Shawn & Cathy met in 1997 and have been teaching, travelling, learning, and dancing together ever since. They have an "école de tango" in Lausanne, Switzerland. Their demonstrations in Buenos-Aires 1999 and 2001 at the Sunderland tango-club, in front of the eagle-eyes of the argentine-fathers (and mothers) has confirmed their approach, their teaching, and the authenticity of their dance. With their contacts throughout the world, they share their passion and fascination for the tango and its music. They make an extraordinary couple with workshops such as "Expressivity of the Woman" and "Tools for a crowded milonga" that are not to be missed! They have established a European base in Lausanne, Switzerland, where they work regularly and travel to other cities throughout the world.

Shawn Koppenhoefer has been dancing and teaching tango since 1991. The first wave of Lausanne tango-dancers learned their basics on his marble-floored villa at the edge of the city in 1992. His first professional teachers were Daniella & Armando (Buenos Aires) but the list quickly grew to include dancers recognised all over the world (Gustavo, Pablo, Fabian, Mingo, Pepito, Carlos, Ernesto). Besides yearly visits to Buenos Aires, the strongest influence on his dance has come from Teresa Cunha (Paris), "Joe" Corbata (Buenos Aires), Fernanda Ghi & Guillermo Merlo (Buenos Aires) and his dance-partner Cathy (Switzerland). His work with professionals (Ballet de l'Opera de Paris '96, Holidays on Ice '98, Theatre Sous-Pression '01) allowed him push the limits of the tango dance. From this, Shawn has developed an elegant and energetic dance style marked by a careful ear to the music and his partner, plus a sensitivity to the flow of movement energy and phrasing. His teaching is dynamic & creative, revealing a contagious enthusiasm and inspiring communicative imagery. His work as choreographer reveals a well-founded understanding of the techniques of tango and its music. Since 1999 he is a recognised member of AMBCTA (Asociacion de Maestros, Bailarines y Coreografos de Tango Argentino /BuenosAires) and since 2003 is an Expert/Examiner for the Swiss Association of Dance Teachers (Swissdance).



Catherine de Mandrot studied other forms of dance before travelling to Buenos-Aires in 1997 to start working on Argentine Tango. The first influences on her dance came from world-reknown dancers Joe Corbata (Buenos Aires) and Mingo & Esther Pugliese (Buenos Aires) but she has since worked privately with other professionals such as Teresa Cunha, Claudia & Esteban, Fernanda & Guillermo, and Ernesto Carmona. Of course she has also worked under the careful guidance of Gustavo Naveira & Giselle-Anne, Carlos Copes, Carlos & Alicia, Natalia & Gabriel, Miguel Zotto, Osvaldo Zotto, Leandro & Andrea, Pablo Veron, and many others throughout the world. Cathy started teaching in 1998 and was invited to be a member of AMBCTA (Asociacion de Maestros, Bailarines y Coreografos de Tango Argentino/Buenos-Aires) in 1999. She became a recognised Expert/Examer for the Swiss Association of Dance Teachers (Swissdance) in 2003. Cathy's elegant style of dancing emphasizes expressivity of the womans' musicality, perfection of the balance, comfort & position, constant communication between leader & follower. Both her dance and her teaching are under constant evolution through regular visits to Buenos-Aires and the constant contribution from her work outside of tango : professional workshops in story-telling 1993-1997, master-classes in 'clown'-manship' 1991-1992, diploma in Neuro-linguistic Programming 2003.



June 5, 2004 Lausanne/Switzerland

Milonga de Navidad, December'03 in Lausanne (Switzerland-2003)
Tango-VALS Meeting September'03 in Lausanne (Switzerland-2003)
Maison de la Danse in Lyon (France-2003)
Swiss Congress of Dance Teachers (SWIDACO) in Brunnen (Switzerland-2003)
Maison du Prieur () à Romainmôtier (Switzerland-2002)
Club Méditerrannée à Phuket (Thaïlande-2002)
Ecole Garbuyo - Casino de Berne (Switzerland-2002)
Orchestre Saxophilie à Noville, à Estavayer-le-Lac et à Corseaux (Switzerland-2001)
Sunderland Club à Buenos Aires (Argentina-2001)
Caribean à Buenos Aires (Argentina-2001)
La Nacional à Buenos Aires (Argentina-2001)
Café Tortoni à Buenos Aires (Argentina-2001)

Association Valais-Argentine Crans s/ Sierre (Switzerland-2001)
Foire du Valais à St. Léonard et à Martigny (Switzerland)
Hôtel Savoy, Lausanne
Lidor Dancing Studio, Tel-Aviv
Fondation Boissonnet, Lausanne
Orchestre du Grand-Lancy, Collège de Saussure, Genève
Théâtre 2.21, Lausanne
La Maison du Prieur, Romainmôtier
Intercontinental, Genève
Les 20 heures de Musique, Romont
Théâtre National, Berne
Royal Golf, Pont-la-Ville
Centre de Rencontres et de Loisirs, Chêne-Bougeries avec le Quintett Boulouris
Argentinisches Wochende, Zürich
OIT, Genève
Envol'2000 Aéroport Cointrin Genève
Le Forum, Savigny
Maison St. Joseph, Châtel-St.-Denis
Le Caveau des Trois Tours, Bourguillon (FR)
Casino de Montbenon, Lausanne
Espace-Danse, Yverdon
Chlousegala, Topdance, Berne
Théâtr'Onze, Lausanne
Bal "Samba et Tango", Fribourg
Foire du Valais, Association Valais-Argentine, Martigny
Berner Weinmesse, BEAbern expo, Berne
Sunderland Club, Buenos Aires
Cercle Omnidanse Paris Bercy, Paris
Centre de Recherche Nestlé, Vers-chez-les-Blanc /Lausanne
Fête des Vignerons, Vevey
K’Danse Bulle, Montreux et Lausanne


1992-Present: In addition to teaching the traditional approaches of tango, tango-vals, and tango-milonga the teaching possibilities include the uniqueness of some special themes that Shawn & Cathy have elaborated to give extra spice to a tango-weekend: "Expressivity of the Woman and what does the man do then?!", and "Tango is not Waltz is not Milonga", and "Tango Apiazolado - Dancing to the music of Astor Piazzolla", as well as "Tango Hollywood - Choreographies from Sally Potter and Carlos Saura", and "Musicality and Movement", plus "Tools For A Crowded Milonga" etc.

June 5-6 : Workshop 3-levels (Advanced, Intermediate, Beginners) Lausanne/Switzerland
March 10 : Masterclass reserved for Teachers
....19:45-23:45 Lausanne/Switzerland. register by email or by telephone (+41.78.6972737)

February 7 : Masterclass for-teachers-only 14:00-18:00 - Lausanne/Switzerland
January 10 : Masterclass for-teachers-only 08:00-12:00 - Lausanne
January 6 - April 6: Intermediate/Advanced classes every TUESDAY - Lausanne
January 8 - April 8 : Advanced classes every THURSDAY - Lausanne
January 6 - April 6: Men-only class (int./adv.) every TUESDAY - Lausanne

September 20-22 : The "Tango-VALS Meeting 2003" - Lausanne/Switzerland
September : Masterclass MiniWorkshop - Alegria/Lausanne/Switzerland
August : Teachers Workshop (SWIDACO2003) - Brunnen/Switzerland
June : Workshop - Limassol/Cyprus
May : 4-hour Masterclass workshop - PhilippeNathalie/MontPerllerin
April : 4-hour Masterclass workshop - Alegria/Lausanne
April - present : Intermediate & Advanced Courses - Alegria/Lausanne
March : Theory-Class "Labanotation" with Shawn - Alegria/Lausanne
January : Theory-Class "Labanotation" with Shawn - Alegria/Lausanne
January - April : Regular Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Courses- Alegria/Lausanne

November : PIAZZOLLA MEETING - TangoNomade, Lausanne
September : Workshop "TangoSPA" - TangoNomade, Lavay/CH
August : Swissdance Teachers Congress - Brunnen
June : TANGO APIAZOLADO Workshop - TangoNomade, Lausanne
April : Workshop "Musicality & Movement" - TangoNomade, Lausanne
January : Choreography Workshop with Shawn - TangoNomade, Lausanne
January-December : Beginner/Intermed./Advanced Courses - Alegria, Lausanne
January-December : Intermediate/Advanced Courses - TangoNomade, Geneva

November : Workshop - Diana Dance Studios, Bienne
November : Exhibition - Pole Sud, Lausanne
September : Workshops MILONGA MEETING - TangoNomade, Lausanne
August : Swissdance Teachers Congress - Swissdance, Brunnen
May : Workshop Ecole Danse Martin - TangoNomade, Lausanne
April : Workshop Ecole Danse Martin - TangoNomade, Lausanne
March : Theory "Labanotation" Course with Shawn - TangoNomade, Lausanne
March : Workshop Swissdance - Swissdance, Bern
February : Show with "Orchestre de Lancy-Geneve" - Petite-Lancy
January : Collaboration with "Theatre Sous-Pression" - Lausanne
January-December : Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Courses - - Alegria, Lausanne
January-December : Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Courses - TangoNomade, Geneva

October : Workshop TANGastrO (techniques from famous films) - TangoNomade, RomainMotier
June : Workshops - Ecole Dance Passion, Bern
January-October : 8 Periodic workshops - K'Danse, Lausanne
February-June : 3 workshops at Top-Danse - Top Dance, Bern
February : "Expressivity of the Woman" Workshop - Lausanne
January-June : 5 Workshops at K'Danse - Bulle
January-December : Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced Courses - Alegria/Lausanne
January-December : Weekly Initiation Courses at LA FACTORIA - Lausanne
January-December : Beginners/Intermediates/Advanced Courses - Geneva

August : Exhibitions - Geneva
August : Workshop Tango - Coppet
August : Tango Exhibitions - Nestle
January-December : Beginners/Intermediates Courses - Ferney-Voltaire/France
January-December : Weekly Intermediate Courses - Chailly
January-December : BiWeekly Courses "Ecole Feel-Dance" - St.-Legier
January-December : BiWeekly Courses - Chaux-de-Fonds

details coming soon.


Before devoting themselves full-time to demonstrations and teaching, Shawn & Cathy were full-time organizers! Organizing tango-concerts, workshops, tango-associations, excursions to Buenos Aires etc. For more information, pictures, and souvenirs watch this space for a link.




  tango biography