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Skills

  • 20 years experience as dance workshop facilitator & dancer

  • strong educational background in Tango, Biodanza, Tantra, Contemporary dance & Contact Improvisation

  • knowledgeable in non-violent communication tools

  • award-winning performance artist

  • 20 years experience in writing, blogging & publishing

  • intriguing story-teller and motivational speaker

  • authentic, inspiring, passionate

Things I do

  • Facilitating dance & movement workshops online and in  11 countries on 5 continents since 2005

  • accompanying people through profound processes of personal transformation

  • publishing dance impulses on You Tube for better mental health during quarantine

  • building bridges between travelers & locals in Buenos Aires through my Authentic Tango Tourism enterprise

YOU MAY WANT TO WORK WITH ME IF...

...you are a Tango dancer want to explore a different approach to Tango Argentino, focused on feeling your Tango and seeing it as a mirror of your personality.

...you are a Tango beginner and want to minimize your frustration risk. My classes are all about the joy & pleasure of dance.

...you would like to integrate more movement in your life and need some guidance with that.

...you want to invest in your personal growth and want to work with me on a specific topic (better self-confidence, higher motivation, working on your fears & insecurities, opening up, improving communication skills, leadership, connect with your essence). You name it - I translate it into body language.

...you love to dance but are bored with structure & copying steps. In my classes you'll unleash your creativity in improvisation and generate movement with meaning.

I am also available for international festivals and conferences in the context of Tango, Dance, Wellbeing & Mindfulness and Business. One of my secret passions is to bring Tango to a business context - there is a lot we can learn from this dance for healthy leadership and team building. Don't hesitate to send me your special request.

 
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MY

STORY

I started my dancing career when I was four years old.

No, this is not about ballet classes or exceptional talent. I hated ballet because my teacher gave me this feeling of not being good enough. Not being capable to meet the required esthetic form.

When I was four I already loved to express myself in free creative dance. I'll never forget the day my grandmother died. When my mom received that phone call I got lost in music in my Spanish dress in our living room. I somehow understood what just had happened and I knew: I must keep on dancing, now more than ever.

"Dance, dance, otherwise we are lost!"

Let's fast forward to a few years later. Having had a big passion for dancing, writing and acting throughout my teenage years I chose to study contemporary dance and theater at the university of Vienna. I specified on theater based on authentic material and real life stories. I was fascinated by the process when nobody could tell anymore where art ended an therapy began. I founded my own performance art collective "kunst)spiel" and directed eight performances, receiving many prices and scholarships.

Around the world

I have established myself to a well-known award winning theatre director, journalist and dancer in Austria when I decided to take off and explore the planet. I grabbed my 9 kilogram backpack in order to travel & blog around the world.

 

14 months

20 countries

4 continents

 

On this trip I discovered Tango in Argentina and Tantra & Biodanza in India. This changed everything.

When I came back to Europe my artistic focus had shifted from the product (the performance on stage) to the process (what happens between people and within oneself while being creative). I understood that art and especially dance & movement are tools for personal transformation.

 

I moved to London, founded my start-up "The Healing Encounter", gave workshops, spoke at conferences, coached business people with embodiment techniques. Everything with the aim to encourage people to be who they really are. I have tried so hard to be "someone" for so many years and just managed to drop the mask in India. I wanted other people to have the same revelation and liberation instead of keep pretending to be someone they're not.

While living in London I developed a serious addiction to Tango. As soon as I went home from a Milonga I already missed dancing in someone's embrace. With my feet I'd draw "adornos", little circles, on the tube platform. Tango has entered my blood. I had started this transformational journey of becoming more and more me. The undeniable truth was: in no other situation would I feel as much in my purest essence as I did dancing Tango in the Milongas of London. And then this happened:

24/7 Tango in Buenos Aires

As soon as the plane touched Argentine ground I knew: this is real. This is me. This is where I belong.

From that moment onwards I immersed myself in Tango. I went to my dancing studio every day, I went out at night, I subscribed to two Tango universities CETBA (Centro Educativo de Tango de Buenos Aires) and UNA (Universidad Nacional des Artes) to learn from the best teachers and gain as much wisdom as I possibly could.

 

Within only one year in Buenos Aires I have accomplished the following:

  • I found the loveliest most gorgeous friends you can imagine. I deeply bonded with the local Tango community and run into friends every time I go to a Milonga.

  • I started my authentic Tango Tourism business with customised holiday packages for individuals. I create work opportunities for my Argentine friends and build bridges between cultures while doing what I love.

  • With "Biotango" (= Biodanza & Tango) I have developed my own method of teaching Tango Argentino. In only one year I have given Biotango classes on three different continents and get invited to facilitate workshops at festivals worldwide.

  • I opened my own dance studio called "El templo" (the temple) in the Tango district Almagro where I host milongas and give classes.

  • I have learned Spanish from zero and now speak fluently.

  • I constantly get to hear that I am an "exceptional dancer" and enjoy the abundance of magnificent dance partners.

I changed my life in a dance class.
So can you.
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MY

MISSION

 

In all of my three disciplines - Tango, Biodanza & Tantra - there is one element which stands for everything I do: the embrace.

Let's embrace human unity.

Our species has been told the "story of separation" over and over again. War. Competing against each other. Always check for your own benefit first. Don't trust anyone. Close the borders.

I don't believe in this. I don't want to give the media, politics & economics permission to pollute my subconscious mind with hate and fear. I'd rather live in love & trust - even if this means a jacket or wallet gets stolen on the train once in a while.

My classes are my way of transmitting the message that we are all one. Grown up in different countries, holding different believes and political viewpoints - yes. The differences between us are the beauty of an abundant spectrum of characters among humans. And beyond these differences we all go through the same stuff: childhood, love, sex, family, survival, death. Joy, anger, sadness, fear.

My highest goal is to switch the collective mindset towards human unity through working with the 1%

- the people in economical and political power.

For this reason I offer physical trainings about leadership & team building, proposing effective strategies that lead to higher work motivation and productivity. One big myth in our society is that this is best achieved through control, punishment & authority, but the opposite is true. People (and employees) only come to their full potential when responsibilities and trust are given to them, they are seen & appreciated with their unique potentials and they are held in a safe structure of clear guidance. These relationship guidelines can be translated easily into body language and dance. Once we practise, for example "trust" on a physical level, we can THEN bring it back to life and benefit from better vibes at the work place.  The traditional concept of Tango is all about leading and following. It is a very rich field for personal and professional development.

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We all have a body. And WHO WE ARE shows up in our body, in our dance.

That's were we can see each other.

Talking body language, letting the soul speak through eyes, arms, hips.

 

Every human being longs for the experience to be seen, yet we put so much effort into pretending to be someone we are not.

Every single day. This is the big thing I have realised in India. Since India I am letting go of my Ego-me little by little while inviting others to join me on that path. It's more fun. It's REAL life. And it feels GOOD.

Maybe I appear to be a dance teacher.

But my work really is about promoting certain values of which I think we all need more of:

authenticity, empathy, vulnerability, presence, community, love & trust.

 

Love is more contagious than Coronavirus.

Dare to love.

Dare to dance.

 

 

 

 

PS: I would not be who I am today without all the people who inspired me. I have read their books, watched their TED talks, went to their classes, met and hugged and cried with them. Here is a list of those who had an impact on me. I am endlessly grateful for every single one of you. I feel we are all one. We collectively do what needs to be done. I feel all of you within me as I take action. Thank you.

Brené Brown

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© 2020 by Valerie Kattenfeld

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