Guest Teachers

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson (she/her) is a queer dual role dancer and tango instructor based in Philadelphia, PA.   After studying open role tango, Karen founded Philly Queer Tango in 2016.  She is passionate about creating and supporting spaces where diverse communities can experience the joy of queer tango. Most recently, she co-organized La Nuestra Tango Festival in Brooklyn, NY, which hosted the first all female, diversity affirming tango orchestra in North America. 

We are so excited to welcome Karen back to teach and dance at Abrazo in March. She is a special magic maker, rigorous in her own study of tango in both roles, supportive and generous in her approach to sharing her knowledge in classes and private lessons. So excited about her time with us in March:

Pre-milonga class on March 18th + performance with Andres Ozzuna at 8:30. This is our Spring Bash at the DOME!

Beginner and intermediate classes on March 19 (Beginner’s class is sold out. 10 spots open in intermediate class)

Private lessons March 13-20th. Contact Karen at Private lessons are a great way to advance your dance, and Karen has mad skills in both rolls.

Karen and Andres perform March 18th at our Spring Bash at the DOME!

Astrid Weiske is one of the pioneers of open-role dancing and is an internationally respected teacher in many tango communities worldwide, well known as a dynamic female lead and a gifted teacher. She has been dancing Tango Argentino for over 25 years, and since 2005 has been teaching in Berlin and accepting invitations to teach all over Europe and the world. 

She has developed strong sensitivity in leading, great creativity in improvisation, and playful musicality, which stand out as key elements in her dance. Astrid is also recognized for her skills as a follower, which greatly expands her knowledge and understanding of the dance.

In 2011, she founded the first International Queer Tango Festival in Berlin, which has earned a reputation as the world’s largest queer tango festival. 

Her exploration of the many styles of tango, from the classical to the experimental, as well as other dance forms like contact improvisation and modern dance, have led her to believe that there is no “one” Tango. She believes in a creative, liberating variety and connection of ideas, movements and technique, while always referring back to the roots of Argentine Tango. She promotes that fusion to reduce boundaries, allowing people to connect and communicate with each other and find their own expression in the dance.

Her teaching is based on awareness and analysis of natural movement in combination with her profound knowledge of technique, structure of the dance, and connection between the couple. This creates a constant dialogue between leaders and followers who share the responsibility of listening and responding to each other, based on a strong connection to the music.

We are very honored to welcome Astrid back to teach and perform at Abrazo. Emails us to register.

In addition to teaching our Sunday classes on 3/13, 20 and 27, and at our milonga on 3/19, you can work with Astrid here during her Bay Area stay:

-All Levels Class at La Bruja

Wednesday, March 16 and 23

Class: 7 – 8 pm

Practica: 8-10 pm

Berkeley City Club

-Private Leesons with Astrid:

Photo credit: photo provided by Astrid, dancing (lead), with Anna M.


Guest Teachers: Karen Johnson and Elly Fernandez

Sunday February 13th, we are over the moon to welcome two magic makers from Philly Queer Tango.

Elly Fernandez (she/her) & Karen Johnson (she/her) bring a combination of formal and experiential training to their dance practice. Elly holds a Master’s degree in Education as well as 12 years of dance/movement experience. Karen’s background in computer science brings an analytical, problem-solving mindset to the dance. After studying open role tango, Karen founded Philly Queer Tango in 2016, and has been collaborating with Elly to build more inclusive, welcoming spaces for diverse communities to learn the joy of queer tango. Karen is also trained in racial justice facilitation and sexual assault crisis counseling. She believes in deep listening and validation as essential tools for building a tango practice.

As co-teachers, Elly excels at facilitating an empathetic, rewarding learning process, and Karen loves helping students break down problems and make new discoveries about their dance. Together, they find each and every tango class an invigorating and fulfilling adventure. Elly’s teaching approach is shaped by her extensive training in trauma-informed care and consent advocacy. Karen’s teaching approach models and supports the practice of robust social-emotional skills. 

Words that Karen and Elly use to describe the dance that they create together: playful, joyful, safe, exploratory, cuddly.

Karen and Elly will teach both our beginner and intermediate classes on 2/13/22.

3:15- 3:30 check in

3:30-4:30 Beginner’s class (Limited to 20 dancers) No partner or experience needed

4:30-5:30 Intermediate class (Limited to 14 dancers) pre-approval required

COST: 18 per class, practica free with class or $5 alone. Students with ID$9.

Proof of booster plus Mask: N95, KN95 or KF94 (no cloth masks unless work over the required mask.)

Read our COVID protocols prior to attending.

Pre-registration recommended as classes tend to sell out, but not required.

Venmo: abrazo-tango (Karen Curtis)


HUGE thanks to Elly and Karen for coming to make merry with us! Do come and check out their classes if you are free and up for a bit of magic.