@edis jurcys photography

@edis jurcys photography

I am a dance teacher, anthropologist and traveler, specializing in body awareness and wellbeing in Portland, Oregon. I have taught wedding prep for 15 years; Argentine tango for 20 years; salsa for 25 years; and ballroom and Latin dance styles for 30 years. I currently teaching group classes in Argentine tango and private/couple lessons in all the other styles.

My journey to teaching dance

I started dancing in college, taking ballroom dance, and I fell in love with it. People told me I was too old to start, too fat to be a ballerina, and not graceful enough. But by the time I graduated, I had taken every dance class offered by my college and was already teaching dance.

After college, I taught English with the Peace Corps. When I finished Peace Corps, I went back to school and earned an M.A. in dance, focusing on dance and personal and ethnic identity. I earned another M.A. in cultural anthropology, researching tango in Buenos Aires.

Everyone can be a dancer

I have known Elizabeth since college and have taken dance lessons from her for over two years. She is not just a great dance teacher but an expert in the body as well. I have a physically demanding job and over the years have noticed that dancing has made me more aware of the tension that has built up from performing my job. Staying active is such an important part of my routine and Elizabeth has helped me through ankle sprains and pinching nerves through dancing and improving my posture. I highly recommend Elizabeth not just to improve your body awareness but as a wonderful teacher and person!
— Phil

Dance is for everyone. There is no such thing as a non-dancer--that person just hasn’t learned to dance yet! I have never met someone I could not teach to dance. I teach beginners, people who are afraid of dancing, advanced tango performers, professionals, couples, college students, and retired people.

My teaching approach

No two people learn dance the same way. I work with my students to craft an approach that is based on their individual needs. After teaching for thirty years, I still work on learning new ways to help people develop body awareness, better balance and posture. I have extensive experience teaching people with anxiety disorders, people on the autism spectrum, and introverts.