Portland Tango Teacher Adam Cornett

Portland Tango Teacher Adam Cornett

Tango Teaching Journey

Adam Cornett has been teaching and dancing tango for over 20 years.  As a teacher Adam began as an assistant to Rachel Lidskog in 2001. He assisted in many privates and classes around town. Adam also assisted Alex  Krebs with his classes at Tango Berretin in 2002. After a couple years of working with these two foundation teachers, Adam began teaching on his own in 2003. 

Boston Tango Teacher

In 2013 Adam bought a studio of his own and began a local tango program. After one year he got a great opportunity to move to the east coast where he became the primary tango teacher at MIT, Brown, and Yale and guest instructed at Harvard. In 2016 Adam, and his partner at the time, Tilly Kimm, competed in the US Tango Championships and won first place. Adam and Tilly are the official 2016 US Tango Champions.

Adam partnered with the World Champion Maria Ines Bogado for a small tour around the US in early 2018. Adam was suggested as a partner to Ines by world champions Jonathan and Clarisa. World Champions Jonathan and Clarisa suggested to Ines that she partner with Adam in the US.

Chicago Tango Teacher

Starting in August of 2018 Adam moved to Chicago to partner with World Champion Jesica Arfenoni. This was an opportunity of a lifetime as Jesica and her partner Maxi were the reason why Adam changed his style from the North American blend of Milonguero and Nuevo mix to Salon Style. Adam made that change in 2013 before moving to Boston. Adam and Jesica taught and traveled for a year around the US while teaching weekly classes in Chicago. 

Beijing Tango Teacher

In 2019 Adam moved to Beijing to pursue an opportunity to teach at the famous Beijing Dance Academy (the Juliard of China). Adam lived in China for five months only to move back to the US because his mother was ill. Adam is now back in Portland and once again teaching classes where his tango roots began, at Rachel Lidskog’s Dance with Joy studios.

Adam has an entire online tango learning program which you can find by clicking here.

Adam Cornett Tango Teacher

In Portland, the main style of tango is a mix of Milonguero style and Nuevo style. Here in Portland, as well as the rest of US, we were heavily influenced by Nuevo tango which is the evolution of Tango starting in the 80’s and 90’s. Tango had an explosion in the US during the late 90’s and early 00’s. Many teachers in the US still teach the movements of nuevo tango as a primary source of tango understanding.  

I began tango by learning the Nuevo movements as well as the Milonguero style. I wasn’t introduced to the Salon style of tango (Villa Urquiza style) until  2012/2013. I watched some big name dancers of this style perform (Sebastian Archaval and Roxana Suarez, Jesica Arfenoni and Maximiliano Cristiani, and others)  and none of them looked like the nuevo performances that had been etched into my brain as what tango was “supposed” to look like. After seeing the elegance, precision, posture, and technique, I decided to seek out this information. I traveled to Argentina in 2013 and every year since (sometimes 2x’s in a year) up until the pandemic. I focused my training in Argentina on what I didn’t know, the movements of old Milongueros and Villa Urquiza style tango. In 2014 I learned that we had a US Tango competition sanctioned by the official Buenos Aires Tango competition and in 2015 I decided to enter with Tilly Kimm. We took 5th place and in 2016 we won. The style danced in the competition is Salon style where the judges are looking for technique, elegance, vocabulary, connection, and musicality. These are the things that I focus on as a teacher as well as reteaching the viejo milonguero patterns. 

Portland Tango Teacher - Adam Cornett

As a dancer, I never stopped learning. I have taken hundreds of private lessons and been in thousands of hours of classes. I still take private lessons every week over zoom with my teachers in Buenos Aires.

Places Adam Has Taught


Montana Tango Festival


Albuquerque Tango Festival


Cancelled due to the pandemic


Workshops in Shanghai
Workshops in Taiwan
Beijing Dance Academy with Laura Ye
Burning Tango Festival with Marina Godinez
Workshops In Buffalo NY
Workshops in Tallahassee Florida



June-July Taiwan-China Tour
Teaching in Kaohsiung Taiwan, Nanjing China, and Shenzhen China.
Burning Tango Festival with Naomi Harris

Workshops in Rhode Island with Maria Ines Bogado

Workshops in Boston
Workshops In Buffalo NY
Workshops in Tallahassee Florida
Workshops in Chicago
Workshops in Rochester



Performed at the US Tango Championships with Tilly Kimm
Tampa Tango Festival with Tilly Kimm
Yale Tango Festival with Tilly Kimm
Burning Tango Festival with Tilly Kimm


Albuquerque Tango Festival
Taught at Moonlight in Vermont Festival with Tilly Kimm
Mundial de Tango Semi-Finalist
Taught at the Tucson Tango Festival with Tilly Kimm

2015 and before

Taught at the Albuquerque Tango Festival
Tour to Taiwan and China 2014
Taught at the Burning Tango Festival
Taught at the Tucson Tango Festival with Courtney McCracken
Performed in the Taipei Tango Festival
Workshops in Portland Maine
Workshops in Anchorage Alaska