I earned an official Argentine Tango teaching certificate in 2006 through the teacher training course with Christy Cote. The training is DVIDA approved.
But my real knowledge and understanding of the dance came with miles and miles on the dance floors everywhere, but most especially in Buenos Aires during the nearly four years, I called that Paris of the South home.
I have taught tango to many different populations. From those curious and enamored of the dance and with no other dance experience to men in drug rehab in residences in the psychiatric ward of Jose T. Borda hospital in Buenos Aires. I’ve given my 90-year-old mother “tango therapy.” I taught seniors in Emeryville, California with Ivan and elsewhere.
In Buenos Aires, I took classes with numerous teachers. In 2005, I attended the Congeso Internacional de Tango Argentino and took classes day and night. I recommend CITA to anyone in their first year of studying tango. I will drop some names, but let me say first, that in tango, these names mean nothing unless you are a serious tango aficionado. I’ve studied with: Daniel Lapadula, Demian Garcia, Carolina Bonaventura, Eduardo Saucedo, Marisa Quiroga, Nito y Elba, Adrian Veredice y Alejandra Hobert, Sergio Notario y Alajandra Arrué, Fabian Salas y Carolina del Rivero, Omar Vega (deceased), Osvaldo y Coca, Enrique y Guillermo De Fazio (Los Hermanos Macana), Roberto Reis y Lucila Cionci, Chiche y Marta, Claudio Gonzales y Melina Brufman, Jorge Firpo, Manuco Firmani (and others at Mora Godoy Studio). Melina Plebs, Susana Miller, Alicia Pons, Graciela Gonzales, MimiXXX, Oscar Casas, Luciana Valle, Julio Balmaceda y Corina de la Rosa, Facundo y Kely (deceased), Chicho Frumboli y Eugenian Parrilla, Eduardo Cappussi y Mariana Flores, Osvaldo Zotto (deceased) y Lorena Ermocida, Sebastian Arce y Mariana Montes, Cecilia Gonzalez, many others.
I’m grateful to all of the above. In addition to these Argentine teachers, I’ve had wonderful instruction from North American teachers: Christy Cote, George Garcia, Andrew Conway, Nick Jones, and others.
It’s on the dance floor, I repeat, where I got my real education in tango. After all, the dance is a social dance for me—not for performance on stage. So what good if I could do steps and patterns in class—but not on the floor with perfect (and I mean perfect) strangers?
I lost count of the numerous men I danced with in my early days in Buenos. I arrived for that extended stay on August 27, 2006. I danced day and night. I learned the cabeceo and I never said no in those early days. The good and not so good all had something to teach me in terms of connections, embrace, feeling the dance. My idiom improved with them all. I met Angel Cristaldo, the tango equivalent of a “beach bum.” He presided like a pople over Confiteria La Ideal, day and night. He asked me to assist him in teaching many students – mostly leaders from abroad and from local.
Ballroom, swing, Latin, tap dance, jazz, acrobats, ballet, folk dance all are part of my lifelong dance training.