About Us

Marek Szotkowski

Dance has been an integral part of his life since he was 5 years old. Marek started with folklore and then moved on to ballroom dancing, where he performed and competed throughout the Czech Republic and abroad, well into his 20’s. During this time he also obtained a degree in physical therapy.

In 2001, while he was working as a ballroom instructor at the Fred Astaire dance studio in Milwaukee, USA, he happened to go to a milonga (a social tango dance evening) in Chicago and he was hooked. He threw himself into intensive learning and within a few months he started teaching and building a tango dance community in
Milwaukee, and later on, in Madison, USA.

The journey

In 2006 Marek and his wife, Olivera, moved to Paris, where they both taught classes at “Les Temps du Tango”, the main organiser of tango events in Paris at the time. Together they taught workshops in Germany, Italy, France, Spain and the Czech Republic.

In 2009 Marek and Olivera moved to Surrey, UK, where they run regular classes in Richmond, Twickenham and Staines. The couple focused on bringing new people into the tango community and raising standards. As well-respected teachers, they frequently received invitations to give workshops in London, Oxford, Cambridge and Bristol, and at the annual Abrazos festival in Devon. They also run monthly milonga in Guildford, which used to attract some of the best dancers in the region.

In 2018 Marek and his family moved to Cardiff where Marek continues doing what he does best: teaching dancing. STAR Dance School will focus on Salsa, Tango And Rock’n Roll and will, hopefully, bring many new, great dancers on to Cardiff dancing scene.

The teaching style

Ever since Strictly Come Dancing, there has been a surge of interest in tango. However, the dancing as seen is choreographed and the grandiose movements made to be showcased on stage or on TV. Marek does not teach choreography or acrobatics, rather, he teaches social Argentine tango, the way it is danced at milongas in Buenos Aires and throughout the world. It is a style that is accessible to everyone and brings with it a surprising amount of fun and pleasure. The dance is creative, adaptable and suitable for all ages and abilities.

Marek’s teaching is founded on a lifetime of dance experience: 18 years of teaching tango classes and a solid understanding of human anatomy and body movement. He teaches steps and combinations allowing his students to create their own dance. If you were learning a foreign language, this would be akin to learning words and grammar so that you can compose your own sentences. He encourages and guides his students so that they can experience and enjoy the dance to its full potential.