"I just wanted to thank you for being my tango teacher. Without you I don't think I would have continued with it, and now tango is taking me to live in different places around the world!"
"You create a sense of community, and you make it fun! I kept coming back because it felt like hanging out with friends, and not just some dance class I was taking."
"Lois Donnay is an excellent teacher as well as dancer. She has a wonderful grasp of the dance because of her travels to Buenos Aires, and has had the advantage of dancing with the best all over the world - both leading and following. Her students are the best dancers in the community. Plus she's a great communicator, and makes the lessons so much fun!"
"I first learned about Lois Donnay's tango lessons from 2 ladies I danced with in a "practica" (practice session) right after I had gone to my very first clumsy "introductory tango" lessons at two other local dance studios here in Minneapolis. You can imagine, with just 1-1/2 hours *total* tango instruction under my belt (in my whole life) I wasn't particularly good! Well, these ladies I was trying to dance with knew I was a beginner. One of them was pretty experienced as a tango dancer (I could tell by the fancy moves she was doing when she danced with the other men). After practicing "walking" with me for about 15 minutes, she told me, "Look, if you want to learn Argentine Tango right; if you want to really learn how to become the kind of dancer that women will love to dance with, go study with Lois Donnay." (She squeezed my arm and gave me a knowing "motherly" look. I didn't expect that, because I'm 50 years old! Anyway, I was grateful and it got me thinking. After all, isn't my goal to be a dancer ladies will look forward to dancing with?) The second lady I danced with was also a good Tango dancer (I could tell). She simply told me, "Go take classes with Lois Donnay. Don't try to learn Tango here. Go see Lois." (She didn't explain why. She just said it.) Was I starting to detect a "trend" here? I didn't think it could be some kind of freak coincidence that here were these 2 different ladies (not together) I'd never met in my life, both obviously accomplished dancers, and they both separately recommended I go see Lois. Hmmm.
Well, at that point I had gone to 3 tango classes here in town, and the teachers were all quite friendly and did their best to teach me Argentine Tango, given the limitations of big group classes in a "commercial" setting. But while struggling as a beginner it quickly became clear to me that tango isn't a dance you can learn correctly in a "series" of 4 weekly classes (advertised as "beginner level") then maybe 4 more weekly classes ("intermediate"). Especially when you're in the middle of a class with 10 or 20 other people also trying to cram what takes years of study down in Buenos Aires, into an "immediate gratification" 4-lesson class here in Minneapolis.
Anyway, the more I have been studying with Lois Donnay the more it's become clear to me that learning Tango is a subtle art with lots of nuances. One thing I like about Lois is that she's a great communicator and speaker. She teaches Tango in the front parlor of her home, which is a very comfortable, relaxed atmosphere to learn Tango. (She's got mirrors up on all the walls so you can keep an eye on your posture. She also got long wooden sticks to practice with; they sort of duplicate the lady's legs.) Lois gives little informal "talks" (last night it was about the different types of tango music) which are really interesting and make you feel you're learning from a teacher who has "been there" and really has a "Mission" in life -- to teach other people dancing. She really wants to see you dance! No kidding! (You immediately realize she's not just "after your money" like you feel sometimes at some dance studios.) At the classes I'd tried, I also felt a little frustrated because sometimes the teachers would not do such a great job communicating to the class. They'd say things like, "Well, don't talk, just do it." Hmm. That's ok if you're a psychic, I guess. But not much help for someone who is trying to learn to dance. By comparison, Lois has an uncanny ability to sort of analyze your dance (posture, axis and other ingredients) and they tell you (and show you) how to improve it.
I honestly feel I've learned about 500% (five times) more in my few short Argentine Tango classes with Lois Donnay, than I ever learned from any other local dance studio. There's just no comparison. My advice to any guy who wants to learn Argentine Tango the way ladies really want you to dance in the "real world", is "Go see Lois!" After one class you'll see what I mean."