Francis Caron (Founder) – Originally a musician (Master in composition, University of Montreal), Francis has been dancing Argentine Tango since 1994. He came to Ottawa in 1999 and established Siempre Tango. As a dancer, his generous and engaging musical presence make him a favorite on the dance floor; as a teacher, he his known for his humour and eye for detail. Continuing his exploration of the mind/body in movement with The Ottawa School of The Alexander Technique, he became a certified Alexander Technique teacher in 2016.
Brigitte Caron – As a teacher of the Alexander Technique, Brigitte came to tango with an inquisitive mind and a subtle understanding of the dynamic relationship between quality of movement, intention, and communication. She is a passionate teacher who adapts to various learning styles and physical abilities. Her dancing expresses a playful, musical heart and an affinity for the intimacy of the present moment so available in Argentine Tango.
Current Team Members
Marcel Laurin – Marcel is a dynamic dancer who is credited with being one of the founders of Ottawa’s tango community. After learning ballroom and club salsa, he started learning Argentine Tango in 1997, studying with several teachers who would go on to create Studio Tango Montreal. He and his late wife Daniele Lacroix started teaching in Ottawa, and bringing in well-known teachers to give workshops for the small-but-growing tango community. Once Francis moved to Ottawa, he asked Marcel if he wanted to teach with him, and, as Marcel puts it, “Here we are, just a ‘few’ years later!”
Robert Gatien – Robert’s a well-traveled Argentine Tango dancer whose encompassing embrace and rhythmic play make him a sought-after partner. He started his tango journey in 2010 with Siempre Tango and has been on the teaching team since 2015. He enjoys new tango experiences in North American cities, big and small. He also travels to learn more, and has studied extensively with Horacio Godoy and Cecilia Berra, Fausto Carpino and Stephanie Fesneau, and Carlitos Espinoza and Noelia Hurtado. He’s a methodical, dedicated teacher who is always looking for those “a-ha” moments when a student has a sudden insight about tango.
Isabelle Oppenheim – Isabelle finds meaning in her life by immersing herself in the study of movement. She is pursuing a Master’s in Dance at UQAM, and is also completing a certificate as a Somatic Movement Educator in Body-Mind Centering®. This call to self-awareness through movement began with her 10-year long passion for Argentine Tango, which is at the centre of her research. She is particularly interested in how increased body awareness can deepen the experience of connecting with another through dance.
Jewel Aldea – Jewel began learning Argentine Tango in 2006. She had an on-and-off relationship with tango until she started taking classes with Francis and Brigitte in 2015. She began teaching with Siempre Tango in 2016, working extensively with Francis in both tango and the Alexander Technique. She cites Tomás Howlin, Brigitta Winkler, Soledad Nani, and Veronica Toumanova as her other major influences. As a teacher, she helps students to find their tango individuality through experimentation and play; as a dancer, Jewel is known for her musicality as a follower and a leader. She’s also one of Siempre Tango’s in-house DJs and manages Siempre’s social media outreach and publicity.
Former Team Members
Mary Ellen Hurd – Mary Ellen is versatile dancer who has worked in various styles such as ballet, contemporary dance, jazz, and ballroom. She has been dancing Argentine Tango since 2000, primarily trained by Francis and Brigitte, and has taught with Siempre Tango since 2002. Mary Ellen is known for her beautiful tango technique which she shares with great generosity with her students. She has studied the Alexander Technique for many years and is currently training to be an Alexander Technique teacher; this way of understanding the mind/body coordination informs her teaching of Argentine Tango.