who we are
After a trip to Buenos Aires in 2015, Julie McCormick returned to her home in Annapolis hooked. This beautiful, sensual dance had quickly taken root. She sought out the few local tangueros in the area and organized a weekly class and practica. Their first official class in January 2016 brought 40 new dancers and suddenly a community was born. Over the next two years, Annapolis Tango was host to master teachers from around the world and grew into an established, welcoming tango community. During that time, J Abling and Rachel Moon came to teach and eventually the community had the honor and pleasure of having them as full-time resident teachers for the next several years.
In the fall of 2021, Annapolis Tango had yet another growth spurt, becoming a sister school of DC’s Fábrica Tango run by esteemed and adored teachers Aja Fenn and Masha Abapolnikova who have served the Washington metropolitan area and the global tango community as teachers, performers and event organizers co-jointly for over 20 years. Together, Masha and Aja have built a non-profit, trained new teachers, and taught hundreds of people how to dance tango! Their student base spans the full spectrum of beginner through to teachers-in-training, bringing about an entire generation of wonderful DC dancers.
As Fábrica Tango Annapolis moves forward, we are excited to create more connections to the larger DC community, meet new friends and expand your tango horizons!
Founder & CEO, Chief Embellishment Officer, Annapolis Tango
Before tango overtook her life, Julie danced professionally with Hubbard Street Dance Company, FELD Ballets/NY and Twyla Tharp Dance Company. She is an ABT® (American Ballet Theater) Certified Teacher and has been on the faculty of The Washington Ballet School and many others. After a trip to Buenos Aires in 2015, Julie returned to Annapolis where her excitement and desire to introduce Argentine Tango to others manifested in the creation of 'Annapolis Tango'. Julie has brought some of the most renowned Argentine tango teachers to Annapolis including Monica Paz, Juan Cantone & Sol Orozco, Rebecca Shulman, Brigitta Winkler, Susana Miller and then, finally, J. Abling and Rachel who became resident teachers until October 2021. She is a consummate student of tango (a life-long endeavor) and counts J. Abling as one of her most influential teachers thus far. She hopes to continue to inspire those in and around Annapolis to learn this beautiful dance in between her sailing excursions with her Captain and husband, Glenn McCormick, aboard the good Schooner Mistress.
Co-Founder, Fábrica Tango
Formerly the Artistic Director of a DC-based non-profit, Aja spent 10 years helping build the Washington DC's tango community thru outreach programs, regular classes, special and ongoing events and much more. She discovered tango in 2000 and has since made countless trips to Argentina to deepen her understanding of this intricate and interpersonal dance. One visit involved a year of study in both roles with master teachers, and nightly dancing in the milongas and practicas of Buenos Aires. Aja is authorized to teach various embodiment practices including the Justisse Method, and the Non-Linear Movement Method®. These practices have awakened her to the profound interplay of feminine and masculine, which lies at the heart of all things. Her work with tango is one which reveals and embraces this symbiotic polarity. Aja's reputation as an outstanding dancer and skilled teacher has taken her to London, Berlin, throughout the United States and Australia.
Co-Founder, Fábrica Tango
Masha Abapolnikova is a professional tango dancer and teacher with over a decade of experience. Formerly the Executive Director of a DC-based non-profit, Masha is known for her clarity, musicality and connection as well as a warm, engaging teaching style. To fully embrace this dance Masha has immersed herself in studying both leading and following roles and is often seen switching between both on the social dance floor. She is passionate about finding the unique key to improvement for each student and she emphasizes individual technique and natural movement as the foundation for a deep tango connection. Masha has traveled all around the world to study and dance tango, including the US, Argentina and Europe.
Debbie Badro is the patron saint of Annapolis Tango. Her passion for dance and music have materialized in significant acts of generosity. In 2016, she and her husband Nabil purchased the Severna Park Racquetball and Fitness Club (SPRFC), which has since become an epicenter for Argentine Tango in the area. Her fostering and support of the Annapolis Tango community exemplifies Debbie’s passion, dedication and beneficence. Debbie resides in Severna Park, Maryland with her loving husband and 2 boys, Michael and Benjamin. She became a Nurse Practitioner after pursuing her Masters in Science, a career that she has practiced for many years.