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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEW ORLEANS -- For the first time since Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans hosted its first large-scale tango festival.

Over the weekend, hundreds of people from all over the country flocked to the city to dance the tango.

You may not know it, but you do not have to travel far to dance the Argentine tango. La Milonga Que Faltaba President Lorena Dumas is helping to change that by reintroducing the tango festival to the Crescent City.

'They showed, they came in droves and it's been a wonderful thing both to see and to experience,' says Dumas.

Tango lovers from 18 states, including Hawaii, came for the big event. Among them, Lelia McCullum, who travel all the way from Maryland with a group of her friends.

'We all decided we would make it a vacation, a fun time to explore New Orleans and get some tango lessons,' she said.

McCullum has never danced the tango before, but she was eager to cross it off her bucket list. What she did not know, was how much she was going to like it.

'Oh my God, I can't tell you, it's a lot of fun because you get to meet different people from different cultures, from different places, who love tango,' McCullum said.

Like many beginners, Dumas started out by taking some classes, but then she saw a need for classes that catered to more advanced students.

So, she got to work and within three years she went from being a student to a tango event organizer.

This year's tango festival was such a success, Dumas said she is already planning to hold another festival next summer.

If you are interested in taking free tango lessons here in New Orleans, check out some of these free classes:

Eiffel society, hosted by Ector Gutierrez - every Tuesday, 8 p.m. - midnight; 2040 St. Charles Ave. 504-301-7246

First Presbyterian Church, hosted by Ector Gutierrez - every Friday, 8 p.m. - 11p .m.; 5401 S. Claiborne Ave. 504-301-7246

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