Rusty Cline and Joanne Canalli

posted in: Instructors 2020

Rusty Cline
Founder of Tucson Tango Festival

Rusty Cline has danced, competed and attended more than 60 festivals and 4 trips to Buenos Aires, the vast experience of this master teacher is remarkable and varied. He has worked with more than 120 top level tango masters, 15 of which were world champion dancers. In his own right Rusty is a world class dancer and a consummate teacher that is always growing evolving and expanding his teaching abilities. Rusty has invented a number of teaching tools that expose some of the more evasive components of the tango foundation and form.

Rusty has been a musician and song writer since 1974 year, his tool bag is full of tricks and tools of mastery for any dancer to learn from. He spent his youth as an athlete so his body awareness is sharp and clear. He combines these skills to apply a grounded and balanced approach to the “Walking dance of Tango”. He can help you get inside of your movements so you can develop the form needed for fluid dancing. He will help you discover the elements from the inside out that make a step flow and work with your partner as you build and sharpen your foundation.

Rusty has a concrete and sound approach to his instruction. Having been certified as an Aerobics and Weight Trainer gives him spot on body mechanics. Rusty’s YouTube Videos have had almost a million plays in total.

“There is a very fundamental foundation that underlies all of the movements in tango and if it is missing, it is readily apparent. Tango isn’t mysterious, you can grasp it. In the end, Tango is all about mind/body information, discipline, training and repetition. With a reasonable amount of effort anyone can learn to become a competent social dancer. My job as an instructor is to teach you to find your own style by providing you the proper tango foundation. Good leading and following in tango gives you room to be yourself. My words can only be a small slice of the alluring scrumptious recipe that makes tango so special and so popular.”

Joanne Canalli

Joanne’s passion and love for tango has motivated her to rise above the challenges of learning to dance while battling the stiffness resulting from scoliosis surgery at a young age. She brings the experiences and epiphanies of her personal struggles and breakthroughs to her students enabling them to realize that they too can attain higher levels of tango through awareness of what their body can do.

Joanne started her dance life in 2004 at the Arizona Ballroom Company as a student, falling in love with ballroom during her first introductory lesson. She soon became an avid and intense learner, taking lessons almost every day of the week. ABC very quickly became her home away from home and Joanne realized the next step in her dance journey was to become an instructor so she began with their instructor training courses. It was during this period that Joanne was introduced to Argentine Tango by Rusty Cline and her passion was fully realized.

Argentine Tango instantly became her primary focus. Joanne has invested a great deal of floor time on lessons and practice. It wasn’t long before she and Rusty began attending Tango Festivals around the US. Her first major festival was the Portland TangoFest and it was her first adventure in dancing outside of her own community and the impact of the experience opened her eyes to what Tango is to the world outside of her home community. From Portland, Joanne has since danced in scores of cities around the US and in Australia. Joanne first ventured down to Buenos Aires in 2005 to study and learn from the masters of the dance and has since made several trips to further her knowledge and experience in Argentine Tango. Joanne is passionate about learning and takes every opportunity to develop her skills and techniques from the many experienced and insightful teachers around the globe.

During her dance journey, Joanne struggled with an inherent stiffness generated by a scoliosis surgery rod implant in her spine at a young age. She had always worried that this would be an impediment to her reaching an advanced level of dance. To her surprise she is now doing moves with her body that she thought would never be part of her repertoire. Her strength and flexibility have both improved due to the intense work she has put into learning tango. The lesson Joanne has learned from this personal experience is that dance is a possibility in most anyone’s life, regardless of age or physical abilities.

Joanne would love nothing more then to introduce Argentine Tango into the lives of as many people as possible. Her philosophy towards teaching is that it should be fun and the student should leave at the end of each lesson with a wonderful feeling in their heart, a big smile on their face and the certainty of having learned something new while eagerly looking forward to more.