Ney Melo & 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 many marvelous years there, they have returned to New York City and have added two new tangueros to the family: Kilian and Starla.
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 NY, Ney and Jennifer have been busy touring the world. They regularly teach and perform in Italy, Romania, Istanbul, Australia, and New Zealand as well as extensively all over North America.
Felipe embodies a very fluid style of dancing, moving seamlessly through all ranges of the embrace. His dance is at once dynamic, smooth and extremely musical. As teacher, his dedication, enthusiasm, and sheer knowledge of the dance always come across with great clarity. To watch him and to work with him is extremely inspiring and instills a real joy and respect for the dance.
Felipe has an extensive background in other forms of movement and has been influenced by the most respected tango masters and dancers. He is a prominent tango teacher in the San Francisco/Bay Area and shares his passion for tango all over North America and Europe.
Maria Elena Ybarra
Maria Elena Ybarra was born in Chaco, Argentina and grew up in Buenos Aires where started to dance tango by the beginning of 2000. She studied with renowned teacher of different styles such as; Martin Ojeda, Eliana Sanchez and Dana Frigoli, Pablo Villarraza, Carlos and Maria Rivarola, Jorge Torres, Carlos and Rosa Perez, Daniel Nacucchio, Chicho Frumboli and Juana Sepulveda, Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, among others. Maria's dance has also been improved and changed through the years by Argentine Folklore, Modern Jazz and Swing. Currently, wherever she is, she keeps a daily practice of Yoga.
Maria became a professional tango dancer when she performed at Palais de Glace where she was one of the cast member of the Play: No Me Despiertes Nunca. Followed by performances at Homero Manzi, Cafe Tortoni, and Cafe Homero. In the US, she has performed for The Hispanic Heritage Festival, Longy School of music with musicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bronx Tango with director Gustavo Casenave, Boston Tango Festival 2010 with Tito Castro Quartet and, Valentango 2012. In addition, Maria Elena Ybarra has performed at various milongas in the US among which are: Nocturne, Tango Lounge, Ukranian's Dance Tango, RoKo, Practilonga, Dance Union in Boston, Dance Manhattan, and Tango Under the Tent.
As a tango teacher she has taught in Buenos Aires at Escuela Argentina de Tango, and Villa Malcolm. As well as in the US, at Princeton University, Dance Manhattan, Dancesport, Lafayette Grill, Practilonga and for the Harvard school of Public Health. Maria is grateful to have shared classes and performances with; Gabriel Glagovsky (Buenos Aires), Hernan Brizuela (ARG), Robin Thomas (NY), Xavier Venier (Montreal-NY), Dominic Bridge (Portland), and Felipe Martinez (Madrid-San Francisco). Maria believes that a grounded technique allows the follower to be active and gives the leader confidence; therefore, making the couple look connected, harmonious and elegant.
Yulia Kriskovets (Washington, 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 Austin and Houston Tango Festivals.
Angel Montero (Atlanta)
Angel started studying tango in early 2002, and soon he became addicted to the social aspect of the dance. He started organizing milongas in Atlanta and Djing even before he started his teaching career in 2006. As a DJ, Angel has developed his own style, always favoring highly rhythmic and danceable music, with D'Arienzo and Biagi as his favorites orchestras, but also with Calo and Di Sarli high in his preferences. Beyond his personal preferences, he believes that the dance floor dictates the music to be played, always with the ultimate goal of keeping dancers wanting to dance every single set of music, always for a different reason, and giving them every option. Among his influences, he mentions Robin Thomas, Shorey Myers and Ramu Pyreddy. Angel is often the DJ of choice in most tango events organized in the Southeast (Asheville, Charleston, Augusta, Charlotte, Durham) and has been also invited to be part of the DJ staff and further away festivals like Denver and Ann Arbor.
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.
Harish Ganesh (Ann Arbor)
Tango is not for everyone, but if it is for you, you know what I am talking about. It so happened that I was at the apt place (MATC) to not only learn the dance but also discover the nuances and the expressiveness in it. The story isn't important, I am here and I strive to play music to keep the floor active, lively, and engaging. Lets dance.