Jeff was already an accomplished state champion country dancer and dabbled in other partner dances when he was introduced to tango in 1996. It was not long before he started teaching a credited beginners tango course at Scottsdale Community College. During this time he also taught classes in Sedona with a local resident when their tango community was just starting up. This was followed by more classes in a private dance studio in Scottsdale.
Neri started studying tango in 1997, then visited Buenos Aires the following year. While in Buenos Aires, she studied with Pedro Monteleone, a well known milonguero and instructor. Together with his daughter Marcela, also an accomplished dancer and tango teacher, she attended the local milongas under their guidance. These were her first glimpses into the captivating traditions and social culture behind the dance. Tango music has likewise become a special interest of hers and these days she djs at the local milongas.
In 1996, Jeff founded what is now known as Milonga Las Estrellas . It continues to be the longest running milonga in the state of Arizona. Together they also host a weekly milonga which Neri initiated in 1997. They started teaching together in 2000 and have always been very active in community building : co-founding the first tango community website, organizing special tango events and hosting tango workshops with several respected and renowned instructors such as Alex Krebs, Jorge Nel, Christopher and Caroline, Tomás Howlin, Brigitta Winkler, Susana Miller, Alicia Pons and Monica Paz.
Their lessons and classes focus not only in technique but also the importance of the connection, feeling, musicality and the culture of tango as a social dance. They put emphasis on teaching a dance and attitude that is appropriate for the milongas , drawing from their many years of experience dancing socially and the countless hours of studying with their teachers.
They continue to be enriched by their tango experiences while traveling to dance tango and making wonderful friends in other cities in the US and overseas.