Your guides at the Prácticas:
Jenny – as an artist, musician, and Latin dance instructor for many years, Jenny found her true calling in dancing and sharing her understanding of tango. With athleticism and grace, she flows effortlessly through complex movements, always with a strong connection to the music and her partner. Her athletic background and focus on tango’s core movements combine delightfully to create a visually poetic expression of the music and her partner’s lead. Her years as a salsa dancer also contribute a distinctive flavor that is both engaging and entertaining. Jenny has worked with many of the traditional masters of tango in an effort to refine and develop her tango style. She then in turn works with many students and dedicates herself to helping them develop their own styles and become strong tango followers in their own rights. Her quiet encouragement and easy instruction have helped develop a new generation of talented dancers in the Chicago area.
Rod – has been dancing all his life, He and Jenny have performed at venues all around the world. Although his background has been mostly in hip hop and street dancing, he has fully committed himself to Argentine Tango. One can still see the lasting influence of his street dancing in his innovative and original tango style. It is also easy to see the coexistence of traditional tango movements and philosophy working in symmetry with a newer nontraditional influence, the end result of which is an eye-catching and entertaining performance. Rod annually spends time studying with the masters in Buenos Aires and spends much of his time teaching in Chicago.
Alberto Ramos Cordero and Micaela Colleen Barrett first started working together in the New York City tango scene then, after a time living in Buenos Aires and studying with their teachers, moved to Ohio to found The Cleveland Tango School. The school’s focus (healthy bodies, creative minds, great hugs) is on using tango to explore and understand one’s own creative expression as well as the nuanced power of nonverbal communication.
In their practice and their classes, Micaela and Alberto focus on clarity of communication and the joy of approaching this dance as an equal partnership. Micaela’s insatiable curiosity for how the body works complements Alberto’s keen ability to deconstruct movements and extrapolate from their fundamental parts. They’ve taken this eye for wholistic tango to communities and festivals near and far, promoting a truly social dance based on the ability to form an idea and get it across to someone else, not just a repertoire of pre-made figures. Tango as storytelling, and an opportunity to create something unique no matter who you’re dancing with; friends and strangers alike.
In their DJing, each of them brings a particular attitude of how to make a kickin’ party. But they certainly share an attention to the vibe of the room and desire for everyone to feel welcome. Whether you’re there to rock it out with the rhythm or gracefully swoon to the melody, they’re sure to offer the many delightful flavors of this dance we all love.
Avik began his tango journey in 2002 and since then has danced, DJ’d, and performed all over North America. He sees tango not only as an accessible art form but also as a way to discover and improve upon oneself. He is devoted to sharing it and his instruction over the better part of the last decade has been instrumental in developing the Ann Arbor tango community. Avik specializes in teaching social tango emphasizing connection, musicality, and improvisation. He has come to be known for his clear explanations which expose the core of any tango idea whether it be about movement or musicality.
In addition to his regular classes in Ann Arbor, he has taught all over North America and beyond. Some of the more interesting tango adventures he’s been on include two month-long immersions in Buenos Aires, DJing Monday night at Salon Canning, teaching tango to a Bollywood actress in Mumbai, India, and touring the U.S. with tango band Trio Folias. Through it all, he continues to have a vivid memory of what it was like to start learning this challenging dance and this aids his teaching in a profound way. An eternal tango student, Avik has taken classes from dancers in many tango traditions. The teachers who have left their mark most clearly are Gustavo Naveira, Susana Miller, Alex Krebs, and Robin Thomas. And in great measure, he has been guided by his experiences with his many talented students.