Karen & Khoi

Karen Ma

Karen is a database architect for the pharmaceutical industry by day, and tango instructor by night. In addition to teaching, Karen is a performer and recently choreographer for a short film. She was first introduced to tango while living in Berlin; upon returning to Chicago in 2003, Karen started taking tango classes from Al Gates.  There she not only learned to dance tango, but how to lead as well, developing the skills to become a well rounded instructor. With a strong foundation established, Karen refined her dancing in Argentina in 2007:  she perfected a classic style, studying technique and teaching principles from select tango maestros.  Karen has taught and performed throughout the Midwest at venues ranging from wine tastings to operettas. Her love of  dance is reflected in her enthusiasm to share her knowledge and create a positive tango experience. The only prerequisites for her class are a good attitude, patience with yourself and your partner, and the desire to learn. She quotes her favorite tango instructor:  “It only takes a day to learn the basics of tango, but it takes a lifetime to master the dance.”


Khoi Dang-Vu has over seven years of experience as an Argentine tango dancer, performer, deejay, and instructor. His pedagogical approach is to provide individualized instruction in a collaborative group setting, with lessons tailored to each student’s level of dancing and specific learning needs. In his teaching, he does not endorse any one style of Argentine tango over another. Rather, he places heavy emphasis on developing universally fundamental techniques, posture, embrace and musicality, while encouraging students to tailor those lessons to developing their own style.