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Studio Owner, Instructor, Musician & Digital Artist

Tess Minnick Gunderson is a professional partner dancer, musician and digital artist in Medford, Oregon. She has been teaching, competing, performing and social dancing in multiple styles of partner dances around the country for over 17 years.


She started her dance journey in the Washington DC area, where she first fell in love with a Swing dance called Lindy Hop at the Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo, Maryland. Soon after Tess discovered Swing dancing, she was discovered herself at a high school dance by instructors from a nearby  Ballroom dance studio. She began training and teaching at the studio and fell in love with even more dance styles. As a former musical theater nerd, Tess soon found a passion for performing and competing in Ballroom dancing while social dancing in her free time. She enjoyed a 9 year professional Ballroom partnership and became an American Smooth champion in various country wide competitions. 

In 2014, Tess moved to Austin, Texas where she joined GoDance Studio and began to compete in West Coast Swing and Country dancing. She quickly climbed the competitive ladder and within a year, began dancing at the All-Star level in WCS conventions. She also joined performance groups and attended festivals, conventions and dance congresses. After moving to Medford in 2016, Tess has taught at The Firehouse Dance Hall, Evergreen Ballroom, Candela Dance Studio, Grape Street Bar And Grill, Naumes Suncrest Winery, Belle Fiore Winery, Dos Mariposas Winery, Spartan Boxing Gym and danced with a local news anchor in The Rogue Valley 
Dancing With The Stars competition.


Tess was involved in Southern Oregon Swing Convention in 2017 and 2018 organizing, teaching, judging, competing and providing graphic design and merchandise for the event.


In 2018, Tess  decided to take a break from traveling and competing to focus on her passion for high quality social dancing and music. Tess channels her creativity and love of performing through writing and playing music with her husband Rob Gunderson. Their duo is called The Giantess and they frequently play all around the valley.


In 2019, Tess began teaching small classes and social dances out of her house and dreamt of a studio space where she could expand classes to teach just about anybody how to dance to the music they love. Now that dream is coming true with the opening of The Annex!


Tess's philosophy is why not learn everything so you can dance to anything?She often encourages her students to think of learning to dance as learning dialects of a foreign language. Match the dance dialect to the musical country you are visiting, and you can enjoy speaking the language of dance fluently and confidently whenever you hit the floor!

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Competitions, Performances, Teaching & Creative Content

Check out this fun episode of All Across Oregon featuring three of Medford's small businesses including Tess and her home studio; House Of Art. The segment starts at 15:28 right after the show's host, Vinny stops into Forage Coffee to get ready for his dance lesson with Tess!


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