Jerry Matias Perez & Christine Lopez Urgell
2007 U.S. Tango Champions (NYC)
2018 & 2019 U.S Group Stage Champions
"Los Cortados" - ATUSA (San Francisco)
Dancing tango together for 20 years, Jerry and Christine have been devoted to the art of tango full time for over 15. Originally starting their careers in Miami, Florida, they have been based in Los Angeles since 2011. Professional dancers since the ages of 18 and 19, Jerry and Christine brought their unique point of view and expertise on body awareness, musicality, movement quality and connection into their tango practice. Possessing a mix of modern and classic styles, J&C are known for their razor sharp technique as well as their earthy and expressive performance style; together they draw audiences in with their storytelling choreographies as well as their dynamic improvisational skills.
Jerry and Christine keep busy in Los Angeles teaching, coaching and performing as well as hosting their very popular events La Guapa and Milonga Bombon. In addition to cultivating and contributing to their local tango community, Jerry and Christine have traveled, taught and performed in many places throughout the world including: Buenos Aires, Argentina, Albuquerque Tango Festival, NYC/ Mariella Franganillo Dance Company, NYC, Alberta Canada, Miami Tango Fantasy Festival, Paris France (2010, 2016, 2017), Madrid Spain (2019,2022) Valencia Spain, Isabela Puerto Rico Tango Festival, Tijuana Tango Festival, Philadelphia, Palm Beach, Tampa, Florida and San Francisco. FILM & TELEVISION CREDITS: Principal dancers in “El Cantante” with Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony and “South beach” with Vanessa Williams. Their most current project is the comedy feature film “Tony Tango” working as featured dancers, actors and choreographers. Jerry & Christine are the 2007 1st place winners at First ever U.S. Tango Championship in NYC. They currently work and reside in Los Angeles, CA.
As teachers, Jerry and Christine are clear and concise with a knack for simplifying complex information while building in layers of technical understanding as well as placing emphasis on improvisation, timing, musicality and dynamics. Known for their infectious enthusiasm, passionate energy and their genuine interest in the development of their students, Jerry and Christine have a unique ability to engage with students through their generosity and sense of humor keeping them focused and inspired through their tango journey.
Beginning their full time careers as professional dancers separately at ages 18 & 19 they eventually crossed paths and ended up dancing together in different disciplines quickly becoming a strong partnership exploring their choreography skills together for themselves as well as being hired to choreograph shows for others professionally. During these years their demand became so high they quit teaching dance and focused on creating it. In the midst of running from one gig to the next they decided to take up the study of argentine tango as a hobby together.
Jerry had been a fan of the music and used to play tangos on the organ as a kid and was encouraged by his mother to find a girl to take as a partner to a tango lesson. Tango would have to wait though as everyone looking for a good partner knows how difficult it can be to find one but apparently even more difficult at the age of 9!
Christine visited BA where she saw her first tango show at the age of 16 and being a student of dance was in awe of all the striking movements of the legs and torso combined with theatrical lines she was learning pursuing studies in lyrical jazz, ballet and modern dance. She went on to become a principal dancer in a touring modern dance company but as soon as she had the opportunity to visit BA again at the age of 22 she took her first tango lesson and realized this might be the most mysterious and complex dance she had ever tried.
Can't get enough and feel like reading more?
Jerry and Christine’s shared love for tango became a sweet surprise they held in common and naturally an exciting form of expression for them to explore together. Funny enough they already had so much dance on their plates they genuinely thought of tango as their special dance to enjoy together strictly for fun. These were pre YouTube days when there was only one weekly local class available and dancers as young as J&C at the time were not the norm at the milongas. The lack of resources available in tango during that time made them turn towards themselves and their discipline and ability to explore movements while creating structure. Jerry and Christine eventually chose some of Tango’s most influential and or interesting dancers and teachers to study with privately as well as visiting Buenos Aires, the mecca of tango as their interest grew more intense. Learning from different dancers with conflicting philosophies proved to be challenging as they were all so good yet completely different from one another but Jerry and Christine could always explore concepts and techniques together and that’s exactly what they did. During those days they also became addicted to social dancing and realized some of the most practical lessons could really be learned on the crowded milonga dance floor. The mix of questions that came up from opposing philosophies of techniques and aesthetics created a need for J&C to define and identify techniques and their function for creating different styles of movements and dynamics. This type of exploration in their own development as tango dancers along with observations and practical lessons learned in the heat of the milonga floors helped inform and give shape to their teaching style resulting in solid structures explored through partner connection, musicality, prioritization of the most useful figures and techniques for social dancing as well as development of applying different techniques to produce specific dynamics and aesthetics for more advanced dancers. They love to bring tangible understanding to the simple questions of learning like...what, how, when and why.