by Lanny Udell
Dancing tango since: When it comes to dance, Maria has done it all. As a child, she studied ballet, tap and jazz, and she was on her high school’s jazz team. While in college, she became an exotic dancer to help pay her tuition. Now, some eight years later she still performs. Tango came into her life nearly two years ago.
Why tango: “I’ve been a dancer my whole life and when I saw tango I said oooh, I want to do that. It’s so beautiful and passionate,” says Maria.
Favorite part: Maria says tango is the most challenging dance she’s ever had to learn. Why? For one thing, she doesn’t like to follow, she likes to be in charge of the dance. Also, “there are very slight nuances in the cues, and subtleties which I’m learning. It’s more specific in the details than most dances,” she explains. “I’m glad nobody told me before I started that this dance was the hardest to learn or I might not have tried it.”
About Debbie & John: Maria is impressed by Debbie and John’s incredible arrangement in marriage and work. She sees their different skill sets–Debbie is the driver and John is very analytical. “I so enjoy watching them bring their dynamics to the dance floor and to their teaching. Their love for each other comes through in their dancing.”
What surprised her about tango: “I didn’t know we shouldn’t make eye contact. That surprised me but I appreciate it now,” she observes.
Anything else? In addition to her career as an exotic dancer she has a degree in dog psychology and owns a dog walking and training business. She is also a Reiki practitioner.
Last Word: Maria is partnering with Sergio Orvalles in Alma del Tango’s December 4th student performance of Moment to Moment. Be sure to reserve your tickets!