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Ici Thalmann

Ici Thalmann

Isolde Thalmann

Isolde Thalmann, or as she is called by her friends, Ici, holds a PhD and is Professor Emerita of Otolaryngology, Washington University School of Medicine. She has published many academic studies on hearing and deafness, and balance and vestibular dysfunctions.

For some 25 years Ici has been trained in Ballroom/Latin Dancing by the Belarus Champion Vassily Lyashenko, competed nationally, and assisted teaching classes with him. They no longer compete but still dance together (see bottom of this page under Vassily Lyashenko). For the last ten years she spent part of the year in Buenos Aires, where she was trained by masters of Argentine tango, Diego Alvaro, Zoraida Fontclara, Pedro Benavente (“El Indio”), Ivana Smoljanovich, and others. Ballroom dancing provided a valuable foundation for Argentine tango, a dance only recently included in Ballroom/Latin Dance Championships.

Ici is a member of The National Council of America. She is a native of Oberammergau, Germany, and since her retirement, makes her home in the High Desert of New Mexico and St. Louis Missouri.


Hi, I’m Gurukiren Ramos. I am a certified Nia teacher that is passionate about sharing the joy of movement in the body’s natural way.  I discovered Nia after a long and painfully slow recovery from several sports-related injuries and surgery. From starting Nia with a severe frozen shoulder barely able to lift my arms, I noticed in a couple of weeks incredible improvement in my overall movement and overall well being.

I believe the physical body is a magnificent gift and exquisite vehicle, designed beautifully to heal through movement and to experience deep joy while moving your body’s way. Nia helped me bring awareness to my body’s unique way and wisdom. I’d like to invite you to come experience the same through the Nia lens.

Please feel free to ask me any questions you might have about my Nia classes at

Joy Nagle

Joy has been teaching yoga for over 10 years. She is a Certified Ayurvedic Yoga Specialist/Yoga Teacher and Holy Fire Reiki III Practitioner. Joy classes are rooted in traditional classic hatha yet draw from years of experience in multiple styles and other healing modalities. She is a skilled and nurturing teacher who will guide you through a full and rich experience of yoga- body, mind and soul.

In addition to teaching at Dancing in the Desert, Joy has her own studio in Abiquiu. Through her private practice, Soulfire Yoga, Joy offers a full spectrum of yoga instruction and mentoring, ayurvedic assessments and wellness planning. As well as Reiki energy healing sessions.

To read more about Joy and her offerings, please visit her website, or feel free to call or text her at 802-855-3003

Sue Dwyer

Hi, I’m Sue Dwyer, philosopher, yogini, writer, and aspiring barrel racer. I am honored to have the opportunity to teach at Dancing in the Desert and to share the wonders of yoga with all people. If you’re a complete newbie, if you have a regular home practice, it doesn’t matter — everyone is welcome. Yoga is many things — a gentle form of exercise, a way to get and stay limber, a great stress reliever — and it is also one of the world’s most ancient practical philosophies aimed at answering our deepest questions about human life and existence. As a teacher, I aim to bring the philosophy of yoga to life on the mat. Please email me with any questions you might have about my classes at

Lucia Vinograd

I am an exhibiting artist, educational consultant, Rites of Passage facilitator, and certified Kundalini Yoga instructor. I first encountered yoga when I was seventeen. A Kundalini Ashram opened in Washington, DC and I was enthralled. It was not unusual for me to skip out of my high school classes to attend the free yoga sessions offered there. After graduation, I left DC to attend Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. The Kundalini community in California was centered on Sikhism, which was not my calling. So I abandoned Kundalini to investigate other yoga techniques. Much time passed before I once again became enthralled with Kundalini and went on to get my teaching certification at Golden Bridge Yoga Center, studying with Gurmukh, Sada Sat Sing, and Sada Sat Kaur. I began teaching right away at the private high school where I held the position of Visual Arts Department Chair. It should be known that most teens are not so open to the crazy stuff of Kundalini. So I quickly adapted my program, incorporating a variety of other styles and techniques to engage those young minds and bodies. Over the years I’ve developed a yoga mixture that combines movement, breath, postures, and meditation for flexibility, strength, balance, and for inviting the calming spirit of presence on and off the mat. I’m currently stepping in for Sue Dwyer until she returns, and ever so grateful to be teaching once again!


Vassily LyashenkoIMG_1088 cropped

Vassily Lyashenko is an International Ballroom/Latin Dance Champion and Teacher with over 35 Years of experience. He ranks in the top five teachers in the USA  “Dance Cup Tour” since 2002. He is an eight times USA National Pro-Am Champion. For over 25 years he has been adjudicating International Dance Competitions. Vassily holds a PhD in Computer Sciences from the Belarus National University. Vassily is shown here with Ici at a Dance Competition.

A more recent picture shows Ici and Vassily at a Ball in Vienna, Austria where they danced until four in the morning!