Jaimes Friedgen hails from a family of dancers and artists and has since early childhood been immersed in a world of creative movement. With extensive training as a gymnast and a background in a variety of performing arts, including theater, music, and many forms of dance, Jaimes came upon tango at the age of fifteen. He has since learned from and worked with many of the most respected figures in the tango world and yet remains unclassifiable, transcendent of style and category.
As one of the most popular teachers in the U.S. today, it is not surprising that he is often booked more than a year in advance. He is well respected by his peers for his creativity, musicality and deep insight into the inner workings of the dance. He is driven to be a full time tango teacher by his love of watching people continually grow and blossom through their exploration of tango, and feels fortunate to be a part of that process. He is also a dynamic performer, and has brought much inspiration to dancers everywhere through his rare combination of fluidity, subtle elegance, and fierce animalistic intensity. His absolute love of tango is undeniable and shines through in his every movement and word. Countless tango teachers both in the States and abroad have benefited from studying with Jaimes.
Jaimes has been a full-time tango teacher for most of his adult life. Before that, he traveled from town to town with a suitcase and his guitar, sleeping on rooftops and singing songs for bus fare! A dancer of extraordinary accomplishment, Jaimes is often hailed for his beautiful movement and musicality, has spent years dancing, teaching, and performing in North America, Europe and Asia, and always continues to explore new territory within the dance. He is highly sought after for his workshops; and his presence in Ann Arbor would be a special opportunity to learn from one of America's truly great tango teachers
Rebecca Shulman has been affiliated with Dance Manhattan since 1994 and has been helping develop the school's extensive Argentine Tango program. Born in NYC, Rebecca's tango career began in 1991 with Daniel Trenner, with whom she began to perform, and visit Buenos Aires. Her Tango teachers include Mingo and Esther Pugliese, Gustavo Naveira and Olga Besio, Tete and Maria, Juan Bruno, and Antonio Todaro. She has performed with the finest dancers of her generation, and has taught workshops across the U.S, as well as at many of the top tango destinations all over the world. Students everywhere seek Rebecca's clear instruction on improvisation, technique, adornments, and musicality.
Rebecca has taught and translated for Stanford University's Tango Week for 4 years, has given workshops in Seattle, Portland, Baltimore and Northampton, has taught at the Montreal Festival and at Istanbul, Turkiye. With Jaimes Friedgen, she started off the tango scene in Mumbai, India. She has danced at the grand opening of the spring season of the Autostadt in Wolfsburg, Germany, and has produced half a dozen popular instructional videos available through the 'Bridge to the Tango'. In January 2002, Rebecca co-hosted Bridge to the Tango's visit to Havana, Cuba, teaching tango to Cubans as part of a cultural exchange. That summer Rebecca was also honored for 11 years of contribution to tango in the U.S.
Rebecca is also a co-founder and artistic director of TangoMujer, an all-women dance company which received a National Dance Production grant from the New England Foundation for the Arts. They have performed all over the world notably at the Symphony Space and Town Hall in New York, at the Podewil Theatre in Berlin in 1998, at Jacob's Pillow, Denver Tango Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, and the University of Maryland in 2003, and at the Tanzhaus in Dusseldorf in 2005.
More than a dozen of New York's current tango teachers are Rebecca's former students. Every Monday night she hosts the largest milonga in New York, Luna, which has been running at Dance Manhattan for over thirteen years.
Evan is one of the finest dancers, teachers, musicians, and deejays in the US tango scene. He's a beautiful exciting performer, and an irreplaceable social dancer. Sometimes quiet and incredibly subtle, sometimes drastically daring and mad fast, his dancing is always precise, intense, and intimate. As a teacher he says various brilliant things; he is also an astonishingly good follower, and his musicality is just beyond.
Evan has been dancing tango since 1999 and teaching since 2001. His more influential teachers include: Elizabeth Wartluft and Greg Estes in Eugene, Daniel Trenner, Christopher Nassopoulos, and from Buenos Aires: Luciana Valle, Mariano "Chicho" Frumboli, Fabian Salas, Sebastian Arce, Guillermo Merlo and Fernanda Ghi, Susana Miller, Florencia Taccetti, Hugo Patyn and Miriam Larici, Carlos and Maria Rivarola, Rodolfo "El Chino" Aguerrodi, Norberto "El Pulpo" Esbres and Luiza Paes. He has assisted Susana Miller in classes, and has taught and performed with Luciana Valle, Alex Krebs, Rebecca Shulman, and Florencia Taccetti.
Over the years Evan has visited many places in the States for tango, and spent time dancing in Berlin, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires. He has taught in festivals and workshops across the country and in Berlin. In 2006 Dance Manhattan invited him to move from Oregon to New York and teach for them. Currently he lives in Harlem and has been contributing his insight and energy to the New York tango scene.
Evan studied classical piano for twelve years growing up, and studied music in college. He has been playing tango piano now for the last seven years, and the passion for it has become a major part of his life. Evan plays often with Conjunto Berretin and with the big festival orchestras, and coaches other musicians on how to give tangos the vigor and swing that dancers love.
Rebecca Rorick Smith has been involved in Tango since 2000. She began in Eugene, Oregon, and facilitated the expansion of the community by helping open the non-profit Tango Center there (http://www.tangocenter.org). Key influences in her career came from Evan Griffiths, Jaimes Freidgen, Kara Wenham, Dana Frigolii and Luciana Valle. After multiple trips to Buenos Aires, she moved to Ashland, where she has been taught tango at SOU and traveled to teach in many of Oregon's developing communities. Currently she is lives in Portland and pursues Tango full time. She is well known in the US Tango circuit for her comprehension of many styles and as a strong female Lead. Her classes are accessible and clear with a vigorous mix of work and play.
Eric began studying tango intensively in October 2005. Within weeks of his first class, he had moved to Buenos Aires to pursue the dance full time. After a year of study he returned to the United States and continued dancing full time socially. This fall he returned to Buenos Aires to take advantage of the high level of dance and exceptional instruction available in the city. Eric spent the winter of 07-08 teaching at Dance Manhattan in New York as well as at Providence Tango in Rhode Island. After a brief visit to Buenos Aires in the spring, Eric traveled to Toronto to teach in June and July. In September Eric moved to Portland, OR where he enjoys that community's strong focus on close embrace and emotional expression. Eric has had many influences. Among those who have had the greatest impact are Daniel Trenner, Claudia Bozzo, Carlos Lobos, Rebecca Shulman, Adriana Dure, and Pablo Rodriguez.
Nancy gravitated to practicing yoga in 1994. Since then, she realized the gifts in what it truly meant to "live yoga" in the deepest sense so she naturally surrendered her life to serve a higher purpose. In doing so, her path led her to become an RYT 200 certified yoga instructor from Michigan's Rising Sun Yoga in 2003. Nancy has a gift for teaching deeply restorative yoga classes based on the Buddhist teachings of Tara Brach. Yoga on-and-off the mat for Nancy includes: breath work, activism, scripture reading, meditation, chanting, asana, relaxation techniques, and ancient-to-modern day yogic cleansing rituals.
Restorative/Yin Yoga emphasizes on relieving the deep connective tissues of the body, while inducing higher states of calmness and relaxation. To open up this tight deep connective tissue it is done slowly, but fully. Students luxuriate in the deep postures, while they the explore energetic effects Restorative/Yin Yoga can have on our body. The models of energy of the Indian Yogis, the Chinese Daoists and the Western scientific views will be discussed to help you gain a better understanding of why Restorative/Yin Yoga is essential to an overall sense of well-being.