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Milonga Tropical

Milonga Tropical is an artistically created performance dance and musical event celebrating the culture, language, music, dance and people of Latin America. Our hope is that our event will enrich the music and dance scene of Athens, and promote a diverse community connected by the love of Tango & other Latin dances and the art of encounters with “others” through music and dance. 

Participants enjoy performances from several dance companies and learn the dances they get to see.

This event was designed and organized by Fuad Elhage, semi-professional Tango and Salsa Dancer, and Lecturer of Spanish and French Languages in Romance Languages and Stephanie Lynn, Community Leader, Former Athens Technology Business Leader, and IT Senior Manager for UGA.

Event Promos













Event Background

Fuad Elhage and Stephanie Lynn, creators of Milonga Tropical
Fuad Elhage and Stephanie Lynn, creators of Milonga Tropical

The story of how Stephanie and Fuad met and collaborated to create this event is thanks to Joan Prittie and her well known annual Athens fundraising event, Dancing with the Athens Stars. Stephanie was in the audience with Fuad Elhage and Susanna Drennan performed the first Tango dance in Athens at the 2016 event. After this event, she was so entranced by the dance, she reached out to Fuad to learn how to Tango. And after dancing together for almost 3 years, Milonga Tropical was born.

Milonga is a musical genre that originated in Argentina but the word milonga is also used to denote a dance event or venue where Argentine Tango is danced. A true milonga is very regimented and structured, and there are many rules for the encounters between dance partners. Because the structure of a true milonga can be intimidating to new comers, we created our own hybrid of Tango and other Latin dances, and named it Milonga Tropical.

It is an exciting event where guests get to see Tango and Latin Dance and workshops are offered to teach basics of Tango, Salsa, Bachata and Merengue. Later in the evening, guests are able to mingle and dance with the performers. It is a true combination of artistic performance and audience engagement.

About Fuad

Fuad Elhage is currently a Lecturer of Spanish and French Languages for Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at University of Georgia (UGA), Athens, from which he also earned his PhD in Education. He was raised speaking in Arabic, French, and Spanish as the context of home, school, and country shifted during different phases of his life and he now uses language and dance to keep the connections to his cultural affiliations alive.

Dr. Elhage has a diverse professional background in computer science engineering, business administration, internet technology, and education. He was also a former IBM Systems Engineer. He has taught for the Romance Languages department (French and Spanish) as well as for the World Language Education and TESOL program at UGA. His research interests focus on global business relations, language acquisition, and cultural competence, as well as kinesthetic empathy through dance. The latter was subsequently developed into the “Diversity through Dance” workshop, an integral component of the Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion  for the UGA Office of Institutional Diversity (this workshop is Elhage's favorite class of all to teach!) In his free time Elhage also enjoys yoga and dance—both as a student, a teacher, and a semi-professional performer. As an extension of his workshop, he has organized the student driven & community club, UGA Tango Club also known as Athens Tangueros.

About Stephanie

Stephanie currently serves a Senior IT Manager for UGA in Franklin College. In her former life, she was the founder/CEO of Plexus, Inc., Athens’ first woman-owned technology company. She also has a strong background in finance/accounting/budgeting and community service. She is currently serving as Treasurer for Wild Rumpus Parade & Spectacle and the Joint Development Authority for Athens Clarke County and the City of Winterville. She has previously served in leadership roles in several nonprofits oriented around the artist community including Cine, Nuçi’s Space and the Athens Cultural Affairs Commission. For more than 20 years, Stephanie has been very involved in community organizations. 

Outside of her professional pursuits, she is also an amateur Salsa dancer, and an experienced Tango dancer and will be performing Tango with Fuad Elhage at the 2022 Project Safe Annual Fundraiser Dancing with the Athens Stars event. She is the Lead Event Organizer for the Milonga Tropical, while Fuad serves as Lead Creative Director.

More information

Past Event Photos

View photos at Milonga Tropical Web site