Mountain Milonga 2018 Team

Mountain Milonga Retreat 2018
DJs, Teachers, Musicians, Organizers

John Miller & Jesica Cutler * Tommy Smith & Christian Wheelihan * Grisha Nisnevich
Patrick Marsolek * Jamie Lynn Figure * Patricia Becker * Nathan Earley
Joni Roco * Lucia Petkovich * Serena Lembach
Brian Salisbury * Alexander Zeyliger* Phonograph Blue Band


John Miller and Jesica Cutler from Denver (website)
John-JesicaJohn Miller is one of the most popular DJs in Colorado and nationwide, and he plays an average of 140 nights a year. He has DJed across North America at many festivals and milongas, including the UTango, Wasatch Tango Exchange, SLTF, and M2 in Utah, Burning Tango in California, the Albuquerque Tango Festival, the Denver Tango Festival, the Natural Tango Festival, the Boulder Tango Festival, Mala Leche in New York City, the Toronto Tango Experience, the Midwest Tango Festival, the Chicago Mini-Festival, the Austin Spring Tango Festival, and the Baja Eco-Tango Festival in La Paz, Mexico. Jesica is a master of anatomy, John is a whiz at structure, and together their classes present a clear and integrated understanding of Tango, both in movement and in composition. They have been teaching together since 2013, and work extensively with college students to bring Tango to the younger generation. Their style incorporates both the earliest elements of Tango and the most modern developments. Jesica massage skills and couple massage classes are a legend in their own right!
Jesica and John brings to Mountain Milonga years of experience in tango festival organizing. MMR 2017 is their first foray into Utah event organizing. Let's all keep our fingers crossed, and our eyes wide open for pleasant surprises and friendly cabeceos!


Grisha Nisnevich from Denver (website)
Fullscreen capture 6162016 65819 PMGrisha Nisnevich is an internationally renown tango musician, band leader, and instructor, who discovered Argentine tango in 2001, and studied with Julio Balmaceda and Corina de la Rosa. As concert-level musician, and professional dancer and teacher, Grisha strives to share his knowledge of the “secrets’ of music taken from music scores and music performance with dancers in addition to sharing the dancing experience with musicians, both in North America and across Europe and Asia, teaching and sharing this original unique material with tango teachers and dancers, giving musicality classes, concerts and lectures as well as technical classes



Patricia Becker from San Diego 
Patricia Becker is an actress, dancer and choreographer from Argentina. She has an extensive dance background going back to her childhood, when she studied ballet and modern dance.

She started dancing Tango in Cordoba, Argentina in 2004, in 2009, living and working as an actress in New York City she rediscovers the love for Tango. She was able to understand the depth and uniqueness of this dance and a passion for exploring its secrets was born. Since that moment she never stop learning. She had the opportunity to train with some of the most prominent and acclaimed tango teachers, while also studying other body and movement disciplines to further develop her understanding of human body mechanics. Feldenkrais has become one of the techniques used in tango classes she teaches.
Key focal points of Patricia’s teaching are to develop an understanding of how to move the body naturally and effortlessly, as well as the connection and unity between dance partners.
In the last few years she has worked alongside key figures such as Oliver Kolker, Alex Krebs, and others. She’s systematically invited to several festivals in the US tango scene.

Feldenkrais® group classes (Awareness Through Movement) use slow, mindful movements to achieve powerful effects in terms of strength, flexibility, and holistic integration of body and mind. By attending to the improving quality of movement, unnecessary muscular tensions throughout the body can reorganize and release. Awareness Through Movement teaches you the secrets to reducing unnecessary muscular effort and improve your awareness of your whole self in action. This emphasis on sensory learning results in movement and vitality that are more flexible, pleasurable and free from aches and pains.

Jamie Lynn Figure from Colorado Springs 
Jamie Lynn teaches both dance and yoga. She specializes in integrating the movement concepts of both arts to enhance each other and fine tune balance and stability in the body.












Brian Salisbury from Salt Lake
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Brian Salisbury played violin all his life, and began dancing tango in 1996 with the purpose of finding a social dance situation that didn’t involve standing out most of the evening with a violin under his chin. Sue Jones, Theresa Shultz, and Lynn Butler introduced Argentine Tango at Micky Cassalino’s dance studio which lead to working with Andre Solomon, Christopher Nassapolis, Florencia Tacetti and Alberto Paz. Tango study travels to Seattle, Portland, and Denver lead to a long 2002 trip to Buenos Aries, studying with Claudia Bozzo at Escuela del Tango, then assisting various teachers in BsAs with complete beginners at “tourist” classes. Early influences of tango music included 78 rpm classics - La Cumparsita, El Choclo, Jealousy, and various “gypsy” records purportedly, “Tango Tzigane” in addition to sound tracks to tango episodes in films. Applied study of tango music began with Dan Diaz and continues with transcription and performance. Annual classes at the Reed College Tango Music Institute since 2013 helped clarify specific style elements of tango from styles used in other passionate music for dance. (i.e. csardas, rembetica, hot swing, tsigane). A seminal 2008 jam with Homer Ladas lead to the creation of Tango Quinteto Noir, many more festival tango jams, and, since 2012, multi-city orchestras convening to play live music at the events such as Mountain Milonga Retreat, Sun Valley Tango Retreat, and Missoula Tango Marathon.
Joni Roco 
Option6_SKT_1805Jurni Roco says: "I believe in creating an environment that fosters connection and growth. I do this by hosting Tango and Blues events, DJing, and, most of all, through teaching. I teach in Portland and Tucson and DJ both traditional, and fusion at events in the western US. Join us as we explore the dance." Jurni studies tango with Lizelot de Stigter.
Tommy Smith from Boise Tommy discovered tango in early 2012. Since then his love for Argentine tango has grown into an obsession as he seeks ever increasing depths of knowledge. His skills and interests run the full spectrum: teaching, DJing, performing, and organizing. To educate and motivate beginning DJs, progressing DJs, and those interested in tango music, he offers semi-regular DJ workshops. Festivals he has DJ'd at include Montana's Tango Uprising and the Salt Lake Tango Fest.
With a long history of teaching and tutoring engineering and math, Tommy brings his analytic and organized teaching style into the tango classroom, striving to present concepts that both reinforce each other organically and are accessible to students of all levels. He teaches comfortable and connected social tango, emphasizing versatility, thoughtfulness, and musicality.

Patrick Marsolek & Lori Mitchell from Missoula (website)
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Patrick Marsolek and Lori Mitchell are based in Missoula, Montana. They teach regularly in Missoula, MT and travel to teach tango around the region. They focus on developing dynamic and living connections in the dance — connections can be within ourselves, with our partner, with the music and the other dancers on the floor with us. Within these connections they explore a full range of communication and creativity within the dance.

They are also passionate about building community around tango, recognizing the value of social connections and involvement for dancers. The tango culture involves a rich social experience that is especially valuable since it can help provide more connection and belonging in our lives.

Patrick got hooked on tango in 2005, and hasn’t looked back yet. He also organizes regular workshops with visiting tango instructors in Missoula and hosts the Missoula Tango Marathon each year. For his ‘day job’, Patrick is a clinical hypnotherapist, writer and researcher, and teaches classes on compassionate communication, self-hypnosis, and personal empowerment. He’s also plays the bandoneon and is interested in creating more culturally accessible music for North American tango dancers.

Lori brings 30 years of experience a modern, ballet, jazz, tap, flamenco and trained in Pilates, Gyrotonics, and Laban movement fundamentals, and unites the worlds of health and dance with an eye and heart informed by the joy and wisdom of the importance of movement, self expression, and acknowledgement.

Daniel Calcines and Vera Baraz from Edmonton (website)

Daniel Calcines was born in St. Petersburg, Russia to an Argentinian mother and a Cuban father, and like tango itself, he is international.  Growing up in Cuba, he was immersed in Latin dance and music from an early age, as well as listening to tango music due to the influence of his mother, a native of Buenos Aires. Daniel speaks fluently in Spanish, English and Russian.

Vera Baraz grew up in Russia and came to Canada with her family in her early teens.  She attributes her passion for the Latin music and dance to meeting her husband Daniel. In 2000 both of them went for the first time to Buenos Aires, Argentina, a native country of his mother where his family now resides.  Both fell in love with Argentine tango dance and since then have been studying relentlessly with some of the best instructors both in Argentina and around the world.

Vera and Daniel are founders and organizers of Casa Tango Edmonton, a non for profit Argentine Tango Association in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  Inspired to share tango’s beauty and passion with Edmontonians and to develop Edmonton tango community, they have been teaching
lessons, organizing workshops, practicas, weekly and monthly dance socials since 2009

Mark Christensen from Salt Lake Mark Christensen. one of the founders of Salt Lake City tango and a past president of Wasatch Tango Club, has been and continues to be instrumental in the development of a tango community in Utah. Mark frequently functions as DJ for local tango events and has DJ’d, taught, participated in workshops or danced socially in Buenos Aires and in communities across the United States, including communities in Albuquerque, Ann Arbor, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington DC and other locations. Mark advocates socially responsible, conscious, connected, improvisational, musical dancing—acquiring concepts and skills that enable each individual to develop and through dance share with others their own authentic and unique expression, way of moving, and personal interpretation of the passionate, emotive and structurally rich music of Argentine tango.

Lucia Petkovic from Idaho Falls  Lucia was born and raised in San Juan, Argentina. She received a Superior Diploma in piano, music theory, and solfége at the age of 16 after ten years of study at the Argentine Fracassi’s Conservatory. At that time, she learned to play not only a lot of classical pieces but also many of the most widely known tangos, valses, and milongas that Lucia’s mom used to sing at home. Knowing that making a living out of music was going to be very difficult, Lucia completed doctoral studies in Chemical Engineering in United States and worked for many years as an engineering professor in Argentina and as a researcher at the Idaho National Laboratory. After arriving in Idaho, she re-discovered her childhood passion for music and developed an insane addiction for tango music and dancing. Along with her husband, she has taught tango classes in Jackson, Pocatello, Idaho Falls, and Missoula. She has served as a guest DJ numerous times in Jacskon (WY), Pocatello (ID) and Salt Lake City (UT). She is excited and looking forward to DJing at MM this year.


Serena Lembach from San Diego
Anibal Troilo said "El tango siempre te espera" (Tango always waits for you.) This is surely the case for Serena Lembach, who first stumbled onto tango during a BsAs visit with a soccer group in 1986. A single couple all in black on a tiny stage. The music grabbed her soul. The connection and passion was palpable. Returning home; no tango in sight, sick kids; life got in the way. Fast forward decades. Once she started she never looked back, classes and milongas several days a week. always the music driving the quest. Serena took the love of the music to djaying, and is busy in San Diego being house DJ for Toca Tango Milonga, as well as guest DJing at other milongas and practicas across the Western US and Mexico. Just as you only know a people when you know the language, you only know tango when you know the music. She finds joy in seeing dancers embrace the music and grow in their ability to be one with the music.



  Guadalupe Sandoval Rodriguez
guadalupe2Many Moons ago Guadalupe Rodriguez found the elixir of music of Tango-in the golden age of Tango to the Neo Classic and the alternative of today. Music connects us across the universe-if there ever will be peace on Earth-music, will certainly have a positive say in it. Guadalupe found himself in the Tango world since 2008. He has been Immersing himself in the music, culture and dance and currently teaching beginning tango and hosting a practica for the last 3 years at Mestizo Café. The love of the music then and now motivates Guadalupe to continue to refine, play and discover the perfect playlist for the Milonga. He began DJing the last few years in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles and Sun Valley. “The trip has only begun.” He adds. Listening to the music of Tango always impresses his sensibilities as a dancer and shares that exuberance with his fellow dancers. He spends hours perfecting the tandas, and seeing the results fully appreciated by dancers on the floor. The music, he says, “can’t be improved, but we can surely improve our interpretation of it with our dance throughout our lives!” He also is an accomplished visual artist that shares his joy of the dance in film and stills with others in the community, having done one man shows in Utah and California. “Tango is such a connectivity passion! It’s no wonder it’s all over the world, Thank God for that!” He exclaims with a big smile.
  Phonograph Blue band, Salt Lake City The Phonograph Blue is a fantastic music project combining the Krikov family and their international friends, interpreting tango, jazz, and folk classics from many countries and in a variety of languages. We are blessed to have them play at some local milongas! An instant hit with Mountain Milonga dancers, we are happy to see them perform again in 2017

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