Denver Bar Association
April 2012
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Meet the Bar Stars: For Martinez Tenreiro and Theis, Dancing is a Family Affair

by Sara Crocker

Steve and Elsa


ancing has long been a passion for Elsa Martinez Tenreiro’s family. She loves to watch ballet. Her two daughters have been dancing since they were tots. She and her husband, Steve Theis, have been known to take a few ballroom dance classes.

Even so, she was surprised when she was invited to be one of the “Bar Stars” at the Barristers Benefit Ball on May 5.

“I felt very flattered that [the Ball Committee would] even think about me,” Martinez Tenreiro said. “I felt more inclined to do it just because I feel very strongly about the Denver Bar Association and Metro Volunteer Lawyers.”

This year, the Bar Stars will be paired with their spouses—it’s a new twist on the “Dancing with the Stars”-esque dance off at the ball. Last year, Bar Stars Cyndy Ciancio, Hubert Farbes, Vicki Johnson, and John Moye were paired with professional dancers and performed their routines in front of a sell-out crowd.

This year’s Bar Stars were committed to including their spouses in the fun.

“I probably would not do it if it was with somebody other than my husband, because this gives me the opportunity to do something with Steve,” Martinez Tenreiro said.

But, when asked what he thought about the invitiation to performing in front of hundreds of guests at the ball, Thesis said his response to his wife was, “Yes, dear.”
He added: “It’s for a good cause and I don’t mind too much getting laughed at, so that’s OK.”

The other DBA notables and their spouses who also have signed on to compete are Mark and Pat Fogg, and Bill Walters and his wife Christy Cutler. This line up means that three former DBA presidents will battle on the dance floor.

Though this year’s couples won’t be paired with professional dancers, they will all train with pros at Colorado Dancesport and plan their routines.

Battle of the Past Presidents

There are two ways to vote for Martinez Tenreiro and Theis: You can vote in person, based on applause, following their performance at the Barristers Benefit Ball on May 5. You also can vote with your wallet, in advance at, or in person at the ball.

The other Bar Stars Dancers, who also can be supported at, are former DBA and CBA President Bill Walters and his wife Christy Cutler and former DBA President and CBA President-elect Mark Fogg and his wife Pat Fogg.

Want to know which president will prove he or she deserves to win it all on the dance floor? Tickets to the ball are available at

Bill Walters and Christy Cutler were featured in February; Mark and Pat Fogg were featured in March. You can read about them at

Martinez Tenreiro, who was DBA president from 2007 to 2008, opened her firm, Alvarado, LaForett Martinez Tenreiro, LLC, this year. Theis works as an engineer at Lockheed Martin. Martinez Tenreiro said she’s looking forward to something they can do together that will get them both out of their respective offices.

The couple, who have been married 22 years, has taken Latin ballroom dance classes in the past and danced numbers like the rumba and tango. Though they were discussing doing something along those lines, they had not yet decided what style of dance they will feature in their routine.

Martinez Tenreiro and Theis have been involved in the dance world from another perspective: their two daughters, Alexandra and Samantha, have been dancing since they were 5 and 3.

“Because of that, we’ve always be involved in some kind of dance project,” Martinez Tenreiro said.

Now their daughters are 18 and 16, and their oldest is looking to attend a university where she can study dance. The teens have not weighed in on how their parents should dance, but they are sure that advice will come, Theis said.

Although their daughters seem to be able to pick up dance steps quickly, Theis admits that his biggest challenge will be “getting my feet to do what I tell them to.”

Martinez Tenreiro agreed that it comes down to having time to prepare.

“I’ve always loved to get out there and dance,” she said. “Whether I do it well or not is something else, but I’m going to have fun trying.”

Though there has been some bravado from the couples about who will wow the crowds on the dance floor, Martinez Tenreiro said it’s important to remember why they are all doing this: “I’m not really a competitive person—that’s not why I would do this. I’m doing it for the bar association. I’m doing it because I believe in the cause,” she said. “And, I’m going to have fun with my husband.”

If that wasn’t incentive enough, Martinez Tenreiro suggests another: “Come and watch the funny show, because it’s probably going to be pretty hilarious watching us dance.” D

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