Instructors

Instructors

 

ESQUINAMONI

Monica Caivano

Class: Tango & Youth

One of the founders and Esquina Tango director, Monica began teaching tango in 1997, in Austin, Texas. Her career in tango began as a teanager in her hometown of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Her family moved to the States taking her along when she was 17. In Austin,  her love for the arts did not leave but rather intensified. Parallel to working in college, where she studied theatre, Monica found herself in search of other tango lovers in town.  Slowly she found some other enthusiast and they started practicing in a living room; with time curious eyes began joining them and slowly but surely the living room became too small and they had to move to a bigger spot. This was the birth of the Austin Argentine tango community.

Monica has trained with masters like Nito & Elba, Carolina & Diego, Lorena Ermocida, as well as many other renowned teachers. By the time the idea of Esquina Tango was materialized, Monica had already been teaching tango to the Austin community for 10 years.  Her motivation for teaching was and continues to be to share her love for the dance, the music, and the culture. Her incentive is to get people “out in the street” dancing. Her charisma and warm personality engages students. Monica’s tango teaching style helps dancers build on their technical abilities while placing relevance on the connection of leading/following and on dancing to the music. Furthermore, Monica works towards creating dancers that have great social skills and etiquette in the “Milongas”.

Esquina Tango has been an amazing dream come true for the continuation of building of social dancers along with a community of wonderful people of friends. At Esquina Tango teaching goes beyond the mere act of conveying information, it’s the creating links and crossroads between people, sharing, and making the love for dance and music contagious.

Gustavo Simplis

Class: Spanish & Tango

Gustavo is one of Esquina’s main tango instructors as well one of its founders. Gustavo’s dance style expresses passionate feelings and connection and a sense of humor with his partner,  the audience, and the music. He has trained under some of the most renowned professionals such as Lorena Ermocida, Osvaldo Zotto, and Daniel “El Flaco” Garcia. Gustavo has  choreographed for the Austin Shakespeare Company as well as choreographed and performed for “Om Shanti” at the Long Center. As a teacher, Gustavo’s main asset is that he makes tango accessible to all. He connects and helps people of all ages feel comfortable and gives them the confidence to enjoy the dance and appreciate the culture. In teaching this dance he loves he has found a calling. Gustavo’s classes are fun & full of energy! Gustavo is also the Spanish Conversational instructor. Spanish is not only his native language, he is also passionate about it. He has taught and tutored people in the Spanish language and is eager to get people more comfortable in comprehending and speaking Spanish.

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Melissa Corpus

Class: Salsa, Samba, & Youth

Melissa Corpus is a Dancer, Teacher and Choreographer in Austin, Texas. Since 2010, she has been teaching samba no pe focusing on footwork, technique and the joy of the Brazilian spirit.  Melissa has worked with Austin Samba, the largest samba school in the United States, as a choreographer,  director and principal dancer. She has traveled to Brazil and throughout the United States to study with Patrick Carvalho and members of Cia Dom, Ana Laidley, Rosangela Silvestre. Rodrigo Marques and Pedro Rosa. In 2014, she paraded in Rio de Janeiro with the legendary G.R.E.S. Estação Primeira de Mangueira.

In addition to Samba, Melissa also teaches,choreographs and performs Salsa, Bachata and Cha Cha Cha.  She founded ATX Fusion Dance Co. in Austin, Texas in 2016 and is excited to spread the Alegria of dance to the Austin community and beyond!

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Stephanie Keeton

Class: Salsa Aerobics & Youth

Stephanie was born in Corpus Christi, Texas where she started dancing at the tender age of 4 years old. She then went on to study with Ballet Nacional for 10 years in Corpus Christi, where she became a featured soloist and dance instructor for all ages. She then moved to Austin Texas in 1998 where she became a Soloist, ensemble dancer, and choreographer with Aztlan Dance Company for 13 years. She is now one of the principal dancers for A’lante one of Austin’s professional Flamenco dance companies.

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Alfonso Alarcon

Class: Afro-Cuban

A native of Tijuana, Baja California, Alfonso grew up listening to various danceable music genres such as Cumbia and Norteño. His love of dance developed when he took his first salsa class in 2011 in San Diego, CA. He initially learned Afro-Cuban folkloric dancing to bring variety to his salsa dancing and has now fallen in love with the genre.

 

Mickey

Class: Senior Tango Class & Esquina in the Community classes

Mickey has danced socially all her life. When she first saw Argentine Tango in 2009, she fell in love with it, joined Esquina Tango, and has studied it and danced it ever since. She serves on the Esquina Board, chairs the annual Fundraiser, and loves to help beginners gain confidence and enthusiasm for Tango.

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Orazzio

Class: Beginner Spanish & Tango

Originally from Bolivia, Orazzio has been a Romance languages instructor at University Texas, a Diversity Instructor (Spanish – Portuguese) at Antioch University, a Bi-lingual Staff Development Instructor (Spanish) at State of Texas, and a Spanish Medical Interpreter in the Austin State Hospital. He is a very generous and energetic instructor and likes to bring treats to his students. Orazzio also has danced Argentine Tango since he was a teenager, watching his parents dance it. He knows the music, the orchestras, the composers, and he loves to share his knowledge and passion for all things Tango.

Marta Ascherio

Class: Yoga

Marta has been practicing yoga for nearly 15 years. At first she practiced yoga to manage stress from school and work. At the time yoga seemed like quasi-mystical and very difficult to understand, let alone teach or get better at. When she moved to Houston in 2012, she started taking classes with Andrew Royal Dugas.  She appreciated his results-and-people driven approach, and she quickly got stronger and more flexible.  Her body mindset changed through the practice and even more through teacher training in 2014. Her body is lighter and stronger than it used to be, she digests food better, and no longer feel weak or have lower back pain, knees, or ankles. She now teaches both private and group classes, launched a yoga video project, and she is certain that friends, family, students, and clients are healthier and stronger because of it.