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Historical Washington DC Artists, Djs, Musicians and Teachers

Noora-Lisa Aberman and Dima Berk
Celine Allard
Liz Borodkin
Peter Bulka
Irina Chikounova
Chris Cox
Linda and Marc Esen
Murat Erdemsel
Sharna Fabiano
Pablo Fontana
Bill Griffiths
Lucy Hood

Carina Rosario Losano
Arnaud Lucas
Isaac Oboka
Heifa O'Neill
Jeremy Nurse
Chan Park
Suzanne Perry
Bette Runge
Siempre Tango Orchestra
Danarae and Jake Stevens
Anne Sophie Ville


For a convenient and current listing of where to find all of the above, please refer to the Capital Tangueros Calendar.




Noora-Lisa Aberman and Dima Berk



Noora and Dima moved to Africa for a two year work assignment.

Noora-Lisa Aberman and Dima Berk have gained a reputation as an innovative and insightful teachers in the DC Tango community. Dima has began dancing tango in 2000 and Noora-Lisa have had an on and off infatuation with tango for many years. Noora-Lisa and Dima's style is light and fun, and they are known for their excellent nuevo-style open embrace dancing. Noora-Lisa's dance experience includes ballet, modern, jazz, tap, salsa and flamenco. Dima also dances swing. As teachers, they have an instinct for sensing the individual needs of each student.


They can be reached at dimatango@gmail.org or call 202-290-1910. Their website is www.tango-red.com



Celine Allard



Celine continues to dance tango however has currently stopped djing tango.

Celine Allard started tangoing five years ago in Paris. She incorporates her strong ballet background and love of the music in her close-embrace tango. Her main tango inspiration is Susanna Miller, and she does not hesitate to travel to meet new milongueros, in North America (Denver, Portland, Montreal, Anchorage) and in Europe (Paris, Niejmegen), if not to Buenos Aires. She recently started teaching with Sridhar Hannenhalli in Washington DC and Philadelphia. Her DJing skills are highly appreciated by the DC tango community.


Celine can be reached at CAllard@imf.org or call 202-441-9873.



Liz Borodkin


Liz has moved to Lebanon and continues to dance tango all around the world.

Liz, being a Russian native, grew up listening to Russian tango. A few years ago, she re-discovered tango through dance, and has been deeply immersed in it ever since. Following her passion, she has traveled the world to tango and studied it with numerous teachers, thus gaining a broad perspective on various styles and philosophies of this dance. At the center of her teaching is naturality, ability to adapt, and acute listening to both the partner and the music - all tools to be eventually transcended in a deeply-connected, alive, and creative dance experience. She likes to fuse tango with concepts from many other movement modalities which she had studies, such as yoga, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais, contact improvisation, floore barre, pilates, and many others. You might see her in milongas enjoying both leading and following...

Liz can be reached at liz_borodkin@yahoo.com or call 301-537-6649. Her website is www.geocities.com/liz_borodkin



Peter Bulka


Peter continues to dance tango however has currently stopped teaching tango.

Peter Bulka has been dancing milonguero style Argentine Tango for seven years. Like life it has been a continuing journey of learning, experiencing and evolving. Traveling far and wide in search of knowledge to become aware of what makes a great Tango dancer, one step at a time, learning how to stand, how to walk, how to feel, how to give, to take what life has given you and with the music transform it into magical moments of movement. To melt with your partner and flow like water cascading across a stream, Enjoying the embrace, to be in trance, waking up when the music stops. To experience Argentine Tango.



Peter can be reached at pbulka1@comcast.net



Irina Chikounova


Irina continues to dance tango however has currently stopped teaching tango.

Irina is a carrot-juice addict from the capital of Siberia, who evidently didn't heed the bumper stickers that say, "Dancers: Don't quit your day-job". It wouldn't have made a difference if they said, "Dancers: Don't travel the tango festival circuit" because the only thing Irina does read (as far as anyone can tell) is the first half of French novels (in Russian). But she also has a serious side, and has accumulated years of professional experience as an environmental engineer, specializing in work with biosolids (also known as sludge). She currently divides her time between dancing, and working on a patent for a secret decoder ring with a matching set of bracelets.

Inventive, balanced, and playful, Irina is among the most unique tango dancers to set foot in a milonga, with an assertive style unlike anyone else's. Possibilities multiply in her presence, and spectacles abound. She's so apt to find room for creativity in the dance, one Argentine master dubbed her "the gancho thief" a title she's kept with pride, and earned in spades. In 2000, Irina partnered with Murat Erdemsel for teaching and performances, and has dazzled audiences in Washington DC, Virginia, Maryland, New York City and Pennsylvania with her energetic, one-of-a-kind dancing.


Irina can be reached at bernini6@aol.com and her website is tangorina.com



Chris Cox


Chris moved to Texas and continues to dance tango.

Chris Cox is a Renaissance Man. Born in NY, he grew up in Manhatten and Great Neck, Long Island. Chris attended Cornell University and has taught high school students in the Bronx. He is very well received painter and has exhibited in the NYC and DC areas. An example of his work is on the front of this website. Chris attended Life University and currently is a Chiropracter.

However, most importantly, he co-founded of Milonga de Suenos.



Chris can be reached at chris0361@comcast.net or call 703-599-4950.



Linda and Mehmet Esen

Linda and Mehmet continue to dance tango however have currently stopped teaching tango.

Linda & Mehmet (Marc) enjoy sharing their tango experience and helping others gain insight into this elegant and colorful dance. They emphasize the basic elements of tango, such as posture, musicality, and connection, which prepare students to begin their own tango journey.

Linda discovered Argentine Tango in 1995 while living in France and was immediately charmed by its beauty. She brought her love of Tango back to the United States, where she continued exploring the many intricacies of the dance. Soon after, she began teaching and promoting the close-embrace style of tango in her hometown of Atlanta.

Mehmets passion for dance started with West Coast Swing in 1998. When he was introduced to Tango two years later, he found himself captivated by the music and dance. Since then Mehmet studied tango intensively with various instructors and focused on the close-embrace style.


Linda & Mehmet can be reached at mail@tangocolor.com. Their website is www.tangocolor.com



Murat Erdemsel

Murat and his wife, Michelle travel the world teaching tango.

Murat Erdemsel has quickly become one of the foremost performers and teachers of Tango worldwide. His training around the globe in dance, music and fine arts (his art continues to be both a critical and commercial success, and is displayed in galleries in many countries) suffuses his style with the perfect blend of senses for the movement of bodies through both time and space. Murat has performed in a wide variety of prestigious settings and with the world's top dancers, including a recent performance at the Metropolitan Club NYC for the president of Argentina. He is now partnering with Valeria Solomonoff..

Murat's argentine tango instruction is technically skillful and personable, successfully combining the technical analysis of movement and the sensory interpretation of music. Having recently relocated to NYC from Washington DC, he is now an instructor at Dance Manhattan offering workshops, group classes and private lessons.

Murat can be reached at murat@muraterdemsel.com or call 202-294-1200. His website is muraterdemsel.com



Sharna Fabiano

Sharna moved to LA to continue her education and continues to dance and teach tango.

Sharna Fabiano has over twenty years of dance experience, the last decade of which has been devoted to the cultural study of Argentine tango. She has been educated in several traditional social dance styles by some of the greatest names in the modern Tango Renaissance, and is regarded as an innovator who has remained connected to the tango's roots while exploring its ever-changing modern aesthetics and vocabulary. Sharna is recognized around the globe for her elegant, powerful dancing and for her expertise in both leading and following roles.

Between 1999-2004, Sharna made five journeys to Buenos Aires to study and absorb the deep culture of tango. She also appears on instructional videos partnering two of today's most well-known Argentine dancers, Mariano "Chicho" Frumboli and Jose Garofalo. Based in Washington, DC, she travels frequently as a guest instructor around North America and Europe, and visited Cuba twice as part of a US-licensed cultural exchangein 2002. Among her most influential teachers she counts Rebecca Shulman, Daniel Trenner, Brigitta Winkler, Pablo Veron, Chicho Frumboli, Gustavo Naveira, and Pedro 'Tete' Rusconi. Her own teaching is characterized by a clear, articulate knowledge of body movement, and by a great depth of understanding of tango improvisation.

In 2003, Sharna joined the internationally acclaimed TangoMujer Dance Company, a group of all-women tango dancers based in NYC, and in 2006 she established Sharna Fabiano Tango Company in Washington, DC. She has performed at the prestigious Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival, and in NYC, San Francisco, Berlin, Dusseldorf, and Hamburg, Germany, as well as in DC at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center, Lisner Auditorium, and Argentine Embassy. Sharna has been interviewed for publications in the Netherlands, Germany, and Czech Republic, and was named to Dance Magazine's "25 To Watch List" for 2008. Her written articles on the depth and mystique of social tango have been widely read and translated into several languages.

Sharna can be reached at sharnafabiano@gmail.com or call 202-277-4073. Her website is www.sharnafabiano.com



Pablo Fontana




Pablo passed away in the middle of December 2011. He is greatly missed.

Pablo Fontana is a dancer, performer, choreographer, and teacher of the Argentine Tango. Pablo has trained extensively with professionals such as Juan Carlos Copes and Gustavo Naveira. He has received many awards including the "Golden Obelisco" by Carlos Mattera Producciones in 1997 and the "Hugo del Carril" award in 1997. His television and film credits include an appearance on the Cristina Show, and a performance in the film Tango Lesson by Sally Potter. He also has performed live for such prestigious events as the "Latino Diamante Awards" in 1999, at the Kennedy Center with QuinTango in March 2000, and at the Inauguration for President Bush in January 2001.

Pablo can be reached at fontanatango@yahoo.com or call 301-251-8585. His website is www.fontanatango.com



Bill Griffiths


Bill continues to dance however has currently stopped organizing the Eastern Market Milonga in May 2013.

Bill also known as Tango Buddha Productions host the Eastern Market Milonga on Thursday nights at the historic landmark building behind the US Capital. Bill has been dancing for several years, however as he will tell you himself is a hustler. He 'hustled' for many years in the market, so for Bill it's a return home. Bill couldn't think of a better way to come back to the venue which now has become a beautiful gallery then hosting a weekly milonga.


Bill can be reached at GriffithsWF@aol.com or call 240-372-5134.



Lucy Hood



Lucy continues to dance however has currently stopped organizing tango events.

Lucy Hood started dancing tango in Washington, DC, in 1992 or 1993, somewhere thereabouts, and she quickly became a dedicated member of a burgeoning tango community. Then she went to Texas, where she traded in three inch heels for a lariat and spurs and fell off the tango map. After a nine-year hiatus, she recently returned to the DC tango community, and she's back at it, drawn once again to the elusive and addictive nature of the tango. Hence the Practica del Beso, which she co-hosts with Shashin at the West End Library. Lucy finds the tango to be a constant learning experience and a constant challenge. But the dance has its rewards, she says, and when pieces of it fall into place, it's as sweet as a good tequila buzz on a moonlit beach.


Lucy can be reached at LAHOOD5@aol.com or call 202-386-1315.



Carina Rosario Losano

Carina moved to Miami and continues to teach and dance tango.

Carina Losano is a native of Buenos Aires and has studied many forms of dance, including ballet, contemporary, modern-jazz, flamenco, and salsa, but she is internationally recognized for her mastery of tango. Carina trained with many of the great Argentine tango masters such as Juan Carlos Copes, Eduardo Arquimbau, Pepito Avellaneda, Gloria and Rodolfo Dinzels, Carlos Rivarola, Gustavo Naveria, Fabian Salas, and Graciela Gonzales and taught students from all over the world at the revered Confiteria Ideal in Buenos Aires before moving to the US.

To deepen her understanding of the history and structure of tango, Carina took classes at the Tango University of Buenos Aires on the theory and interpretation of tango music, tango style and technique, and tango poetry. She was appointed a Cultural Ambassador by the Secretary of Culture of Buenos Aires in 2000 and now serves as the official tango instructor of the Argentine Embassy in Washington, DC. Carina is an accomplished choreographer as well as performer and instructor, and her credits include teaching Madonna tango technique for her role in Evita, and co-choreographing the PEPSI commercial starring Shakira that was aired nationally throughout the U.S during the 2003 Academy Awards.

Carina's skill as a dancer and teacher has been acknowledged with numerous awards and accolades, including the 'Golden Obelisk', 'Teacher of Milongueros', 'Young Generation of Milongueros', and 'Dedication to Tango', which was awarded by Juan Carlos Copes. She also was awarded First Prize in the 'Championship Hugo del Carril' in 1997 and for three consecutive years represented 'Solo Tango TV' in the International Exposition of the Cable Industry.

As an instructor, Carina teaches a style of tango, which is elegant and dynamic, while at the same time relaxed, comfortable, enjoyable, and accessible to everyone. Her natural ability and her training with some of the greatest masters from Argentina give her a unique capacity to instill her students with a deep feeling for the subtle nuances of tango. She emphasizes contact and communication between dancers so that they move together in rhythm and harmony. Under her guidance, students realize a new feeling for music and movement, and they come to enjoy the sensations, which have made tango a seductive art for generations.

Carina can be reached at caritango@yahoo.com or call 240-601-6106. Her website is www.caritango.net



Arnaud Lucas


Arnaud continues to dance tango however has currently stopped teaching tango.

Arnaud has a background in music and ballroom dancing, but for the past 6 years he has focused exclusively on the Argentine tango. Arnaud has studied tango in Europe and in the US and regularly partners some of the best female dancers in Washington DC for classes and performances. Arnaud's natural musicality and sensitivity to his partner make him a sought out lead on stage and in social dancing. Arnaud teaches a well-established series of classes all around Washington DC and runs a regular milonga at MezeTango Lounge in Adams Morgan.

Arnaud can be reached at aylucas@yahoo.com or call 703-626-6786. His website is www.sietetango.com







Isaac Oboka

Isaac moved to LA and continues to dance tango however has currently stopped teaching tango.

Isaac Oboka is a gifted young dancer from Denver, Colorado. With the smooth, effortless quality attributed to the most sophisticated social dancers, his tango is full of surprises, originality, and humor! From 2002-2005, Isaac's passionate quest for the heart of the tango took him to hundreds of dance floors across the US, and to Buenos Aires for an intensive study of three months. In 2006, he began his professional career traveling as a guest instructor to over a dozen cities in North America. In 2007 he formed his partnership with Sharna with a 4-month tour in Europe, and is now teaching regularly in Washington, DC. Isaac is particularly skilled in addressing the details of body positioning to achieve ease and comfort in the tango embrace.

Isaac is greatly inspired by the innovative dancing of Argentine artists Chicho Frumboli/Eugenia Parrilla and Gustavo Naveira/Giselle Anne. His tango path has been influenced by many people including Nick Jones, Alex Krebs, Jaimes Friedgen and Homer Ladas.

Isaac can be reached at isaacoboka@gmail.com or call 720-252-6701. His website is www.isaacsharna.com



Heifa O'Neill

Heifa has currently stopped her involvement in tango.

Heifa was born and raised in Lebanon where she learned to love that country's traditional folk dance, the Dabkeh. Eventually, she joined a Dabkeh troupe where she taught, choreographed and performed at numerous venues. Her dance history also includes performing Eastern European folk dances as well as some Appalachian clogging. A few years later, her interest in the social styles of dance turned into a fascination with the Lindy Hop. Along the way, she also enjoyed other types of dances such as the Waltz and the One-step, Contra and Zydeco. Heifa came to tango in 2001 and has been immersed in it ever since. She found in tango a unique demand for connection that engenders a passionate dynamic unequaled in other dances. For her, tango represents the ultimate in dance creativity because of its endless opportunities for improvisation. Heifa has hosted Susana Miller for the past three years and more recently Maria Plazaola, with the help of Tuan Tran.

Heifa can be reached at email.



Chan Park


Chan moved to BA and is currently traveling the world teaching and dancing tango.

As innovative and adventurous tango dancer and teacher, Chan made it his quest to promote tango danced socially, for pleasure. As milonguero dancers he simply move together to the rhythm of tango, pausing only to convey his physical and emotional expressions. In his dance, there is no choreography involved, but joy, movement, connection, and creativity.

His dedication to tango has contributed to establishment of an enthusiastic and ever-growing tango community in the Metropolitan Washington, DC area. To teach and learn tango dancing and share its pleasure, Chan have offered workshops in Europe, Asia and North and South America.


Chan can be reached at tangozen@hotmail.com. His website is www.tangozen.com



Jeremy Nurse

Jeremy has currently stopped his involvement in tango.

Jeremy's dance career spans nineteen years and several dance styles starting with Break Dancing in 1983 and leading to his current passion for social dances including Argentine Tango, Lindy Hop Swing, and Salsa. Jeremy has over 6 years experience in teaching and performing these forms. He has taught both group lessons and privates in San Francisco, and was a guest instructor at the International Swing Camp in Northern California. He currently organizes events and instructs in the Washington D.C. area.

Jeremy has studied in Argentina with Tango masters including Gustavo Naveira, Graciela Gonzalez, Fabian Salas, Osvaldo Zotto, Omar Vega, Esther and Mingo Pugliese. He has studied Swing with the world's top swing dancers including Steven Mitchell, Frankie Manning, Eddie Jansson, Ryan Francois, and Paul Overton.

Jeremy brings a wealth of experience to his teaching. In 1993 he joined the Oxford University Ballroom Dance Team, and trained and performed in the Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, and Cha Cha Cha. Following his training in Ballroom styles, Jeremy gravitated to the social dances, particularly the Argentine Tango, Lindy Hop Swing, and Salsa. He discovered that these dances, as dances that have all evolved from local cultural settings, provide unique opportunities for self-understanding. They do this because they embody the principles of both lead and follow and lyrical improvisation.

In addition to social dance, Jeremy's interests are in exploring how dance and movement can lead to a greater understanding and awareness of self. His current training for certification in the Feldenkrais Method, a body-awareness practice, lends great depth to his ability to train dancers to use awareness to improve all aspects of their movement and dance technique.

Jeremy can be reached at jeremydnurse@gmail.com or call 301-442-7482.



Suzanne Perry


Tango events are rare for Suzanne these days, though you may see her back in the scene from time to time. She seeks to make each dance precious!

In 1997, Suzanne stumbled upon a series of tango workshops, met a great group of people, and convinced Yale Law School to lend her a classroom for an occasional practica. For the next several years, she collected music, but other things got in the way of dancing. She finally dove headfirst back into tango in 2004.

Since then, Suzanne has absorbed every class and social dance she's been able to squeeze into her schedule whether here in DC or on several trips to Buenos Aires. She enjoys discovering something new with each dance and tries to share her enthusiasm and sense of community with others. Among other projects, she coordinates events with NeoTango Productions, organizes classes for women who wish to study the leading role, and helps DJ at the West End practica.


Suzanne can be reached at suzannebperry@yahoo.com or call 202-365-8581.



Bette Runge

Bette Runge passed away in the middle of November 2005. To remember and honor her contribution to the DC Tango scene, read her tango biography below. Also, Capital Tangueros has posted some tributes here .

No showcase of Washington area Argentine Tango instructors could be complete without mentioning Betty Runge. Betty is in her 80s and does not dance or teach as often as she did before but it is worth taking a moment to mention some of the wonderful gifts she has brought to Washington over the past 15 years. Betty Runge began dancing as a teenager, now in her 80s, she was, in fact, teaching before almost anyone in on this page was even born.

More than 15 years ago Betty set out to spread the word about Argentine Tango in this area. She sponsored trips, to Washington, for the finest instructors in the world. She had a sunny dance studio, complete with the highest quality wood, sprung floor, mirrors and barre built in her house explicitly for Argentine Tango instruction and practice. She selflessly promotes local dance instructors, performers and venues.

There are many wonderful instructors in DC today. They teach a range of styles, techniques and methods. But Argentine Tango was only available in one or two small studios 15 years ago before Betty Runge reached out to the overall dance community to spread the word about Argentine Tango, made world class instructors available to all of us (without having to join a specific dance studio), and built one of the nicest dance studios in Washington for this Argentine Tango. More than any other single person in this area, Betty Runge is responsible for the bringing this dance that we love, to Washington. Thank you Bette!



Siempre Tango Orchestra

Siempre disbanded and members have become involved with new local groups.

In the year 2000, Argentine Tango dancing in Washington D.C. brought together the American musician and conductor Charles Kelly, and the Argentinian bandoneon player Eduardo Fernandez. They were determined to provide live tango music to the local tango community and gathered a group of musicians around them, forming a group that later became known as Siempre Tango Orchestra.

Siempre Tango Orchestra seeks to recreate the sentiments of the classic tango 'orquesta tipica,' a style of popular ensemble music that came of age in the golden years of Tango in Argentina. Many arrangements that are performed by Siempre Tango have been prepared by Charles Kelly and are inspired by traditional and modern Argentinian tango recordings. In addition, Charles Kelly has undertaken many visits to Argentina for encounters with the music and musicians from Buenos Aires, and Siempre Tango Orchestra had the opportunity to work with reknowned Argentine Tango musicians, such as Daniel Diaz and Raul Jaurena. Today, the unique sound of Siempre Tango Orchestra is carried by piano, string bass, violin, two bandoneons, Charles Kelly on the clarinet, and the amazing voice of award-winning Argentinian singer Claudia Gargiulo.

Siempre Tango can be reached via Charles Kelly at carlitokel@usa.net or call 240-355-3153. Their website is www.siempretango.com







Danarae and Jake Stevens


Danarae and Jake has currently stopped their involvement in teaching tango locally.

Danarae and Jake, after teaching a long running class in Portland, Oregon's Ankeny Street Studio and doing workshops along the West Coast, moved to Buenos Aires for the second time. Since coming back to the United States, they have relocated to Washington DC. They are excited to dance and teach on the East Coast and have had a great time getting to know the DC tango community.

Danarae and Jake teach together not only because they enjoy it, but also because they believe the essence of tango is a dynamic between two people. In their experience, students learn best when they are able to get the perspective of two teachers who can simultaneously focus on the dynamic between lead and follow.

With over 25 years of combined experience they now focus solely on teaching Argentine tango. They teach in the format of Argentine lessons, focusing on technique, connection, and elegance. In addition to teaching the specifics of tango as a dance, they also teach students the history and culture of tango in Argentina and the United States.

Danarae and Jake can be reached at jakedanrae@gmail.com. Their website is www.jakedanarae.com



Anne Sophie Ville

Anso passed away in the middle of November 2011. To remember and honor her contribution to the DC Tango scene, read her tango biography below. A video tribute is here.

After a decade of teaching and hosting Milongas in the Washington DC Area, Anso decided to become a Tango Gypsy in March 2007. Currently, she is traveling around the world and will continue to host the Washington DC Tango Marathon.

Anne-Sophie Ville, a Belgian native, started dancing Argentine Tango in Washington DC and in very short time became one of the main tango organizers in this community as well as a highly sought after dancer and instructor.

She has studied with many of the great dancers of our day: Fabian Salas, Gustavo Naveira, Pablo Veron, Chicho Frumboli, Julio and Corina, Jean-Sebastien Rampazzi, Mauricio Castro, and the late Carlos Gavito, to name a few.

Anne-Sophie continues to sharpen her dancing skills assisting these and the other great tango instructors she invites each year to instruct and visit with the DC-Baltimore tango community. Anne-Sophie is recognized for her skills as both a follower and leader. She is also known as a dancer of all styles: a true milonguera when she dances close-embrace and a fluid and innovative tanguera when she dances the "Nuevo Tango" style in open embrace.

Anne-Sophie is the founder and organizer of the Washington DC Tango Marathon, one of the best and most highly attended tango festivals in the United States, attracting over 300 dancers from the US and Europe each year for 4 days of non-stop dancing. Anne-Sophie and her partner Pablo, have been invited to teach and perform in different festivals, and also to perform.


Anne-Sophie can be reached at annesophie@le-tango.com. Her website is le-tango.com