About Marek and Olivera
Dance has been an integral part of my life since I was 5 years old. I started with folklore, and then moved to ballroom dancing, where I performed and competed throughout the Czech Republic and abroad, well into my 20s. During this time, I also obtained a degree in physical therapy. In 2001, while I was working as a ballroom instructor at the Fred Astaire dance studio in Milwaukee, USA, I happened to go to a milonga (a social tango dance evening) in Chicago and I was hooked. I threw myself into intensive learning, and shortly afterwards, started teaching and building a tango dance community in Milwaukee, and later on, in Madison, USA.
I have been passionate about dancing since I was a girl. I learned many different dances at various stages of my life, including folklore, ballroom, rock-and-roll and swing, but tango was something of a mystery. In 2002, I was doing my doctorate studies in Milwaukee, USA, when I decided to go to my first tango class - this is where I met Marek. My life has never been the same. After 6 months of intensive training, I became his dance partner, and shortly afterwards, we were teaching and running a milonga together. It’s been challenging to balance a career as a scientist and devote myself to teaching tango, but I feel happy and fulfilled that I can do both.
In 2006, we moved to Paris, where Marek taught classes at “Les Temps du Tango”, the main organiser of tango events in Paris at the time. We taught workshops in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.
Although traveling was a lot of fun, we ultimately decided it was time to settle down, and in 2009 we moved to Surrey where we ran regular classes in Twickenham and Shepperton, focusing on bringing new people into the tango community and raising standards. As well-respected teachers, we frequently receive invitations to give workshops in London, Oxford and Bristol, and at the annual Abrazos festival in Devon. For several years we also ran a very popular monthly milonga in Guildford, which attracted some of the best dancers in the region. We have recently moved to Cardiff and look forward to contributing to the tango community in South Wales.
Our teaching style
Ever since Strictly Come Dancing, there has been a surge of interest in tango. However, the dancing you see is choreographed and the grandiose movements are made to be showcased on stage or on TV. We do not teach choreography or acrobatics, rather, we teach social Argentine tango, the way it is danced at milongas in Buenos Aires and throughout the world. It is a style that is accessible to everyone and brings with it a surprising amount of fun and pleasure. The dance is creative, adaptable and suitable for all ages and abilities.
Our teaching is founded on a lifetime of dance experience, 17 years of teaching tango classes and a solid understanding of human anatomy and body movement. We teach you steps and combinations allowing you to create your own dance. If you were learning a foreign language, this would be akin to learning words and grammar so that you can compose your own sentences. We encourage and guide you so that you can experience and enjoy the dance to its full potential.
Learning is a lifelong process, and we continue to work on ourselves and study with visiting maestros from Buenos Aires, and enjoy incorporating new teaching concepts into our own proven methods. We warmly look forward to supporting you on your tango journey.