I've been dancing professionally for 3 years, specializing in Locking and Zouk.
I teach Zouk and Locking internationally, certified by world class masters and originators.
I've had over 400 hours of training (mostly private programs, also including teacher training and special workshops) in Zouk, mostly in Rio, and I perform and teach regularly with SMDC (Shani Mayer Dance Company) in L.A and out of it.
I've had over 100 hours of training in Locking, including a certification program with Shabba-Doo, of the original Lockers.
Lastly, Over 500 hours of training in Urban styles (hip hop, house, dancehall, popping etc.) in private settings and in groups.
Why take a class from me?
I will care for the result more than your money.
I've been teaching my entire life, whether it's how to operate machinery to how to dance properly. It's my passion.
What do you get when you take a class with me?
Emphasis on technique that makes you FEEL good, and not only look good.
Special exercises for technique and conditioning, specifically for Zouk and Locking.
Creating a training program according to your goals and needs.
No overload of information that will leave you baffled and confused - you will be able to execute what you learned.
I took a lesson with Tom. I really wanted to try him out because of all the great reviews he has, it definitely didn't fall short of my expectations. He was attentive, friendly, not judgelmental and a master of his craft. Thank you for all your tips.
It came to me again - that feeling that I could do anything. I know that's an exaggeration, but feelings of personal accomplishment lend a lot to taking future risks. Our dance team was under Tom's tutelage for four hours broken into two sessions and I was changed. He had persistence yet patience. He somehow gave everything enough attention, but kept us moving forward to use our time together the most wisely. He adapted to our unique and unusual dynamic and group personality, adopting our language while he taught us his.
My private lesson with him was special too. I remember feeling a bit vulnerable and self conscious in the first few minutes, wondering how we would connect on how to help me. I was put at ease as he listened to my thoughts, partnered with me in a quick exploratory dance, took the reins, and led me through an educational sixty minutes. I liked the way he made the specifics he was conveying accessible through brief relatable personal examples. I've had many people speak to me about frame, but the way he approached it and me was the way that has me doing better (I think!) I found Tom to be incredibly professional, personable, respectful and helpful.
I would certainly benefit from more time in his care.
Tom has a way of teaching that is easily understandable and make sense almost right away all the time. And this is awesome because I have no dance experience. He is just an all-around nice guy that is fun and knows what to say so that the lesson clicks for you he knows how to make you get it.Show More
I was fortunate to have a private lesson in Zouk with Tom while he visited the bay area in February. Although there were specific things I wanted to focus on (patterns and head movement), he quickly diagnosed that my basic lateral and frame needed some work. I was bit like- “whaaaa” in disbelief but also know (in theory) that EVERYTHING goes back to BASICS and fundamentals. He taught me that I can't keep my Bachata frame, and how the frame is different in Zouk. He also diagnosed what I was doing in my basic step that causes lower back pain every time I social danced - and implementing this automatically felt so much better! Now, I have to un-do all my muscle memory and actively try to practice doing it correctly! That’s is the most difficult part- but with practice it will soon become my new muscle memory!
Tom is a wonderful instructor, dancer, and DJ. What I love the most about his dances, is that he is completely present, committed to the dance, and you can feel his energy. He is exactly the same way while DJ-ing. He’s creative and passionate and is the epitome of ZoukLove. Thank you Tom- you are awesome and amazing as always. <3 <3 <3
I had a zouk lesson at my home by Tom. He was quick to point out the fundamental stuff that would make the biggest shift to my entire dance. Also, whenever he said "you're doing THIS" he was really great at imitating my mistakes! I have a long way to go, and in that sense it was challenging and discouraging to face that, but he gave me encouragements and clear instructions on what I could practice to get there.
I would take his lesson again!
I have a lot of experience taking private lessons, and specifically private lessons in other forms of dance. Whenever we do things over and over, we start to realize little nuances that make a big difference when it comes to teaching. To me there are three things that make a phenomenal dance teacher:
One, what you might call their bedside manner, or how they actually treat you, stay calm, their patience level, and their sweetness. I never felt threatened by Tom or or like I was doing something wrong, even if it took me a moment to get a particular move.
Number two of course is their own skill and their ability to translate what they do into words or demonstration so that your body can get it. Tom really has this part down, he such a phenomenal dancer and adds the kind of funk and flavor that I am really a fan of.
Number three, is the experience level of someone who really understands their craft. Someone who sees things with their eyes that no one else can see and who can call you out on them immediately and make changes. They have eagle eyes or in this case Israeli eyes! ;)
I am amazed at what he can see and point out just by watching. Plus he speaks fluent English, and when you were learning a foreign dance this helps immensely.
So I strongly recommend working with him any chance you get, unless it’s on a day that I’m doing a private, and then sorry, you can’t have him! Hah!
I had a private class for Zouk with Tom. He focused on the basics with me. I didn’t realize I was doing stuff that I was not even aware I was doing until he pointed it out and practiced alongside me. Although he was teaching, he made the class fun, his freaky (in a good way) personality is still there.Show More
One of my best private’s ever, Tom is so loving, detailed & super fine leader instructor & beautiful soul❤️looking forward to more private’s with him
I had my first Brazilian Zouk partner dance private with Tom and it was outstanding. I’ve taking a good number of private’s with this dance and I love how he went into more detail of where to focus with the basics in my body. Since everyone’s body type is different, I’ve noticed it is important to distinguish what works for ones body and he listens, feels and sees that. So I can actually digest and adapt more quickly. Use what you got! A bonus is that hes super chill with his energy, creates a comfortable environment, has a sparkling smile that you can actually enjoy more vs stressing out more of “am I doing it right” when you practice. I can’t wait to take another private with him.Show More
The acupuncturist of Zouk💞
I went in for a checkup because my zouk was unaligned & here is the treatment i received:
1. Honest feedback
2. Invest in understanding his students
4. Clear instruction (precise like a surgeon)
5. Calm & joyful energy/vibes
Tom is freggin' great! 1st of all... he waited up for me when i got lost getting to his house lol but something that really stands out to me about Tom is not only does he love the dance & gives it his all but he also extends that same love of dance & 💯 effort to teaching. In no way does any advice or instruction feel half-done with Tom. He actually cares about his students progress. His feedback is always said gently which makes it easier to understand without feeling pathetic lol (for realz). He is a joy to learn, dance, talk, drink water with etc. lol I would freggin' recommend his lessons to any & everybody! DO IT!!!
Very thorough and detailed. Really easy to learn from and understand the important foundations. Tom was able to relate and figure out the specific things to really focus on to improve on.
Tom gives his all. His demeanor is gentle while paying attention to every detail. He is generous with his time and imparting knowledge. Would love to keep learning from him and grow.
I took a Brazilian Zouk private lesson with Tom. He is observant and will work on subtle, but important, details with you to help you improve your dance movements, which is exactly what I need and am looking for in a teacher. He is professional and friendly — he teaches with a combination of breaking down technical details, humor, and metaphors to help you fully understand the concepts.
Besides that, the location is great -- plenty of space for a private lesson, natural light, and mirrors. Free street parking nearby. I highly recommend taking a lesson from Tom.
I took a private Zouk lesson this week with Tom and it truly helped me unlock the missing features and details in the dance. He took his time and made sure I clearly understood and was proficient with the moves before moving forward. He also made sure my form and movement was in alignment. It was a relief not having to be rushed into learning more moves when I’m not prepared. Now I feel confident that I will build a solid foundation to start my Zouk dance journey with. I’ll be taking more lessons with Tom in the future. Definitely recommend him!Show More
He’s knows his dancing.. since knows how to follow and lead. Which helps one understand how it’s supposed to “feel” and how it should “look”. From connection to feet positioning and weight shifting. That’s exactly what you need from an instructor.Show More
I had a private lesson with Tom, recently, and it made me think about how much effort it takes to dance. Why does it feel like we are rushing into each step and through each motion? Tom teaches a minimum effort philosophy by reinforcing key dance concepts to make the dance feel so good. He also teaches you to treat your partner like a loved one by taking care of them. How you hold your partner is just as important as the moves you. I'll be keeping these things in mind as I dance. Thanks Tom!Show More
I have taken several Zouk private lessons with Tom. After been in Zouk group class for more than a year, I decided to go with individual lessons, and right off the bet the technique has improved substantially. Tom pays close attention to your pasture, the way you hold your partner and any other small details which makes a difference in partner dance. Definitively recommend to sign up for the privates.Show More
Tom’s focus on perfecting timing, frame and basic fundamentals added a brand new level to my game. I recently made a dance team and he showed me exactly how pro footwork looks like and how I can get there, while also putting me at ease about it.
He also followed up with me later to see what differences the lesson made in my social dancing. If you’re trying to learn Brazilian Zouk, Tom is an excellent teacher.
I had a great lesson with Tom reviewing my zouk foundations. He gave specific pointers to improve my technique. The instructions were clear and going over the moves repeatedly was helpful. I actually experienced the feeling of "infinity" in the lateral!Show More
Tom really is developing as an amazing teacher. Coming from Shani Myers dance company has taught him to teach nothing but the absolute best technique. He is definitely the male version of Shani and the nicer version. I can see him teaching the world zouk for yrs to comeShow More
Tom broke down the fundamentals for me in a way that I wasn’t getting from other teachers, and I came away from his lessons with a deeper and more intuitive understanding of the basics. I will definitely study more with him in the future. Highly recommended!Show More
This was the most creative and foundational class i have taken. Tom provides clear explanations and body movement i could work on immediately. Strongly suggest him for any form of dance he offers
I've taken both zouk AND locking privates with Tom. He really knows the material, this guy has trained with the best! He is relentless with his attention to detail and thorough style. He was on time and very clear about our class objectives. What's really great about his space is the wood floor and mirrors. I highly recommend Tom as a teacher for dancers of every level!Show More
attentive to detail, good technique, precise explanations, would recommend
Shani Mayer Dance Company
Instructing cross-state, creating curriculum and leading a group and a performance team in Pasadena
Fluent / Native Proficiency
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