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MDC North Campus Librarian Wins National Tango Competition

Erin 1

Laurel "Erin" Fennell and Ricardo Read recently won the 2009 USA Tango Stage Championship in New York City.

Miami, August 11, 2009 - As a child, Laurel “Erin” Fennell loved doing two things – dancing and going to the library. Those two passions still burn bright for Fennell, a faculty librarian at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) North Campus, who recently won the 2009 USA Tango Stage Championship in New York City. She began dancing tango just two years ago.

Fennell and her partner, Ricardo Read, beat three other couples competing in the stage category, a more dramatic style of tango.

“It was very exciting,” Fennell, a Miami native, said. “We got a lot of encouragement from the tango community in South Florida.”

Fennell and Read met at Tango Times Dance Co., where Fennell began her tango training. They have performed together at numerous local venues, including Tropical Park and the Manuel Artime Theater.

Fennell’s formal dance instruction began with ballet at age five. With tango, which originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina, she was instantly drawn in.     

“Once I started taking classes, I was hooked,” she said. “It’s definitely become a passion.”  

Fennell is also a book lover with a master’s in library and information science from Florida State University. She’s been working at the College since 2005. In 2007 she began her post as faculty librarian, providing reference desk support and teaching library instruction, among other responsibilities.

The USA Tango Championship was Fennell’s first dance competition, but certainly won’t be her last. She and Read plan to continue improving their dance, maybe even in the place that started it all.  

“We really want to go and study in Argentina,” Fennell said. “Maybe next summer we can make it happen.”

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,
Tarnell Carroll, 305-237-3359,, media specialist

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