to create a forum for discussion, to share information, promote events etc. It is open to everyone and should make it easier to get your news out and create a communication network and a database of contacts.
First off, please feel free to respond to these ideas, let us know if you'd like to be involved and how. Write any suggestions, or ideas you may have.

Monthly Milonga on Four Islands.
We challenge you to create a monthly late night milonga that rotates from island to island. So, three times a year each of the four islands could host the monthly event and once a month all Local and visiting Tangueros can have a great reason to island hop. This would also create a great venue to introduce visiting instructors and attract outer island and even the occasional mainland dancer.

Creating a Not for-Profit Website.
Soon, within the next few weeks we will put together a not for-profit website with all the contact information provided us. We will send out a link for you to take a look at and respond to. The home page will have contact information by island and details for curious tango dancing visitors. This website will be open to any individual or group with an interest in promoting tango in the Hawaiian Islands.
Finally, thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you. More importantly we look forward to crowded milongas and friendly exchange between island communities.
Tropical Paradise by day and Tango Rendezvous by Night.


Murat & Michelle

(please join this conversation by clicking the "comments" link below. No need to sign up to join, you may join here anonymously or with your gmail/blogger account)


Anonymous said...

congratulations and let me be the first to chime in and applaud your efforts in bringing our families together. I look forward to sharing our love of this dance with each other!

Bruce Wee

Anonymous said...

Good luck and thank you for trying to help these unique island communities help each other to become closer and share information and tango events. Trying to get information to people quickly is sometimes difficult but this blog makes evrerything... even another island just a push of a btton away. But now that you have opened the door for future cooperation it's up to all lovers of Argentine tango in Hawaii to pool their resources and run with it. Let's take up the challenge and "just do it."

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your energy and enthusiasm. I'm looking forward to a growing community on the Big Island and will appreciate the support from the established dancers on the other Islands.

Mahalo and Aloha,
Gordon Motta

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your beautiful Tango, your thoughts of gathering
Tango energy and then spreading it out....bringing more and more
people into connection....the more people can come together in a
harmonious way, for fun and learning, and expressing through
Tango, I
believe, we can have a more peaceful planet.

Tango On.....
Gylian(tanguera from Maui / Miami)

M-and-M said...

okay. we just got to hear from Larry. we would like to introduce you Larry and his efforts for Kauai Tango.

Larry Richelli:
Also visit

Larry teaches, organizes and DJs in Kauai. So far I know he has a significant archive of Tango music and Tango videos. He is one of the most fun people we personaly had the chance to meet. he is very active and very enthusiastic person.

Anonymous said...

My dear Murat and Michelle, your past visit and classes on Maui have been absolutely valuable and enjoyable. You graced us with your generosity and now you surprise us again with your concern and active involvement in our community. Thank you so much for this valuable initiative which I can only support by all means. Thank you, thank you, thank you !

Aloooooooohaaaaa !!!!
Fernando Lopez Arbarello

Gawain said...

I enjoyed your stay and teaching in Maui very much. I can recommend you to anyone wanting to learn and improve their tango. Also the love between you two is very palpable and a joy to be around.

I have always thought that inclusivity is much better than exclusivity and this is what is happening more and more on our islands. In the end it doesn't really matter, the style of Tango and which teachers we like. We all are under the spell of this mystery called Tango, at least this is how i see it, and we all serve it the way it moves us.

And in the course of that, aside from the enjoyment of dancing the dance, we can all learn so much about ourselves, our patterns, our behavior and the way we love.....if we want to.

Mahalo and I am glad you will coming more often teaching in the islands


Fernando Lopez Arbarello said...

Fernando Lopez Arbarello writing...

Dear tango friends,

I want to invite you to join the HAWAII TANGO MAILING LIST, our new space of communication.

Communications so far have been unidirectional amongst us, this means, from our instructors, or whoever is organizing, inviting to an event, to us. But what about our personal needs to express ourselves, to share our thoughts, ideas, comments, news, doubts, questions, photos, videos, to meet new friends, new dance partners, in one word, to connect ?

Now we can do it ! I have created a mailing list that is hosted by yahoo at yahoo-groups who have proved along the years to be very reliable for this purposes. The link to the list is

The last message from Murat and Michelle is the exact confirmation of how important a space like this is for us. It is funny to find how we’ve been having similar ideas at the same time without talking about it. Well, things happen for a reason and that reason is an evident need. I find it amazing that professional dancers of the caliper of Michelle and Murat are so concerned and involved with the Hawaiian tango community and the less we can do is … follow their initiative ! The list is the perfect complement and extension for the blog and can easily handle heavy traffic. It offers several storage options including an on line calendar. It’s going to be the perfect way to link us all, getting to know who and where we are, and channel out all our expression needs.

There are two ways to join the list,

If you have a yahoo email address you can simply follow the link above, sign in to yahoo, and subscribe to the group on line. The benefit of having a yahoo email address is that by being able to sign in you can freely use and enjoy the different features of the website, like uploading photos and all sorts of files, review old messages (they remain stored for several years), post and respond to new ones, create polls and databases, and even an on-line calendar to register and keep track of all events. All for free ! This features are only available to members using yahoo email addresses.

On the other hand, you can join the list by simply sending a blank email to using your regular email address (yahoo or not). You will receive a confirmation request and after responding it you are in. As simple as that !

The list offers the option to receive each message individually, consolidated in a daily digest, or only see them on line.

Membership is free and open to everybody interested in our tango activities in the Hawaiian Islands, but in order to keep spammers out requests will be subject to my approval. If I find your email address unclear or somehow suspicious, I may send you a confirmation email to verify you are a real person before approval. I have been using this method with great success for several years in other lists I manage.

Messages are uncensored and will be posted directly without the need of my approval or intervention. Moderation, if necessary, will be very subtle and only be directed to preserve the good manners and tango etiquette.

Those of you already familiar with this kind of mailing list already know the potential and benefits of being an active part of them. This list is for you, as a member or our fast growing community, as a space of expression and discovery. A place to exchange and share, and why not, to learn and grow up together too.

Do you feel like sharing some inspirational writings ? Or the photos from the last event ?

Have you found some interesting music ? Or a video clip ?

Are you organizing an event in your area or would you like someone to do it ? Are you looking for friends or new dance partners ?

Are you planning to visit our wonderful islands and want to do some tango ?

This is the place to start, come and join us !


Group Email Addresses
Related Link:

Post message:



List owner:

I hope to see you all there !
Please forward this invitation message to all of your contacts, friends who might be interested.

Fernando Lopez Arbarello

M-and-M said...

congratulations. And mahalo for putting your time together to start another platform that will guide all of us to reach each other sooner or later.

I am also very glad to see someone actually come up with a productive movement.

About this blog, while it is very nice and encouraging to hear positive words and be appreciated by people about what we do, i am looking forward to seeing the tango lovers of Hawaii use this blog to come up with activities as is the blogs original purpose.

What we ultimately want is more people dance tango in the Islands and they interact with each other. Blog, list and the websites are the tools that can help this goal. And you have done a lot already Fernando. Thank you again. lets keep up the work.


M-and-M said...

The idea of creating a website that is absolutely not-for profit but to support the project of putting together the sister islands of Tango in Hawaii, has been in process. The design is complete now and we are collecting more content for each island.

We will use the existing information that is already on internet and also will provide space for people who would like to have their own homepage under this Mother Website.

Again please email us your information as you would like it to be a part of this website. Website will be launched latest next week.

my email address:


Jun Suzuki said...

writing from Hilo:

Last night I took some of your flyers to the Hilo Ballroom Club (Mildred and Carol) along with copies of Michelle's letter regarding the blog and website. It was posted and they made an announcement about the class. Tonight I will be taking it to Debbie and Kolin's practice. I will also be dropping off flyer and letters to Sandy, Orchid Isle club because they will be having a Mother's Day event tomorrow night. She will also make an announcement. The YWCA is secure for Monday the 14th from 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. for a Tango workshop. The Orchid Isle group will have their regular social thereafter and they will play some Argentine tango music during the social. I've been in touch with Gordon Motta from Waimea and he will be coming on Monday. He will then be able to make some contacts with the Hilo group to arrange workshops for you the next day. I know one gentleman is already planning to go to Waimea. Looks like you've started something nice here. Kawika and Kat and a couple of other couples would be happy to have a slightly smaller class... 3-4 couples...
Hope your Kauai classes are going well. I know of one person from Hilo who is going to be there. Lorna Young is her name. I guess that's all for now. Let me know how things are going.
Jun Suzuki

Anonymous said...

Thanks for starting this blog! I'll be gone all summer, so it's a great way for me to keep tabs with what's happening in Hawaii's Tango world :)

Unfortunately, I missed your visit here to O`ahu... but I heard great things about you both and hope to meet you someday!



Anonymous said...

Just a brief report from the Big Island. M & M completed 3 single classes here this past week. One in Hilo where 28 dancers were in attendance. Another in Kamuela where 4 Hilo dancers, 6 Kona dancers and 11 Kamuela dancers enjoyed the intimate setting of the Boundless Yoga Center and the cool atmosphere of the Waimea climate. Last night another 24 people gathered in Hilo to get a final (for now) dose of Tango fever. One couple drove from Kona, a 200 mile round trip! That is why we call it the Big Island! My round trip was only 90 miles and well worth it. I am planning a strictly local summer (I teach High School), Oahu in June for Salsa and Tango, Kauai in July and the Tango Fest on Maui in August. Be sure to make contact if any of you travel to the Big one any time soon.
Aloha, Gordon Motta

Maurizia said...

Thanks everyone for the fun over the past few weeks. We very much enjoy sharing our island home with you all. Our generous hosts, Lynn, Ralph and Geo open their homes in TRADE or for a modest reasonable rate. There's a variety of locations from our spectacular north shoe to the sunny south side. Also, on Hanalei Bay, Devaki offers her beautiful B & B. Geo has created Milonga a la Redonda a comfortable yurt surrounded by lush organic gardens ripe for the picking in upcountry Waipouli.
Most recently, Patty Leverett from Seattle joined us for her first visit to Kauai dancing and sailing with Captain Steve, Mio Marrabotto surfed nearly every day, something he can't get in Manhattan(imagine that), Murat and Michelle Erdemsel and Bruce Wee made fast friends with island folk and fish while snorkeling, Yoko Wee bought crystals for her home in Oahu, Shastro, Suba and Kathleen know the best beach for napping before milonga.
We welcome you and look forward to YOUR visit. If there is no scheduled events happening when you want to come to Kauai just give a few days notice and we'll throw together dinner and dancing at the yurt- backyard style tango never tasted so good!

Caz said...

Aloha everyone. Starting in June 2007, a Friday Night Practica will be hosted at the FILIPINO COMMUNITY CENTER in Waipahu, Oahu from 7:30 to 10 PM.

Address: 94-428 Mokuola Street, Waipahu, First Floor Breezeway

Visit for map and directions. There is plenty of free parking and everyone is invited to practice their skills.

Tango etiquette is observed at this event. Casual attire and BYO-Beverages and Mints. (No alcohol please)

A donation of $5 is appreciated, but the practica is FREE for the entire month of June. For more info, email Caz at or call 255-3962.

M-and-M said...

A lot has been accomplished in a short period of time. The Tango in Hawaii Weblog was posted April 27th with the idea of bringing together the tango communities of Maui, Oahu, Kauai and the Big Island. Out of this seed has sprouted lots of activity and exchange as well as new ideas with similar intention.

There was great response to the Blog from all the islands.

Now there is a HAWAII TANGO MAILING LIST created by Fernando Arbalero.
He describes it as "the perfect way to link us all, getting to
know who and where we are, and channel out all our expression needs."

Out of the generosity of George and K'ai Garcia we have the
domain name "Tango in Hawaii" for use with the Blog and the Website. They also helped spread the word with their Islatango email list.

The workshops on Kauai so far have been a success with
representatives from Maui and Big Island and Oahu guests on their way for the coming weekend. The event was beautifully DJ'd by Suba from Maui. Shastro and Kathleen were visiting instructors also from Maui. The Big Island ambassador was a brave and lovely woman by the name of Andolie, who came by herself, pitched a tent and took part in every group activity as well as enjoyed the beauty of the island on her own.
Supported by the local tango community the workshops were nicely filled and
the milongas were well attended. We even had a record breaking late night finish on Sat. with five surviving couples dancing continuously until 1:30 in the morning.

The only way to describe the second weekend in Kauai, is beyond successful. Friday night started off with a large group and some new faces and returning old friends for the class and Milonga hosted by Larry Richelli, who also showed his DJ'ing prowess with great music all night. We had our first visitors to the Milonga A La Redonda from Oahu. Bruce and Yoko Wee Performed their choreography to Mala Junta as well as danced an improvisational tango, in response to the demand for an encore. They also participated in all the workshops
which were again well attended and offered their services in future visits and for visitors to Oahu. The Late night milonga on Sat. was once again record breaking late. We began with the intention of breaking the last weekends record and surprisingly, after a lull there were again about five couples dancing non stop well after 1:30AM. Thanks to Geo for the beautiful "yurt" and his generosity in hosting all the workshops and the late night milonga. We even watched hours of
tango videos on his huge TV screen. Milonga A La Redonda has now been officially dubbed by the sign making stylings of Tommy Cook. Once again, Maurizia Zanin kept us all well fed, refreshed and organized, the entire time.

On the Big Island of Hawaii, we are surprised once again by the number of people interested and determined to learn tango. We taught two workshops in Hilo and our first workshop in Kamuela. In Kamuela, 4 dancers from Hilo, 6 from Kona and 11 locals created a nice mixture of people to enjoy the intimate setting of the Boundless Yoga Center. The next day in Hilo one couple drove from Kona 200 miles round trip, even Gordon Motta the instructor from Kamuela drove 90 miles. Our 90 mile commute was well rewarded by enthusiasm and dedication.
Our mom, Gladys Jun Suzuki, in Hilo, is now doing the weekly commute to support Gordon's classes in Kamuela. Sandy Walker, the President of the Orchid Isle Ballroom Dance association also traveled to Kamuela for Gordon's class. Sandy and Gordon are now working on ways to bring visiting instructors to the hungry communities on the Big Island.

There has been discussion about how to start the monthly late night milongas on each island. We can all look forward to the fruition of those plans.

Finally the Website launchings. We have launched the Tango in Hawaii website, along with sites for Maui, Kauai and the Big Island and links to existing sites on Oahu.

Now, all four islands are represented together. This website is for you to use and connect with others like you. As our parting gift to the community, we hope you enjoy and use it.

With a cohesive network there is no limit to the growth and development of individuals and the whole. Any activity is difficult without support and cooperation. With more exchange between islands any obstacles can easily be surmounted and the success is shared by everyone. Tropical Paradise by day and Tango Rendezvous by Night.

Murat and Michelle Erdemsel

Larry said...

Murat and Michelle,
What an incredible gift you both have given to Hawaii!
We will all benefit from this labor of love that you have started!
Tango on Hawaii!

Anonymous said...

Dear Michelle and Murat,
What a beautiful gift and expression. Just as your presence remains with us after your visit here, you have enriched us with a sense of great potential. Do come back soon to your 2nd home.

Please don't hesitate to share links of interest from your travels and the east coast.

A hui hou,

Anonymous said...

Thank you Murat for the good work ! The website looks fantastic. It is a great tool both for our community and our visitors. It is also beautifully done, with a lot of attention to the aesthetics. Now we have to add it to our bookmarks and visit it from time to time to stay informed on what’s going on in all the islands, and hopefully, feel tempted to catch a plane on the next weekend …

Congratulations and thank you again !

Fernando Lopez Arbarello

Anonymous said...

Hello Murat and Michelle!

Thank you so very, very much for setting up this site! I truly
appreciate your hard work and aloha for expanding, embracing,
connecting our tango community!

Me ke aloha,
Linette Arakawa

Maurizia said...

BRUCE and YOKO WEE will be on Kauai Sat June 16 and Sun June 17, 2007 conducting a guided tour of the material that Murat and Michelle presented to us on their most recent visit. Please join us to review the material, your input is welcome. This is a great chance to practice with focus and and have some fun.
A special invitation to outer islanders to join us, we have a host program and would enjoy your company.
Sat. 6/16 Review at 2-4 pm
Sat. 6/16 Milonga at 8 pm
Sun 6/17 Review at 1-3 pm

Anonymous said...

Just returned from a fantastic weekend on Kauai. Many mahalos to the tango community for their hospitality and aloha. I took my 15 year old daughter with me and everyone was so nice in welcoming us and dancing with newbies. Special thanks to Maurizia Zanin who hosted us making our visit truly memorable. Maurizia is the power behind Kauai tanguero(a)s and is supported by Geo, Larry, Anita, Sandy, Ming, Jesse, Ralph.....and the list goes on. A beautiful meal was prepared before the Milonga on Friday night with fresh produce out of Geo's garden and lovingly prepared by the participating dancers. It really doesn't get any better than that. I really like this idea of inter island tango!
See you all on Maui in August. Come visit the Big Island too.
Gordon Motta

lauraine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

the last entry has not been deleted, it is just moved to the new post: Maui Tango Fest post.
click on the link on left on top.

Anonymous said...

Aloha from Hilo on the Big Island to all the tangueros and tangueras out there in the rest of the world. It's been a while since we have had anything to report from Hilo but the news is good. On Saturday the Orchid Isle Ballroom Dance Club celebrated their 28 th anniversary and marked the occasion with a formal dinner/dance. The featured performers on the program besides motocyclists and young student dancers were Bruce and Yoko Ono from Oahu, giving us wonderful performances of Argentine tango. The Big Island's tango community is spread out and still in the fledgling stages. But with Murat and Michelle's generosity and foresight we are spreading our wings. Their friends Bruce and Yoko (from Honolulu) gave a terrific performance and fun classes on Sunday. The dinner/dance saw ballroom and Argentine tango devotees from Kona, Waimea (Gordon and his lovely ladies from Waimea) and Hilo, and even Jim (all the way from Ka'u). We had representatives from all the ballroom associations in Hilo, and there are a lot of them. We send our aloha to the rest of the islands and hope to see you soon whether it's in Kauai, Maui or Honolulu. Maybe this year we'll have a nice contingent from Hilo at the Maui Tango Fest. So please Maui and Kauai and Honolulu, keep us posted. Contrary to popular belief, Big Island people do get off the island sometimes.

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