May Madness 2006!

featuring guest instructors
Tom Stermitz & Melinda Quiat (Denver),
Robin Thomas & Jennifer Olson (New York), and
Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt (New York)

May 11-15, 2006
Ann Arbor, MI

Online registration is now closed.

Virtual Bulletin Board (for ride/hotel sharing)

About the Instructors | Schedule | Enrollment | Pricing | Private Lessons | Accomodations | Directions | Flying | Bulletin Board | Questions?

About Tom Stermitz & Melinda Quiat

Tom's classes are designed to have you up and dancing social-style Argentine Tango as quickly as possible. He is especially effective at getting men to be confident, to feel the beat, and how to lead the intricate steps of tango. His approach to teaching tango is from the inside out, emphasizing improvisation, fundamentals, heart & soul, rhythm & music and especially the connection between the leader and follower.

Teaching in Boulder & Denver for the past 10 years, Tom is a specialist in the rhythmic, close-embrace social style of tango typical of many clubs in Buenos Aires. He is increasingly in demand for workshops and Tango Festivals around the US and abroad, including Berlin, Moscow, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Portland, Hawaii. Tom is the producer and organizer of the popular Denver Tango festivals. He is one of the founders of the tango community in Denver.

Tom's partner Melinda comes to tango with years of professional ballet. She danced as a soloist for Colorado Ballet in numerous productions. Melinda has been assisting Tom in his Denver classes and traveling for the past year.

More info about Tom and Melinda can be found at www.tango.org.

About Robin Thomas

A well-known and respected dancer and DJ, Robin's enthusiasm for tango can be seen most clearly in his wholehearted dedication to teaching. He believes that it is very important for students to dance simply and musically from the very beginning. Building that strong base of connection and musicality early, Robin believes, will allow even very new beginners to feel comfortable and confident on a crowded dance floor and will also lead to a more comprehensive and fluid understanding of more complicated techniques later on. Robins' teaching style reflects this philosophy, and his students appreciate the humorous and down-to-earth way he presents the material.

On the rare occasion that he is neither teaching nor DJing, Robin can always be seen on the dance floor, either working to expand his own understanding of tango, or simply enjoying the connection he works so hard to share with others. He is originally from Belfast, Ireland.

More info about Robin can be found at www.robinthomastango.com.

About Jennifer Bratt & Ney Melo

Ney Melo and Jennifer Bratt dance an elegant style of social tango which is rooted in the traditions of the neighborhood of Villa Urquiza in Buenos Aires. Their style is defined by a smooth and graceful walk, a powerful sense of musicality, a mix of subtle and intricate steps, precision of movement and an intimate embrace. Their passion and respect for tango, its culture, and its music is clearly evidenced in their emotional dancing, as well as in their teaching. Ney and Jennifer have studied together with such maestros as Javier Rodriguez, Jorge Dispari y Maria del Carmen, Geraldine Rojas, and Julio Balmaceda y Corina de la Rosa.

Their of school of Tango Argentino, EL ABRAZO (which means The Embrace), is based in New York City at Empire Dance Studio and in their classes together they are dedicated to inspiring students to dance tango with feeling, musicality, cadencia, and connection - the way it is danced in Buenos Aires. The atmosphere in their classes is relaxed, personable and lively, and they place equal emphasis on the ladys role as the mens. Technique and the essence of tango, both fundamental to dancing well, are stressed in whatever step is being shown. Ney and Jennifer have recently taught and performed in Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia, as well as extensively all over North America.

More info about Jennifer and Ney can be found at www.close-embrace.com and www.neymelo.com respectively.

Tentative Schedule

Thursday, May 11
8:00pm-9:30pm Interm - Adv:
Milonguero Salida: Use of Hips, Dramatic Pauses, and Suspensions
Tom Stermitz & Melinda Quiat Dance Revolution Studio
9:30pm-?? Practica Dance Revolution Studio
Friday, May 12
8:30pm-9:30pm Welcome Lesson (All levels):
The Magic of Small Spaces
Tom Stermitz & Melinda Quiat Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
9:30pm-1:00am Welcome Milonga DJ: Avik Basu Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
Saturday, May 13
12:00pm-12:30pm Check-in and warm up
12:30pm-2:00pm Adv-Beg - Interm:
Vals & the Hover Step
Tom Stermitz & Melinda Quiat G115 Angell Hall
Interm - Adv:
Single Axis Turns
Robin Thomas & Jennifer Olson G127 Angell Hall
2:30pm-4:00pm Teacher's Workshop:
Sequential Learning: Don't Put the Cart Before the Horse
Tom Stermitz G115 Angell Hall
Interm - Adv (Nuevo):
Atypical Ganchos with Unusual Resolutions
Robin Thomas & Jennifer Olson G127 Angell Hall
4:00pm-5:00pm Mini Practica DJ: Timmy Tango G115 Angell Hall
5:00pm-9:00pm Dinner break
9:00pm-1:30am Milonga Picante DJ: Vijay Namasivayam Pendleton Room, Michigan Union
1:30am-6:00am Milonga Till Dawn DJ: Robin Thomas Dance Revolution Studios
Sunday, May 14
2:00pm-4:00pm Community building discussion
Lunch provided!
Tom Stermitz (facilitator) Pittsfield Grange
4:00pm-5:30pm Adv-beg - Interm:
Balance and Precision in Turns
Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt Pittsfield Grange
5:45pm-7:15pm Interm - Adv:
Perfecting Boleos
Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt Pittsfield Grange
8:30pm-1:00am Adios Milonga DJ: Yulia Kriskovets Pittsfield Grange
Monday, May 15
7:30pm-8:00pm Check-in and warm up
8:00pm-10:00pm Advanced:
Dancing to Romantic Tangos
Ney Melo & Jennifer Bratt Pittsfield Grange
10:00pm-?? Die-Hard Practica DJ: Ramji V Pittsfield Grange


Please register online for the weekend workshops/milongas. We will not accept email reservations!

Due to the capacity of the rooms, enrollment in each workshop will be LIMITED. As we process registrants on a first-come-first-serve basis, enrolling well in advance will assure you a spot in the workshops and save you money as well (see prices below). It will also give the organizers ample time to handle your requests (we appreciate your early enrollment greatly!).


Please note that student rates are available only to FULL-TIME students with a valid student ID.

Package Prices

Early registration prices (postmarked on or before May 8)

  • 5 day pass (All events Thurs-Mon): $35 (students) / $65 (non-students)
  • 4 day pass: $30 (students) / $55 (non-students)
  • 3 day pass: $25 (students) / $45 (non-students)
  • 2 day pass: $20 (students) / $35 (non-students)
  • Milonga-Only Pass (All 4 milongas Friday-Monday) : $15 (students) / $25 (non-students)

A La Carte Prices (paid at the door)

  • Any one workshop: $10 (students) / $15 (non-students)
  • Any milonga or practica: $5 (students) / $10 (non-students)

Please note that both the Semester Milonga Pass and the Semester Lesson/Practica Pass will not be valid for the festival milongas. If you are a Semester Pass holder, you must still purchase a May Madness Pass for entry to the milongas.

Private Lessons

To schedule private lessons, please contact visiting instructors directly by email or personally during the weekend:

Private lessons will be available on Sunday and Monday only.


Housing with local dancers may be available for those out-of-towners who register and pay prior to May 8, 2006. If you are interested, please email tangohousing@yahoo.com. The sooner you register, the more likely it is that we will be able to find you housing.

In the past, we have been able to find housing for almost all of the visiting dancers who requested for housing. However, as the number of out-of-town dancers have increased, we are finding it difficult to satisfy all the housing requests. See the accomodations page for more information on local accomodations.

Local dancers who house out-of-towners will receive a 25% discount on the workshop cost for each individual they host. If you are a local dancer interested in providing housing, please sign up here.


Dance Revolution Studios (Map)
603 E. William St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Michigan Union (Map)
530 S. State
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

Free covered parking at specified times on weekends and evenings (please see signage on structure) is available in Thompson Street Parking structure which is right behind the Michigan Union. Thompson street is parallel to and one block west of State St.

Pittsfield Grange (Map)
3337 Ann Arbor Saline Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103-9711

Flying to Ann Arbor

The closest major airport to Ann Arbor is Detroit Metro Airport (DTW).

The airport is about 25 miles east of Ann Arbor. From the airport, take I-94 West and follow it all the way to the State Street Exit in Ann Arbor. Take a right on State St. and continue for about 3 miles until you reach the University of Michigan campus.

Transportation to/from the airport.
Public Transportation from the airport to/from Ann Arbor is limited to taxi-cab or a shuttle. Shuttle services might not run periodically. You will have to call them in advance to schedule a pick-up or drop-off. Check the city's visitor guide transportation page for more information. The area code for Ann Arbor is 734.

You don't a car need that much once you are in town, but renting a car at the airport might not be any more expensive than taking the shuttle both ways.

You may also try the airports at Flint (FNT) and Toledo (TOL). Sometimes airlines have cheaper fares to these cities. Toledo and Flint are about an hour drive from Ann Arbor.

Questions? Concerns?

The most time consuming thing for us as organizers is when people ask us questions (email, personal, or telephone). We definitely do not mind answering your questions but many of the answers to your questions are available on this website.

If you still have questions, please do not hesitate to email us at umtango@umich.edu. You may also call Yelena Sinelnikova at 734-819-1292 or Yelena Volfovich at 734-995-9061.