Instructors are listed alphabetically by location. Many teach all over the Bay Area, so please check tangomango.org or visit their websites for schedule of classes.
Location: San Francisco
Contact: email@example.com, 415-425-6515
Camille lived and danced in Buenos Aires 2006–10, after quitting her day job. Before tango took center stage 10 years ago, she danced everything from swing, ballroom and Latin to tap, jazz, and the tarantella. She studied with numerous teachers in San Francisco (including Rosy Radiator and Christy Cote), as well as in Argentina. Her favorite “maestros” were those who braved the milongas. Camille embraces all styles of tango—milonguero, salon, Nuevo, uptown, downtown, and all-around town. She approaches tango with a sense of humor and from a Zen/yoga grounding. A writer by default, she is the author of the memoir, Tango, an Argentine Love Story.
Caroline and Christopher have been dancing and teaching tango for over thirty years combined. Christopher was first introduced to Argentine tango in 1993, and made numerous trips to Buenos Aires to study and learn the social traditions of the milongas there. Caroline taught many forms of movement and danced salsa for almost a decade before being lured to the tango in 1997, and joined Christopher as his teaching partner two years later. Christopher and Caroline have the incisive ability to analyze movement and help improve a student’s technique on even the most subtle levels. In addition, they both lead and follow, giving them further insight into the technique of and relationship between the two roles. Christopher and Caroline are invited to teach at festivals all over the U.S. and abroad. Please visit their website to learn where they will teaching next.
Location: San Francisco
Christy Cote has taught dance for more than 35 years, and had specialized in Argentine Tango since 1996. Christy is one of the most respected teachers and choreographers in the U.S. Her teaching methods have been published in the Argentine Tango Manual by Dance Vision and is complimented by a series of 20 instructional DVDs by Christy and dance partner George Garcia. Christy is also the founding members and choreographers of Tango Con*Fusion . She teaches an intensive course every Tuesday at La Pista in San Francisco as well as intensive “Tango boot camps” several times a year.
Chelsea Eng is a lifelong dancer (extensive training in ballet and modern) and since 1994, a devotee of Argentine tango. Chelsea is a full-time tango professional: performer, improviser, choreographer and teacher. She has an extensive performance and choreography resume, having taught and performed all over the US and in Buenos Aires. She is the founder and director of the popular Argentine Tango Program at City College of San Francisco where she regularly teaches semester-length credit courses in Argentine Tango. Chelsea is a founding member of the all-women tango performance group, Tango Con*Fusión.
Location: Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland, San Francisco
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 510 375 8805
David Orly-Thompson teaching is clear, concise and great for foundation elements as well as advanced moves. Learn advanced tango elements utilizing seamless and sensual transitions from open and close embrace. Each week the class learns and analyzes multiple elements of the dance, how to lead and follow, and understand the structures involved. A fantastic class to help you reach a deeper level and understanding of the dance. David teaches at various venues around the Bay Area and offers private lessons.
Glenn has been dancing for numerous years and has studied with many of the Argentine masters. He has performed on stage productions, appeared on commercials, and performed in many public and private events. In his classes, Glenn focuses on the essentials of social dancing and promotes mastery of the basics. Students enjoy his classes on musicality and core-building fundamentals which includes ear training, mastering rhythms, and dance technique. Students get a broader perspective of the dance and not just memorization of flashy sequences. His website also has some great information on knowing your level, musicality and floorcraft.
Location: San Francisco
Gary has been dancing and teaching tango for over 20 years. His teaching style emphasizes elegance, musicality, variety, fun and practical moves for use in social dancing. Gary teaches regular 4-Week Tango Courses in San Francisco. They offer both beginner and intermediate/advanced classes.
Guillermo García was born in Bahia Blanca, a southern port of Argentina, where he grew up among tango, soccer, barbecues, military coups and numerous currency devaluations. Inexplicably attracted to the shape of the guitar, he started playing Argentine tango and folklore music at the age of 10, and classical guitar at age 15. As a dancer, Guillermo learned Argentine tango from some of the masters of the salón, milonguero and nuevo styles. He teaches a weekly tango salón class in San Francisco, and has taught numerous musicality workshops for dancers.
Starting her tango career in Portland, Oregon, teaching tango has now taken Jennifer all over the world: to Europe, Argentina and Uruguay, and extensively throughout the United States and Canada. Skilled in both leading and following, Jennifer frequently teaches alone, but has also taught regularly with known tango masters Alex Krebs, Robin Thomas, Evan Griffiths, Damian Lobato, and Martín Bel. Jennifer’s dance is characterized by her desire to strive for versatility. Since tango is a social dance, she believes it is integral to master not only close and open embrace, but also everything in-between. Furthermore, after having a connected and comfortable embrace, nothing is more important to Jennifer than the music. This is transmitted in her teaching, as she approaches every class with a strong command over the music.
Jennifer is available for private and group lessons, djing, and performances. She also sells Turquoise, Souple, Bandolera, Comme il Faut, DNI, and NeoTango tango shoes.
Location: San Francisco
Mayumi is an established Tanguera, known all over the Bay Area as well as in Europe and Argentina. Mayumi started dancing Argentine Tango in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1997 and has since danced and taught Tango all over Europe as well as the US. She has an elegant yet dynamic dance style and is skilled in both close-embrace and Tango Nuevo.
Location: San Francisco, Buenos Aires
Contact: email, 510.230.1732
Luz lives in both the Bay Area and Buenos Aires. Her style is fun, playful and dynamic. Luz Castineiras is a tango dancer at heart, a musician, and a music therapist. Aside from dancing tango she plays and teaches piano and has composed several tangos. Her first tango teacher was Rodolfo Dinzel, who taught her how to improvise and create dance, instead of reproducing it. She also finds inspiration in Chicho Frumbolli and Gustavo Naveira who brings an intimate understanding of tango music and dance.
Julian Ramil has been dancing Argentine tango in San Francisco since the early 1990’s, when the community first became established. With his numerous years of experience competing and coaching in martial arts as well as studying several dance genres (ballroom, ballet, jazz, modern, and Latin social dances), Julian developed a dynamic style of dancing and unique teaching method that has inspired and facilitated the development of a young generation of dancers in the Bay Area. Julian hosts the popular La Genesis Milonga in San Francisco.
Mila Salazar is a dancer, teacher and Tango DJ. She was the dance captain of the Libertango Dancers, danced as a guest member of Tango ConFusion and performed with her own group TangoFlor. Currently she is partnered with the La Pista Tango Studio and is expanding the programming there to develop it into the only tango school of its kind outside of Argentina. She presently teaches a Tango Fundamentals class on Mondays at La Pista. . Class descriptions and registration information can be found here.
Natasha, a native of Argentina, brings special insights into the lesson for both followers and leaders. On Tuesdays she teaches a popular Fundamental Argentine Tango Technique class that focuses on Tango walking, posture, embrace, navigational skill, musicality, molinetes, ochos, Tango etiquette and more. A practica follows the class held at Studio Gracia at 19 Heron Street in San Francisco. Natasha also hosts the popular Sunday Milonga also held at Studio Gracia. Natasha organizes the workshops for many famous Argentine dancers such as Gabrielle Misse, Natalia Hills, Geraldin Rojas and Ezequiel Paludi.
Sonja Riket has a unique teaching style that combines her vast experience of a 30-year dance career with 20 years of somatic practice. Sonja teaches a “Transformation Tango” class that explores Tango from the inside, for healing and connection. Rather than focusing on the moves and the mechanical technique of the dance her focus is on the somatic aspect, how one learns by experiencing.
Sonja hosts and teaches at the monthly CMC Mission Milonga.
Location: San Francisco
Contact: (415) 850.5869
Tom Lewis, the architect and owner of San Francisco’s premier tango salon, La Pista, began studying tango in 2004. Tom, who has studied other forms of energy and movement, such as Aikido, Leonard Energy Training, and Gyrotonics, loves to bring it all to bear in his tango teaching. He has had the privilege to study with numerous tango masters who have come through the doors of his well-loved salon, a refuge of dance, music, comfort and positive energy for the Bay Area. Tom loves cultivating tango partners with good fundamentals who are energetic, responsive, connected, and smooth. Visit www.lapistatango.com for more information on workshops and classes.
Felipe Martinez & Ayano Yoneda
Felipe and Ayano met in the tango scene of the SF Bay Area, and embody the global nature of tango, traveling full-time throughout North America, Europe, South America, and Asia to teach, DJ, and lecture about the music. Felipe’s background includes a degree in education and 19 years of experience in tango and is widely renown for his clear teaching strategy, enthusiastic personality, and ability to make real improvements in his student’s dancing. Ayano has been dancing tango since 2005 and is an accomplished and motivated dancer, with excellent movement technique and musicality. Both Felipe and Ayano lead and follow interchangeably which is invaluable for teaching. Their series at Stanford University and their classes at The Beat in Berkeley are always in high demand. Felipe and Ayano host the San Francisco Tango Marathon which happens annually in November, as well as co-host the Tango all-nighter, held monthly at the Beat.
Ivan Shvarts is the founder of the Senior Tango Program for the Bay Area. He has been the official tango instructor for San Francisco Parks and Recreation since 2006. Currently, he teaches both group and private classes in Emeryville, San Francisco, and Redwood City. Ivan is committed to providing a welcoming space for dancers of all levels and ages to develop their tango skills while simultaneously growing a community built on a celebration of movement and music. He is interested in how tango is a physical, emotional, and psychological dance that works out the body, the brain, and the soul. His teachers have included Puppy Castello, Nestor Ray, Tete Rusconi, and Gustavo Naveira with whom he studied the techniques of traditional Milonguero style.
Location: Oakland, Berkeley, San Francisco
Contact: email, 510-533-8112
Daniel Peters and Pier Voulkos are former professional modern dancers who discovered Argentine Tango several years ago. They have performed Argentine Tango throughout California as soloists and in collaborative Tango performance groups. Pier is also a founding member, dancer, and choreographer with Tango Con*Fusión, an all woman tango group. Daniel Peters has been known to DJ with vinyl records using two turntables and mixer at several SF milongas as well as creates beautiful 16mm tango films.
Location: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco
Website: Organic Tango School
Homer and Cristina are two of the most popular tango teachers in the Bay Area and around the world. They are known for their “organic” dancing style and clear, concise teaching methods. Each brings with them over sixteen years of social dance experience emphasizing a fusion of tango ideologies, via the ‘one tango’ philosophy. Both also have a pre-tango background in many other physical activities. Homer is also a founding member of the non-profit Project Tango organization whose biggest local projects include the weekly Cellspace alternative milonga and the Tango Exchange. Please visit their website for the latest updates.
Jonas Aquino & Xiaomin Jiang
Location: Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco
Jonas and Xiaomin met on the social dance floor of the SF Bay Area. Starting from 2007, Jonas has been teaching classes regularly and DJing tango events all around the US and beyond, in particular highlighting at Taiwan Tango Marathon, San Diego Tango and Austin Spring Tango Festivals, and Southern California Tango Championship, with repeat invitations to DJ at these and many other wonderful milongas in his travels. Xiaomin began her tango journey in 2013 training to compete in the Argentine Tango USA Championship and was a semi-finalist in the Enscenario Tango category as a first-time contestant in 2014. After immersing herself in dancing socially for a few years, Xiaomin began teaching and performing (improvisation and choreography) in 2016. Jonas and Xiaomin have been teaching together regularly at YWCA Berkeley/Oakland since 2017 and started organizing the All-nighter milonga at The Beat since 2018. Please visit their Facebook page for the latest updates.
Lisette is known as one of the best Tango dancers in the bay area with an impressive dance resume to back it up. She has performed and taught tango all over the US and in Buenos Aires. She is an elegant dancer and patient teacher who concentrates on the techniques necessary for smooth, powerful and beautiful dancing. She works with the whole body focusing on connection, alignment, lines and beautifying steps. Lisette co-hosts the Milonga Rubia held at the Allegro Ballroom, once a month on Sundays. Please visit her website to see her class schedule.
Mirabai has been dancing since a child. She studied many different dance styles but when she found Tango, she felt like she had come home. She lived, taught and studied Tango intensively in Buenos Aires for 5 years and spent the last 9 years touring the world teaching Tango. She placed 2nd in the 2012 USA Argentine Tango Championship Stage Category. She presently teaches private lessons at Allegro Ballroom. She is a skilled dancer and a knowledgeable and kind teacher.
Nora has taught at universities, colleges and tango associations throughout the United States and Europe. She is the co-founder of the Bay Area Tango Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the traditions of Argentine culture. She is the co-founder of Nora’s Tango Week held every July since 1998. Nora and Ed host “La Milonga de Nora” every second Saturday of each month at Allegro Ballroom in Emeryville. They teach in San Francisco at the Mission Cultural Center (Wed & Sat), in Emeryville at the Allegro Ballroom (Tuesdays), and in Palo Alto at Etz Chayim Congregation (Thursdays).
Location: El Cerrito
Contact: (510) 444-YOGA (direct line in studio) 0r (510) 390-2886
Jean-Pierre of West Central Africa’s Cameroon nation grew up in a cultural environment where dancing was part of normal living. He has been dancing Tango since 1998 and believes every one of the Tango Masters opened an enriching window in his mind. As well as dancing, Jean-Pierre is a talented musician. His music combines African melodies and rhythms from Cameroon with European and American styles of music arrangement. “Music cannot be confined to the narrow space of one’s own country or people. It is a universal gift of God to mankind.” Jean-Pierre runs the Magdalena Dance and Art Studio at 11163 San Pablo Ave, El Cerrito, CA
A dancer since childhood, Debbie began teaching and performing Argentine Tango in 1996. She holds a bachelors Degree in Dance and a Masters in Dance Education. Debbie is the organizing force behind the formation of the all woman Tango Con*Fusión Dance Company. John has studied intensively with a variety of teachers in the US and in Buenos Aires. John and Debbie have worked together since 1996 developing their own style and teaching methods. They teach at Knights of Columbus Hall in San Anselmo offering a full program of classes from beginning to advanced levels, a weekly practica, monthly milonga and an annual student’s theatrical dance production.
David Caditz began his study of Argentine Tango in the early 1990s in the dance department of Stanford University. He then spent several years in Argentina learning from masters such as Fabian Salas, Gustavo Naveira, Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa. In 2000, David founded the TangoMontana school in Bozeman Montana. In 2006, he relocated to San Francisco where he continues to perform and teach group and individual lessons. David is known for clear, concise teaching and dynamic dancing with an emphasis on partnership, musicality and intimate lead and follow.
David is also the author of “Changing Directions – A Concise Guide to the Topology of Tango”, an in-depth analysis of the geometrical structure of Argentine Tango. You can purchase Changing Directions on Amazon.com
Jonathan Yamauchi has danced Argentine tango since 2000, and has been greatly influenced by Carlos Gavito’s renowned sensuous and intimate close embrace style. Olivia Levitt has over 25 years of classical ballet training and was a principal dancer in the New York Theater Ballet, the San Francisco Ballet and the Oakland Ballet. Her classical training gives her an astute insight into technique that allows her to create beautiful adornments and express delicacy in movement. Jonathan y Olivia teach Apilado (Milonguero) Style at various locations throughout the Bay Area and Northern CA in private, semi-private and group sessions where students receive quality personalized instruction in every class.
Rose began dancing Salsa and Argentine Tango upon moving to San Francisco in 1999. She studied with Chelsea Eng and Christy Cote extensively and went on to become a principle member of Christy Cote’s LiberTango Dancers. She also teaches ballroom dance and graduated with high honors from Ballroom Dance Teachers College. Rose helps people prepare an Argentine tango dance for their weddings and has been called a “talented, enthusiastic and graceful instructor”.
Gustavo and Jesica Hornos, from Buenos Aires, are the Official 2011 USA Tango Stage Champions. They both have been dancing since they were very young. Jesica is also a trained ballerina. These two dance with class and style and are amazing performers. Most recently, they were dancers in the tropicana scenes of the HBO movie “Hemingway and Gellhorn”.They hold regular classes at the Motion Arts Center in San Mateo and at the Cheryl Burke Dance Studio in Mountain View. Watch a video of Jesica and Gustavo dancing.
Location: San Mateo
David and Nancy have an extensive history in dancing, performing, teaching and choreographing Argentine Tango and Salsa Romantica. Tango and Salsa have influenced their lives for over a decade and a half. The Mendoza’s teach salon style, stressing the social aspects of Tango, spontaneity, smooth floor navigation, and leading and following techniques. Nancy was one of the original 30 dancers who founded the Bay Area Argentine Tango Association. David has been dancing Argentine Tango since 1994 was a dancer with Pampa Cortes “Los Tangueros de San Francisco”. David and Nancy currently host “La Milonga de los Mendoza” in San Mateo and teach Argentine Tango classes at the Beresford Recreation Center in San Mateo.
Igor Polk founded Palo Alto JCC Zina Tango Club, in 2007 where he presently conducts classes several times a week. Igor’s philosophy in tango is to dance well, free and innovatively. Igor is also a master of rare traditional styles: Orillero, Canyengue and Apilado as well as more popular Salon and Milonguero. Since 2009 he has partnering with Cecilia Sung, a versatile and elegant dancer. Igor also teaches TANGO YOGA that focuses on correct alignment and the inner workings of your body while dancing Tango.
A native of San Francisco, Ken has over 19 years of Tango teaching experience covering Argentine Tango, Milonga, Vals cruzada. During his teenage years, Ken was the principal dancer with the Peninsula Ballet Theater. At 16 years old, Ken received an invitation from the Bolshoi Ballet to tour the U.S. with them, and to study in Moscow afterward. Beginning in 1990, Ken passionately embraced the Tango, studying extensively in Argentina under the most renowned Tangueros. In 1995, he was awarded 2nd Place in the Buenos Aires Radio Tribu Tango Contest, an unprecedented achievement for an outsider. He went on to win the Supreme Dance Award at the California Winter Festival. During the 1990’s, Ken founded five important milongas in San Francisco: Mission Blue Milonga, Monte Cristo Club, Studio 435 Broadway, Verdi Club and Tango Soma at Studio Gracia. In addition, he was the founder of the Argentine Tango Programs at the Metronome Ballroom and Studio Gracia. Ken presently teaches at Studio Gracia in San Francisco, Skyline College in San Bruno and the College of San Mateo.
Marcelo Solís was born in Rosario, Argentina. He has been an Argentine Tango dancer, choreographer and instructor for over 25 years. He has taught and performed in Argentina, USA, Canada and Europe. Among other recognitions, Marcelo was one of the jurors of the First USA Tango festival and Championship that took place in San Francisco on April 2011. In regard to teaching, Marcelo emphasizes musicality and the connection of dance partners to each other and the music. Marcelo stresses that Tango is a social dance framed by a specific set of values that are expressed through a series of codes of etiquette; and he encourages and promotes his students ability to improvise on the dance floor. On November 2011, Marcelo and associates from the Bay Area and Buenos Aires established the Escuela de Tango de Buenos Aires (ETBA). The purpose of ETBA is to help people find connection through Tango and to assist them achieve their full expression at every milonga they go to, anywhere in the world. Marcelo teaches all over the Bay Area; visit his website for class schedules.