Students of the Month – Judy Feil and Dan Alexander

by Lanny Udell

Judy and Dan in their life outside tango

Judy and Dan in their life outside tango 🙂

Dancing since:  Judy and Dan met in a Spanish class at College of Marin in 2010. The following year she saw a COM brochure with a photo of a very dashing man. “OMG, that’s my eye doctor,” she exclaimed. (We all know who that was). That’s when the couple signed up for tango classes with Debbie and John.

Why tango:  Of the Latin dances, tango appeals to Dan the most. (He mistakenly thought it would be easier than the other styles.) Prior to tango he had no experience with partner dancing. Judy has studied jazz, tap, and other kinds of Latin dancing, but like Dan, had never done partner dancing. “I’m used to doing my own kind of choreography, so being with a partner was difficult,” says Judy.

Dan & Judy at Alma del Tango's Halloween Milonga Oct 2012

Dan & Judy at Alma del Tango’s Halloween Milonga Oct 2012

Favorite part: For Dan, it’s “dancing with Judy.” And he also likes the music, especially Nuevo. For Judy it’s the turns. “I just love the energy…even as a child I loved to turn,” she recalls.  “But it’s not just the dancing. It’s bigger than that. I have to sublimate a part of my natural personality for a time. It’s a good lesson to do that.”

Judy explains that she’s quick and assertive…a natural leader. But tango requires that she hold back and tune in to her partner. “For me it’s a life lesson in terms of relationship. Taking class together affects our relationship in a positive way.”


Dan & Judy at La Milonga de San Anselmo March 2013

About Debbie & John:  “They’re great!” says Dan. Judy elaborates: “Each gives a different perspective on the same movement. They do a very good job of explaining things in an interesting way and they’re very supportive.”

What surprised them about tango: Both partners agree that the most surprising thing was how challenging tango is, the subtlety and nuance of the dance, and the inter-connectedness of the partnership.

Last word:  While they admit to not being as passionate about tango as some students, “when we miss a week, we do miss it…”

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