Alex and Manuela won the UK Salon Championships Preliminaries in 2014. A year later, we met up with them to find out what happened next!
How did it feel to compete in Buenos Airies?
MANUELA – To compete in Buenos Aires was a great opportunity. Just to dance in the USINA DEL ARTE with nice dancers, nice floor and amazing judges… It was just so amazing.
ALEX – It was amazing and shocking at the same time. It can be a very normal thing to perform in front of people but when you have around 2000 people plus cameras for the National television following you while you dance is really strange. Although we enjoyed it a lot. It was exciting and incredibly good fun.
What did you learn?
Manuela – We learned so many things. I would say that in the competition I appreciated all the people that we met. They were so friendly and in one way we almost forgot that we were in a competition. I broke my tights just a few minutes before the competition and one girl gave me hers.. Everyone was trying to help us and to share the great moment that we were all living together. Also, before and after the competition we were in the milongas, meeting new people, and dancing a lot!!!
Alex – What did we learn.. So many new things.. In the same days of the performance we were meeting with all the other couples, talking and exchanging visions or possibility of steps, embrace or how to do things coming from so many different styles .. I think we learned more with this experience than with two years of classes.
Alex Barberi & Manuela Marceback, Dance World Cup Championships, Buenos Aires, 2014.
After the competition was over what happened next?
Manuela – After the competition we continued enjoying tango in Buenos Aires and we did more tourism stuff. I decided to definitely move to Buenos Aires and I met my partner. We are practising together, having classes and we participated in championships here.
Alex – Well, Manuela decided to stay and meanwhile, while I was still there, met a guy she has been able to dance with and win another championship called “Sunderland” .. I came back to London to catch up with a few things. I saw business growing, a lot of people from tango. It was strange when some of them didn’t even know I had won.
Has your dancing changed?
Manuela – Yes, I think I can say that I have improved and my dance has changed. Being in Buenos Aires, you have all the opportunities to learn. Not just having classes with nice teachers. You can learn in the milongas, in the street, in the “colectivo” talking with the people etc…
Alex – Yes a lot and slowly it is still getting better I believe.. When I was there I could approach my idol Sebastian Achaval. Plus I took classes with other well known people and met up with other competition contestants.. I think, as always happens with your tango, after you study it, it always takes a period of time to then transmit the info to the body and also depends on what you are focusing on.
What was the best thing about winning the competition?
Manuela – The best thing for me was to have the opportunity to come here. . It was my dream since 2 years ago, but I didn’t have the chance to come because of money, job..
Alex – Honestly, the possibility to go there, do the competition in Buenos Aires and be able to experience it with all my friends .. and the fact that you win the ticket to go there and the place to stay, which was a beautiful penthouse in San Telmo. It was just fabulous.
If you could go back, would you do it again?
Manuela – Of course I would do it again. My life changed thanks to that. Also the organisation was really good. The first week we lived in an amazing apartment in San Telmo. I would like to say thank you again to Luciano, Pablo and Sidone.
Alex – Absolutely. Yes. No doubt about it.
Published: 5 Apr 2015 @ 16:03