INSTRUCTORS AND DJS
Korey Ireland is a professional composer turned tango-addict. He brings a lifetime of musical experience and an unquenchable thirst for tango to his teaching. Currently based in Berlin, Germany, Korey has spent the better part of the last 17 years traveling and teaching tango in the U.S., England, Holland, Spain, Germany, Russia, Kenya, Poland and Argentina, sharing his passion for tango, music, expression, and connection.
In recent years, this mission has grown to include work with aspiring tango musicians at festivals throughout North America and Europe to create live music for dancers. In 2009 he led the "Monster Orchestra" of Tango de los Muertos resulting in a live CD of his arrangements and transcriptions. This project led to the birth of the Community Tango Orchestra project, which in its 8th year now includes about a dozen ensembles throughout the US and Europe dedicated to nurturing the tradition of golden age tango for dancers and musicians.
J Abling has been teaching tango for 18 years; nearly half of those years as a traveling resident teacher all over the US. He has trained with some of tango's most amazing masters and has taught at many major tango festivals in the US. J's students have often commented on his ability to simplify complex movements and provide insights that bring about important and lasting breakthroughs.
Rachel Moon has been an avid social dancer for over 20 years. In 2015, she spent 6 months training in Buenos Aires and in 2016 began partnering with J. Working with J has enriched Rachel's technical knowledge of tango, forming a great complement to her intuitive approach to dancing. Rachel strives to tap into each student's instinctual body movement and help them acquire tango technique that feels good and is functional on the dance floor.
Combined, their teaching melds together understanding with the mind as well as with the body. J's ability to diagnose what needs to be improved and Rachel's natural sense of movement enables the student to develop the necessary skills and intuition to become an amazing dancer. They live and teach in the Annapolis/DC area. Look up annapolistango.com to learn more about their work.
The music is what first drew Dan to tango in 2000, and he loves the music even more today. Dan started DJing
for social dances in the late 80s, and has been DJing tango events throughout North America since 2001. He
enjoys creating tandas in real-time, selecting each single song to suit the moment. He’ll take an occasional
calculated risk if the moment warrants; otherwise he prefers to focus on artfully combining classics into a
dynamic journey that everyone can rely on, so the dancers can focus deeply on dancing rather than the DJ.
After years of spinning discs for community radio, ballroom dancers and even a few weddings, Jessica Schilling came to her senses and started DJing tango in 2010 after realizing that it was a great way to write a tango-music addiction off on her taxes. Based in Boston, Jessica’s DJ roster has taken her all over the map in the last few years — including the Albuquerque Tango Festival, San Diego Tango Festival, ValenTango, the Endless Summer Tango Marathon, the Stowe Tango Music Festival, and more. Jessica strives for a flow incorporating the best of the traditional and alternative repertoire with the hidden gems and quirky treats that make a milonga memorable.
John Miller’s tango music career began at his High School Prom, when he brought a tango CD and somehow convinced the DJ to play a song. John’s dance partner (and no one else) was delighted! Since then, he has expanded his audience to include people who actually enjoy tango music, and has DJed over a thousand practicas and milongas in the last 10 years.
Since 2009, John has been teaching, DJing, and performing full time. He teaches weekly classes in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs, and works extensively with the local college clubs to bring tango to the younger generation. He has DJed at dozens of festivals, including the Toronto Tango Experience, the Eco-Tango Festival in Baja Mexico, the Boulder Tango Festival, the Salt Lake City Festival, the NaturalTango Festival, the Austin Spring Festival and the Midwest Tango Festival, among others.
John organizes Tango On the Rocks with his partner Jesica Cutler
Rebekah's first venture into Argentine Tango came in 2007 when her high school Spanish teacher started the Tango Club. She spent the next three years studying close-embrace tango with Robert Hauk. After a few years away she rediscovered tango thanks to "Dancing with the Stars" and has been a consistent part of the Portland community ever since.
In the last year, she’s hosted and DJed alternative tango parties for several weekly events – most recently at the saturday afternoon alt milonga during Momo's annual “Greatest Party Ever”. For Rebekah, alternative music isn't better, worse, or in any way comparable to traditional tango music. It is an entirely different beast, both structurally and in how we relate to it. Good alternative tracks are compelling, layered, and most importantly, accessible to someone who hasn't heard them before. Her goal over the course of an event is to stay connected to the dancers and play only the music they need to have a great time.
Yoga - Jamie-Lynn Figure
Jamie-Lynn has been dancing (in various fashions) since she could walk and began practicing yoga in 2009. She received her 200 hour teaching certification in 2016 from Yoga Mountain Shadows with a focus on anatomy and the mind-movement connection. She attended her first tango festival in 2012 and combines personal knowledge of how the body is used on the dancefloor with yoga training to balance, stretch, and stabilize the tango body after long festival days and nights.
To our founders:
Eternal gratitude to Samarra Burnett and Momo Smitt for the countless hours of inspiration, dedication, and commitment in building a tango festival dedicated exclusively to connection and musicality. As the key architects in the creation of CONNECT, they have truly raised the bar for unforgettable tango experiences. WE LOVE YOU!