The Blog

Holiday Greeting!

We were told by many that 2012 would be a year of change and maybe even unpredictability. I think it definitely was for me. I know my dancing has changed, my training changed, my teaching changed and many aspects of my life have changed. But I have always looked at change as a good thing and I see how all those changes affect and create more possibilities.

With my goal to continue building the tango community and to create great dancers who have fun dancing and are fun to dance with, I see the addition of the Beginner’s Milonga as fantastic means to that end. Taking over the Practica on Tuesday nights has been exciting for me as I have begun a program of tango drills for dancers to have some time to be in their own bodies exploring movement and posture before connecting with another person to work out a paso, a step or dance sequence. I would still like to see the Practica grow as a place of true exploration, creativity and real practice for the community. I have scheduled several weekends from January to May for intensive workshops that will be opportunities for further immersion into the technique and deliciousness of this dance.

I feel very honored and blessed to be supported by so many great people. I am grateful to the beauty and depth of the Argentine Tango for being a great teacher in itself: revelatory and always truthful.

May 2013 be filled with fun tandas and love.

In gratitude and peace,

Daniela Borgialli



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2013 Saturday Workshops

I am pleased to post the dates and class topics for my Saturday workshops. Below is the list for the 1st half of the year!

The Tuesday Practicando and Sunday Evening Milonga will continue weekly in the New Year as well. We will be celebrating the Holidays on December 16th – Bring food or beverage if you would like! (No Sunday MILONGA on December 23 and 30)
The last Practicando will be on Tuesday December 18th and No PRACTICanDo on December 25 and December 1.

All Saturday Workshops in 2013 will be held at Rhythmic Expressions – 617 S. McClintock Dr. Ste 3, Tempe, AZ (Just north of University on the East side of McClintock. Look for McClintock Center)
12:00pm – 1:30pm Intermediate Level:
If you know how to execute topics listed in Fundamentals then the Intermediate level is designed for you.
1:30pm – 3:00pm Fundamental Topics:
All that you need for dancing socially – designed for those new to tango.
$15/class or $50 for any 5 classes
register in advance so I can balance the class and save you a spot! Call 480-442-9550 or email me!

  Intermediate 12:00 – 1:30pm
Fundamentals 1:30pm – 3:00pm
January 12 Int./Adv. Turning Walking Essentials: Parallel and Crossed Feet System
January 19 Sacadas Walking part 2: embrace
February 2 Boleos La Cruzada – Tango’s Signature Step
February 9 Int./Adv. Leader and Follower Technique (with Tyler Litman) Cruzadas Part 2
March 2 Int./Adv. Vals Milonga timing
March 9 Milonga Timing Pivoting – Ochos
April 13 Int./Adv. Cruzadas and Uncruzadas Pivoting Part 2
April 20 Int./Adv. Giros with Enrosques Vals
May 11 Int./Adv. Turning with Lapiz Turning in the dance: Giros
May 18 Musicality: Suspension in Pugliese’s Music Turns part 2

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Working with ABIL and Multiple Abilities

It was about 1 year ago that Belinda from the community approached Rommel to start doing Tango with ABIL – Arizona Bridge to Independent Living at SPOFIT (the Virginia G. Piper Sports and Fitness Center for Persons with Disabilities). What a wonderful journey it has been and it continues to be.

Adaptive Tango

Rommel and I have taken some of the basic concepts from Tango and presented them to our students. We have had any number of students with a range of abilities. We adapt the tango material for each situation creating a space for creativity, exploration and fun. It might not look completely like what we know as Argentine tango but we are going for the feel and looking for each person to connect with another. We discover more as we go along. We discover that we truly accept each person wherever they are in their body. We all really have mixed abilities and it is what we do with them that matters.

Thank you to Tim, Terry and Wyatt as well as Belinda and Rommel for a wonderful journey and showing me once again how powerful Argentine Tango can be…


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About Leading and Following

Tango LegsI have always been a bit obsessed with the desire to be clear and to be understood. Maybe it was my upbringing in a bilingual household with an emphasis on reading and writing skills that imbued me with this desire. Whatever the origins, it is funny that now I teach, and am always seeking more clarity and ways to create understanding for my students.

For me language gets in the way of dance. How do we possibly describe what goes on in our bodies to another person? How it moves? And will your experience be anything like mine even if you can describe it to me?

And here is another example where this is true. In Spanish there are no words for lead / follow. What they do say is the man / the woman. And in teaching when they speak of the lead they use the word marcar which literally translates as to mark. For example: El hombre marca el boleo. Which translates literally as The man marks the boleo.

So where does this leave us?

For me, the American cultural implications of the words lead / follow aren’t enough to describe what these 2 roles are in the dance. I find that the word follow implies a passivity. Follow is defined by my online dictionary as – go or come after (a person or thing proceeding ahead); move or travel behind. I don’t think there is such passivity as is implied by the word when dancing tango. And the word lead reminds me of what you do to a horse on a lead.

Regardless of gender (see Queertango) and the role you choose to dance they each need to imbibe certain qualities and characteristics. Each role is important and Argentine Tango doesn’t exist without them. Some qualities without getting into describing movement, might be viewed the same as for any leadership role: assertive, open, creative, humble, just to name a few. And I have taken on the word compañera or companion to replace the word follower, for now. Honestly, the dictionary definition still doesn’t do the word justice! But how ironic that in looking for some pictures to post with this blog, I came across signs that say Follow ME, with the implication that the one with the sign is a leader. For those who have danced long enough know that these 2 words begin to change their meaning in the dance too. Often times we hear teachers say, The leader needs to follow the follower. Which will confuse any beginner.

I try experiments with my university class. I explain to them what I have posted here. I have found that semesters where I try to change the word for follow to something else or even raise the awareness, that the outcome tends to be different for the compañeras in the class. I don’t have any hard statistics on this but those compañeras seem to enjoy the dance and stay dancing through the club on campus or through my classes more so than in other semesters.

What are some words you might use to describe the roles of leading and following as you are understanding them in the dance?


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Milongas and Tedx and Fun – oh my!

It has been a very very busy few weeks and many of you know. Thanks to everyone who came Farewell Milonga 1to Rommel’s Farewell Milonga. What an amazing milonga event!

There were more than 80 people in attendance and so much food!!!! Thanks to Marisa and her helpers who did the lighting which made the space more “milonga-ish”, and Mark Napier for keeping us dancing and generously providing us with a salsa set and a “birthday style farewell dance” forFarewell Dance Rommel.

Rommel has been a huge part of my life for almost 8 years and when he moved to Phoenix about 5 years ago he began to find his tango. He is one of the most generous dancers I have ever met. A few of the community who ritually attended his weekly PRACTICaNDo basically learned how to dance thanks to him. Ladies, I know he will be missed and he is scheduled to return in March an even better dancer!!!

Once again thanks to the community for their attendance at the milonga, for those who traveled from Tucson and Sedona/Cottonwood to dance with us and for all of your generous Farewell Milonga 2support in the love of tango.

And from one event to the other, I participated in TedX on Sunday afternoon and in spite of a few technical glitches, and my nervousness I think it went well. Hopefully there will be a video out soon.

I am working on my calendar for the new year and will have classes and workshops for all levels starting in January – any special requests please send me an email.


PRACTICanDo Tuesday night with a Tango Warm -Up Drills starting at 7:00pm. Don’t miss a chance to practice your tango… See you at SNAP.

and the Beginner’s Milonga is gaining a bit of momentum on Sunday nights – come join us in a casual atmosphere.Farewell Milonga 3


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