Ney Melo and Jennifer Bratt
World-renowned tango dancers and teachers Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt started in the New York City and Buenos Aires tango scenes, learning from the old milongueros and dancing every night in the milongas. They started their tango classes in NYC in 2003. These classes were immensely popular. In 2007, they relocated to the West Coast and opened their studio "TangoVida San Francisco" on 1120 Pacific Street in San Francisco. After three marvelous years there, they moved to South Beach and opened "TangoVida Miami" in 2010.
Ney and Jennifer are dedicated to inspiring students to dance tango with feeling, musicality, cadencia, and connection - the way it is danced in Buenos Aires. The atmosphere in their classes is relaxed, personable and lively, and they place equal emphasis on the lady's role as the man's. Technique and the essence of tango, both fundamental to dancing well, are stressed in whatever step is being shown. Their instruction is highly respected and sought out by beginning and advanced dancers, as well as other teachers and choreographers.
In addition to running TangoVida, Ney and Jennifer have been busy touring the world. They regularly teach and perform in Poland, Singapore, Malaysia, Romania, Slovenia, Australia, and New Zealand as well as extensively all over North America.
Jaimes Friedgen and Christa Rodriguez
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 yet remains unclassifiable, transcendent of style and category.
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. 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 in his every movement and word. Countless tango teachers both in the States and abroad have benefited from studying with Jaimes.
Jaimes has been a full-time tango teacher for most of his adult life. Before that, he traveled from town to town with a suitcase and his guitar, sleeping on rooftops and singing songs for bus fare! A dancer of extraordinary accomplishment, Jaimes is often hailed for his beautiful movement and musicality, has spent years dancing, teaching, and performing in North America, Europe and Asia, and always continues to explore new territory within the dance. He is highly sought after for his workshops; and his presence in Ann Arbor would be a special opportunity to learn from one of America's truly great tango teachers.
Christa began her affair with tango as a completely incompetent beginner. Of course all beginners are incompetent at what they are beginning, by definition; that's the freedom and pleasure of being a beginner. But Christa was really bad. The veterans of the scene thought she might not make it, despite her extraordinary enthusiasm and hard work. Five years later, she is one of the most influential dancers in the city and serves as the primary inspiration for a whole generation of female dancers (not to mention keeping the guys in line). She takes great pride in the progress of her students and continues to pursue her study of dance with the same voracious appetite as when she was that wobbly, wide-eyed teenager years ago. Those who know Christa well know her to be a master of creating beauty out of anything; be it sheet metal, a beat-up old guitar, oil on canvas, the intricate movements of tango, or a friend with two left feet.
Tine Herreman (NYC)
Tine plays devastating tangos, soaring valses and irresistible milongas. And some very groovy alternative, when the crowd is so inclined. She creates a warm and genial mood for the dancers to enjoy each other's embrace. She has a vast collection, but every song she plays is a greatest hit. As a dancer, Tine likes to lead and follow uncomplicated tango with sophisticated musicality.
Tine deejays at big and small milongas in New York and the Northeast, and occasionally beyond. Festivals included the Portland Tango Fest, NY Tango Festival, Tango de los Muertos, the Atlanta Tango Fest, the Yale Tango Fest, and others. She has played all-night events in Montreal, San Francisco and Europe. She hosts and often DJs Tango Lounge (Friday), Tango Loft (4th Saturday) and Tango Fix (Mondays) in New York.
Tine is pronounced like "Tina".
Yulia Kriskovets (DC)
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 Houston Tango Festival.
Lung-Kuei Lin (NYC)
While quietly going about his business, Lung-Kuei has attracted both the envy and affection throughout the tango community. His immersion in the tango world has been a happy success and his extensive travels have helped him develop a keen sensitivity towards what makes a milonga go well.
Lung-Kuei started studying tango in 2005 and began deejaying in 2007. Gradually he built a solid reputation as a deejay and now he's invited to spin tunes at the most popular and best milongas across the country. His choices are not strange: he just plays one good song after another, placed in sequence with sensitivity.
Lung-Kuei has zero attitude about what he does well, and always keeps a sense of humor about things, while remaining a serious milonguero, 100% dedicated to the craft, the life and the music of tango.
Denzil Bernard (Ann Arbor)
Tango was another dance to try, but soon Denzil found himself spending hours simply walking in the rhonda - analyzing and refining until suddenly he was dancing. Finding the basis of his dance in the music, Denzil quickly took an interest in DJing and teaching and began sharing his musical point of view on the dance floor, behind the DJ table, and in the classroom. Believing the learning process to be lifelong, he is continually seeking out and expanding his knowledge both on and off the dance floor.
Elizabeth Garcia (Ann Arbor)
A distraction on Wednesday evenings turned into a commitment for every other day of the week, and before she knew it, she found herself volunteering to teach and deejay for the Michigan Argentine Tango Club. An ardent believer that each person has a role to play in the dance, for better or for worse, she tries to impart this sense of ownership in her teaching. While you could find her breaking a leg to a wide variety of music, her heart belongs to the traditional music of the golden age for dancing Tango.
Mani Kashanianfard (Ann Arbor)
He was still finding his way on the dance floor, when he found himself with a stack of Tango CDs and more music than most dancers around. Having moved to Ann Arbor, he found himself in a Club that was as welcoming to the new dancer as it was to providing an opportunity to deejay. A regular DJ for the Michigan Argentine Tango Club now, he finds himself discussing Tandas and playlists with anyone willing to listen. His enthusiasm for the music is second only to that for the dance, and he is known to host a milonga after the milonga before calling it a night.