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Elly Fernandez

Tango Teaching Artist, Community Builder, Advocate

"Tango is a somatic flow state for me to feel fully alive, fully reflective, and "just the right amount" of challenge I am ready for.  I get to refine the clarity and empathy in the non-verbal dialogue I am creating with many partners. It continues to challenge me to grow as a member of local tango communities as well as global. For me, tango's past informs its present, and we get to make the present look a bit more like the future of tango we want to be

a part of making together."

Learning both roles from the start of her tango life introduced Elly to the freedom and choice to create the dance life she most deeply desires. Her neurons fire at the opportunity to encourage, support, and celebrate the learning journey for tango dancers of all gender identities and expressions.


A lover of the line of dance, she brazenly and impishly seeks to turn a space constraint into a cocreated feature of the dance. Her forte is designing tango learning spaces that fuse the social-emotional skills with practical mechanics of dance technique. Elly's decade long teaching practice is shaped by her background as an innovative public school educator focused on "real world learning", making the learning process meaningful and full of purpose. Her creativity is sparked most when she gets to support dancers aligning their core values to their movement and their community connectedness, while validating the reality of trauma and oppression, thus creating transformative growth.


Her continued education in tango is constantly changing by way-showers that build beyond the gender binary, consent advocacy training at The Consent Academy, the gathering practices of Priya Parker, and the social justice works of adrienne maree brown.  As a proud previous resident of Philadelphia, she brings that fightin' Philly spirit to issues of advocacy, belonging, and the prevention and reduction of sexual harm. 


Photo credit: Jerry Almonte

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