In 2013, Nicholas Tapia met Stephanie Berg. A lifelong professional dancer, with a strong background in both ballet and ballroom, Stephanie was interested in building a career teaching west coast swing. Nicholas persuaded her to try tango instead and she was quickly hooked.
Nicholas and Stephanie’s approaches to the dance were exactly complementary. Nicholas was an intuitive dancer, who preferred to learn by feel. Stephanie had a clearer understanding of how movements work and was able to offer precise and detailed explanations and instructions. Nicholas taught Stephanie to connect, to relax, to follow, to find the feel and flow of the dance. Stephanie taught Nicholas proprioception, technical precision, how to be more aware of and in control of his movements. Together, they learned the importance of partnership: how to become more attuned to each other’s very different physical and psychological needs, how to harmonize two different approaches and styles to create something beautiful together. This is one of the most important lessons they pass on to their own students: the dance is a joint endeavor. You are only ever as good as your partner and your commitment to him or her must be primary. Everything you do in the dance should complement and support your partner and make him or her shine.
Both Nicholas and Stephanie originally come from scientific backgrounds and they take an empirical approach to tango. They both believe that many different styles, approaches and techniques are valid. Their technical approach is informed by their studies of kinesiology, physical therapy, martial arts, yoga and other movement disciplines. They also continue to draw inspiration from other dances and regularly teach and dance swing, salsa and ballroom.
Nicholas and Stephanie have been teaching together for 5 years. They are trained in classic salón, tango nuevo, and milonguero style (US). They have performed all over the country and at prestigious venues in Buenos Aires. The couple have taught students ranging from absolute beginners to finalists in the US tango championships. Their philosophy is open minded and evidence-based. Their own dance is constantly evolving and they dedicate a lot of time to their own study. They encourage their students to see tango as an open-ended journey of lifelong learning.