Our Specialty Instructors
Special Dance and Fitness Styles
Danielle & Doug
Danielle grew up on cruise ships, in the days when the only entertainment after dinner was a band and a dance floor. She wants to recreate a world in which people can: (1) recognize which dance goes with which song; (2) get up and dance to every song: and (3) take pleasure in creating a true dance partnership, whether for one dance or for a lifetime. Danielle graduated from ballroom teacher training in New Mexico, after dancing ballroom for years at Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire. Since childhood, she has also every week of her life danced ballet, modern, jazz, African, hip hop, or flamenco. Danielle teaches with her husband, Doug, who went to Arthur Murray in Redwood City to learn a father/daughter dance for his daughter’s wedding...and never stopped dancing.
Felipe & Ayano
Felipe Martinez’s background includes a degree in education and more than 20 years of experience in tango and is widely renowned for his clear teaching strategy, enthusiastic personality, and ability to make real improvements in your dancing. Ayano has been dancing tango since 2005 and is an accomplished and motivated dancer, with excellent movement technique and musicality. She has been teaching with Felipe for the past few years around the country. Together, their demonstrations are clear and precise, offering students an excellent model of movement. Both Felipe and Ayano lead and follow interchangeably which is invaluable for teaching. Their series at Stanford University and their classes at The Beat in Berkeley are always in high demand, which is a tribute to their teaching excellence and wide appeal. We are very fortunate to have tango professionals of this caliber. Come join us for a wonderful learning experience!
Homer & Cristina Ladas
Homer & Cristina each bring with them over seventeen years of social dance experience emphasizing a fusion of tango ideologies, via the ‘one tango’ philosophy. They have traveled extensively to dance, learn, and teach! Since 2002, their Monday night at The Beat intermediate drop-in class + practica (co-hosted with Felipe Martinez) has been their ‘local’ home base & hang-out. Coupled with Dan & Pier’s Thursday night beginner classes and the monthly 4th Saturday all-nighter, The Beat has been a tango staple in the local community as well as earning an international reputation for where to dance tango when in-town.
Jessica Erin Judd
Jessica is a long-time dancer with training in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and rhythm tap dance. She loves leaps, turns, and any dance that allows her to travel extensively about the stage and has been thrilled to pursue her love of dance within Big Moves since 2001. Jessica is the Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE, Big Moves’ resident performing company for people of all shapes, sizes, and genders with a deep repertory that spans jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater. Big Moves is the only service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on stage.
Jonas & Xiaomin
Jonas and Xiaomin met on the social tango dance floors of the SF Bay Area. Dancing since 2007, Jonas has been teaching since 2011. Xiaomin started tango in 2013, training to compete in the Argentine Tango USA Championship and was a semi-finalist in the Enscenario Tango category as a first-time contestant in 2014. She has been teaching and performing since 2016. They have been teaching together since 2017 throughout the Bay Area and hosting the All-Night Milonga at The Beat with Felipe and Ayano since 2018.
Matilda St. John
Matilda spent her elementary school years training in jazz and dreaming of becoming a Solid Gold Dancer. Although those early dreams never materialized, she was delighted to find and join Big Moves in 2002. Matilda loves across-the-floor work and whip-fast pas de bourrees. She’s the current Director of Big Moves, the only service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on stage, and the Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE, Big Moves’ resident performing company for people of all shapes, sizes, and genders with a deep repertory that spans jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater.
Nina Cooper received early ballet training at American Ballet Theater in New York. She studied jazz in Paris and performed in the modern dance company at UC Berkeley. She found her artistic home studying modern jazz blues with Elvia Marta and Bayan Jamay over the course of several decades.