My not-so-secret life as a Tango Dancer!

Watch Isabella’s Shoulder Opener Exercise!

After being a dedicated student of Pilates for many years, I completed the Teacher Training program at Retrofit Pilates and have been teaching here ever since. By day, I am an itinerant Music Teacher for the TDSB. But my true passion is music and movement…and Argentina!

Typically I spend my summers in Buenos Aries. What initially took me there was my passion for music, movement, dance and language.  As a child, I had listened to Argentine tango music and immediately fell in love with the sound of it.  Years later here in Toronto, while teaching a night school class, I had the good fortune to hear students from Argentina chatting in the background.  The Italian influenced Spanish intrigued me and I found it incredibly musical.  Quickly we became friends.

Eventually the stars aligned for me and circumstances brought me to Buenos Aires.  My plan was to dance Argentine tango in all the authentic downtown clubs and immerse myself in the culture.  It was a life-changing trip that quickly became a yearly pilgrimage, with weeks turning into months.  Fifteen years has flown by and in each trip I have found more and more to keep me coming back, to connect with and explore.

But nothing has touched me more than the beauty and generosity of the people there.  The adaptability, flexibility and kindness expressed amongst so many difficulties have been humbling to me.

The Pilates studios in Argentina are quite unique in that they are generally smaller, and mainly offer only Reformer classes.  The studios where I teach have only three reformers to a maximum of eight reformers.  The Reformers are solid wood with really heavy springs. You would not be able to use three red springs for your Footwork series there!  When I have described the Allegro 2 Reformers we use at Retrofit Pilates, everyone was in total awe of a system where you don’t constantly have to adjust the straps!!  Most clients that attend these studios often live literally on the same block or around the corner.  Very interesting and enriching to teach there and to work with such different body types.

Prior to COVID-19, my plan had been to return to Buenos Aires for the summer.  There, I would continue to teach Pilates, dance, spend time with my friends, explore the city, do some more trainings and work on a couple of collaborations.

I received an ominous note from Air Canada in April advising me that “…..flight AC92 from Toronto to Buenos Aires on June 21,2020 has been cancelled due to the impacts of COVID-19, government travel advisories and/or health and safety concerns”.

Up until that moment, I had pretty much accepted that travel would not be possible this summer, but, seeing the email and the finality of it, I felt great sadness and loss.

With Argentina quickly closing the borders to international commercial flights until September 1st, and the airline giving us more than two months notice of flight cancellations, it really felt like it was time to grieve, accept, and move on.

Unexpectedly, I am here for the summer, but thrilled to be and have adjusted to this new rhythm. The internet has thankfully exploded with fantastic online options to socialize, re-connect with loved ones, and teach and take classes! Taking a class was never so easy and I am online in class almost everyday!

Being able to keep connected with the people in the Retrofit community has meant a lot to me.  I feel grateful for your connection over the years. That has given me so much.

To all the beautiful clients and staff at Retrofit, your conversations, kindness and interest has sparked joy in me so many times.  Thank you.