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Local Washington DC Artists, Djs, Musicians and Teachers

Bruno Afonso
Fabio Bonini
Capital Tangueros
Barbara Durr
Ellen Engle and Marc Shepanek
Aja Fenn
Carlos Gutierrez
Leon Harris
Sridhar Hannenhalli
Dasha Khripkova
Rick Kim
Yulia Kriskovets
Anthony Lara
Viviana and Isidoro Levinson
Jaime Montemayor

Katerina Merezhinsky
Jose Ortiz
Eugenia Park
Jacqueline Pham
Ramu Pyreddy
Mark Sakowski
Natalia Schifini
Julia Schiptsova
Jake Spatz
Bella Sterling
Corina Tufa-Dragos
Moussa Toure
Tom White
Jon Yu
Jessica Zappia


For a convenient and current listing of where to find all of the above, please refer to the Capital Tangueros Calendar. To view people who have greatly contributed to the DC Tango scene in the past please visit the historical page.




Bruno Afonso



Bruno began his Tango journey in Boston with some group classes in 2007. He was driven to the dance by the music and up to this day it still plays a major role. Like many others before him, soon he was voraciously devouring all things tango from as many teachers as possible. He became involved in the Boston community, volunteering for festivals such as Tango de los Muertos and running his favorite milonga in Boston - the Odd Tuesday Milonga - where he was a regular DJ. You can currently hear him DJ in many milongas in DC where he relocated in 2011. During a milonga he likes to create a symbiotic relationship with the dancers and venture together throughout the night in a adventure of music and dance. He’s currently exploring some embryonic ideas of creating novel interplays between music and movement generated by dance. But don’t worry, when he DJs, Golden Age is still king.


Bruno can be reached at bruno@brunotango.com.



Fabio Bonini


He started performing tango about 14 years ago during one of his first dance gigs leading a ballroom dance group aboard Costa Crucciere Ship Cruise. That gave him the chance to experience Buenos Aires for six months, and find his dance passion through the tango.

Fabio has been feeding his passion by learning and teaching Argentine Tango for 15 years now and he goes to Buenos Aires every year to dance and study with different masters. Besides 15 years of experience Fabio has a great method of teaching and an enormous understanding of the Tango universe and its nuances. He breaks down this complex art into easy and fun to learn components according to the Tango perspective his pupils want to have (Tango Salon, Fantasia, Show, Milonga, Waltz, Canyengue, Milongueiro, Close, Open Embrace, Tango Nuevo, etc). He is considered one of the most versatile argentine Tango coaches because his unique knowledge and experience.

Fabio is always recognized as one of the top dancers and instructors and became known for promoting Argentine Tango in many different cities of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, England and USA. Fabio nowadays is living in Virginia where he leads Forever Dancing Company. His Dance Company hosts 2 milongas per month in DC and in VA, weekely practicas, several Annual Tango Events and excursions to Buenos Aires. Fabio also works for Quintango (Tango Quinted) as the main male dancer performing all over USA. Fabio teaches group classes at Forever Dancing Ballroom and several other locations. Fabio travel frequently to coach different growing Tango Communities in USA.


Fabio can be reached at fabio@foreverdancing.com or 703-200-4520. His website is www.foreverdancing.com



Capital Tangueros


Capital Tangueros started many years ago, covering the local Washington DC tango scene. Originally it was offline on a local dance telephone answering line. Dan Fish, Sherry Selevan, Marc Shepanek, and Bette Runge were a few members of the original "8" tango dancers who started practicing at the Martin Luther King Library on Sunday afternoons in NW DC in 1992. As the community grew and locations changed over time, this non partisan clearinghouse was created to help inform everyone of tango events. All volunteer, it has served over a decade for promoting all tango related events in the Washington Baltimore Greater Area. Photograph shows the current editors, going left to right: Joanne Hammond, Diana Jensen (no longer an editor), Suzy Daley, Rudy D'Alessandro, Sherry Selevan, and Nancy Hirschhorn. If you see any of these people at Milongas, please thank them profusely for getting out the newsletter every week!

People who have been editors and helpers over the years include Rudy D'Alessandro, Suzi Daley, Nancy Hirschhorn, Joanne Hammond, Nina Prytula, Lilly, Diane Jensen, Pat Wood, Joe Petrisko, Michael Ditkoff, Chan Park, Eugenia Park, Sherry Selevan, Dianne Dulicai, and Melinda Bates.

The Capital Tangueros welcomes capable new volunteer editors, so if your would like to contribute to the DC tango community and are not currently an instructor or organizer, please send an email to the address below.

Capital Tangueros can be reached at Capital_Tangueros-owner@yahoogroups.com . Their website and calender are Capital Tangueros and Calendar.



Barbara Durr

Since the mid-1990s, Barbara has had the privilege to spend significant amounts of time in Buenos Aires dancing and learning. She has studied with a variety of master teachers there, including most prominently Susana Miller, but also Lorena Ermocida, Aurora Lubiz, Cacho Dante, Carlos Gavito, Tete, and Jorge Firpo, among others. She also had the good fortune to experience the full swing of tango's revival in the 1990s through the early aughts. At that time, many of the older generation of dancers, those who had learned to dance in the golden age of tango, returned to the milongas, and they have been her touchstones. Her other tango muses are Brigitta Winkler, of Berlin, and Eric Jorissen, of Holland, whose own tango roots go back to the 1980s in Buenos Aires.

Barbara resided in Atlanta from 1992 to 2010, and was a well established teacher there, teaching with a succession of partners, including Angel Montero and April Parker, who continue the Atlanta Tango school. Barbara taught and performed at the University of Georgia. She has also taught on her own, with Cacho Dante or with Robert Hauk across the US, including a variety of city visits and festivals such as Denver, Portland, and San Diego, and in her home festival of Atlanta. She moved to the DC area in 2010, and after a lengthy and somewhat painful housing transition, she has restarted her tango life.

Barbara can be reached at barbdurr422@gmail.com or 202-617-5799. Her website is www.tangoseekers.com



Ellen Engle and Marc Shepanek

Popular local area dance instructors since 1989, Ellen and Marc teach weekly at Glen Echo Park on Monday evenings and at the Northwest Sport n Health Club on Thursdays. They also teach at Glen Echo Park on the second Sunday of every month and when they sponsor the Friday or Saturday night dances at the Park. In addition, they can be found teaching and performing at other venues & special events throughout the Washington DC area. Their classes will have the beginning dancer up & dancing in no time, while having fun and feeling no pressure. Marc and Ellen will tell you that the best dance move in the world is a smile and that as long as you take care of your partner & those around you, there are no wrong moves, there are only new moves.

Marc and Ellen also perform at formal balls, dinner dances, fundraisers, local area hospitals, schools, senior centers and various charitable events to promote dance appreciation, education and support the arts in Washington. Their audience has included Queen Noor of Jordan and numerous members of Washington's Diplomatic and Congressional Communities. Since 1996, Ellen and Marc have starred in and co-produced a half-hour television show that focuses on dance instruction. Dance du Jour, runs multiple times per week on Montgomery Community Television and is among the station's most-watched and most-requested from swing to balloom, latin and Argentine Tango. They are committed to bringing the world's finest Lindy Hoppers to the Washington DC area. In 1997, they produced/hosted Flying Home!, a Lindy Hop weekend commemorating the 70th Anniversary of Lindbergh's flight and Frankie Manning's 83rd birthday. This is still the largest Lindy Hop event in the area, drawing people from 18 states and 11 foreign countries.

Marc and Ellen are strong supporters of charity and often donate their performance/teaching fees to local charities, including: Luther Place, a women's shelter in DC, The Children's Inn at NIH, Local humane societies/rescue organizations, Glen Echo Park Foundation / the restoration of Glen Echo Park's Spanish Ballroom and The World War II Veterans Committee.

15 years ago, Marc Shepanek was one of the 8 original area dancers who started making Argentine Tango popular and accessible in the Washington area. Taking lessons from Bette Runge, a generous, community minded and very successful dancer and dance instructor of many years, the original 8 tango dancers set up free practice sessions for any and all who might be interested in Argentine Tango at local libraries, civic centers, etc. Marc eventually established the Milongas at the Old Stone House, again for free, but requesting a donation to charity for those who could afford it. These Milongas became the longest running and most popular Milongas in the Washington area for almost a decade. After a variety of instructors, Joe Petrisko became the featured instructor and DJ at these dances, providing a strong foundation in tango technique and style. The Milongas moved in the past year to Glen Echo Park, on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Argentine Tango, Milonga and Vals are beautifully at home in the fully restored, 1933 Art Deco Spanish Ballroom at Glen Echo park!

Ellen and Marc can be reached at ellen@flyingfeet.org or 301-299-8728. Their website is www.flyingfeet.org



Aja Fenn

Aja Fenn is a Washington DC based tango professional and DJ. Originally from the UK Aja has been dancing and exploring the art and technique of Argentine tango for more than a decade. She makes regular trips to Argentina to refine her skills and deepen her understanding of the dance. During one visit she spent a year and a half engaged in consistent study with master teachers and nightly dancing in the traditional milongas and popular practicas of Buenos Aires. Exposure to ballet training at various times in her life has contributed to her graceful understated style. Aja has studied with many great names in Tango such as Naveira, Chicho, and Arce. Her most influential teachers and those whom she holds dearest are among Matias Facio, Evren Sayin, Gaston Torelli, Mariela Sametband, and her mentor and inspiration Sharna Fabiano. Aja's teaching approach has been described as being "full of honest integrity".

She believes that dancing tango, is about creating a physical manifestation of the music and emphasizes the importance of self-exposure and courage in bringing who we are to our dancing. She is a passionate advocate of women's leading and men's following in order to awaken people to a holistic understanding of the dance. Aja's teaching career has taken her to London, throughout the United States and Australia.

Aja can be reached at aja@ajafenn.com. Her website is www.ajafenn.com



Carlos Gutierrez

Carlos Gutierrez is a member of the National Dance Council of America and has been teaching internationally and in the US for over 26 years. During that time he has taught American Social and International Latin dances, in addition to Hustle, Salsa-Mambo, Argentine Tango, Brazilian Samba, Flamenco, Marinera, West Coast swing, and line dances.

Gutierrez and his partners have taught and performed in twenty five countries around the world. Carlos and his partner were Argentine tango finalists in 2001 in Miami. He has also placed first, second, and third places in Latin Ballroom dance competitions in Los Angeles California and Washington DC metro area at the Virginia State Championship and the Yutileball, and first place Champion of the Professional Classic Hustle in 1993 at the Virginia State Open Swing Dance Championships in Fairfax, VA. He has choreographed and performed at Embassies, school (all grades), and universities around the country. He and his partners have also performed at institutions such as the CIA, the Smithsonian Museum, Wolf Trap the International Monetary Fund, and World Bank, the American Heart Association, and at the home of actor Robert Duvall. As a result of his professional success and popularity, articles about Carlos Gutierrez have appeared in many local newspapers and magazines, including The Entertainment Express, The Fairfax Journal, Americas, and Washingtonian Magazine.

He is the choreographer of his troop of tangueros, 'Sabor a Tango', from Falls Church, VA. They have toured in New York, Delaware, and other areas of the Eastern seaboard. In the Washington area, they performed at the Gunston Theater in Arlington, VA, The World Bank at the IFC Building Auditorium in Washington DC, and many private social events.

He is the director of the Joy of Dance Studio in Falls Church, VA, and the author of "The Body Language of Dance". Gutierrez has performed and been interviewed about his dancing and his book on several cable television programs, including 'Smithsonian World', WETA live fundraising 'Burn the Floor', and other local cable television programs.

Carlos can be reached at wearall.1@comcast.net or call 301-452-3787. His website is www.joyofdancestudio.com



Sridhar Hannenhalli


Sridhar lives and teaches in DC. The main influences in his tango education are Susana Miller, Carlos Gavito, Brigitta Winkler, Julio Balmaceda and countless partners around the world. Tango remains the master in his instructions and the techniques are improvised to achieve a gentle embrace and stillness in motion where the music can be experienced and expressed with least intrusion to attain a meditative state of mind.

Sridhar can be reached at sridhartango@yahoo.com.



Leon Harris


Leon Harris has been dancing tango since 1992 and has studied with some of the most renown Argentine Tango Instructors: the Puglieses, Daniel Trenner, Rebecca Shulman, Fabian Salas and others. Leon doesn't only dance and organize Argentine Tango events, but also all sorts of latin dances parties (Salsa, merengue, ChaCha, Afro-Cuban dances). Leon Harris is Washington DC premier organizer of dance parties. Leon teaches small and large groups of students in his studio and other locations throughout the Washington DC metro area. His teaching technique will focus on not only to learn a particular dance but to use the dance as a medium for team building, social interaction, stress reduction and confidence building.


Leon can be reached at tangowdc@erols.com or 202-638-3589.



Dasha Khripkova


Dasha moved to DC three years ago after falling in love with Tango in Philadelphia. She has been active in the DC tango scene since late 2007, dancing and djing at local milonga. Recently, Dasha has been teaching at The Saloon, and Eastern Market occasionally.

Dasha will talk about orchestras at the drop of a hat, engaging anyone any place anytime to express her passion on the excellence of a particular vintage year version of a song. Dasha has spun the dj wheels in Buenos Aires, Philadelphia, NYC, and Washington, DC.


Dasha can be reached at dkhripkova@comcast.net.



Rick Kim


Rick Kim started to learn tango dancing in Charlotte, NC in 2008. Rick co-ran and DJed at Tango and Tea, a Sunday afternoon milonga in Charlotte, NC in 2010. Since 2011, he has been DJing at milongas and tango festivals in and outside of the USA.

His milonga DJing follows the concept of a milonga as a nightlife event. Polar dynamics and intoxication are the two key ingredients that drive his milonga DJing.


Rick can be reached at rick@rickstangoclub.com. His website is www.rickstangoclub.com.



Yulia Kriskovets


In the span of three years Yulia has become a popular DJ on the national festival circuit. Her playlists offer a mixture of Old Guard and Golden Age tango. Yulia also plays alternative music, when appropriate to the venue and the mood of the crowd on the floor, and has DJed numerous alternative milongas. Yulia is a regular DJ at such weekly DC venues as Divino, Eastern Market, and Bethesda Dance Studio. She DJed in Washington DC Tangosutra and Tango Marathon Festivals, Ann Arbor Festivals, Tango Joven Festivals in Chicago, Providence festivals and the Tango at Sea Cruise.

Yulia can be reached at kriskovets@yahoo.com



Anthony Lara


Anthony Lara is a popular tango DJ and dancer based in Washington, DC. He has been diagnosed with tango addiction since 2003, and finds his leisure time disproportionately occupied by dimly lit dance floors, Golden Age tango music and the embraces of lovely women wearing high heels. Anthony listens to tango music almost every day, and is known to talk unceasingly and passionately about old Argentine orchestras when prompted by the unwary. His otherwise pristine home is filled with mountains of tango CDs, posing a certifiable fire hazard.

While puzzled that a cure for his affliction has so far eluded science, Anthony has coped by playing beautiful tango music that keeps dancers happy, entranced and full of tired feet by night's end. He recently became alarmed upon learning that scores of dancers throughout the East Coast have visited their podiatrists right after milongas in which he DJ'd. Dancers however have assured Anthony that what he is doing is actually a really good thing, and to keep doing it. Somewhat relieved, Anthony can be found DJ'ing at many of Washington's most popular milongas.


Anthony can be reached at anthony.s.lara@gmail.com.



Viviana and Isidoro Levinson



Viviana and Isidoro Levinson were both born in Buenos Aires, where they lived for more than 30 years until moving to the United States. Although they didn't begin dancing tango until later, they were avid social dancers throughout there life. They are partners in live and on the dance floor.

They began dancing tango seriously in 1995. Since then they have made tango a central passion of their lives, returning to Buenos Aires to study with the masters, attending tango events around the world, performing and teaching, organizing the first milonga in the Washington DC Area who took place in Georgetown, "Spiral Fight", later they added the very well known monthly milongas at Chevy Chase Ballroom and DC Dance Collective.

Some of the many masters that they have studied are: Gustavo Naveira and Fabian Salas from The Tango Lesson, Lorena Ermocida and Osvaldo Zotto from TangoX2 , Daniela and Armando Arcuri from Tango Passion, Claudio Villagra from Forever Tango, Leandro Palou and Andrea Misse, Nestor and Patricia Ray and Carina Losano and Pablo Fontana.

Although inspired by many if their figures, Viviana and Isidoro's style is distinct from these dancers. Their flamboyant style is tinged by a certain wicked humor that perfectly expresses her positive zest for life. It manifests itself in impeccable timing, craft, and wit.

Viviana and Isidoro can be reached at vivitango@verizon.net or call 301-664-9690 or cell 301-775-6014. Their website is www.vivianatango.com



Jaime Montemayor




A practitioner of judo for two decades, Jaime discovered the exquisite art and discipline in a parallel universe called tango. Since that first moment some years ago, he has been quietly learning this incredibly personal and emotionally expressive dance. Along the way, he discovered the pleasures of playing music for others. When he is not djing or dancing, he can be found secretly snapping pictures of dancers.


Jaime can be reached at sone.con.un.amor@gmail.com.







Katerina Merezhinsky




Katerina, 'Katya', is a dancer of many transitions from ballroom, to the show dance, to folk dance genres such as Middle Eastern, Cuban and Argentine Tango. Being trained in music, dance and fine art she integrates her body awareness knowledge as well as principles of a visual composition into her dance expression. Her instruction emphasizes frame, quality of the step, leading and following principles, body awareness, musicality and improvisation Katya loves to promotes Argentine Tango and inviting our dancers along to always practice the fundamental techniques.


Katerina can be reached at itskatya@gmail.com. Her website is www.katerinamerezhinsky.com







Rachel Morrison

Rachel has been dancing since the age of 6, and considers it the most powerful influence in her life. Discovering tango after years of ballet, modern dance and contact improvisation training, she has also developed a deep connection to the expressive and inspirational power of music. Through the years, she has only fallen deeper in love with subtle beauty of tango, and has embraced the opportunity to shape the energy of a milonga through music. She has been DJ'ing around the Baltimore and DC area for the last four years.

Rachel can be reached at contact4dance@gmail.com or call 410-905-1703.








Jose Ortiz


Jose, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Practice salsa and other latin dances since he was six years old. Attended to a live tango performance in 2011 with Sebastian Arce and Mariana Montes, and was capture with the extravagant and technical elements of the dance. Jose studied with several teachers such as; Pablo Fontana, Jake Spatz, Murad Erdemzel, Roberto Herrera and Felipe Martinez. Currently support weekly lessons at the Eastern Market in Washington, DC.


Jose can be reached at jortizn225@gmail.com.








Eugenia Park


Eugenia is known for her elegance, simplicity, musicality and grace when dancing with any partner. She believes that inspiration for tango dancers comes from the music, the embrace, and the elegance of the dance itself. Interpretation of the music by each couple is crucial in creating a unique experience for every tango. She believes in teaching a solid foundation for social dancing, in which connection and musicality are more important than steps that may not work on a social dance floor.

An accomplished dancer, a follower and a leader, Eugenia studied Argentine tango initially with local DC teachers. Her very first visit of Buenos Aires made a profound impression, and inspired her to protect and cherish true Argentine tango as a social dance. A variety of teachers, performers and social dancers, including Mora Godoy, Oswaldo Zotto, Miguel Zotto, Carolina and Diego, Tete, Alicia Pons, Monica Paz, and Susana Miller, etc. have been teachers and colleagues in classes organized by TangoZen. Her watchwords are: Surrender, yet stay focused; Command, yet stay humble; Lead, yet follow! Such are the challenges of tango. Embrace, Connect, Dance.


Eugenia can be reached at eugeniap@mris.com. Her website is www.tangoseekers.com








Jacqueline Pham


Jackie first encountered tango in 2010 at the Stanford Tango Club and fell head over heels in love with the music, the connection, and the embrace. She now calls the DC/Baltimore community her home after relocating for grad school. With her blend of East and West coast sensibilities, Jackie keeps spirits and toes floating through the night.


Jackie can be reached at jtkpham@gmail.com.








Joe Petrisko

After a decade of teaching and hosting Milongas in the Washington DC Area, Joe retired to Buenos Aires in September 2006.

Joe Petrisko has been dancing American social ballroom since 1986 and Argentine Tango since 1992, and performing and teaching since 1994. He began hosting milongas in 1995 and in 1998 made the first of what turned into annual trips to Buenos Aires to study Argentine tango history, evolution and etiquette, and to immerse himself in the tango culture. In his teaching Joe emphasizes technique & the social aspect of the dance.

Joe has studied in the US and in Argentina with Carlos Copello & Alicia, Copes & Nieves, Lorena Ermocida, Jorge & Aurora Firpo, Mora Godoy, Pepito Avallaneda & Suzuki, Milena Plebs, Pablo & Esther Pugliese, Fabian Salas, Daniel Trenner, Michael Walker, Miguel Zotto, Osvaldo Zotto, Mariella Franganilla.

He taught Argentine Tango at the Avalon Dance Studio in Baltimore, where he also DJed Sunday milongas; the Spiral Flight Studio, the BA Tango Lounge and the Almas Temple in Washington D.C.; the Glen Echo Spanish Ballroom; and the Sport & Health Club in Tysons Corner, VA., where he also held bi-monthly Friday milongas. He was the ballroom instructor for the Banneker Dance Club in Takoma Park, MD from 1997 to 2006. Most importantly, Joe was the host and DJ of the Old Stone House Milonga in Silver Spring, MD for over 8 years during the height of its popularity. He still teaches and occasionally guest-DJs for various milongas during his summer visits stateside.



Ramu Pyreddy

Ramu took his first tango lesson on April 27th, 2000 in Buenos Aires and was hooked instantly. He still has the same excitement for the dance and his love for the music and the dance continues to grow.

To share that passion with his friends and colleagues, he started Michigan Argentine Tango Club @ the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and was actively involved in growing it into a community that is now well known for its excellent social dancing skills.

Ramu has since danced, DJd and taught all over the US and Canada. His teaching and dancing are characterized by a keen musical interpretation, infectious enthusiasm and a deep love of the music and the dance that is fanatic. He teaches tango for the social dance floor with an emphasis on connection, musicality and improvisation. He is one of the most knowledgeable and sought after tango DJ's in the US and has been a featured DJ at most tango festivals in the US.

Currently, he lives in Washington DC where he is the host, DJ and resident teacher at Milonga Zandunga, one of DC's popular milongas.

Ramu can be reached at rpyreddy@umich.edu



Mark Sakowski

Although relatively new to the tango scene, around two years, Mark brings over 10 years experience spinning tunes for dancers across the country and is fortunate to have worked the largest swing and hustle competitions in the nation.

Some of these include: the Grand National Swing Championships in Atlanta, GA; Swing Fling in Washington, DC; Virginia State Open Swing Championships; Boston Tea Party; Dallas DANCE in Texas; International Hustle and Salsa Competition in Miami, Phoenix 4th of July Swing Convention in Arizona; World Disco Classic Fort Lauderdale, FL ; Jitterbug Jam, Thousands Oaks, CA and he runs the "Swing/Hustle Room" four times a year for Stardust Dance Productions in New York State for over 800 dancers a weekend! Mark is also a graduate of the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland, one of the top rated broadcasting schools in the country and has worked "on air" many times. He was also a music consultant for the Emmy nominated PBS program "A Rock and Roll Tribute to Buddy Dean."

Mark has a very busy schedule, DJ'ing tango three or four times per week. He is the regular DJ at Coco Cabana Grill, Divino Lounge and Eastern Market as well as hosting his own milonga at the Potomac Swing Dance Club. Away from the dance scene Mark has a broad range of interests such as fishing, travel, gardening, spirituality and loves to ride his Harley Road King Classic. Mark would like to thank Joe Petrisko and Jim Bennett for their assistance and insights when he first became involved in tango.

Mark can be reached atat tangodaddy1@aol.com





Natalia Schifini

Natalia Schifini started dancing at the age of five with Ballet classes in her country of birth, Argentina. She became a Salsa dancer when she traveled through the Caribbean in her teen years, In 1995 she started taking Tango classes, then she moved to United States in 1997 and she was told she could not find a good "Argentine Tango Instructor" in United States. It wasn't until she met Anne Sophie de Ville in 2000 who was a local Dance Instructor that she started dancing Tango again. Anne Sophie was not only her teacher but also an inspiration to start teaching and finally organizing events for the community.

Since then she has studied with Gonzalo Robinson, Graciela Gonzalez, Alejandra Arrue, Angel Coria, Mauricio Castro, late Gavito, Mariana Montes and Sebastian Arce, Chicho Frumboli and Mariana Dragone, and Luciana Valle and "El Pulpo Esbrez and Luisa Paes, also locally with Carina Losano, Sharna Fabiano, as well as Pablo Fontana, Diana Sanchez and Claudio Fortes, Natasha Agudelo and Diego Benavidez,  Natalia organized various Milongas and Visiting Instructors Workshops in Washington DC until 2009 when she moved to Florida to work as a Coach for an International Self Grow and Development Company; She alsp has a strong background in wellness with more than a decade of experience as a Dance Instructor, Yoga Instructor, Personal Trainer, Coach and Reiki Healer/Master. She currently teaches group and private lessons and workshops in the DC Metro Area. 

Natalia can be reached at nataliaschifini@gmail.com or call 202-246-1027.





Julia Schiptsova

Julia didn't begin dancing until after she moved to DC from Latvia. She started with salsa and gradually merged into tango. Ever since she was a small kid she's been fascinated with tango dancing and competitions she saw on TV, hoping that one day she would be dancing 'like them'. Her parents chose for her to play the piano instead, so although learning the dance already as an adult, she's been associating herself with music her whole life. Her passion for tango brought her to Argentina. While visiting Buenos Aires in February 2006 she instantly fell in love with the ultra-chic, highly sought-after Comme il Faut shoes and committed to importing these incredibly beautiful and sexy tango heels to indulge the feet of many tangueras and inspire their dancing. Julia says it feels extremely motivating and fulfilling to hear back from the ladies who swear that Comme il Faut shoes tremendously improved their dancing and simply watching a stunning variety of this flattering footwear floating across the dance floor.


Julia can be reached at julia@julia-bella.com. Her website is www.julia-bella.com





Jake Spatz


Jake Spatz has been the house teacher at Eastern Market since 2006, and in 2010 began teaching at the University of Maryland's tango club. He has traveled up and down the East Coast to dance, teach, and DJ, and has performed at the Kennedy Center, Disney World, and the Washington Performing Arts Society, where he assembled a small troupe of dancers to open a gala event featuring Broadway legend Chita Rivera. Jake has partnered some of the leading women in Argentine tango, including Mariana Galassi, Cecilia Gonzalez, and Monica Paz, and has appeared in two television commercials, a full-length play, and the "How Philly Moves" mural project installed at the Philadelphia International Airport. He is also a noted translator of tango lyrics, and edited the book In Strangers' Arms by Beatriz Dujovne (McFarland, 2011), the first text in English to receive the endorsement of the National Tango Academy of Buenos Aires. Currently Jake teaches and DJs full-time in DC, where he focuses on mentoring a new generation of dancers, DJs, and teachers.

Jake can be reached at spatz@tangodc.com. His website is www.tangodc.com



Bella Sterling


Growing up in Russia, Bella wanted to be a ballerina. As her academically-minded parents objected, she studied other things but still managed to experiment with ballroom, salsa, flamenco, folk and modern dance. Then there was that life changing event, a tango perfomance by a group from Buenos Aires which led to a series of tango classes, nightly dancing and a trip to Buenos Aires... And the tango obsession took over. Bella loves that tango is an endless discovery of many things: body awareness, music, partner connection and she enjoys the sport and the art of it. Bella is one of the most sought after dancers in DC and has been teaching in DC for a number of years. She has been partnering with Ramu since 2009 and is the resident teacher at Milonga Zandunga.


Bella can be reached via her email at bella.sterling@gmail.com.



Corina Tufa-Dragos


Corina is one of those people who cannot sit down when the right music starts to play. She actually cannot sit down when the wrong song starts either. The dance comes first, and it opens the door for new musical discoveries. Her tango journey followed the same path: the dance, then the love for the music. In her desire to learn, she volunteered to DJ at Pablo’s Practica in Washington DC. When she thinks about the next tanda she tries to understand the feelings of the dancers and hopes to find those tangos that would resonate best with the moment.


Corina can be reached via her email at tangocurl@gmail.com.



Moussa Toure

Moussa has been a long time champion of tango in the DC Metropolitan area. He ran Diversite nightclub for many years at 14th and P streets in DC. On Monday nights, people would walk by the large window stare inside and see the regulars dancing tango still in work clothes, having just left their jobs! All styles and kinds of tango dancers in DC attended the Milonga on Monday night. Unfortunately Diversite closed down, however Moussa started a new club, Cococabana Grill in College Park, MD. Monday night is still tango night and on other nights, Moussa hosts salsa and other Latin dances.

Moussa can be reached at tmoussa@earthlink.net or call 301-431-1882. His website is www.cococabanagrill.com



Tom White

Tom began DJing at the Colvin Run Dance Hall in 2007.  Drawing from an extensive collection of golden age and contemporary tango music, his goal is to play tandas that keep you on the dance floor the entire evening.  Although some of the old guard music is considered by some as classics, he avoids playing stodgy rhythmic music.   “I like to select tandas with interesting instrumentation and phrasing to challenge the musicality of the dancers,” says Tom.  “I’m especially fond of vals music and consider the vals tandas to be the highlight of each milonga.”  With a background in engineering, he pays particular attention to the quality and fidelity of the music he plays.  Tom is a member of the Colvin Run Citizens Association (CRCA) Board of Directors.  He and his wife, Susan, first came to Colvin Run in 2006 in search of a venue to dance social ballroom.  They quickly realized that this charming dance hall was a perfect venue for the local tango community.  Together, they are responsible for hosting the tango events at Colvin Run.  All proceeds from these dances go to the operation and maintenance of the dance hall.


Tom can be reached at tom.white@colvinrun.org.




Jon Yu

Argentine Tango found Jon several years ago, during the height of his careers as Screen actor/Entrepreneur and he soon realized that this was his ideal medium of self-expression. Teaching in DC since early 2011, Jon left his careers behind in the summer of 2012 to fully dedicate himself to the unusually alluring, interesting dance, so that he could become more available to share it with his growing student base as well as everyone with a desire to Tango. A performing artist who also enjoys dancing socially, Jon’s innovative teachings were created as a result of his persistent questioning to the keys of Tango Proficiency from his personal journey along with years of experience as a pubic speaker, trainer, and curious student. His mission is to help students find their own Tango and is known for his ability to show dancers of all levels their unique, incremental steps to greater competency.


Jon can be reached at jonyutango@gmail.com. His website is www.tangowithyu.com.





Jessica Zappia

Jessica Zappia has been dancing tango since 2007. She studied with Pablo Fontana, learning not only about the dance but also the importance of a good dance community. Jessica has been helping organize Pablo's Practica since 2012 in honor of Pablo and in pursuit of continuing the beautiful community that he worked to create. Jessica is thankful for every opportunity that she has to learn and to share what she learns with others. She believes that learning through laughter is one of the best ways to learn, and she hopes to see Washington, D.C. become one of the friendliest places to dance.


Jessica can be reached at jessica.zappia@gmail.com.