Archive | April, 2013

Student of the Month – Robert Leys


Robert Leys

by Lanny Udell

Dancing since:  When he first saw tango danced Robert thought to himself, “I want to be the kind of person who tangos!” He started taking lessons over 10 years ago in Sonoma County and attended several Boot Camps given by Christy Cote in the Bay Area.  “After a number of years I realized I would need to drive somewhere I could take lessons on a regular basis if I was going to learn this dance well enough to dance comfortably at milongas,” he says.


Tanya Rokhlin with Robert Leys
Alma del Tango Studio Práctica

Why tango:  “The dance is so alive and filled with nuance,” says our Student of the Month.  “It is a celebration of life!”  He also enjoys Scottish Country Dancing and, on occasion, ballroom dancing.  But tango is his main focus.

Favorite part:  It’s the elegance and grace of tango that Robert finds so captivating.  “Each dance is different…a function of you, the music and your partner.   Tango allows me to make that elegance and grace a part of my life.”

About Debbie and John:  Robert feels very fortunate to have found Debbie and John when he decided to take tango classes on a regular basis.  In 2012 he participated in the Tango Tales student production.  “Practicing and training for this show gave me a tremendous boost in competence but more importantly, in confidence,” says Robert. He is currently enrolled in Debbie and John’s Musicality seminar “which is wonderful for those of us who may find ourselves rhythmically challenged. I have always appreciated the teaching ability and supportiveness of Debbie and John through this continuing journey,” he adds.


Sammie Ellis with Robert Leys
Tango Tales 2012

What surprised him most: “I am continually amazed at the complexity and possibilities of a dance where all you are really doing is walking in close connection with another human being.


Helen Reutovski with Robert Leys
Tango Tales 2012

On a personal note:  Robert lives with his life partner Martie (who also tangos) in Sonoma County.  They have four children.  Robert has been a registered architect for over 35 years and has an architectural practice focusing on residential and commercial projects.

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Tango Boutique Now Open!

Visit the Alma del Tango Boutique


A new feature at our San Anselmo studio…Shop for lightly used tango shoes and clothing along with some NEW arrivals. All at very affordable prices.tango-imagen-milonga-3-1Shown below, the Babucha Tango Pants from BsAs.

Accepting donations of lightly used tango clothing, shoes and accessories for women and men. Your tax deductible donations go toward the creative endeavors of Alma del Tango’s sponsored programs such as Tango Con* Fusión

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Fundraiser to Benefit Alex Levin Recovery Fund

Alma del Tango hosts a benefit milonga
in support of Marin resident/tango dancer hit by car    

Friday, April 5 at Alma del Tango Studio, San Anselmo

            (San Anselmo, CA, April 1) The Marin tango community comes together in support of one of its own at a fundraiser to benefit the Alex Levin Recovery Fund. Levin, a San Rafael resident, was struck by a car while traveling in Vladivostok and remains in critical condition in a Russian hospital.

Alex & Karina dancing at La Milonga de San Anelmo July 2012

Alex & Karina dancing at La Milonga de San Anselmo July 2012


What:  Milonga (tango social dance) and silent auction fundraiser hosted by Alma del Tango
When:  Friday, April 5. Class by Debbie Goodwin & John Campell (levels 2-4) at 7 pm.
Dancing  8-11 pm. DJ Ashvin Iyer.
Where: Alma del Tango studio, 167 Tunstead Ave., San Anselmo
Ticket price: $15 minimum donation.  All proceeds go to the Alex Levin Fund.

Jessica Lewin, a friend of Levin and his wife Karina, will match all donations during the evening benefit dollar for dollar, up to $1,000.

Silent Auction features private lessons from Bay Area professionals

To show their support, several tango professionals are offering private lessons in a silent auction with proceeds donated to the Alex Levin Recovery Fund. Exciting auction items include:

•    Two tickets to El Arrabal for the May 4 milonga. Includes a 1 ½ hour workshop with Eduardo Saucedo, the milonga with music by Seth Asarnow y Su Sexteto Tipico, and a table for two with a bottle of champagne. From Steve & JoAnn Palubinskas & Adolfo Caszarry.
•    Alexander Technique lesson for tango dancers, from Janet Lott.
•    Private Tango Classes from:
–  Christopher Nassopoulos & Caroline Peattie
–  Pier Voulkos  & Daniel Peters
–  Debbie Goodwin
–  John Campbell
–  Jonathan Yamauchi  & Olivia Levitt
–  David Caditz & Lulu Hung
–  Donna Agoitia
– Homer Ladas

 About Alex & Karina Levin

Alex & Karina dancing in Tango Tales Feb 2012

Alex & Karina dancing in Tango Tales Feb 2012

Alex & Karina Levin, one of Marin’s favorite tango couples, are a joy to watch and a dream to dance with. Born in Russia, Alex and Karina emigrated to the U.S. in 1995. In 1999, they read a newspaper article about Argentine Tango and their passion for the dance was ignited. They began taking lessons, first with John Campbell and other leading Bay Area instructors. Then they made two trips to Buenos Aires to study the classic milonguero style as danced in the salons of central Buenos Aires. This style stresses the improvisational nature of tango and the connection between partners. Alex and Karina enjoy social dancing with emphasis on musicality. “We just love it,” says Karina. In addition to frequenting the milongas, the couple has been known to play a diSarli CD and dance in their kitchen.

Here,  Alex & Karina dance in a featured piece in Tango Tales 2012 produced by Alma del Tango.

 To make an online donation to the Alex Levin Recovery Fund visit
For event information visit our Facebook page

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