When and why did you start dancing Argentine Tango and how long have you been teaching tango?  I’ve heard that you have an unusual story.



Yes, I do have a rather unusual story about how I arrived at tango.  I’d be happy to share with you my background that led me to discover tango, and how tango became the greatest joy in my life, a joy I felt compelled to share with other people like me. 

One afternoon back in 1988, my manager, a Vice President in a major investment bank on Wall Street called me into HIS manager’s office, where together they told me they had nominated me for a first-tier Vice President position. Instead of jumping for joy, I felt my heart contract. In climbing the corporate ladder, I had neglected a big part of my soul!  Though I'd had outstanding training in drawing and sculpture in a great 
New York art school, I chose a corporate career because I “never wanted to be a waitress again”. My New York “yuppie” life was frenetic and, naturally, in the banking world it was essential to keep your emotions tightly under control. Besides missing a sense of natural, heartfelt, human expression, there was certainly no "platform" in this environment for the deep artistic expression that I craved.

So I declined the VP nomination and left Wall Street to follow my dream of starting a residential art school for young international painters and sculptors in 
Umbria, “the green heart of Italy”.  I barely spoke Italian and it was a huge commitment, with many personal sacrifices.  Gradually, after years of struggle, the endeavor became more and more successful and gratifying.  However, as executive director of the highly acclaimed art school that I had founded, I was facilitating the creative process for hundreds of others, and still working as an executive, with neither the time nor the mental space to engage in my own artistic process. My feelings of frustration and longing persisted, creating a vague ongoing malaise, like a low-grade fever. 

At the same time, since I was always working at my desk or sitting in meetings and lectures in the prestigious institute I had created, I began to lose the sense of my body and watched as my vitality went into hibernation. Working out at the gym bored me. But I noticed that when I would go to the local village fairs to dance “country-bumpkin-ballroom” (as I called it) to accordion music, I happily danced all evening and the more I danced, the more my youthful shape began to return. Dancing with local farmers and stone masons once a week was for me a much-needed frivolity and engaging entertainment. But my inner voice told me seriously: “Either I become a dancer, or I’m going to keep getting more sedentary and matronly”.  (“Dumpy” was the word I really used!)

And what about my sensuality? In the second year of the art school’s operation, I persuaded my husband to leave his job as a buyer at Macy’s Department Store and come and work with me, and we completely relocated to Italy. Sound like a dream-come-true for a professional New York couple? Over the next 5-6 years, the Art School was our joint obsession and passion, replacing the romance in our relationship with a respectful and dynamic professional collaboration.  So not only was the Artist in me retreating inward more and more, but so was the Woman. While so many women I knew said they envied me for both my relationship and my lifestyle, I was quietly dying inside. I was secretly living with an enormous sadness, and I yearned for a way to arouse the Woman that was dormant deep within me.


Then, in the summer of 1994, I saw an outdoor performance of the now legendary company Tango X2 (Tango por Dos), and was thoroughly bewitched. I knew instantly that this dance was for me, though I wondered whether I could do it. With no Internet back then, I managed to find a small, dedicated school in 
Rome, and started driving 100 miles each way to take lessons and attend “milongas” (social tango events).  I endured this exhausting and expensive commute twice a week for several years because when I danced tango it was the only moment in my life when I felt completely myself and completely free. I could express myself both artistically and sensually when I danced tango in a man's embrace. Tango became the medium for the poetic expression of my feminine sensuality.

And so, Tango became my obsession.  After 6 years of traveling for milongas, workshops and festivals to Rome, to Bologna, to AmsterdamMiami and finally several trips to Buenos Aires, I decided to bring tango to Umbria. I accepted an invitation to teach in a local dance school in 1999, and in 2001 after my divorce, I left my art school to my ex-husband (staying on as a part-time consultant for a year), and dedicated myself full-time to my passion for tango. I started teaching my own regular tango courses, as well as organizing workshops and tango events in the picturesque, nearby town of Todi, attracting tango dancers from all over Italy. I hired Argentine maestros who were already traveling in Europe to teach the workshops, and hosted the artists in my home. During our quiet hours together, I would beg them to teach me how to teach.  And so I gradually built a sound pedagogic repertoire, and pioneered the first tango community in Umbria.  My skill and confidence as a teacher continued to grow. Within two years I was traveling all over the region for my full-time calendar of classes, driving about 600 miles a week, until 2003 when I settled in PerugiaUmbria’s capital and largest city.  Some of my advanced students took over the teaching in the smaller towns.


From the time I founded UmbriaTango in January 2001, till my return to the U.S. in November 2008, I taught over 700 Italians to dance tango, mostly highly intelligent, cultured, professionally accomplished men and women between the ages of 35 and 65, as well as college students and dynamic seniors.  So often, those mature, high-achievers confided in me that, no matter how satisfying their careers or family lives were, discovering Argentine Tango had been a turning point for them, giving them a profound sense of joy and personal fulfillment they had never quite experienced before.

I often witnessed a transformation, as my students discovered, explored and confronted areas of their inner selves that they had previously kept locked away. As they progressed, they began to unleash their inner expression, especially the expression of their masculinity and femininity, and with the same sense of freedom and spontaneity that I discovered many years before.


Why on earth did you leave Italy and come back to the U.S.?

As my school UmbriaTango grew, I trained 6 couples of instructors who by 2008 were ready to open their own schools, while others began expertly organizing milongas, workshops, and special events, including the famous Chocotango Festival in Perugia, the city of chocolate. I was proud of my students for the quality and seriousness with which they worked. Tango in Umbria continued to grow with less effort on my part.  You could dance every night of the week, and there was a choice of tango schools to attend. The Umbrian press and TV called me "the woman who brought Tango to Umbria". 

And so, I had fulfilled two great dreams:  pioneering 
Umbria’s first international community of artists, and then its first tango community, both of which are still going strong today.  After 20 years abroad, I sorely missed my own family and my own culture.  Knowing that I had enriched the lives of thousands of people, I was ready to come home. I worked all of summer 2008 to find new leadership to take over my school. In November 2008 my students organized a farewell gala in my honor in a beautiful castle. About 200 of my former students attended.  Four days later, I made the big move back to the U.S., to NaplesFL, and happily reconnected with my family. 


With what kind of people do you work most successfully?

I work with 3 main categories of people, whom I consider my ideal clients or students:

1) TANGO NOVICES and Near-Novices:

The men and women who get the most from working with me are accomplished professionals and businesspeople who are deep-down seekers and thinkers, people who are not satisfied with the superficial in their relationships or in their recreational and cultural lives. They might feel a desire to reconnect with their sexual and sensual sides, get more enjoyment their masculinity or femininity, and feel more magnetic to the opposite sex, or to bring a new facet of romance or excitement to their already good relationship.

They are often seeking a way to explore their own creativity, a way to give an artistic voice to deep feelings they know are worthy of expressing!  If they feel inadequate on the dance floor, they may wish to overcome their dance-anxiety.

Due to their years of dedication to their professions/businesses and to their families, they may have neglected aspects of their self expression in terms of their sensuality and their playful or artistic creativity.  Regardless of all the successes they enjoy, they may be quietly experiencing something missing deep down within them, or in their relationship with their spouse/partner.  Or they may be single and not currently enjoying their sensual sides. They may have suppressed their masculine or feminine identities for the sake of their professionalism, or to be "politically correct".  


 2) EXPERIENCED SOCIAL TANGO DANCERS:

People who have already discovered Tango and who LOVE dancing tango, and tango music and culture. They may humorously call themselves “tango addicts” or "tango junkies", and they may feel frustrated.  They may suffer from dance anxiety or feelings of inadequacy at milongas.  Or they may simply feel that they are not getting the satisfaction they know is possible with tango.  They may wish that more advanced dancers  accepted their invitations or invited them to dance more often.

Or they may feel successful as social tango dancers and enjoy their dancing, and want to take their dancing to a higher level by mastering very specific skills, or by developing a more sophisticated sense of musicality.  My comprehensive "Permission Seduction Diagnostic Evaluation" helps men and women pinpoint the areas in which they can experience the greatest and most meaningful improvements.



3) EXPERIENCED AND ASPIRING TANGO TEACHERS 

Many people teaching tango today began like I did: they danced tango quite well, and felt passionate about sharing their knowledge and the joy of tango with others, but they had no clearly structured program to guide them in helping new beginners and other levels develop a solid foundation to become good dancers.  After some years of teaching experience, they may feel very competent and stimulated when teaching intermediate and advanced dancers, but frustrated with teaching beginners. They may also feel frustrated with any limited results they're seeing their students achieve.

Others may be good dancers and would like to start teaching, but have neither teaching experience nor an effective program to follow, and aren't confident about how to begin and work with their students. 

In either case, they would love to have a structured method to work deeply with their students, and become unfailingly effective at guiding them to dance smoothly, elegantly and confidently, and feel like a dream to any partner.  The program includes my programs on Advanced Tango Fundamentals, Rose Vine Strategy™ for tango improvisation, an innovative and solid system for teaching my "6 Building Blocks of Tango Musicality™", and much more!

They are teachers or future teachers who want the satisfaction of witnessing how it becomes more and more a pleasure for others to dance with their students!  And they want very much to know how to develop a financially successful teaching practice.



I fit your "Tango Novice" description, but what if I have two left feet?

People who think they have two left feet are often my favorite and most successful students! I can help you overcome this idea about yourself in just a few sessions, showing you how coordinated and naturally rhythmic you can really be - with my no-stress, natural method that progresses at your best pace. One of my gifts is discovering and cultivating a non-dancer's hidden talents.


How are you different from other Argentine Tango instructors?

I believe that I differ from most other teachers in several ways:

1)  While some tango and social dance teachers have a syllabus of steps and figures, and some teachers improvise sequences of steps for each class, which may or may not emphasize technique, I created my 9-module proprietary system, “The Permission Seduction Tango Mastery System™”, to train the whole man and the whole woman.  Only one of my 9 in-depth modules is about figures and steps (actually 7 walks, plus 25 figures and their variations), and organized under my "Rose Vine Strategy" concept.  Each of the other modules helps you master specific skills to ensure that from your very first months you will be on the road to becoming a good tango dancer with whom it's a pleasure to dance!  I give full attention to each area of study until you've mastered it.  Soon you will begin to enjoy expressing “your deepest self” as a creative man or woman in an intimate embrace with the opposite sex.

2) I am not eclectic in my tango teaching. I teach exclusively pure, classic Tango Salon - not "Milonguero Style", not "Tango Nuevo", nor any kind of Fusion.  My teaching of Tango Salon is influenced by the elegant style from the neighborhood of  "Villa Urquiza".  To see examples of Argentine artists dancing in this style, which I have nicknamed "Rose Vine Tango", please visit my blog and enjoy the videos.

3) While other North American tango instructors take a “politically correct” approach to tango, calling men “leaders” and women “followers”, so that women can also lead if they want and men can also follow, and same sex couples can feel comfortable, I focus on making your sexual identity more powerful, starting from day one.  I do not care to be a "politically correct" tango teacher.  I distinguish between the man’s role and the woman’s role.  We now have plenty of neutrality in the workplace, and I don’t believe we need more of it in our social or private lives!  I call Argentine Tango “a 3-minute date at kissing distance!  I help you develop your innate gifts and strengths so you genuinely become more confident as a dancer, but also as a man or as a woman.  You will feel really good, learning to dance with my approach, and you will express the true, natural and best YOUI teach women "the truth that sets them free”.  I teach men how to make women melt in their arms!  I help you reclaim the pleasure of being a man or the pleasure of being a woman.

4) If you already dance Argentine Tango, I’ll take you with whatever vocabulary of steps and figures you have now, and help you become a better dancer – and I guarantee it!  Although I can help you round out your repertoire of figures, I’d recommend that we work to help you dance like a dream using what you already know! I may even recommend that you put aside your vast repertoire of figures, if this applies to you, and focus with me on the quality of your basics, so that your partners start to say “Mmmmm . . .” when they finish a tango with you!  I know of no other Argentine Tango teacher anywhere who offers you a comprehensive system that trains the whole man or the whole woman, helping even experienced dancers to identify and systematically acquire the skills they need – or crave!


If we decide to work together, what will you expect of me when I enroll in one of your programs?

Most people who choose to work with me are seeking more than a light diversion through dancing.  They are seeking to achieve greater, more consistent joy in their lives, to better enjoy their masculinity or femininity, to create greater intimacy and deeper communication in their relationships, to deeply explore their own creative potential.  I am an expert at helping people achieve goals like these. 

If you want gratifying results – and many people who work with me do experience a joyous transformation rather quickly – you must accept responsibility for your part of the process!  I expect you to consider your program sessions important appointments for yourself, and to practice the initial concepts as you move about your day.  I expect you to attend at least one weekly milonga or practica.  When I give you brief practice assignments, such as 1 minute-per-day exercises, I expect you to do them.  I expect you to reschedule any appointment with adequate notice, according to our written agreement. I expect you complete your program. I expect you to arrive on time for your sessions.

And when you start to experience the deep satisfaction that my students and coaching clients often enjoy, in your dancing and in other areas of your life as a result of your work with me, I expect you to write or allow me to record your glowing testimonialand to refer other people whom you think would benefit from learning tango with me!


For what type of person is this program NOT going to work ?

My private programs have a limited number of spaces currently available. Therefore I am selective about with whom I will work.

People who are mainly looking for a collection of steps, patterns and “moves” to execute to tango and other music will probably not be happy working with me. Unless you are seeking a way to understand how your own body moves and how you feel as it moves, and become more aware of how that affects the man or woman with whom you’re dancing, and unless you are seeking deeper communication with the opposite sex, you will have little patience to stick to the journey upon which I am here to guide you. 

If you tend to be erratic in your attendance to commitments, or if you are unwilling to make time in your busy schedule for your program sessions and practice time, Tango Mojo will not be the right place for you. 

If you are in a very difficult moment financially and cannot now make an investment in your personal growth and current and future enjoyment of life, we will probably not be able to work together. I will be happy to refer you to colleagues who may be more suitable teachers for you.

Finally, if you are given to negotiating on structure, scheduling and pricing of programs offered to you, it is unlikely that we will work together.