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Meet Ilona Glinarsky 

Learn more about Ilona Glinarsky - dance instructore and life coach

Originally from Kyiv, Ukraine, Ilona is no stranger to music and dance. Growing up in the former Soviet Union she was exposed to dance and music from the age of four.

A classically trained pianist, Ilona has a deep understanding and appreciation for music and rhythm. Prior to her immigration to the US in 1979, she was trained to accompany dancers with the world-renowned Ukrainian dance troupe, Virsky Ukranian Dance Ensemble. This is where Ilona developed her true passion and reverence for discipline, form and creative expression, qualities that set all great dancers apart from the rest. 

Over the last 25 years Ilona has expanded her artistic expression once again, discovering Latin dances – Salsa, Mambo and Argentine Tango.

Trained by a wide range of acclaimed Tango instructors, Ilona has a strong foundation and deep respect and knowledge of the fundamentals upon which tango is structured.

Photo credit: Gloria Plascencia

Her passion lies in introducing ordinary people to Argentine Tango, the most extraordinary social dance based on connection, mindfulness  improvisation and non-verbal communication.

Ilona sees Tango as a dialog between two equal partners, therefore her emphasis is on developing and expanding one's capacity to communicate authentically from the heart, to trust and surrender, to lead and follow, to be fully present in each moment - skills and abilities essential to creating a conscious, fulfilling relationships, both on and off the dance floor. 

Her studies in Spiritual Psychology (University of Santa Monica), as well as her yoga and mindfulness practices, are additional skills Ilona brings into her holistic teaching approach. 

For the last 25 years Ilona has taught Argentine Tango at 3rd Street Dance Studio, at The Aerospace Corporation, Mattel and at the Agape International Spiritual Center. She is an 18-year "veteran" guest tango instructors at the Music Center, LA (Active Arts) and, most recently, a performer/educator for the LA Public Library system. Ilona produces ongoing Argentine Tango social dance events, such as Milonga LAX, The Tango Experience and the LA Summer Tango Marathon. 

Ilona is a proud recipient of the "LA Tango Community Builder" award (2019), and a finalist of the SoCal Argentine Tango Championship (2018).


For full schedule of classes or to book a private session with Ilona, click HERE

As a passionate advocate for social partner dance and a Tango community activist, Ilona is always seeking new ways to share her passion and make a difference in the world. She often offers free introductory classes in various communities throughout Los Angeles, appears on various radio talk shows and works hard on getting her message out into to world.

She is presently organizing seventh  LA Summer Tango Marathon, that is created to bring top notch tango dancers from all over the globe to the city of Los Angeles. 

In March 2012 Ilona became an organizer of a new beautiful monthly Milonga @ LAX , which has quickly become one of the most popular places for Tango dancing and socializing.

Most recently Ilona and her dance partner Grisha Nisnevich (Denver, Colorado) became the finalists in the SoCal Tango Championship in the Tango Vals category (March, 2019)


Tango, the way Ilona teaches, was a revelation.

I learned things about relationship dynamics in such a direct visceral manner, that the learning has taken root and integrated. I learned that being in the follower role is not passive or submissive, but requires me to be fully present and responsible for my end, yet completely available and responsive at the same time. Her warmth, intelligence and humor make the process a delight.

 Mikhaila Stettler / Writer, Creative Consultant

There were a couple of moments for me during my private lessons that embodied such tenderness and delicacy, that they were little microcosms of perfection. Everything was coming together. I wanted to be no other place on earth but there in that studio dancing. I wanted those moments to extend beyond my capabilities, but I do know that will come with time. I’ve experienced that sensation in performing music, composing, and writing my novel, and it’s such a rush. I’m so smitten with tango, and I drink-in as much as I can: listening to it, watching dance footage…
Ilona’s instruction speaks directly to my abilities and demeanor, and being the “Ms. Doolittle” to her “Henry Higgins,” I’m sure I will do her proud once I’m a regular in the milongas of the world. 

Stuart Balcomb / Musician & Composer

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