Tango Instructors

Guest DJ's and Instructors

Noora-Lisa Aberman and Dima Berk - Instructors

Noora-Lisa Aberman began dancing as a child of five. Starting with intensive ballet training, she later branched out to modern dance, flamenco, and Barata Natyam. Eventually discovering partner dances, she dabbled in samba de gafiera, lambada, salsa, meregene, and finally Argentine Tango. Since discovering tango, it has become her primary dance passion. She began teaching and performing in 2007. Noora loves the subtlety and depth of the dance. She sees the communication and connection achieved between leader and follower as that which make tango unique among dances.

Dima Berk was attracted to Argentine tango music and the unique sensuality of the dance shortly after moving to DC. Between 2001 and 2006, Dima made several journeys to Buenos Aires to study the art of tango with legendary maestros. Dima spend next several years investigating the complexities of the dance with local and guest instructors. Fabian Salas, Chicho Framboli, Javier Rochwarger, and Sharna Fabiano heavily influence his style, which is characterized by fluidity and seamless transitions between traditional and modern tango.

J. Abling - Instructor - DJ
For the last 11 years since he first started tango, J. Abling has been refining his dance and his teaching method. He has learned from some of the most renowned teachers including Jaimes Friedgen, Luciana Valle, Sebastian Arce, Mariana Montes, Chicho Frumboli, Juana Sepulveda and Tete Rusconi, melding elements from various tango styles into his own. He approaches the dance with critical thinking in an organic and fluid fashion that engages, challenges and enlightens participants of all levels. J. has taught, DJ'd and danced in cities across the U.S, from Maui to New York, Seattle to Albuquerque. He has performed with some of the best teachers in the scene, including Luiza Paes, Brigitta Winkler and Mitra Martin. He lives and teaches weekly classes in San Diego.

Sol Alzamora and Leandro Capparelli - Instructors
Sol Alzamora and Leandro Capparelli have been dancing together professionally since 2004. They have performed and toured extensively in world renowned tango shows such as Mora Godoy's "Tanguera" (2004-2010), "Tango Fire" (2005), “Piazzola Tango" (2005), and Royal Caribbean's "Tango Buenos Aires" (2006-2010), as well as creating, writing and choreographing their own production "Tango Journey" which premiered in September 2010 at the National Theater in Buenos Aires. In 2007 they taught a workshop and performed in Genoa, Italy. In addition to performing in stage productions, they have performed at milongas in Buenos Aires, including La Virtua Tango, Italia Unita, Salon Canning, Taconeando and Cambalche. A native of Buenos Aires, Sol began her training at an early age in ballet, flamenco dance and classical dance. She started tango lessons in 1997 and within two years she was performing at the well-known traditional milongas in Buenos Aires. In 1999 she made her first international tour teaching and performing in Austria and the United States. In 2000 she worked on a TV documentary in Japan. By the time she met Leandro in 2004 she had accumulated an impressive list of credits in tango shows, including "TangoDanza" (2000-2001), "Una Noche de Tango" (2001) by tango company TangoX2, "Tango Emocion" (2002-2004) as well as performing with the Color Tango Orchestra (2003). Leandro started learning tango and Argentine folklore dance in Buenos Aires at the age of 14 and within a few years he was winning the top prizes in tango dance competitions. In 1999 he started performing in shows and touring in Europe for the Government of Buenos Aires. In 2003 he joined the staff of teachers at the "Mora Godoy Tango Studio" and performed and toured in "Tango Emocion" (2003-2004), "Tango Dreams" (2004), and "Tanguera" (2003-2004).

Alberto Catala and Belen Montell - Instructors
Alberto Catala started a tango career in tango dancing and instruction 1997 as regular participant in the Buenos Aires milongas and dance halls. After several years of experience, he also became part of Tango Shows such as The Fango Mused and Milonguisimo in 2007. As part of his professional career development, he traveled to Europe to participate in the 2nd. Luxemburg Festival and the International Carnival in Berlin (2004), and Tango Festivals in Los Angeles and New Orleans in 2003.

In 2007, Belen Montell joined Alberto as his partner in exhibitions in Tango Dance Halls and Shows in Buenos Aires. They appeared with Tango Generation directed by Martin Ojeda in shows such as “A Place in Ortuzar” (2008) and “Argentinean Tango” and “Ole” (2009). They participated as instructors and dancers in the 2009 Buenos Aires Tango Festiva. Together, they undertook several international tours to Uruguay (2008) and Indonesia and Malaysia in 2009.

Currently, they work as instructors in Buenos Aires teaching in Salon Canning, Vilas Club, Salon Amarylis, La Milonguita, and Milonga de MisAmores as well as dancers in tango shows.

Check out Alberto and Belen's Website: www.albertoybelen.com.ar

Juan Cantone and Sol Orozco - Instructors
Juan's tango dance education started in 1993 under the tutelage of the great masters of Argentine Tango, including Esther and Mingo Pugliese, Gloria and Eduardo, Facundo and Kelly Posadas and Gustavo Naviera. In addition, Juan has received an academic education in dance theatre, ballet and contact improvisation, which makes his dancing fresh and innovative while maintaining the elegance that can only be gained from the tango salon learned from the true milongueros. Juan's background also includes a broad knowledge of pedagogy and didactics obtained through two different careers at the National Conservatory of Music and at the National School of Dance, IUNA, where he is presently working on his degree on choreographic composition and dance theater. By putting together all his knowledge and skills, he has developed a unique pedagogical system to teach tango, which has made him one of the great Tango teachers of today. Juan has performed at prestigious venues, including theaters and auditoriums in Buenos Aires (Teatro Avenida, Teatro Margarita Xirgu, Torcuato Tasso, Radio Nacional, Sunderland Club, Maldita Milonga, Gloras Argentinas, Club El Fulgor, Lola Mora, etc) as well as other provinces of Argentina and abroad ( Basel , Chur, Rome, Torino, Oslo, New York, Washington, Memphis, San Francisco, Ohio, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, etc.). He has taught courses in renowned tango studios in Buenos Aires (Estudio Moira Godoy, Tango Brujo, The Academy of Tango Milonguero, Centro Cultural "El Esquinazo") as well as prestigious festivals in the northwest of Argentina , Seminario 1 and 2 NOA and in the Portland tango festival 2010, Toronto Tango Festival 2009, The Chur Tango Week 2009 and 2010, etc. He has also been teaching during the last 4 years in many cities in Europe and the US with his partner, Sol Orozco.

Sol started her dance training with classical ballet as a child. Her tango education has been with the great tango masters "Lampazo", Facundo and Kelly Posadas, Mingo and Esther Pugliese, Gustavo Naviera and Giselle Anne, Pablo Villaranza and Dana Frigoli, among others. She has enriched her dancing training in Yoga Ashtanga, Yoga Lyengar, Contact improvisation, Dance Theatre and Music Theory, which together translate into a very sensual, delicate, and musical style. Sol has performed in prestigious Buenos Aires theatres, such as Complejo Teatral " La PLaza ", Torcuato, Radio Nacional, Lola Mora, Sunderland Club, Maldita Milonga, Gloras Argentinas, Club El Fulgor, etc. as well as other provinces of Argentina and abroad (Basel, Chur, Rome, Torino, Oslo, New York, Washington, Memphis, San Francisco, Ohio, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, etc). From 2000 to 2003 was part of the Project "Tangueros Unidos”, developing a methodology for teaching Tango Dance, she also possess a deep understanding of corporal movement that lets her develop new techniques to train dancers and create new exercises for dancers to practice alone for self-improvement. Sol has coordinated the dance workshops at the XII Panamerican Scout Jamboree and choreographed a performance for this ballet. She has also taught in renowned tango studios in Buenos Aires (Moira Godoy, El Esquinazo, Tango Brujo, The Academy of Tango Milonguero) as well as in many festivals like: Seminario 1 and 2 NOA , the Portland Tango Festival 2010, Toronto Tango Festival 2009 and the Chur Tango Week 2009 and 2010 beside teaching in cities around Europe and the US over the last 4 years with her partner, Juan Cantone.

Manuk Colakyan - DJ
Manuk is an aficionado of Argentine Tango. He dances, collects its music and DJ’s. Manuk’s encounter with Argentine Tango goes back to his childhood years; his interest was rekindled about 12 years ago when he started dancing and collecting the music. With his large collection of recordings, Manuk believes that there is plenty of great music to be offered to the dancers and always tries to play a few of the lesser heard recordings when he DJ’s. Manuk mostly DJ’s in the Mid-Atlantic States, DC area and in his native Istanbul during his visits. During non-tango hours, Manuk works as a Chemical Engineer. He lives in Charleston West Virginia with his family.

Sharna Fabiano & Isaac Oboca - Instructors
Sharna began her life as a tanguera 13 years ago in Boston. She has had the extraordinary opportunity to apprentice, assist, and partner many of today's most celebrated tango legends including Pablo Veron, Pablo Pugliese, "Tete" Rusconi, Juan Bruno, Omar Vega, "Chicho" Frumboli, Daniel Trenner, Rebecca Shulman, Luciana Valle, Brigitta Winkler, Javier Rochwarger, and many others. She played a significant role in the development of tango in New England, and since relocating to DC, founded her own professional dance company and the nonprofit organization Tango Mercurio. In 2006, she met Isaac, who had recently begun his own professional teaching career in NYC, Toronto, and Berlin. Together, they toured in Europe in 2007 and 2008, and established the Tuesday night ESL Milonga in DC. Isaac become a photographer in 2009, but we've managed to drag him out of retirement for this special Friday event!

Aja Fenn and Sven Elze- Instructors - DJ
Aja Fenn is originally from the UK, and has been dancing and exploring the art and technique of Argentine Tango for more than a decade. She makes regular trips to Buenos Aires to refine her skills and deepen her understanding of the dance. One visit resulted in a year and a half of consistent study and nightly dancing in the traditional milongas and popular practicas. Her childhood exposure to Russian ballet has contributed to her graceful understated style. Aja's teaching approach has been described as being "full of honest integrity". She believes that dancing tango is about creating a physical manifestation of the music and emphasizes the importance of self-exposure and courage in bringing who we are to our dancing. Her recent teaching focus has been on women's leading and men's following in order to awaken people to a holistic understanding of the dance. Aja's teaching career has taken her to London, throughout the United States and Australia. She compliments her study of tango with ballet and pilates training.

Sven Elze has taught and performed in festivals all over Europe and has been a resident Instructor for 9 years at Mala Junta, one of the most prestigious tango schools in Berlin. He has influenced and taught tens of hundreds of tango dancers, both new and seasoned and is respected amongst his peers as one of the finest leaders in Europe. Before tango, Sven travelled and performed as a full time musician for 7 years. His education in music focused on the tabla, tonbak, and cajon, giving him a profound understanding of rhythm and musicality. Sven also trained extensively in energy arts such as Tai-Chi-Chuan, Chi-Gung and Toaist Breathing and more recently discovered the Russian martial art, Systema. Since discovering tango, Sven has dedicated all of his energy to it. He has spent extended periods of time training in Buenos Aires with Mariano Chicho Frumboli in advanced seminars for teachers, and working individually and very closely with his dear friends, teachers and colleagues Mario Consiglieri and Anabella Diaz-Hojman. He has worked hard to incorporate and personalize the principles and teaching methods of his these high-class music and martial arts teachers into his own tango classes. He specializes in creating simple-to-complex tango drills fused with advanced rhythm-training, which combine speech and movement designed to train musical capability.

Pablo Fontana - Instructor - DJ

Shridhar Hannenhalli - Instructor - DJ

Sridhar has been a tango addict for over 11 years and has been teaching for 7 years. He lives and teaches in DC area. The main inspiration in his tango education are Susana Miller, Carlos Gavito, Brigitta Winkler, Julio Balmaceda and countless partners around the world. Tango remains the master in his instructions and the techniques are improvised to achieve a gentle embrace and stillness in motion where the music can be experienced and expressed with least intrusion to attain a meditative state of mind.

Dasha Khripkova - DJ
Dasha moved to DC three years ago after falling in love with Tango in Philadelphia. She has been active in the DC tango scene since late 2007, dancing and djing at local milonga. Recently, Dasha has been teaching at The Saloon, and Eastern Market occasionally. Dasha will talk about orchestras at the drop of a hat, engaging anyone any place anytime to express her passion on the excellence of a particular vintage year version of a song. Dasha has spun the dj wheels in Buenos Aires, Philadelphia, NYC, and Washington, DC. (photo by Yulia Kriskovets).

Yulia Kriskovets - DJ
Yulia has been DJing regularly both in Washington DC and on the national festival circuit since 2004. She carefully crafts her tandas based on the shape and taste of each song to make you dance all night long. She DJed in Washington DC Tangosutra and Tango Marathon Festivals, Boston's Tango de Los Muertos, Portland Tangofests, Ann Arbor Festivals, Tango Joven Festivals in Chicago, Providence festivals, and Austin and Houston Tango Festivals. (photo by Jaime Montemayor)

Anthony Lara - DJ
Anthony Lara is a popular tango DJ and dancer based in Washington, DC. He has been diagnosed with tango addiction since 2003, and finds his leisure time disproportionately occupied by dimly lit dance floors, Golden Age tango music and the embraces of lovely women wearing high heels. Anthony listens to tango music almost every day, and is known to talk unceasingly and passionately about old Argentine orchestras when prompted by the unwary. His otherwise pristine home is filled with mountains of tango CDs, posing a certifiable fire hazard.

While puzzled that a cure for his affliction has so far eluded science, Anthony has coped by playing beautiful tango music that keeps dancers happy, entranced and full of tired feet by night's end. He recently became alarmed upon learning that scores of dancers throughout the East Coast have visited their podiatrists right after milongas in which he DJ'd. Dancers however have assured Anthony that what he is doing is actually a really good thing, and to keep doing it. Somewhat relieved, Anthony can be found DJ'ing at many of Washington's most popular milongas.

Katya Merezhinsky - Instructor

Martin Maldonado and Maurizio Ghella - Instructors

Martin and Maurizio, are two engaging young teachers and artists who look for expressive interpretation of Tango through good technique. They use this as an "excuse" to dance their feelings.

In teaching, they follow a system that allows them to develop not only the technical skills of the dancers, but also to give free space to expression and interpretation.

One of the main focuses of their work has always been the connection within the couple. The goal is to not only learn new steps, but to emphasize technique by paying close attention to your partner and through feeling the connection in the embrace. "When you're dancing like this, it will be easier to improvise, and also to approach your Tango in a much more relaxed way," say Martin and Maurizio.

In addition to teaching and performing Tango world-wide, they also present Argentine folklore dances--incredibly moving performances to watch and interesting to understand. They've worked at many well-respected festivals, such as Berlin Tang festival in Germany, Vienna Tango Week in Austria, Tango Postale in France, Misterio Tango Festival in Argentina, just to mention a few.

Martin and Maurizio possess an amazing capability to encourage and motivate their students by making it fun!

Jaime Montemayor - DJ
A practitioner of judo for two decades, Jaime found the exquisite art and discipline in a parallel universe called tango. Since that first moment some years ago, he has been quietly learning this incredibly personal and emotionally expressive dance. Along the way, he discovered the pleasures of playing music for others. When he is not djing or dancing, he is usually secretly snapping pictures of dancers.

Rachel Morrison - DJ
Rachel has been dancing since the age of 6, and considers it the most powerful influence in her life. She has years of ballet, modern dance and contact improvisation training and a minor in Modern Dance from Washington University in St. Louis where she also studied choreography and produced her own work. Since discovering tango in 2004, she has studied with many different teachers and has only fallen deeper in love with its subtle beauty and passionate connections. She has also developed a deep appreciation for the expressive and inspirational power of the music and has embraced the opportunity to shape the energy of a milonga through DJ’ing. She has been playing around the Baltimore and DC area for the last four years.

Monica Paz - Instructor
Monica Paz was born and raised in Buenos Aires. Tango has been her full time profession for the past 15 years. She is deeply committed to the tango milonguero style, the “real” milonguero style with chest-to-chest connection. This is the style she dances at the Milongas Porteñas (in Buenos Aires) each week with the best milongueros. She feels lucky to have had this experience especially with Gavito and Tete. However, there are many more well known tango dancers she partners with in Buenos Aires, including Chiche Ruberto and Nestor La Vitola, among others. Below is the link to her channel on YouTube, where you can see her dancing with them. www.youtube.com/user/monicapaz2x4 Monica has developed a highly efficient style of teaching and can work as both leader and follower. She has the ability to communicate to both the male and female roles in social Tango dancing. In 2008 and 2009 she brought her teaching style and passion for the tango milonguero style to the United States and Europe, offering classes and workshops, and a number of tango performances, primarily on the East Coast of the U.S., Belgium and the Netherlands. In June of 2010 she started holding PractiMilonguero. an unprecedented event where one can learn and practice the codes of the traditional milongas in Buenos Aires. In addition, every other week Monica interviews a special guest at PractiMilonguero.

Click here to see these interviews. http://www.youtube.com/user/PractiMilongueros
Checkout Monica's Website: www.tangopormilongueros.com

Ramu Pyreddy - Instructor - DJ
Ramu Pyreddy is the founder of the Michigan Argentine Tango Club at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor - a community well known for its excellent social dancing skills. He is one of the most knowledgeable and sought after tango DJ's in North America and is a featured DJ at most tango festivals in the US. He teaches tango for the social dance floor with an emphasis on musicality and connection. His teaching and dancing are characterized by a keen musical interpretation, an infectious enthusiasm and a deep love of the music and the dance that is fanatic.

Diana Sánchez Benítez & Claudio Fortes - Instructors
Claudio and Diana as Tango instructors love to help people have a memorable Tango experience. Their workshops, seminars, and private lessons have been hosted by organizers from Argentina, the United States, Italy, Mexico, Norway, and Spain. By focusing on the individual Tango student's skills, Claudio and Diana clearly explain and teach a wide range of genuine Argentine Tango, from the traditional to the new styles. For almost 20 years, Claudio and Diana and been inspiring people to discover the passion of Tango.

As performers, Claudio and Diana are a dynamic Tango couple. They have their own special talents and are uniquely creative. Claudio's energy and composure combined with Diana's beauty and grace form a harmonious flow of cutting edge movement.

Diana has studied intense anatomy and movement, allowing her to create a magical experience of instructive dance. Also being a yoga instructor, Diana teaches dance so as to maximize artistic development without placing the body in positions that would cause undue stress and hardship to the students joints and muscles. Having been trained in different styles have allowed her classes to be fun and instructional to a wide range of students. Diana's classes are remembered fondly in every community she visits.

Claudio has studied Tango for 19 years and perfected the art of teaching. His unique concepts maximize a student's understanding of the most complex foot patterns. This results in the elevation of his students to the highest level of dancing in a short period of time. Many of his students are renowned dancers and Tango teacher and can be found teaching and dancing all over the world.

Meet Claudio and Diana at....

Natalia Schifini - Instructor
Natalia Schifini started dancing at the age of five with Ballet classes in her country of birth, Argentina. She became a Salsa dancer when she traveled through the Caribbean in her teen years, In 1995 she started taking Tango classes, then she moved to United States in 1997 and she was told she could not find a good "Argentine Tango Instructor" in United States. It wasn't until she met Anne Sophie de Ville in 2000 who was a local Dance Instructor that she started dancing Tango again. Anne Sophie was not only her teacher but also an inspiration to start teaching and finally organizing events for the community. Since then she has studied with Gonzalo Robinson, Graciela Gonzalez, Alejandra Arrue, Angel Coria, Mauricio Castro, late Gavito, Mariana Montes and Sebastian Arce, Chicho Frumboli and Mariana Dragone, and Luciana Valle and "El Pulpo Esbrez and Luisa Paes, also locally with Carina Losano, Sharna Fabiano, as well as Pablo Fontana, Diana Sanchez and Claudio Fortes, Natasha Agudelo and Diego Benavidez, Natalia organized various Milongas and Visiting Instructors Workshops in Washington DC until 2009 when she moved to Florida to work as a Coach for an International Self Grow and Development Company. She also has a strong background in wellness with more than a decade of experience as a Dance Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Coach and Reiki Healer/Master. She currently teaches group and private lessons and workshops in the DC Metro Area.

Rebecca Rorick Smith and Eric Lindgren - Instructors
Rebecca started dancing Argentine Tango in 1999, while pursuing her BFA in Eugene, OR. Quickly realizing Tango was the artistic medium she had been searching for, she adopted a nomadic Tango lifestyle and then began instructing at the Eugene Tango Center. Since then she has taught within numerous sprouting and established tango communities across the nation. She has shared tango abroad in Great Britain, Canada, Germany, and in India. Rebecca has always believed in the transformative capacity the structure of Tango presents and is fueled by the metamorphosis of her students. She displays her own artistry through her carriage, creativity, and fiery grace. She offers her students accessible compassionate guidance combined with a deep understanding of both following and leading, movement, music, and technique.

Eric’s passion and ambition for Argentine Tango have been apparent from the moment he started dancing. Within weeks of his first class, he had moved to Buenos Aires. Over the following few years he made frequent trips to Argentina becoming increasingly certain of his desire to teach the dance professionally. In 2007 he began teaching full time at the well known Dance Manhattan in New York. Eric’s teaching focuses on strong use of metaphor and imagery with an emphasis on holistic learning. He believes that by transforming the way we see and relate to our partner, the music, and our movements as a whole, we can progress with the greatest ease and efficiency.

Rebecca and Eric began teaching together regularly in January of 2009. Since then they have taught in many major US cities and at festivals around the country. Coming from very different tango upbringings, Eric and Rebecca offer a unique blend of modern ideas about technique and vocabulary while maintaining a strong emphasis on traditional aesthetics and values in the dance.

Jake Spatz - Instructor - DJ
Jake Spatz has been resident teacher at the popular Eastern Market milonga since 2006, and in 2010 began teaching for the University of Maryland tango club. He has been invited to teach in New York, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Charlottesville, and as a DJ he has also played in Boston, Asheville, Providence, and Buenos Aires. His career on stage has included two television commercials, the lead role in a full-length tango play, and performances at Disney World, ArtScape, and the Kennedy Center. Jake's versatility within the world of salon tango has enabled him to partner Argentine dancers of different styles, including Cecilia Gonzalez, Monica Paz, and Mariana Galassi.

In addition to teaching, Jake translates tango lyrics and restores vintage recordings. He edited the bookIn Strangers' Arms by Beatriz Dujovne (McFarland, 2011), the first text in English to receive the endorsement of the National Academy of Tango in Buenos Aires.

Jake teaches every Thursday at Eastern Market (7pm Basics, 8pm Intermediate), and is available for private lessons at his home in Arlington. For more information, contact him at [email protected] or visit his website www.TangoDC.com.
Jake and Danarae Stevens - Instructors
Jake is drawn to the improvisational aspect of tango. Known for his traditional style, elegance, and clear lead, he applies the work ethic and teaching ability he developed as a National Champion collegiate tennis player and coach. Over the course of four trips to Buenos Aires, he has spent over a year studying tango intensively with the maestros.

Danarae started building the foundation of her dance at age 5 in her grandmother’s studio. She later performed and taught ballet, Jazz, contact improv, and ballroom for 20 years. After finding tango, she moved to Buenos Aires for intensive tango training with the maestros and has never looked back. She now dedicates her dance and teaching soley to Argentine Tango.

With over 30 years of combined dance experience, Jake and Danarae focus solely on teaching Argentine Tango in the spirit of Buenos Aires, focusing on technique, connection, elegance, and the culture of milongas. They believe the essence of tango is the dynamic between two people and that students learn best when they are able to get the perspective of two teachers who can simultaneously focus on the dynamic between lead and follow.

Tom White - DJ
Tom began DJing at the Colvin Run Dance Hall in 2007. Drawing from an extensive collection of golden age and contemporary tango music, his goal is to play tandas that keep you on the dance floor the entire evening. Although some of the old guard music is considered by some as classics, he avoids playing stodgy rhythmic music. “I like to select tandas with interesting instrumentation and phrasing to challenge the musicality of the dancers,” says Tom. “I’m especially fond of vals music and consider the vals tandas to be the highlight of each milonga.” With a background in engineering, he pays particular attention to the quality and fidelity of the music he plays. Tom is a member of the Colvin Run Citizens Association (CRCA) Board of Directors. He and his wife, Susan, first came to Colvin Run in 2006 in search of a venue to dance social ballroom. They quickly realized that this charming dance hall was a perfect venue for the local tango community. Together, they are responsible for hosting the tango events at Colvin Run. Proceeds from these dances go to the operation and maintenance of the dance hall.

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