Michelle has been dancing her entire life, beginning with classical ballet, and has taught partner dancing full-time since 1990. She truly loves dancing and believes in the power of social dance to enhance every person’s life. When she discovered Argentine Tango in 1993, it was love at first sight; she knew this was her dance. She has spent many months in Argentina studying from the best, and has been back multiple times. Known for authenticity and versatility, Michelle has been honored to perform with many of the world’s most renowned Argentine tango dancers, whether on stage, demos at milongas, or partnering out of town maestros. The list includes Carlos Gavito, Fabian Salas, Omar Vega, Eduardo Saucedo, Patricio Touceda, Daniel Lapadula , Manuel Ortis, Pedro ‘Tete’ Rusconi, Norberto “El Pulpo” Esbrés, “El Indio” Pedro Benavente, Metin Yazir, Cacho Dante, Jaun Bruno, Pampa Cortes, Marcos Questas, Ruban Terbalca, and Jorge Nel. Michelle is also a prolific producer and choreographer, and has brought stage shows and tango cabarets to Seattle, Portland, Tacoma, and Hawaii.
Although Michelle is a popular performer, what she is known mostly for is her ability to teach with clarity, enthusiasm, and positivity. She teaches beginner, intermediate, and advanced classes and private lessons for social dancers as well as teachers and accomplished performers. She stays aware and connected to the needs of her students by dancing with them during classes as both a lead and a follow. Her expertise in other partner dances and her understanding of the differences between performing and social dance give her unique advantages. She is equal parts teacher and dancer, valuing the special skills required for each.
Her social tango partners have included Pepito Avellaneda , Osvaldo Zotto, Miguel Angel Zotto, Gustavo Naveira, Esteban Moreno, Chicho Frumboli, Pablo Verón, Pablo Puglise, Daniel Trenner, Deigo Di Falco, Armondo Orzuza, Guillermo Merlo, Oscar Mandagaran, Nito Garcia, Mario Consiglieri, Carlos Barioneuvo, Leonardo Barrionuevo, Sandor, Jorge Torres, Fabritzio Forti, Guillermo Salvat, Gustavo Benzecry Sabe, “El Flaco” Dani Garcia, Jaun Carlos Copes, Julia Balmaceda, Oscar Casas, Oliver Kolker, Robert Duvall, Ney Melo, Carlos Arias, Alex Krebs, and many others.
West Coast Swing is also a great dance for Michelle. She is a former Washington State West Coast Swing Champion, but prefers teaching and dancing to competition. She has taught WCS workshops in Washington, California, Oregon, New York, Chicago, Hawaii, and Europe.
Michelle also loves Salsa. She has taught, performed and judged at many of the Salsa congresses in the US and has taught and performed with Alex DeSilva, Enio Cordaba, Jose Negela and may others. As with Argentine tango, Michelle was one of the first people to teach salsa in Seattle.