Our Creative Team
Tango was a perfect fit for Cynthia’s love of music and dance discipline that followed a fifteen year career with the Joffrey Ballet. Cynthia experineced excellence in choreography, stage design, live orchestras and theatre in her ballet life. She brings that attention to detail and quality of movement in her work in tango as a dancer, director teacher and choreographer. In 2017, Cynthia won the title of Stage Tango Champion in the United States and represented the US in Buenos Aires that same year in the semifinals of the Mundial de Tango. Cynthia has created her company “Intimo Tango”, where she shares her passion through, teaching, performance, live music, art, storytelling and community building. She is currently working on a documentary series called “21st Century Tango”, where she exposes her extraordinary experinces with the people, places and intimate connections she has had the gift to encounter in her tango life.
Umut Mete Saka
Mete started dancing tango at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. His student activity soon became his passion which led him to take incalculable classes from local and international tango maestros including, Murat Elmadagli, Ilgin Tetikcan, Esref Tekinalp, Vanessa Gauch, Alper Ergokmen and Selen Surek, Facundo Pinero, Vanessa Villalba, Clarisa Aragon, Jonathan Saavedra, Sebastian Achaval, Roxana Suarez, Sebastian Jimenez, Joana Gomez, Serkan Gokcesu, Cecilia Berra, Dmitri Vasin, Sagdiana Hamzina, Gabriel Misse. Together with his passion to teach, Mete started instructing tango to students in his college in 2017 and ran the student organization for four years where he had shared his tango experience to more than 150 students. Additionally, he got invited as a DJ for more than 20 tango events, organized or helped 5 major festivals and tango concerts, more than 10 milongas and worked as an assistant in the largest tango school in Istanbul for two years. He defines his greatest achievement in tango is to be creating and pioneering the university milongas in Istanbul, uniting universities’ tango societies in 2018, where more than 100 students gathered to enjoy tango which significantly helped tango to spread between students. These milongas are still organized regularly by several university societies in Istanbul. Mete is persuing his graduate studies at School of Mines, in computer sciences. Mete is the 2023 Colorado State Champion of Tango de Pista, and is currently being featured in an up coming documentary, “21st Century Tango” where his life, performances and work in tango is celebrated.
Vanessa fell in love with partner dancing back in 2004 and began pursuing every dance style and avenue available to her from Ballroom, Lindy Hop, and Blues, to Tango, WCS, and Fusion. She taught Ballroom for a number of years in both a studio and university setting, and from the very beginning, she was interested in both the leader and a follower's perspective. The richness of what dance can teach us about an endless range of relational concerns fascinated her: communication, expectation, structure, flexibility, play, limitation. Eventually, Tango subsumed her focus with it's depth of connection and seduced her with it's demanding technical precision, so in 2014, Vanessa moved to Boulder with a firm resolve to learn Tango in a granular, soul consuming way and largely succeeded. She became first a Teaching Assistant and then an Instructor for Gustavo Naveira and Giselle Anne at their Boulder Tango Studio - a prestigious role which had not previously existed. There she gained a deep understanding of the structure, technique, and responsibility of dancing with another person and broadened her teaching style. Vanessa is now known in the community for her depth of knowledge in the area of Tango technique. Vanessa's second greatest love has always been teaching. In fact, scant are the times in her life when she wasn't involved in teaching something. Teaching isn't only about conveying information. It's about patience, strategy, creativity, and listening. To understand someone's question is to understand their way of thinking which is a kind of window into their world view. People come to dance for different reasons and with different values, and imparting something valuable to them is the endlessly exciting job of the teacher. Vanessa has been enthusiastically expanding beyond teaching into the world of performance and choreography with her dance partner Cynthia Giannini with whom she will compete in 2023. Together they create events and shows which have brought the community together.
Claudio is an Associate Professor in a medical school, where he enjoys teaching courses in immunology and guiding medical students in wellness-based, mentor-mentee partnerships with local Latinx youth. Outside of this work, tango is now his passion. He remembers his step father playing tango when he was a boy; decades later, Claudio realized his own appreciation and love for the dance. In 2011, Claudio started “the journey,” which many tango dancers know as an on and off relationship, and it was not until 2017 that a true devotion to tango flourished. Since then, Claudio has had several influential instructors: Amanda Accica, Daniel Moreno, Ruth Hernandez, Adrian Veredice, Alejandra Hobert, Paloma Berrios and Max Alvarado. At the National competition in ATUSA 2020, Claudio obtained 4th place in tango pista, 3rd place in Valz, and 2nd place in Milonga. Since 2020, he has assisted tango sessions in Michigan and, more recently, in Denver with Cynthia Giannini. To him, tango is about connection to beautiful music, meaningful embraces, and community. Such components help dancers to express themselves, to connect, and to enjoy life fully. Claudio is currently featured in the documentary series “21st Century Tango” and co-creating the tango show "Sol y Luna" with Cynthia.