MonTango - the friendliest tango school in Montreal

The Friendliest Tango School in Montreal

MonTango Instructors

Andrea Shepherd and Wolfgang Mercado‑Alatrista

tango instructors

Andrea Shepherd and Wolfgang Mercado-Alatrista are the owners, teachers and artistic directors at MonTango.

Andrea has been dancing since age 4, when she took her first ballet class. She studied classical ballet throughout her teenage years, with Mme. Helena Voronova’s Ballets de la Jeunesse. She also touched on jazz, tap and acrobatics. In her 20s Andrea discovered Latin dance, throwing herself into the world of salsa, merengue and the other Latin "club dances." She took her first tango class in 1997 at Graffiti Tango. The following year she joined a class at the just-opened Académie de Tango Argentin, where before long she was assisting her teacher, Santiago Giménez, with his classes. Andrea worked on her tango through taking and teaching classes at l’Académie as well as through workshops with a variety of masters, most notably Carlos Gavito, Pablo Verón and Hernán Obispo.

Andrea is a former copy editor whose teaching experience also includes nine years in Concordia University’s Journalism department. In 2010 she was certified as a fitness instructor by the YMCA. She also began practising yoga regularly, which enriches her dancing, her teaching and her life.

Wolf, born in Argentina and raised in Peru, has dance in his blood. He grew up surrounded by dance, influenced especially by his mother, who taught Spanish dance. In his youth he spent years studying and performing the creole dances of Peru.

Not long after his arrival in Montreal in 1999, Wolf discovered La Tangueria, where he both studied and taught with Paul Montpetit and Laura Steinmander. Through the Tangueria and his work as coordinator of the Société Culturelle Argentine Québec Canada (SCAQC), Wolf observed and participated in a number of workshops given by a variety of renowned tango masters, most notably Julio Méndez.

A dedicated athlete throughout his youth, Wolf also works as a personal trainer at the YMCA. This career path contributes to his deep understanding of the body, with particular expertise in posture and alignment. He is also currently pursuing university studies in kinesiology.

Tango brought Andrea and Wolf together in 2003, and after a few years of teaching together at various places in and around Montreal, they opened their own studio, MonTango, in 2008.

In their years together – as a couple in dance, business and life – Andrea and Wolf have honed their skills, with the help of workshops in Montreal and Buenos Aires with a variety of masters. Andrea and Wolf’s dance style blends the best elements of traditional and modern techniques. The couple are known for the passion they convey when they dance, and their school for its warm, welcoming and unintimidating atmosphere.

Andrea and Wolf are frequently invited to teach and perform at various events. Andrea, Wolf and the MonTango team performed at Festivalissimo in 2010 and 2011, and Andrea and Wolf were invited in 2011 to teach and perform at the Festival International de Tango de Montréal. In January 2013, the couple won first place in the Argentine tango three-dance event, professional category, at the Chic de la Danse competition. They also directed the Historias de Tango shows, featuring the MonTango professional team as well as some of the school's students, at the Corona Theatre in April 2013 and at the Rialto Theatre in April 2015.

Click here to read Andrea's blog, Life Is a Tango

Melina Mistral

tango teacher

Born into a family of artists – her father is a painter and her mother an illustrator – Melina has been immersed in an artistic environment since childhood, eventually leading her to pursue a DEC in Cinema and Communications at Dawson College. During her childhood and teen years, she was athletic and drawn particularly to capoeira, a Brazilian martial art based on dance, music and combat. Such pursuits eventually steered her toward an interest in dance.

Tango piqued her curiosity, and at age 18 she finally crossed the threshold at MonTango and threw herself into a world that had fascinated her for years but for which she had thought she was too young. From her first trial class Melina fell head over heels in love with tango – and displayed a talent to match. During her first year of dance, she took group and private lessons at MonTango with Wolf and Andrea, as well as with Montreal dancer and teacher Bernard Caron. That same year, she made a short film about tango in Montreal, Traveling Through Tango, featuring three couples: Andrea and Wolf, Marika Landry and Mauro Peralta, Gérard Derminasyan and Adrien Ronceray. In 2010 she spent two months in Buenos Aires, perfecting her skills with such dancers as Javier Diaz, Tate Di Chiazza, Francisco Forquera, Damián Esell and Nancy Louzan. It was that same year that Melina made the transition from student to teacher at MonTango.

She is currently studying classical ballet and Pilates as well as continuing to take various tango workshops given by international teachers.

Click here to visit Melina's blog

 

Jean-Sébastien Viard

tango teacher

Jean-Sébastien has explored a number of different social dances, and has taught both Ballroom and Latin dance. For the past several years he has focused on Argentine tango, which has become his greatest passion.

His students appreciate his patience, humour and analytical nature as well as his ability to simplify complex notions and to solve problems quickly.

His slogan: "If you can walk, you can dance."

Jean-Sébastien began teaching at MonTango as an occasional guest teacher in 2013. The following year he became a more permanent member of the MonTango teaching team.

 

Juliana Erimina

tango teacher

Juliana was born in Moscow, Russia. The daughter of an artist and a dressmaker, she spent her childhood in an artistic environment, using music and a pencil as her tools of fun and joy.

In her teens, Juliana became a huge fan of break dance after seeing a movie of the same name, and so she began to break dance on the streets of Moscow to earn pocket money. She also participated in experimental dance in a local dance studio. After moving to Montreal, Juliana majored in Film Animation at Concordia University – finally getting her foot in the door to an artistic profession.

She continued dancing on the side until 2007, when destiny led her to Andrea and Wolf’s classes. She had wanted to learn tango for five years before she came across an ad for MonTango’s very first session of classes and became part of the school’s tiny first group of students. As it does for many, tango quickly grew into an addiction for her. Meanwhile, Andrea and Wolf immediately saw Juliana’s potential, and after two years she began assisting with classes. Dedicated, determined and talented, she has since become an integral part of the MonTango team.

Juliana is not new to teaching. She has taught drawing to young people of all ages, and finds the teaching experience highly rewarding and emotionally fulfilling. She strives to improve herself daily as both a teacher and a dancer. In December 2010 she made her first pilgrimage to Buenos Aires, where she studied intensively with various tango masters.