THE HOTTEST SALSA & BACHATA ARTISTS
Bio coming soon.
Lyrik Cruz of Puerto Rican descent from Chicago has become a highly acclaimed world renowned choreographer and master instructor who has danced in just about every corner of the world, including Canada, West Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, Singapore, India, Sweden, Italy, France, the Caribbean, and Canary Islands. He has served as a guest Choreographer to over 20 dance companies in the world. In addition to choreographing for shows at Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom and major music venues throughout the east coast, Lyrik has also choreographed pieces and has been an assistant to legendary choreographer and TV director Debbie Allen, showcased pieces at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre for Nigel Lithgoe, appeared on the CW's hit sitcom "Jane the Virgin" as a featured dancer, choreographed for international recording artists J Balvin (Capitol Latino) and Becky G (RCA), Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle", The ELLEN Show, Greys Anatomy and the finale of American Idol "The Farewell Season" on FOX. His choreography work can be seen on the upcoming feature dance film "SHINE" to be In theatres Jan. 2018. Cruz' latest project has been joining the production team of the IMAGEN AWARDS where he serves as the creative director and choreographer. Lyrik Cruz adds a unique flair and vibrant energy to every project he is involved in. Cruz is on a mission to share his passion with the world and bring his Latin fusion to the forefront of TV/film.
Joby ‘Brava’ Aranda
Joby was born in New York City of Dominican parents. Her family then moved her to California where she began her dance career at the age of 19 with Modern, Jazz, Ballet and Hip-Hop. During this time, she spent three years in an Orange County Theater Dance Company “On Common Ground”. In 1994 Joby’s dance career took a sharp turn when she co-founded the first Salsa dance company in California, Salsa Brava. With her artistic direction, electrifying choreography, and technical teaching skills she was able to mesmerize many audiences and help cultivate Salsa in over 40 different countries. This put herself on the map and became one of the top Salsa dance companies in the world.
Establishing a mix of Latin with her technical background she became known as a pioneer of what is now considered “L.A. Style Salsa”. In the past 8 years she has not only continued to spread the love of on1 but also perform and instruct on2 and Bachata. She has trained many from beginner aficionados of dance to working with artist in videos, movies, television, film, and stage shows. A few such as Rita Moreno, Jimmy Smits, Tito Puente, Thalia, Jennifer Lopez, Chayanne, Vanessa Williams, Tito Nieves, Quincy Jones, Donnie & Marie, Rosanne Bar, and The Four Tops.
Joby Brava has been blessed to receive prestigious awards such as:
Washington D.C. --“Women of Salsa” 2005 Recognition Award
Tropicana-Club Latino, Milano, Italy-- 2005 Special Recognition Award
Sabor Magazine, Los Angeles -- “Best Dance Company Award 2001, 2002, & 2003”
Sabor Magazine, Los Angeles “Best Female Dancer in L.A. 2001”
Albert Torres Productions, Los Angeles -- “Lifetime Contribution Award 2001”
Congreso Bacardi, Puerto Rico -- 2001 “Contribution to Salsa Culture”
Mayor Jeremy Harris of Hawaii for “Outstanding efforts to promote culture exchange
between Hispanic Community & Hawaii” 2001
Joby ‘Brava’ Productions recently left her mark in Georgia and S. Florida Salsa community during her 8 year stay. She now resides in the San Francisco, California area to continue spreading her love of dance. She will continue to train, teach, perform, choreograph and consult. Specializing in Salsa/Mambo, on1, on2, Bachata, Merengue, Cha Cha, Zumba for Kids to adults. She also has 8 instructional DVDs and is the face of the workout ‘Havana Nights” seen in Target and Walmarts near you.
Eric Caty and Kelly Lannan
Eric Caty and Kelly Lannan are the owners of Alberta Dancesport – Calgary's best place to dance, the directors of Salsa Rica Productions, and the organizers of the Calgary International Salsa Congress, and the Rocky Mountain Dancesport Grand Prix.
Eric and Kelly are proud to be choreographers on So You Think You Can Dance Canada, and to have been finalists at many World Professional Salsa Championships. Eric and Kelly perform and teach on the international salsa circuit and judge many events including the Global Salsa Championships at the World Salsa Summit.
BNF Colombia - Dubai, is one of the most recognized and prestigious dance companies all over the world. The company was founded by Eider Rua in Colombia in 2000. Eider won the World Salsa Championship in 2007 (EUA) and as well as the International Tango Championship in 2010.
In 2010, BNF Dubai wins the World Salsa Championship (US), since then performing on the stages of more then 30 countries in Middle Est, America, Asia and Europe.
The key of their success relays on the incredible and dedicated team of professionals that work day and night to create end-to-end outstanding concepts and productions, making each event unique and magical.
Nicole Gil shares her passion for salsa as a performer, competitor and instructor. She is currently the female instructor at Blue J Bar and Lounge, one of LA's hottest places to dance!
She has taught at LA Live's Conga Room in Downtown Los Angeles and for Santa Monica's longest running salsa club, Monsoon Cafe and the very popular salsa venue, Wokcano. She has run private dance events with Lululemon Athletica, UCLA Health, Gypset Magazine and Ivy Connect Events.
Nicole has performed in nearly every salsa club in LA along with performances in Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.
She has choreographed and danced in multiple Latin music videos, but derives most of her joy sharing her love for Salsa and Bachata through teaching
Danny & Nicole are co-directors of Movers and Shakers Dance Company. They started teaching dance programs at the prestigious Equinox sports club in 2013. Since then they’ve made their programs available to the public in studios in West Los Angeles and teach programs for Google headquarters in Los Angeles. They currently run 8 programs and have had hundreds of dancers come through their doors.
Originally from Bari, Italy, Daniela represents one the greatest exponents of lady's styling in the world.
She has been performing along with her group "Daniela y Sus Ladies", established in 2004, in countless Salsa Congresses worldwide. As a choreographer she's valued and appreciated for the creativity, elegance, sexiness, and complexity of her routines.
Her love for lady styling is evident in the her teaching techniques, focusing on detailed and easy-to-follow instruction of what she considers essential dance elements, such as posture, sensuality, and above all, confidence in one's steps.
Daniela's talent also extends into acrobatic LA Style salsa, performing as Francisco Vasquez' dance partner for four years in several well-known events around the world.
Her well versed background in ballet, hip-hop, gymnastics, and caribbean rhythms have earned her many accolades, including being presented an award for promoting Latin-American culture worldwide by "Vida Latina" magazine.
She is an acting judge in FIDS and CDC sanctioned competitions internationally, and holds a masters in Caribbean Dances from the Italian Federation of Dance Sport, having graduated with the highest honors.
Daniela's reputation has also given her the opportunity to influence talent here in LA, having choreographed Sofia Milos for her part in the short film "Brentwood Connection", winner of the New York Film Festival, and having danced in the Latin Grammy's "Street Party" in 2015.
Campeones mundiales del Euroson latino pareja cabaret Bi Campeones del Colombia salsa Festival pareja cabaret Campeones pareja cha cha cha Colombia salsa Festival Sub Campeones pareja cabaret elite Festival mundial de salsa Cali 2017 Alex y Mafe pareja conformada hace 3 años de la ciudad de Bogotá-Colombia ha sido invitados a mostrar su disciplina a varios países como Japón, ee.uu Ecuador, México, España, ArgentinA, Peru
Abel Peña is the former undefeated 3X ESPN World Salsa Champion, a major event being televised world wide. He has won LA’s 2006 Club Mayan Salsa Competition, in addition to Conga Room Competition, and has also toured Europe, Asia, and North-South-Central America teaching and performing the beloved dance. Abel is coaching future competitors in Los Angeles and around the USA with his AP Project USA Challenge!
Abel began his dance studies in his native homeland Mexico City at the age of 15. At the age of 18 he was introduced to salsa, and he started dancing professionally in 2004 when salsa quickly became his passion and true nature of expression. Despite his "later" start, he was quite athletic as a child and enjoyed swimming, running, and soccer. His father was his best inspiration in life and also a dance professional who had a great influence merging into the Salsa World.
Abel learned numerous of dance styles like Guaracha, Cumbia, Paso Doble, Tango, Jazz, Ballroom, and countless others. He immigrated to Los Angeles, California - the US homeland of a great many talented dancers. Abel started social dancing in numerous famous clubs around Los Angeles, his professional inspiration became stronger when he saw his father Abel Sr having a dance show.
Mike Diaz director of Fuego y sabor Latino. His company is specialized in Latin rhythms and it is the ONLY Company of Colombian Salsa style on the West Coast. Instruction, Choreographies & Entertainment!
Almendra Navarrese Y Richie Torres Ultimate World Latin dance Cup Champions, On2 champions and Female solo pro division champion
Ambos comenzaron a bailar salsa y ritmos caribeños con una trayectoria de más de 10 años y desde hace 2 que bailan juntos y han obtenido títulos tanto individuales como en pareja. Se describen a continuación:
Campeón Nacional Argentino solista y 4to puesto a nivel mundial en el año 2015
Desde 2014 se ha destacado como solista en el World Latin Dance obteniendo, tercer, segundo y primer lugar de la categoría.
Juntos en el año 2016 obtuvieron el segundo lugar en el World Latin Dance Cup, categoría Salsa On2 y el 2017 fueron coronados como los Campeones de su categoria, además de obtener el Ultimate Championship del destacado certamen.
Stephanie Stevenson is a world class Salsa dancer, choreographer and instructor. She holds numerous titles including "LA Top Women's Champion." Stephanie has choreographed for some of the biggest shows on television; including "Dancing with the Stars" and "So You Think You Can Dance." She has served as judge on International TV and participated as dancer/choreographer on many International dance shows. She is married and about to give birth to her second child. She is widely recognized as one of the top female salsa dancers in the world.
Daiana Koren is a professional dancer/choreographer and instructor. She is of Romanian descent but was born in Haifa, Israel. She has choreographed for film, stage, television and special events in Los Angeles, New York and New Jersey. Daiana is a versatile dancer who specializes in Brazilian Samba, Musical Theatre, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Hip Hop and Bachata. She has toured for Nike & Reebok and choreographed as well as taught for special events such as the Annual Hollywood Awards, Israeli festivals in LA & Miami and Move production's Regional & National dance competitions. She holds a BFA Degree in Theatre Arts & Dance from California State University Los Angeles and California Institute of the Arts. Daiana speaks Hebrew, Romanian, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish and is also an elementary school teacher.
Alex Lima, a charismatic brazilian dancer, is among the upper talents of the actual salsa and brazilian dances scene and he would be interested in taking part of your event.
Performing and teaching, he started to become recognized throughout his magical, captivating and musical salsa dance routines.
He has pioneered the field of mixing Salsa styles (Mambo on 1 & on2, cuban style, Pachanga, Rumba, Boogaloo, …) owing to his unique and natural gift for musical interpretation. The combination of different styles of dancing, his foot work, his musicality and his interpretive skills make his dance style unique.
Some excellent performers have recently been inspired by his amazing way of dancing !
He gives all his heart and soul dancing on stage with amazing generosity and energy. His one-man shows are the revelation of most salsa events !
Living in Paris, he is teaching and performing in the biggest Clubs and in the most prestigious dance studios in the world.
Noel Rojas has been dancing for 17 years. He started with the one who created LA Style On 1, the famous Francisco Vasquez, and his team Los Rumberos. He continued his training with other world famous dance companies and teachers, first on 1, and eventually adapted on 2 style. He danced with Salsabor y Caché, Alma Latina, Los Anormales, and Omambo. Now he's branching off on his own with his new team, Estilo Mambo. His inspirations include the Mambo king, Eddie Torres, Adolfo Indacochea, and Juan Matos. Noel embraces the idea that “I will never stop learning and will always try to grow as a dancer.”
Born and raised in Bogotá, Colombia J.J. Villar had several career changes before breaking into the Entertainment Industry. Villar has traveled the world as a dancer / choreographer / director performing with some of the most amazing artists to date. With credits such as Latin Super Star, Pilar Montenegro, Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor, Reggae Pop Artist Triniti, Hip Hop Superstar Pras from the Fugees, young sensation Colby O’Donis of Konvict music, R&B sensation Toni Braxton, Taylor Dane and Sheila E to name a few. His talent and drive has allowed him to be a part of numerous music videos, industrials, tours, films, stage shows, and commercials.
In the year 2000, Villar created his own entertainment company. Feel The Music Entertainment quickly became a place for people to find excellent talent and well produced shows for any type of venue and occasion. Directing, choreographing and producing shows became a passion for Villar as he soon linked up with Choreographer / Director Frank Boehm. Later that year he started assisting Mr. Boehm by choreographing and directing multimillion dollar corporate events and trade shows for companies such as Panasonic, IBM, McDonalds, Cisco Systems, Merle Norman and CES.
Villar was later taken under the wing of Director, Producer, Choreographer Carey Ysais of the “Choreographer’s Ball the Carnival”, the most respected dance show in the world. J.J. became partners with Ysais, and worked alongside him to choreograph and direct the showcase in L.A, London, Japan, and Australia.
In 2004, Villar began teaching at the world famous studio, Millennium Dance Complex. JJ traveled all over the United States, Europe, and Japan teaching masterclasses and workshops in all different genres of dance. Villar served as dance captain for the Toni Braxton show at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He worked to help Direct and Choreograph the world famous X Burlesque show at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino. JJ also consulted for different shows including “Burlesque The Show”. Villar has been choreographing the extravagant New Years high rollers event for the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino for several years alongside Barry Morgan and other events such as the MGM & Mandalay Bay Employee of the Year Awards, Special Holiday events at Studio 54 and other nightclubs, Comic Con, Con Expo, and more. 6 years ago, JJ had reached one of his life long dreams as a performer when he booked one of the biggest performing role of his career. It has always been a dream for JJ to dance with the biggest legend in music and now you can find him on stage dancing in, The Michael Jackson ONE show by Cirque Du Soleil. Shortly after he received a performing contract he was offered a coaching and choreographer contract for his specialty skill as the flag coach for the show. Although Cirque takes up most of his time, JJ still finds time to choreograph stage shows and productions such as the 2014 American Billboard Awards for Jennifer Lopez and Pitbull, The Temptations, Boyz II Men, Pointer Sisters, and the 4 Top. With credits like Dancing With The Stars, Miss USA, The Ellen Degeneres Show and many others, JJ has had a successful career of over 20 years in the business.
Nicole Gil and JJ VIllar and joined forced to fuse their worlds and bring Latin Dancing and Street Dance together. They are combining lead and follow elements and different forms of street dance to create a unique style and offer something different to dance enthusiasts.
Director of Movers and Shakers Dance Co. in Los Angeles, Ca.
Nicole shares her passion for salsa as a club promoter, performer, competitor and instructor. She is currently the female instructor at Blue J Bar and Lounge, one of LA's hottest places to dance!
She has taught at LA Live's Conga Room in Downtown Los Angeles Wokcano in Santa Monica and for Santa Monica's longest running salsa club, Monsoon Cafe. She regularly provides dance lessons at Google and for private events with Lululemon Athletica, UCLA Health, Gypset Magazine and Ivy Connect Events.
She has choreographed and danced in multiple Latin music videos, but derives most of her joy sharing her love for Salsa and Bachata through teaching.
World renowned Dancer, Performer, Instructor "Ismael Otero" has taught and performed in over 20 countries. Ismael Otero, New Yorican native living in New Jersey, founder and director of the "Caribbean Soul Dancers", is also known as the Million Moves Man. Ismael Otero's dance style is considered out of the ordinary from the traditional New York style. Over the years, Ismael, coming from break dancing and hip hop background, has created a unique style of dance that includes complicate arm work, unusual and funny hand flips, unique turn patterns, exciting foot work and more, combined with flavor and technique. He is mainly known for thinking outside the box and creating not only new moves used by everyone all over the world but new ideas in choreographies. Eddie Torres calls Ismael the Salsa Composer because of Ismael's innovative approach to dance routines if you look at all the Caribbean Soul past routines you will notice that they are all completely different.
Grizzly Hidriago is a latin jazz and cabaret specialist. Originally from Caracas, Venezula, Grizzly has been dancing from a young age and is trained in virtually every style of dance from Ballet to the Cabaret and Theatre Arts. He has made a name for himself in the salsa world with two championship wins in the cabaret category at the World Latin Dance Cup.
Grizzly Hidriago is known for his big tricks and precise technique as well as his innovative choreography. He is also the director of Grizzly Dance Company, based in Los Angeles, which performs and competes at events around the world. Grizzly is also a promoter for the Venezuela Salsa Congress and Grizzly Dance Fest.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CHOREOGRAPHER AND DANCER / ABAKUA AFRO-LATIN DANCE COMPANY
Frankie Martinez is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and renowned Latin contemporary dancers of his generation.
Frankie’s exploration into the Afro-Caribbean roots of his performance art and the choreographic possibilities native to Latin/Afro-Latin dance positions him as one of the foremost authorities in the genre. He is the leader of the Afro-Latin Funk Movement, a concept which answers the question, "What would Latin dance be if a disciplined training method were applied?" (read more about Afro-Latin Funk and the various dance concepts to which it lends itself below).
In 2000, Frankie established his own dance troupe, the ABAKUÁ Afro-Latin Dance Company (ABAKUÁ). Within months of its inception, ABAKUÁ gained notoriety within the Latin dance community and then ultimately to the performing arts community at large.
To date, Frankie Martinez and ABAKUÁ have performed and taught in over 50 cities and over 20 countries worldwide. They have performed at prestigious venues including Madison Square Garden, Roseland Ballroom, Lincoln Center, Aaron Davis Hall, Jacob’s Pillow and NY Summerstage among many others.
Mike Ticas and Christina Haggerty
Mike has been dancing Salsa in Los Angeles scene since 1992. Christina's love for Salsa brought her to Los Angeles in the year 2000. Mike and Christina met each other in Salsa In The Mix dance group where they traveled and performed for 5 years. These two choreograph dynamic dance numbers that combine many music and dance styles with lively salsa music and dance steps.
Their styles range from mysterious heavily themed routines such as Vogue (Salsa in the Mix), to more traditional salsa and Cha Cha Cha routines. All their shows captivate the audience with hair raising tricks, lifts, dips and turn combinations. Their hard work and dedication have paid off with performances for television, films, festivals, professional competitions and trips in the United States and abroad.
Currently, they keep busy performing and teaching workshops and private lessons to share their knowledge and spread their passion for the music and dance.
Based out of Los Angeles, Erik & Rosemarie are a 'high flying' couple, trained in both Salsa and Bachata. Both have won a world championship at the WLDC in Cabaret Bachata Teams and finalists in Cabaret Salsa Teams.
Johnny Vazquez, of Mexican descent, is without a doubt one of the most sought after dancers in the Salsa Industry. Johnny, along with his Imperio Azteca, took the world by storm when he began his career over 15 years ago in Los Angeles. Considered one of the worlds best instructors and performers, he has been contracted to teach and perform at over 200 International events, world wide, including Asia, Europe and the Americas.
Famous for being the creator of the LA style salsa along with his famous brothers, Francisco and Luis Vazquez, he is a pioneer of the Salsa Industry and was crowned "The Prince of Salsa" by none other than Mr Eddie Torres, "The King of Salsa".
Johnny is known for his precise, clean and super fast style, his unforgettable performances and choreographies, not forgetting his overwhelming Charisma, contagious party spirit and super humble personality, that has led him to win three consecutive World Salsa Championship titles at the famous Mayan club of Los Angles, California. No one prior to now that has ever been able to match this record.
Johnny is also artistic director of the famous Johnny Vazquez Dance Company dedicated to the preparation of professional dancers for competitions and exhibitions worldwide. He also began his career as a talented singer, releasing her first album: Baila Rumbero, which was sold out in the first month of release and Escandalo his second album another success!
Johnny Vazquez is more than a dancer, he is able to draw crowds around him whether he is dancing, presenting, singing, animating and much more.
Hey there! I'm Aubrey, born and raised Arizona girl with a passion for dance! For as long as I can remember dance has always been my "happy place". What better way to share my "happy place" than to create a dance company that revolves around the confidence, creativity and passion dance provides.
Starting dance at the age of three, my mom knew it was my passion from the moment I could walk. By the age of six I quickly became a competition dancer at a national level. From there, it was history. Ballet, jazz, tap, acrobatics, hip hop, you name it - I was dancing it. At the age of 12 I won the title of "Junior Miss Dance of Arizona 2006' and placed in the top ten at the "Dance Masters of America" National Competition. My love continued to grow and in 2008 I was crowned "Teen Miss Dance of Arizona". Balancing school with dance was quite the challenge and by my junior year of high school I added cheer to the mix. Captain of the cheer team, president of our dance company and a part of NHSDA (National Honors Society for the Dance Arts). By my senior year, I was ready for a new opportunity, "So You Think You Can Dance" . My Dad, Mom & 2 sisters packed up the minivan and drove to Los Angeles. What a great experience!!! Out of 3000 dancers they took 35 of us and l was sent straight to Vegas. At 18, you could say that was a pretty awesome opportunity. Although my life was busy preparing for college nothing was going to slow me down. I was honored to be a part of the "Arizona State Dance Team " which was one of the best experiences . ASU is where I learned the true meaning of TEAM WORK and through our teams dedication we placed 3rd at the UDA national finals in Orlando, Florida. BUT...cheering weekly at the ASU football and basketball games was gearing me up for the next endeavor in my life.
Miguel, originally from Toluca, Mexico, has been dancing for as long as he can remember. His father was trained dancer who studied at the Escuela de Bellas Artes in Mexico. Dancing and music was an everyday way of life for their family. At the age of 14, Miguel decided to take his dancing to the next level.He began taking Salsa classes with various instructors such as Tomas Olivera, Francisco Vasquez, and Carmen Bambaren. It was their classes where his passion for dance grew even more. Once graduated from High School, Miguel went to California State University Fullerton where he became a member of the CSUF Salsa Team. Under the direction of Kazumi DeVries, he learned different styles and performed at school events around campus. As he became more familiar with the Latin dance scene in Los Angeles, he soon discovered Stevens Steakhouse in the city of Commerce. It was there where he discovered his love of Bachata!
Miguel was a regular attendee for the Bachata Class at Stevens which was led by Jorge Contreras, Demetrio Rosario, and Aubrey Ares. Two months after taking Que Rico’s Bachata classes, he auditioned for their performance team. His first season with Que Rico was intense as he trained in the intermediate team and later moved up to the advanced team. His love of bachata turned into a career his third season with Que Rico when he was offered the opportunity to become a director and lead his own team. Teaching had always been something Miguel wanted to do, so when the opportunity presented itself he was ready. Six months later,he had two of his own teams. Now a director of Empowered Movement Dance Company, Miguel is training with Aubrey Ares and directing the Excel and Power Team. He is excited to be part of EMDC and cannot wait to see all the dancers grow within the company. Miguel plans on creating the same opportunity for his dancers as he once received and plans on doing that through Empowered Movement Dance Company.
Mike and Erika have been dancing together for the past two years. They met with only the passion of dance, but have created a partnership built to inspire and be completely unique to the world. They have managed to create an environment to empower every person they meet.
The highly anticipated, new and upcoming dance couple from Los Angeles, have set themselves apart with their cosmic musicality and visual anomaly. They will have you on the edge, of the edge of your seat with their unconventional creativity and awe inspiring experience. Their inspiration is to motivate you to be your true self and create from your heart, in whatever that may be. Being new to the scene, they have shown that hard work truly pays off and you can accomplish whatever you put your mind too. Their classes involve seeing music differently, self-love, intricate patterns, speed and delicate follows. You will see how her follow, his patterns, and their style are one of a kind. They know there is more to salsa than expected and are very unconventional with it. Watching them you will experience an extraordinary rollercoaster in a mental and physical way.
Also known as the "First Lady of Salsa" is one of the foremost salsa instructors on the west coast. Originally from Texas , Laura started dancing jazz, ballet & tap at an early age and continued on into musical theater where she developed her skills as an actress & stage performer. She later focused her energies on various social dances which encompassed everything from ballroom to swing, Latin & country western. After moving to Los Angeles 28 years ago, Laura has made a name for herself in the world of salsa, affectionately referred to by some of her students & friends as "LA's Salsa Queen," "The First Lady of Salsa," or "L.A.'s Salsa Diva" she has been teaching as well as choreographing for television & stage while also appearing as a featured dancer with dance partner, Albert Torres, in films such as "The Mambo Kings," "Out To Sea" & "Dance With Me." One of the high points in her career was choreographing & performing "Oye Como Va" & "Ran Kan Kan" with the late, great Tito Puente in 1998 at the 4th Annual Achievement in Arts Award Show sponsored by The Whitney Houston Foundation. Another exciting night was performing in front of 50,000 people at the 2004 Montreal Jazz Festival with The Spanish Harlem Orchestra from NY. She was also the 2nd dance instructor, after her friend, Eddie Torres (NY) to be honored with the Andy Vasquez Award, one of the most prestigious awards in the salsa community, in San Juan , Puerto Rico at the 2000 Bacardi World Salsa Congress. She was recognized again for her contributions to this industry at the 1999 & 2003 West Coast Salsa Congress in Los Angeles & honored once again at the 10th Annual World Salsa Congress in Puerto Rico in July 2006. She produced & created Cardio Salsa™, an aerobic workout video/dvd using the basic steps & turns in Salsa, Cha-Cha & Merengue, which has been featured on the cable fitness program, Power Living By Jake, on the Warner Brothers hit sitcom, The Gilmore Girls as well as Smart Solutions on the Home & Garden Network. Even though her dance training covers a broad spectrum of dance, her first love has always been Latin music & dance which led her to produce 7 CDs for Rhino Records, the first three charting on Billboard's Tropical Music Charts: Salsa Fresca: Dance Hits of the 90's, Mambo Mania: The Kings & Queens of Mambo and Mondo Mambo: The Best of Perez Prado. In addition to these, she co-compiled four other CDs for Rhino Records: Let's Dance Ballroom Favorites (2 volumes), The Best of Tito Puente and More of The Kings & Queens of Mambo.
Raul Santiago is widely regarded as one of the most innovative and renowned Latin Hustle instructors of his generation.
Raul’s exploration into the Latin Hustle roots and the choreographic possibilities native to dance, positions him as one of the foremost authorities in the genre. He is a leader of the Latin Hustle Movement.
In 2003, Raul established his own dance studio Soho Dance, in Soho NY, the Soho Dance Company was formed. The company gained notoriety within the Hustle dance community and then ultimately to the performing arts and Salsa community at large. To date, Raul Santiago and Soho Dance have performed and taught in over 50 cities and over 10 countries worldwide.
Now he has opened a new studio in Los Angeles. Soho Dance LA boasts over 6,000 square feet of studio space equipped with the highest quality floating hardwood dance floors, a state of the art sound system, and other such amenities. Raul’s dream to create a warm and inviting atmosphere for adults and children was realized. He built a space where all dancers can pursue their love and passion for dance, where there is a supportive environment for training with the best dance instructors in the country. Although his own career led him to be a world-renowned dancer, SoHo Dance LA remains a focus for Raul and more importantly a place that Raul, his students, and his staff can call home.
As a competitive performer, Raul has led a number of talented partners to dominate and win many sought-after titles in high profile competitions including the 2016 IHSC World Hustle Championship. Raul has served as a guest choreographer on the hit television show “So You Think You Can Dance,” and has taught and judged at several popular dance schools and venues throughout the United States.
Mexican-born Yesenia Serratos trained as both an interpretive artist and a dedicated choreographer for over a decade in various dance communities both in the U.S. and abroad. Fueled by a passion for dance that began in her hometown, Yesenia was drawn to the United States where she continued her dancing in Ballet, Jazz, and Contemporary.
Beginning her professional dance career in Chicago, Yesenia performed as a member of companies such as Joel Hall Dancers and Luna Negra Dance Theater. After three years teaching and performing Jazz and Ballet, she decided to continue her dance journey in Los Angeles, where she became the top Ballet Instructor and Choreographer at Simi Dance Center. Yesenia also became a leading member of both the Los Angeles Choreographers and Media City Ballet companies, again both as a performer and an instructor.Yesenia has trained in a wide variety of dance styles and techniques, including Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Ballroom, and Hustle. She has performed at the Kodak Theater, Greek Theater, Nokia Theater LA Live, as well as at the Gibson Amphitheater at Universal City-Walk.
She currently teaches, performs, and competes in Salsa, Cha Cha Cha, Hustle, and Ballroom dance competitions with her dance partner, Raul Santiago. Yesenia has found a passion for Latin Jazz, a fusion of the vibrant jazz technique and traditional Latin rhythms that have grown so well-known and loved. She spends her days performing, teaching, and choreographing these styles, which invigorate both her personal dancing as well as the lessons she passes on to her students.
Erika Saucillo was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. She started dancing at the young age of four. Throughout the years, she trained in various dances such as folklorico, jazz, and hip hop.
Erika began her Latin dance journey at the age of 21, when she first trained with "Alma Latina Los Angeles" directed by the world renown Sergio Jasso and Gaby Equiz. Erika quickly became the director of one of the largest Salsa/bachata team in Los Angeles, "Quest Salchata Crew". She is currently one of today's top rising instructor & performer. Erika has taught & performed at major clubs & dance festivals throughout North America and overseas.
Erika is a champion and top finalists at some of the world's most important Latin dance competitions. She won 3rd place at the World Latin Dance Cup Cha Cha Cha division, 2nd in the Top Female Bachata Social Dancer, and won first place at the 2016 LA top Female Salsa Social Dancer.
From Los Angeles to New York to Cuba she has inspired many with her dancing. Her hard work and dedication has allowed Erika to become one of today's top dancer throughout the world.
Ekaterina’s professional career started when she was accepted into one of the most famous schools, Opera Center of Galina Vishnevskaya, in Moscow, Russia—furthering her singing and dancing skills. There she traveled internationally performing with some of the biggest names in Russian opera history. Upon graduating, Ekaterina understood the importance of higher education therefore attended Moscow State University of Humanitarian Studies, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science: International Relations.Soon after, she became a member of Russia’s famous choreographer, Alla Duhova’s : Todes Contemporary Russian Ballet in Moscow for 3 years. There she trained in International Latin and Standard Ballroom dance.
Born in beautiful small town in the Estado de Mexico, not far from the capitol district, Javier began his young career as a dancer in middle school, dancing folklorico, the traditional Mexican dance. He was still a teenager when he ventured to the USA, determined to pursue his career. Not with standing his devotion to his craft, Rebollar managed to obtain a liberal arts degree from the California State University at Northridge, at the same time that he performed with team Tropical Rhythm. Turning himself to education at the professional level, he studied at the Grizzly Dance Company for more than four years, where he developed a proficiency in salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha, Merengue, Jazz, Contemporary Hip-Hop, Reggeaton and Tango.
Putting their talents together, Javier and Katya have already made a success winning competitions such as USA Dance National Salsa Championship, Borderline Salsa Competition and the Afro-Latin Bachata Festival in Las Vegas. Ekaterina has also won 1st place in Top Solo Female Competition of 2013.
Andrew Cervantes is a salsa instructor and competitor originally from Sacramento. Andrew began dancing salsa as a teen, and is now one of the top salsa dancers in the world and is an in-demand instructor and performer at salsa congresses around the globe.
The current reigning champion in the Same Gender division of the World Latin Dance Cup, Andrew has won the title 3 years in a row with his partner John Narvaez.
Andrew is a skilled dancer who is an expert in both leading and following technique. He often teaches workshops throughout the Bay Area on styling and spinning technique.
Andrew was a contestant on the national TV show “America’s Got Talent“ in 2014, along with his partner John, and the duo made it through the auditions and Judgement Week to qualify for the quarterfinals.
Liz Lira, the "Rose of Salsa", was born in La Paz, Bolivia, and immigrated to the United States at the early age of eight. Making Southern California her new home, she embraced the art of dance and excelled in both ballet and jazz.
For more than a dozen years, she trained at the most respected dance studios with top ballet coaches and traveled with her dance company, performing in front of thousands and on TV. Seen as one of the more talented young ballet dancers, she encountered numerous opportunities, including the possibility to move to New York and join one of the most prestigious ballet companies in the world – The New York City Ballet.
Admired by many for her warm personality and exceptional dancing skills, she quickly became one of the most recognizable personalities on TV and Film. Her outstanding teaching skills also made her a favorite among salsa students around the world. Creating The Liz Lira Dance Method.
She went on to capture her first major salsa dance championship at the Mayan World Salsa Championships in the summer of 2002. Along with many other competitions, her itinerary also included performances on the international stage, including appearances in her beloved Bolivia, South Korea, Canada, Guatemala, Mexico, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Finland, China, India and Japan.
Featured choreographer for So You Think You Can Dance, Dancing with The Stars, Step Up, The Ugly Truth, Marc Anthony, Sky Dance 10th Anniversary, Tango Bar, KTLA, Make it or Break it, Chrysler, Extra, Dirty Dancing England.
Junior and Emily are a brother and sister team originally from San Francisco and now living in Los Angeles, California. Junior and Emily have performed, taught, and competed all over the world. They are one of the hottest Pro-couples on the International circuit bringing them to be one of the best in the world. Their electrifying routines blow the roof off of Congresses, Festivals, and corporate shows around the world. Through their dancing they have traveled and toured through the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, and Africa.
Through the years, Junior and Emily have created their own unique style of dancing, which has swept stages around the world. They are 8-time National and International Salsa Dance Champions and are the youngest solo internationally traveling couple. They have graced the cover of various Latin magazines, as well as been the face of many International Salsa Congresses around the world. They are currently one of the most sought out dance couples in the Salsa World.
They have been on TV and in commercials. They have worked with Celebrity Artists such as Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, Justin Timberlake, Jamie King, Selena Gomez, just to name a few. They have guest appeared on‘Dancing With The Stars’ in Italy and have also done promotions for ‘Dancing With The Stars’ in the US. They were recently on the hit TV show “America’s Got Talent” making it as one of the first salsa dance couples to make top 30 as well as become one of the first dance couples to bring salsa to Prime Time TV. They were also assistant choreographers on the hit TV show ‘ So You Think You Can Dance’ choreographing the Mambo in Season 2 and choreographers for Disney’s popular TV show ‘Austin and Alley.’ They were also featured dancers on Disney’s ‘Shake it Up’, The Kris Jenner Show, ABC’s ‘Make it or Break it’ and Diesel’s A-Z of Dance. They have accomplished so much at such a young age, but for them this is just the beginning. Junior and Emily will continue to deliver fast, energetic, and exciting performances that will inspire and welcome the new generation of dance.
Rogelio Moreno is an actor, choreographer, and dancer originally from Los Angeles. He has studied a broad repertoire of dances, including salsa, cha-cha, merengue, mambo, bolero, quebradita and punta. He has appeared in numerous TV shows including “NYPD Blue” and “Buenos Dias”, and his choreography has been featured in several Hollywood films.
Rogelio is the founder and director the Los Angeles based salsa team, Salsabor Y Cache, and he is sought after worldwide for his unique and flavorful choreography.
Luis Vazquez is an Instructor, Choreographer, Performer and Master of Ceremonies from Guadalajara, Mexico. He moved to Los Angeles California and began dancing in 1992. He is one of the pioneers of the popular LA salsa style together with his brothers Johnny Vazquez and Francisco Vazquez. Luis has been traveling to more than 150 countries to participate in dance festivals and appeared in television shows such as City of Angels, Sinbad Vibe, The Rosanne Show, commercials such as Coca-Cola and California Lottery, music videos like Bio Ritmo - Bin Bin, films like Dance With Me and Looking For Lola where he have worked with artists such as John Travolta, Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Williams, Jimmy Smith and Quincy Jones.
Together with Joby Arranda he co-created Salsa Brava Productions in 1994, the first salsa dance company in Los Angeles. His creativity in music, costumes, routines and stunts has taken showmanship to the next level as well as paved the way for many other dancers. He was one of the first choreographers that created shows with costumes and steps that people never seen before. He changed the salsa scene completely. Salsa Brava was one of the most respected and well known dance companies in the world and inspired many dancers and dance companies, like Tropical Gem, Salsa Dance Squad; Super Mario,Susana Montero, Leon Rose, Jazzy Ruiz, Ramon Morales, Liz Lira, Jennifer Silva, Edie The Salsa Freak and many more. In 2004 Salsa Brava was dissolved and Luis started to dance with Melissa Fernandez. They moved to Europe in 2006.
In 2010 Luis moved to Malmö where he is running Love Dance Academy together with Weronika Pilat. With his creativity and passion for the dance, Luis wants to inspire people to reach and exceed their dancing boundaries. His aura, personality and vibrant energy are contagious. Besides weekly dance lessons, Luis and Weronika are the founders and organizers of Love Dance Festival in Malmö, Sweden. Luis wants to share his experience and love for the dance with you!
Luis specializes in many latin dances like salsa, bachata, cha-cha, merengue, cumbia and mambo. He is also working as an Master of Ceremonies and telling jokes. He have been working on tv with programs and commercials, videos and movies like:
Francisco Vazquez is the Director and Master Choreographer of Los Rumberos Dance Company. He is an accomplished Instructor and Professional Entertainer now residing in Los Angeles, California. He first became famous, when he and his brothers, Johny Vazquez and Luis Vazquez, pioneered the L. A. Salsa scene in the 90s. Francisco Vazquez has become known around the world, as the King of Salsa and the legendary Pioneer of L.A. Style Salsa (on 1).
For the last 26 years, Francisco has developed innovative ideas and paved the way for salsa across the globe. Famous for introducing acrobatics, combining tricks with complex hand patterns, fast foot work and crazy spins. He transformed the dance scene, winning numerous competitions, along with his brothers and their dance companies.
For many years, he has travelled the world to perform and share his vast knowledge. And together for ten years with his dance partner, Monica Gonzales, they brought their inspiration and musical productions to a new level! Francisco has traveled all over Europe, Asia, Central and South America. He has had the honor of dancing with many talented dancers, including Charlene Rose, Teria Morada, Daniela Settanni, Stephanie and Cindy Stevenson, Jennifer Silvas, Diana Sanchez, Ruby Karen and Marilyn Garduno and Shakaia Francois.
Francisco's eye for detail, taste for precision and discipline to technique are part of what makes him so special. He is able to effortlessly interpret the music and bring to you the essence and passion, the heart of salsa, thru his performance and choreography. Currently, you can catch him in Los Angeles. He is open for private lessons, group classes, performances, workshops and customized choreography.
Robert and Isabel
Robert and Isabel are dynamic set of dancers that have quickly risen to be one of the hottest new partnerships in New York City. They came together in March of 2015 and in a short amount of time have caught the attention of many in the global Latin dance scene. Individually both Isabel and Robert have many strengths and experience that speaks for itself, but together they are a unique powerhouse partnership.
Robert Rosario started his study of salsa in 2010 in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic under the guidance of David Paulino. A short two years later, in 2010, Robert moved to New York City driven by a strong desire to continue learning and ultimately training with one of the most prestigious dance companies in the world, Yamulee Dance Company. Robert's insatiable desire to grow and a talent for quick learning inspired him to leave Yamulee to launch his solo career with Delia Madera in 2014, a partnership that lasted about a year.
Isabel Freiberger hails from North Carolina where she started dancing in 2006. By 2007 Isabel began traveling the world with the Cobo Brothers Dance company, a well known salsa dance company based out of North Carolina. It wasn't long before Isabel earned her position as lead female dancer through dedication and a hunger for improvement. In 2013, Isabel relocated to New York City to dedicate her focus on dance. She began a partnership with Fausto Felix that lasted two and a half years.
At the end of 2014, both Robert and Isabel were part of creating a unique team of professional New York City based dancers called Team New York. The team went on to win first place in the Small team division at the World Salsa Summit Championships in Miami in February of 2015. It was this team that brought Robert and Isabel together and jump started their partnership. Since March of 2015, Robert and Isabel have made a swift and lasting mark on the Latin dance scene in New York, throughout the US and even internationally. They stun audiences with musical, powerful and acrobatic choreographies. They are also gaining recognition for fun and challenging workshops, specializing in salsa On2 partner work, footwork and shines, bachata partner work and shines, cha cha, pachanga, styling, body movement, and strength and flexibility. This is simply the beginning for this unlikely yet compelling partnership.
John & Liz are world salsa champions and acclaimed dance instructors. They are known for their hypnotic performances marked by high levels of grace, speed, and technical difficulty. They are equally acknowledged for their ability to provide fresh, accessible and entertaining salsa dance instruction for the social dance environment.
Since 2009, they have organized the San Francisco Salsa Festival, a weekend of world-class performances, dancing, and workshops with top salsa instructors, the Bay Area’s best DJs, and top live bands held annual every spring.
They are also the founders and directors of the Salsamania Dance Company. Formed in 2000, their dance company consists of several performance teams, including professional, semi-pro, amateur, ladies footwork, and training levels.
Born and raised in Colombia, John is a world-class ground-breaking salsa dance artist. In the last 17 years, his work etiquette, presence, and vision have set him apart from many others in the world of dance. He continues to innovate and inspire via extensive and detailed training combined with a tireless energy to share with his students.
“Do or do not; there is no try.” – Master Yoda
Also born and raised in Colombia, Liz is known for her unique extensive styling repertoire and is one of the top female instructors and artists in the world salsa community. “Salsa fills your soul with a fire that lets you express yourself on the dance floor with free style and vigor. I love to pass along the knowledge and passion that I have for this wonderful art.”
John & Liz have taken themselves and their dance company to the top of the world’s competitive mambo/salsa scene by ranking in the top three in the “On 2” couple division at the World Salsa Championships and taking first place in the professional and amateur team divisions at the World Latin Dance Cup. They have also led their teams to numerous victories in the San Francisco Bay Area Dance Troupe Competition. Whether you are a beginner just looking to learn the basics, or an intermediate to advanced salsa addict, John & Liz can help you build a solid foundation for total salsa enjoyment!
Alejandro Rey is a 6-Time Los Angeles Area Bachata Champion. He is also known for his Urban/R&B dancing and is also culturally inclined as a traditional Mexican folk dancer. Mr. Rey has instructed and performed internationally at some of the largest Bachata/Salsa Festivals in the world. Known as "The Biggest Mexican" he has also danced on multiple English and Spanish language TV programs as well as in movies and music videos.
Erica Nicole is a former model and Cal State University of Fullerton graduate who helps direct Paso De Oro Dance Company. She has performed and taught internationally and across the US with her partner Alejandro Rey. Ms. Nicole has also danced in many music videos and has appeared in movies.
Together they direct multiple teams within Paso De Oro Dance Company of all ages and skill levels. They own and operate Steps of Gold Dance Studio in Whittier, CA.
Edwin Rivera is one of the most influential artists in today's Latin dance scene. With a career spanning almost two decades, He has made quite the impact as a dancer, dj and music producer throughout the world. Edwin is also the artistic director to some of today's premiere Latin dance Events across the country (Aventura dance cruise Miami, Aventura dance cruise Los Angeles, The New York International Salsa Congress, The Texas salsa congress, The Baltimore salsa & bachata Congress and now the Japan Salsa Congress. He is now the co- producer of the 2nd longest running congress in the world, "The Los Angeles salsa festival", also produces the Children’s teen salsa congress in Puerto Rico and is the co- producer of for the World Latin dance cup.
Marco, current Pro World Salsa Champion with Omambo Dance Project, is a professional Latin Dance instructor, competitor, choreographer, and dancer. He is the founder and director of Passion y Tumbao Dance Company, where he is teaching beginners, intermediate, and advanced dancers, as well as building teams to perform at nightclubs, events, festivals, and congresses. Marco has also instructed teams and students that have brought home gold, silver, and bronze medals from the Emerald Ball Competitions for the past few years. Recently, Marco placed 2nd in the World Latin Cup 2011 Competitions in Salsa and first on a Pro team in salsa for the 2015 World Latin Cup. His student teams of kids have taken home silver and bronze for the World Latin Dance Cup 2016. This year they have brought home, the Champion of Champions, Gold, Silver, and Bronze for teams, duets, and solo competitions in different categories at the Latin Mirage International Dance Competition in Los Angeles.
He loves teaching and sharing his passion for dance with his students both young and old. He says, “Most of all I like helping students enjoy dance as a hobby or just giving them a safe place to leave the rest of the world behind them.”
Marco was born in Zacatecas, Mexico, where he entered into the world of dance.
From dancing merengue and other Mexican dances at family parties, he then became a boy focusing mainly on breakdancing and hip hop.
When he moved to LA, his uncle exposed him to salsa classes. Going to the salsa clubs, he was impressed with the awesome dancers, and vowed to become just like them one day. Later, to add to his repertoire of styles, Marco then took intensive courses in all the ballroom styles to become a ballroom instructor. In 2011, Marco ventured off to start his own dance company Passion y Tumbao and dance studio. Passion y Tumbao is continuing to grow in size and level. Passion y Tumbao is now a home of champions and has put Anaheim on the map for salsa.
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