Fabio Selmi: the Championmaker He is writing dancesport history


 By Ute Fischbach-Kirchgraber

At his time, he was one of the most spectacular dancers putting more dynamic and speed in the very sophisticated English version of ballroom: Fabio Selmi. The so called "italian style" was born and Fabio Selmi was one of the most innovativ dancers on the floor. You could recognize him amidst the crowd for a very special zigzagging action in Slow fox nobody dared to perform and a powerful step in Tango so that it would have been quite natural for the wood to come out. His partner Simona Fan cello was the most elegant und beautiful lady with a tremendous backline. So is was quite easy to find him out amongst the competitors.

Nowadays Fabio Selmi is still very innovative in teaching the top-couples of the world. In fact, he is the most successful: four of his pupils were seen in the final of the latest World Championship in December: Dmitry Zharkov and Olga Kulikova are the new worldchampion. Evaldas Sodeika & Ivea Zukauskaite from Lithuania reached the third place, and the two couples on 5th and 6th are also his students. Everybody wants to have lessons with Fabio Selmi – so he travelles a lot. We met him in Munich at the TSC Savoy during a three-days artistic camp.

Mr. Selmi, three times I had the opportunity to watch you dancing at a World Championship. These times dancers were quite individual and you were a pioneer of the "Italian style" in dancing. What were you doing in another way?

Fabio Selmit: I have to say in the first place: I don't believe in the „Italian style”, or in the „Japanese style” or in the „English style”. We had a few excellent couples: one was Massimo Giorgianni, Augusto Schiavo and the other one in my generation was Luca Barricchi – even representing England, he is Italian. So four great couples, but four completly different Tangos. Me and Massimo were more close indeed.

Your dancing was famous for putting a lot of passion and expression on the floor. Of course as an Italian you know all about it. Nowadays it seems that passion and expression are substituted by sport. Do you miss ingrediencies making dancing really good?

Fabio Selmi: For me, in our time, in my days, we danced with more quality. With everything to the right choreography, everything to the right principles of the dance. Today we are a little bit more fascinated about the drive actions, more muscle-system, more sports. Still I believe, that the time has changed.

As I understand you are a very good and modern teacher. Not every marvelous dancer becomes a good teacher. What is your secret?

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Photos: Thomas Kirchgraber