by Lanny Udell
Why tango: She fell in love with the music and the moves and, in time, transitioned out of ballroom. “It took me a while to find a tango community and teachers,” she explains.
Favorite part: For Deborah, tango is unlike any other form of social dance because of the close embrace, the connection, the musicality, and the one-step-at-a-time nature of it. She’s loved to dance since she was a little girl, although she’s had no formal training. “So it doesn’t surprise me that I’ve made a commitment to learn this dance as well as I can.”
About Debbie & John: “To an exceptional degree they create community, and that has all kinds of benefits which also show up in our dancing,” says Deborah. “We know each other, have patience and confidence in each other.” She also appreciates the way Debbie and John work together and continue to learn from the best teachers and bring it back to us. She appreciates Debbie’s strength, creativity and energy. “Since I take private lessons with her, I appreciate her strength as a leader.”
Anything else? Deborah has participated in all three Alma del Tango student productions. In All About Tango she performed a solo partnered in part by a man and in part by a woman.
And in Close Embrace: A Tango Love Story, she played the role of the novelist on stage and as the recorded voice-over. She also danced in the finale and was the show’s costume coordinator.
Tango fits perfectly into Deborah’s profession and passion as an art historian. But she also has another passion – opera. She rarely misses a performance at the San Francisco Opera and travels to Europe to attend the great opera houses in Vienna, Salzburg and Paris.
Last word: In 2012, Deborah spent three weeks in Buenos Aires immersing herself in tango. She went for CITA, the annual international tango festival, then stayed on to study and dance with a local instructor who spoke no English. By the end of her stay, both her dancing and her Spanish were transformed!