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About our Instructors

Silvina Valz

Argentinean Silvina Valz teaches and performs tango throughout Europe, Japan, the United States and Buenos Aires. Silvina is one of the young great tango dancers whose dance incorporates elements from all styles of tango.

Silvina is a dancer of the younger generation, known for her work with milonga master, Dany García (El Flaco). In addition to being one of the tango’s rising stars, Silvina has worked as a choreographer with the Theatre Antoine Vitoz. She has a unique and beautiful dance style, filled with humor and passion. Her teaching is clear and well structured. Her work is grounded in the classic styles of tango, and is also a bridge to the more modern styles.

Oliver Kolker

Oliver Kolker, born in New York City, grew up in Argentina. His love for the Tango was inspired by his grandmother, a Tango singer and dancer. He studied with Miguel Angel Zotto, Osvaldo Zotto, Roberto Herrera, Graciela Gonzalez, Carlos Gavito, Carlos Copello, Horacio Godoy, and Luis Solanas. Together with Mora Godoy, Oliver started "Tango Emocion," a dance company of 6 couples and the Lisandro Adrovers Quintet. They toured throughout Europe visiting The Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Finland and Sweden. In 2002, Oliver placed 6th out of 150 couples at the World Tango Championship Salon Category. At the World Tango Championship in 2004, he reached the finals in the Stage Category.

More recently, Oliver taught in Israel as a special guest artist at the most prestigious Tango School in Tel Aviv, the Lidor Dance Studio. In New York City, he launched the extremely popular "TangoExperience," a company that organizes trips Buenos Aires for people to immerse themselves in the "world that is Tango." Oliver's passion for dancing and teaching the Tango has enriched Stepping Out's program immensely. To quote: "With Tango I have found my expression, my way of being able to communicate with another dancer in a beautiful dialogue."

Tomas Howlin

Born and brought up in Buenos Aires Tomas brings and shares his 12 years of teaching and performing experience in Argentina, North America and Europe. Through his understanding and dedication Tomas creates a bridge linking traditional tango with the newer tendencies.

Tomas dances and teaches authentic Argentine Tango. He had the privilege to study and assist some of the greatest teachers of all time: Pepe Avellaneda, Pupy Castello, Jose Brahemcha, Gustavo Naveira, Graciela Gonzalez.

His knowledge and pedagogy are unique and exceptional. Tomas believes in a natural, relaxed, comfortable, thoughtful and skillful tango; one that is unique for each person. Tomas is appreciated for his sharp eye, gentle humor, and accessibility. More information can be found on his website.

Rebecca Shulman

Rebecca Shulman has been affiliated with Dance Manhattan since 1994 helping develop the school's extensive Argentine tango program and curricula. Born in New York City, Rebecca studied classical ballet all her life and Contact Improvisation and yoga since 1993.

Her tango career began in 1991 with Daniel Trenner, with whom she began to perform and to visit Buenos Aires. Her Tango teachers include Mingo and Esther Pugliese, Gustavo Naveira and Olga Besio, Tete and Maria, Juan Bruno, and Antonio Todaro. She has performed with the finest dancers of her generation, and given workshops across the U.S. Students everywhere seek Rebecca's clear instruction on improvisation, technique, adornments, and musicality. For four years Rebecca taught and translated for Stanford University's Tango Week. In 1998 she taught at the Montreal Festival and for several weeks in Istanbul, Turkey. She has produced half a dozen popular instructional videos, available through Bridge to the Tango.

Rebecca is a co-founder and artistic director of TangoMujer, an all-women dance company which performed at Symphony Space and Town Hall in New York, and at the Podewil Theatre in Berlin in 1998. In 1999, TangoMujer received a National Dance Production grant from New England Foundation for the Arts, which sent the company on tour to seven cities in the 2000-2001 season. In 2003 TangoMujer performed at Jacob's Pillow, Denver Tango Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, and University of Maryland. In May 2005 they took their show to the Tanzhaus in Dusseldorf. (visit www.tangomujer.org)

In January 2002, Rebecca cohosted Bridge to the Tango's visit to Havana, Cuba, teaching tango to Cubans as part of a cultural exchange. In March she danced at the grand opening of the spring season of the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany. That summer Rebecca was honored for 11 years of contribution to tango in the U.S. In February 2003 she performed in "Swango: the Fusion" and in "Avantango" at Town Hall. In 2004 she gave workshops in Seattle, Portland, Baltimore and Northampton. In 2006 Jaimes Friedgen and Rebecca started the tango scene in Bombay.

More than a dozen of New York's current tango teachers are Rebecca's former students. Her dance partners after Daniel have included Omar Vega, Metin Yazir, and currently Constantin Rueger. Every Monday night she hosts the largest milonga in New York, Luna, which has been running at Dance Manhattan for over ten years.

Jaimes Friedgen

North American tango phenomenon Jaimes Friedgen hails from a family of dancers and artists and has since early childhood been immersed in a world of creative movement. With extensive training as a gymnast and a background in a variety of performing arts, including theater, music, and many forms of dance, Jaimes came upon tango at the age of fifteen. He has since learned from and worked with many of the most respected figures in the tango world and remains unclassifiable, transcendent of style and category. He has spent several years dancing, teaching, and performing throughout North America, Europe and Asia, and always continues to explore new territory within the dance.

As one of the most popular teachers in the U.S. today, it is not surprising that he is often booked more than a year in advance. He is well respected by his peers for his creativity, musicality and deep insight into the inner workings of the dance. Countless tango teachers both in the States and abroad have benefited from studying with Jaimes. He is driven to be a full time tango teacher by his love of watching people continually grow and blossom through their exploration of tango, and feels fortunate to be a part of that process. He is also a dynamic performer, and has brought much inspiration to dancers everywhere through his rare combination of fluidity, subtle elegance, and fierce animalistic intensity. His absolute love of tango is undeniable and shines through every movement he makes and every word he utters.

More about Jaimes and his tango school on his website.