Reposted by permission from Emily Pettey, from Salt Lake City – I love Brigitta and thought Emily captured her well. Check out her site for more great writing about tango.
I met Brigitta Winkler almost a year ago when she came through Salt Lake to teach a workshop. I was nervous, as I always am, when I meet one of these great women of Tango. Let me describe her to you. She’s tiny…really tiny, with very long blond hair, and a lovely mild accent. When I began dancing with her, the thought ran though my head that maybe I was just too big and clumsy to be dancing with this tiny woman. Not to worry. She’s German after all! I say this because I have a German aunt, and it always seems to me that they just take the bull by the horns and run without fear. Confidence is the name of the game. Brigitta possesses that confidence, in herself as a dancer, as a teacher, and in her student as well. There is no question that she will be able to impart some portion of her knowledge into said student, and that they will come away with something of value. And, I must say, she is correct.
Yes, after that first hour with Brigitta, I decided she was one of the most fabulous people I had ever met. Her frank, no-nonsense approach to tango and the people around her was so refreshing. What can I say? I suppose I’m a disciple of sorts. I certainly would follow her into the wilderness. And why not? The woman has more experience than almost anyone around. She’s been dancing Tango since the 1980s. If you want to understand the dance, there is no better source. It is in her bones. She is a skilled follower as well as a skilled leader. Brigitta understands the code of tango better than anyone. She has worked with some of the other great women of tango to create Tango Mujer: a company made up entirely of women dancers. In it they meld tango with contemporary dance for a larger audience. She understands all kinds of movement.
What I took away after that weekend with her, was a small bit of her have no fear attitude. There are two people in this dance after all. We all have something to offer, something that we bring to the table (or in this case, the floor). Her job is to bring out the students bests qualities that will enhance their own personal dance. Brigitta works with the student on technique, but she’s not going to make us all look the same. We are all individuals. The dance that we create is just that. Something that is new and fresh every day. It is never the same, and what is my best dance one day will not be my best another. I have to recreate it every single day. What it comes down to is being authentic. Be authentic and don’t be afraid of that. And run without fear!