Our Story

 What is Pachanga?

Based in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne, Pachanga Dance Studio is a fun and lively, purpose-built Ballroom & Latin Dance Studio.

Fuelled by the values of fun, friendship and community, Pachanga is a place for everyone, of all ages and abilities, to explore their passion for dance and movement in a safe, warm environment free from judgement.

The word “Pachanga” is a music and dance style, often referenced in the widely popular dance movie “Dirty Dancing”. Just like our studio, the Pachanga music has a festive and lively style and brings a smile to your face. Originating in Cuba in the 1950s, this style played an important role in the evolution of Caribbean style music, and is considered a prominent contributor to the eventual rise of one of the most well-known social dances, the Salsa. 

Who is Pachanga?

The team at Pachanga have been working together for over ten years before taking the plunge into forming their partnership.

Angela & Russell Christiansen

Successful studio owners in their own right, Angela and Russell previously owned and operated a highly successful dance studio for 10 years, winning numerous business awards for their efforts.

Their success also transferred onto the dancefloor, having previously won numerous State titles as well as being crowned both New Zealand Open and Australian Open Champions in the same year. Angela is a Director & Principal Teacher and the studio’s Technical Advisor, while Russell frequents as a guest teacher. Angela is also an accredited Dancesport Coach and enjoys growing couples from grassroots beginners through to advanced dancers. Outside of the studio, you will find Angela & Russell enjoying time outdoors.

Bailey Brown

Dancing Ballroom and Latin from the age of twelve with a passion for the Latin Style, Bailey has grown to be a skilled and knowledgeable Teacher and Principal.

One of our resident DJ’s on our social nights, known for a high energy pace and playing the music loud, Bailey is often the friendly voice on the phone when you call the studio. After venturing into the competition space in 2019, Bailey is keen to make her return to the floor. Outside of the studio, you will find Bailey enjoying bottomless brunch with friends or watching a new documentary on Netflix with her cat.

David & Keng McDowell

A former competitor turned enthusiast; David and Keng are both Principals at Pachanga and enjoy contributing to the studio’s development of authentic Argentine Tango through our close association with Tango specialists, The Tangueria-Sidewalk Tango.

You will often find David discussing amazing, in-depth concepts relating to the Street Latin style in his lessons, and Keng is the friendly face that helps transition our new faces into the studio through our Beginner classes. Outside of the studio, David & Keng enjoy the freedoms that retirement has to offer.

Jacqui Smith

A highly skilled dancer in a variety of styles since the age of 3, Jacqui is a Principal at Pachanga and has developed our successful Kids & Teens program with her extensive knowledge from her work as a Paediatric Occupational Therapist.

After spending four years aboard cruise ships experiencing what the world has to offer, Jacqui settled back into Melbourne and dancing as soon as she stepped off the plane. As well as being Queen of the Kids, Jacqui teaches adult classes and is one of our resident DJ’s. Outside of the studio, you will find Jacqui hiking the great outdoors, and planning her next overseas holiday.

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