El Flaco Dany

Real name: García, Daniel
Dancer and professor
(8 May 1936 - 10 December 2019)
Place of birth:
Buenos Aires Argentina
Ricardo García Blaya
The king of traspié

came to know El Flaco Dany when the documentary Leyendas del tango danza was premiered, at the Marabú, not long ago, and his looks, the friendliness of his gestures and his charm attracted my attention: he seemed to be what in our neighborhood we would call a player. He is one of the dancers who are starred in a movie shot to pay homage to the great milongueros, produced by The Argentine Tango Society and made by Daniel Tonelli and Marcelo Turrisi.

His real name is Daniel García, but we all know him as El Flaco Dany, an icon of the milonga con traspié throughout the world. A prototypical porteño, he was born in the neighborhood of La Paternal; today he splits his time between Europe and Argentina, more precisely, between Bucharest and Buenos Aires.

Skinny, wearing jeans and suntanned, his big light blue eyes and his smile full of slyness stand out. When he is among us, we can find him dancing, with his distinguished and elegant rhythm, with some young partner at the Sunderland or in Porteño y Bailarín.

In an interview made by Vanesa Úbeda, El Flaco commented on his beginnings in tango. «Tango came to me when I was very young. With my parents I went to the dancehalls where they used to go to dance. Those were not like today’s salons, there were no tables inside, the salons used to be inside and the tearoom outside. And so little by little I started to dance my first steps, following my mother and, later, watching the great dancers of that time. I was eight or ten years old then. When I was nearing age eighteen or nineteen, I continued learning by watching different dancers.

«It was very nice to watch my parents dance, they had a very pretty salon style. By that time, I can assure you that, in fact, there were no teachers for tango dancing. We used to gather on Mondays or Wednesdays, which we had reserved for dancing and we rehearsed and practiced different steps. Gavito, Juan Carlos Copes were there and a lot of well-known people. Carlos Pérez was also there. There are many well-known names that I could give you, among those who used to go there».

His many years as habitué of the milonga gave him a great advantage in the tango salón teaching field. He has pupils and followers everywhere and his style has been polished by his uninterrupted fifty years of dancing. Even though Dany never left social dancing, it was his friend, the consecrated Carlos Gavito, who encouraged him to travel worldwide, to make tours of different capital cities to spread his singular traspié (stumble-step). When he is asked how the idea of the milonga con traspié came up, he replies that it happened when practicing with a friend, Omar Vega, who showed him a new step which seemed to be a stumble; they began to give shape to it and so they started to dance the milonga con traspié. Among his dancing partners, we can mention Silvina Vals and Luna Palacios.

The poet Bebe Ponti, inspired by his style and personality, wrote a milonga in collaboration with the guitarist and singer Ariel Prat, which fully depicts him:

Milonga para El Flaco Dany

Le dicen el Flaco Dany,
traje blanco, rubio fuego
y en sus pies dos llamaradas
de un candombe arrabalero.

Porteño de pura cepa,
bailarín de noche entera.
Son sus pasos resonancias
de una extirpe milonguera.

En un corte sentimiento
y en el otro algún hechizo,
taconeando sobre el piso,
va danzando con el alba.
Y entre cortes y quebradas
una mina lo hace ovillo
y el piolín de su cariño
le remonta en vuelo el alma.

No tiene tiempo, ni tiene,
otro oficio que no fuera.
La milonga campo afuera
y el candombe tango negro.

Que los baila de taquito
donde raye la milonga
con traspiés de compadrito
y al compás de una bordona.

Welcome, Flaco, it is a great pleasure for us and we are proud of being able to share your portrayal with the friends who visit Todo Tango.