Tango for peace | Community


A local dance teacher will organize a special fundraiser for Ukraine

In 1979, Ilona Glinarksy arrived in the United States at the age of 16. She and her mother are Jewish refugees who fled the Soviet regime and anti-Semitism in their hometown of kyiv in Ukraine.

“We spent a few years in New York and moved to Los Angeles in 1981,” Glinarsky said. “Today, more than ever, I appreciate the courage of my mother who took a leap of faith and crossed the world with only a few dollars in her pocket to an unknown foreign country to start a new chapter. Those were difficult times. , but looking back… it was the best decision my mom could have made. I am forever grateful.

Although most of Glinarsky’s family immigrated from Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Glinarksy still has family in Kyiv: his two nieces with their families, as well as a cousin and his family .

“I’ve stayed in touch with them every day since the war started via Instagram and Viber,” Glinarsky said. “They had to abandon their home and spend 10 days hiding in bomb shelters (subway stations) with their children and elderly parents. I recently learned that they reluctantly decided to flee Kyiv just to save the lives of their children, while leaving their husbands and fathers behind to defend their homeland. What a difficult choice it must be to make, a choice between your husband and your child. My heart breaks every time I watch another video and hear another eyewitness story of this violent, unprovoked invasion by Russian troops and the courage, strength and resilience of the Ukrainian people.

Glinarsky, who produces a monthly Argentine tango social event called Milonga LAX, decided it was time to step up and help people in Ukraine. On March 18, she organizes Tango for Peace, a fundraiser for Ukraine. From 7pm to 8pm there will be a Taste of Tango class for complete beginners (no partner needed), then from 8pm to 1am there will be social dancing and a special tango show by maestros Miriam Larici and Leonardo Barrionuevo.

“I feel deeply sad, enraged and frustrated,” Glinarsky said. “I just can’t sit here and watch my homeland and its people being wiped out and not try to do something about it. Every year around my birthday (March 14), I produce a special Milonga LAX event that brings together all the Pisces in our LA-based tango community. We always enjoy a big party, a huge birthday cake and a special joint birthday dance. This year, my personal birthday wish is peace in Ukraine. I have decided to turn my Milonga LAX into a special fundraiser for the people of Ukraine who face a threat of genocide caused by the Russian invasion of their peaceful territory.

Admission cost for the event is $30. Proceeds will be donated to a Ukraine-based volunteer organization on the front lines working tirelessly to provide humanitarian aid to innocent victims of war.

“I love teaching people the art of social-style Argentinian tango as a tool for personal growth, healing, and community building,” Glinarsky said. “I started teaching 20 years ago. My first class was offered by the South Bay Adult School and was very well received. Many of my students wanted to learn more, so I started offering more advanced courses at El Segundo. My tango community kept growing and my students kept asking me to start a tango social event where they could all enjoy dancing and socializing.

When one of Glinarsky’s students stumbled upon a dance space near LAX at the Turner Center, Milonga LAX came to life. When they were then forced to find another location due to rising rents, they moved to Westchester Elks Lodge in Playa del Rey eight years ago and have stayed there ever since. Milonga LAX takes place once a month on the third Friday and runs from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m.

“My Milonga LAX Dance for Peace edition will be open to the public,” Glinarksy said. “This will be a great opportunity for anyone interested in tango and its culture to get a real taste of Argentina without ever having to leave LA. Guests will enjoy learning a few tango-style dance steps social, and they will also enjoy watching some of the best tango dancers in Los Angeles doing what they love. Our featured DJ for the evening will be Lis Hutchinson. Around 10 p.m. there will be a spectacular performance by tango masters Leonardo Barrionuevo and Miriam Larici. We will be serving delicious hot empanadas throughout the night, generously donated by our sponsor Sergio Mortara of Continental Gourmet Market. There is also a full bar on site.

Proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test is required. Register and RSVP for the event by emailing livingtangocoach@gmail.com.

Tango for Peace – a fundraiser for Ukraine

8025 W. Manchester Avenue,

Rey Beach


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