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.
To hear some of Avik's thoughts about tango, listen to his radio interview on WCBN-FM Ann Arbor.
Yelena believes that having a passion in life is as necessary as the air we breathe. Passion gives you energy of purpose and feeds your soul. For Yelena,that passion is Argentine tango: tango as music and dance, tango as a way of discovering your inner world and others'. She believes that in our fast-paced and high-tech culture, tango provides a retreat for anyone in search of deeper connection, regardless of age, walk of life, or language spoken. Tango literally transformed her life and ever since she shares her passion with her students.
She has been actively involved in cultivating her home tango community in Ann Arbor, beginning with her contribution to the success of the Michigan Argentine Tango Club at the University of Michigan, where she taught from 2002 to 2007. In 2007 she was invited to teach at a professional ballet studio, Sylvia Studio of Dance, where she presently offers variety of tango classes and workshops, hosts a popular Sunday Afternoon Milonga and inspires dancers as a DJ. Besides her regular classes in Ann Arbor, she has taught numerous workshops around the country, including Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Albuquerque, San Diego, and Salt Lake City.
An elegant and sensuous dancer, Yelena is recognized for her innate musicality and heartfelt connection and although she experiments with different styles in tango, her first and everlasting love remains social tango. As a teacher she emphasizes good technical skills necessary to dance with ease and elegance while encouraging her students to seek deeper tango experience through emotional connection with the music. Her instruction is clear, creative and inspirational.
Yelena is always growing and finding new ways of approaching the dance and teaching it to others. She has been influenced and inspired by many remarkable teachers, including Brigitta Winkler, Susana Miller, Luciana Valle, Alex Krebs, and Marika Landry. In addition, her experiences on the dance floor provide a constant source of inspiration and continue to renew her passion.
Patricia has become one of Ann Arbor's most sought-after DJs and instructors since moving there in 2005. A sensitive and delicately expressive follower, in teaching she emphasizes comfort and clarity of movement as essential bases for building a meaningful connection in the dance. She travels as often as she can, seeking ever broader tango horizons, but equally takes pride in contributing to the cultivation of her home community.
Patricia has largely been influenced by her fellow dancers in Ann Arbor and by the many teachers who have passed through for festivals and workshops, but most of all credits her original teacher, Alex Krebs, with turning her on to tango's mesmerizing powers, making the dance at once magical, accessible, and irresistible.