Calgary’s most recognized tango dancer, Leo Sato, spent much of his youth training as a competitive bodybuilder under the tutelage of Ken Suemitsu (1972 Mr. Universe Gold medalist). It was through this partnership that Leo went on till winning a championship. It was also through this partnership that Leo was first introduced to dance. Suemitsu had been a ballroom dance instructor before embarking on his successful bodybuilding career. Suemitsu taught Leo that bodybuilding was not only about body size and shape, but also about balance, composition, coordination and choreography. These insights became the foundation for Leo’s passion as an artist and choreographer. Whether bodybuilding or dancing, Leo believes the spirit of creativity resides within the artist, no matter what the medium is.
After retiring from bodybuilding, Leo first refocused his passion and commitment to ballroom dance. It was a few years later when Leo first encountered Tango in San Francisco under the instruction of Pampa Cortes (as seen Julio Iglesias’ CD, Tango). Having studied dance for many years in the US, Leo decided to conduct a tour from Mexico City to Colombia on to Buenos Aires. He spent a total of 16 months, dancing and studying various Latin American dances across seven countries. Although Tango had not been Leo’s first love, his contact with the hundreds of enthusiastic locals he met on his travels helped to quickly change all that.
Despite his extensive experience with the World of Dance, his true love now lies with Tango. In Buenos Aires, where Tango was born, he studied with various greats such as Angel Coria and Angela Tonanez. After having spent so many years growing and cultivating his love for the dance, Leo is determined to introduce this beautiful art form to all those he meets in North America.