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Barbara Nagode Ambroz

See also: Categories: Instructors, Adjudicators, Dancers, Lecturers, Latin, WDSF

Hometown: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Current location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Current status:

Barbara Nagode Ambroz is a renowned specialist in Latin American dancing. With over 40 years of experience through instruction and adjudication, she has trained and raised various champions of the DanceSport industry including WDSF World Amateur & Professional Latin Champions, Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun. She is the author of Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing, which supplements her documentary of the same name that was filmed detailing her music and movement research experiences in Havana, Cuba.

Overview

Barbara Nagode Ambroz was born in Ljubljana, Slovenia. After finishing grammar school, she studied pedagogy and the Romance languages at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana. In her youth, she also finished seven years of music school, playing the piano.

Barbara has concluded her education as a dance teacher, trainer and adjudicator within the Sports Faculty in Ljubljana. As an adjudicator, she has 34 years of experience and has taught, lectured, and adjudicated in 56 different countries on all five continents - with a total of 40 years of experience in the dancing industry.

Barbara began teaching at the age of 18 years old. Her mother worked in a kindergarten and her aunt was a teacher as well, so she believes that maybe it was all in her genes from the very beginning. She knew that dancing was what she loved to do and found this out very early in life - for this reason, she considers herself very lucky.

"I feel that everybody is born with a particular mission in life and our purpose is to discover it and find what you want to do with it. Luck was by my side and I realized at an early age that I wanted to dance and that it’s the present that counts. I became aware that dancing happens here and now!"

Barbara

Her teaching experience started out with children, where she would instruct in primary schools, teaching students. After two years of this work in Ljubljana, she and her co-workers established their first competitive group with those children that were interested in a future professional dancing journey. This is how her studio actually started to work systematically with the first juvenile and junior generation of dancers. Many of those kids later on achieved great results worldwide by becomming Junior Blackpool Winners, Under 21 Blackpool Winners, and overall Champions in all age groups.

Below is Barbara's thoughts on her approach to teaching:

"First of all you have to recognize precisely with whom you are dealing, so you have to have an eye open for every student separately because people, we are all different. There is no one method which would work for everybody or one approach, so we have to be pretty much adjustable."

Barbara

Barbara Nagode Ambroz has trained Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun when the couple moved from Maribor, Slovenia to Ljubljana. She helped them achieve many feats in their competitive career, leading them to overall victory.

The Cuban Experience and Back to the Roots

As a teacher and lecturer, Barbara specializes in dance technique, dance education, holistic approaches to dance training, characterization, music-movement relationships and partnering. Her special interest lies in studying and researching Latin American music, rhythms, and authentic dance forms. She collaborates on a regular basis with Dr. Olavo Alen Rodrigues from Havana, Cuba.

Since February of 2014, Barbara organized yearly an educational project known as the Cuban Experience in Havana in cooperation with leading Cuban experts from the Instituto Superior del Arte. The project ran for 5 editions, until 2018 with the purpose of researching into the authentic Cuban and Latin music and dance forms and their influence on competitive Latin American dance styles. The project has joined over 300 participants from 30 different countries.

A documentary titled Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing has been filmed detailing the experience, where we can see such dancers taking part as:

  • Michael Malitowski and Joanna Leunis
  • Massimo Arcolin and Laura Zmajkovicova
  • Mirco Risi and Svetlana Borisova
  • Daniele Sargenti and Uliana Fomenko
  • Ferdinando Iannaccone and Yulia Musikhina
  • Elena Duicu and Aexandru Andrei Mangra
  • Damir Haluzan and Anna Mashchyts
  • Marius-Andrei Balan and Khrystyna Moshenska
  • Andrea Silvestri and Martina Varadi

Many great coaches also took part in the Cuban Experience including:

Barbara has even written her book Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing which further emphasizes her passion about this endeavor.

"We focused on the implementation of the Cuban authentic values into the international competitive style of dancing. When I was preparing the script for the documentary, I realized I have more things to say and share with the dance community and I needed a medium for that. That’s why I have organized all the materials I collected along so many years of lecturing, in a three chapter book called Back to the Roots. It’s mainly about awareness in dancing, how to be inspired by Cuban values in competitive dancing, and going back to the source of music and dancing.

I am lucky to have great friends and colleagues like Prof. Dr. Ruud Vermeij or Peter Townsend with whom I share my thoughts regularly. Honest criticism is a two way street. For this reason, we attend each other’s lectures. We discuss new literature and we give each other feedback."

Barbara

To order your copy of the book, Back to the Roots online, please click here.

A Few Words of Advice

"Nowadays, I see mainly two ways in which people approach dancing: either they use the dance to present themselves, or they use themselves to present the dance. Unfortunately, we live in a material world focused on winning, achieving and becoming (as fast as possible). This is sad because this way of thinking will make you lose contact with yourself. Being driven by the destination and not the journey, will stop you from noticing what’s here and now and be inspired by it. It’s only in the present where you can react, be creative and get inspired.

Teachers are like a bridge between the past and the future. It is very important to know the past and think about the future. But the present is the most important because it is here when you act: WE ARE WHAT WE DO!

My ultimate motivation: the sparkle I see in my student’s eyes when they invent or discover things.

It’s exciting!"

Barbara

World Renowned Adjudicator

Aside from being a National Adjudicator for the DanceSport Federation of Slovenia, Barbara Nagode Ambroz is also an adjudicator for the World DanceSport Federation (WDSF). She holds an "A" License as well as a "PD" License. Barbara is also licensed with the World Dance Council (WDC).

Barbara was nominated to adjudicate European and World Championships in International Style Standard and Latin in the Amateur and Professional divisions as well as GrandSlams and many other major competitions.

She has also judged the Blackpool Professional "Team Match” three times as well as the International Championships in London and United Kingdom Championships in Bournemouth many times. Her adjudicating experience extends to the German Open, Italian Open, Austrian Open, Spanish Open, Russian Open, USA Open in Miami and Los Angeles, and many National Championships all over the world.

Accomplishments

  • Studied pedagogy and the Romance languages at the Faculty of Arts in Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Finished seven years of music school, playing the piano
  • Concluded her education as a dance teacher, trainer and adjudicator within the Sports Faculty in Ljubljana
  • Teaching since the age of 18 years old
  • Has over 34 years of experience as an adjudicator
  • Total of over 40 years of dancing experience (teaching, adjudicating, lecturing, dancing)
  • Has taught, lectured, and adjudicated in 56 different countries on all five continents
  • Filmed the Documentary Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing in Havana, Cuba
  • Author of Back to the Roots: The Authentic Cuban Footprint in Competitive Latin American Dancing - detailing her music and movement research experiences in Havana, Cuba
  • One of the main trainers of WDSF World Amateur & Professional Latin Champions, Zoran Plohl and Tatsiana Lahvinovich Galchun

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