Omar Vega

Real name: Vega, Omar
(1959 - 19 September 2008)
Place of birth:
Concordia (Entre Ríos) Argentina
Gustavo Benzecry Sabá

e had a mother, a Black woman, but he was raised in an orphanage. He was one of those kids who was used to throwing punches, till one day he became Kid Ten and The Leopard in Titanes en el Ring TV show.

Omar Vega had arrived just when the tango was wearing thin like an old suit. Then, because he made a promise to a friend during the success of Tango Argentino on Broadway, he started dancing tango. «I was about 25 and had just finished seventh grade», he would tell Paulo de Santis. So between playing billiard championships, he studied the basic step at the Cultural Center Fortunato Lacámera.

In the Canning milonga he took his first steps on the social dance floor, making rather a spectacle of himself, until Pepito Avellaneda left him a business card. «I took a couple classes [from him] and I went off to dance in my own way».

In time he traveled to Brazil, where he studied different rhythms. He loved to dance «in a tight close hold» the sharp, rhythmic tangos of Rodolfo Biagi and Edgardo Donato. He gave performances; he created his own style in milonga and he became a teacher. As such he toured several countries of Europe, and cities of the U.S. He left us teaching videos, and legions of students.

Omar was straightforward and direct about everything, except when dealing with himself. «Tango is like a drug: if you don't know how to take it, it'll break you», he said, and he became immortal.

The author is instructor, dancer and researcher of tango dance. He is author of the Nuevo glosario de tango danza, La pista del abrazo and Tango FAQs. /