Andrea Shepherd and Wolfgang Mercado-Alatrista
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. In 2017 she became a certified yoga instructor and has continued her teacher training since then. Andrea's tango DJing – be it traditional, alternative or, most often, a mix of both – has gained a steady and enthusiastic following over the years.
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 perform regularly with Montreal musicians El Trio Argentino and Fiestango and they have directed four 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, the Rialto Theatre in 2015 and 2017 and the F.C. Smith Auditorium in 2019.