Instructors

Manuel Dos Santos
(Toronto, Canada)

Manuel Dos Santos has been dancing for over 11 years. Although his repertoire includes hip-hop, Capoeira and Latin Ballroom, his passion is definitely Salsa. He has trained under Mas Mambo and Gabriel “Matanza” Mambi, who is his mentor. He has performed on stages worldwide including Barcelona, Amsterdam, Bermuda and in several American and Canadian cities.Manuel’s vision is to create Salsa awareness. At DSantos Dance School salsa is not just a dance, it is a form of expression, an art, a passion, and a lifestyle.

Check out his YouTube videos here.

 

Johnny & Andres
Salsa y Control (Boston)

Salsa y Control Dance Company originated from the desire to inspire others to dance, the enjoyment and immense passion for Salsa/Mambo music, and dance. It all started with two brothers, Johnny and Andres Giraldo, performing amazing duets with captivating salsa footwork combinations. They were the first and only all male salsa dance group in Boston . Their strong desire to fulfill a need to express inner emotions through the art of dance is how their journey began. They named themselves after the song "Salsa y Control" by Los Hermanos Lebron.

 

Aramis Pazos
(Virginia)

Aramis is a graduate of the National School of the Arts in Cuba with a degree in both Modern and Afro-Cuban Folklore dance and has been dancing professionally for over 20 years. While in Cuba he apprenticed with both the National Dance Company of Cuba and the National Folkloric Company before touring internationally with Ballet Tropicana. For eight years, he choreographed and produced musicals and cabaret shows in Mexico, and was a soloist and assistant choreographer for Richard Neon’s, the assistant director of Riverdance, internationally touring production, “Jarocho”. While in San Francisco, he performed with Robert Moses Kin among other companies, and taught Afro-Cuban, modern, Folklore and popular dance while directing his company, Latin Cabaret Productions. Aramis acted and danced under the direction of Neri Torres, once choreographer to Gloria Estefan, in her production “Musical de la Rumba” en Miami, Florida. He has been guest artist at SUNY-Brocksport and International University in Vermont. Currently he is teaching classes and workshops, as well as performing in the Washington D.C. area as a dancer and lead singer and Director with the Cuban Timba band,” Ashe”. He is an expert consultant to several groups in Rumba and Afro-Cuban fusion into other latin dance styles such as salsa, casino rueda and mambo.

 

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Jesse Yip
Tumimambo's Signatura (New Jersey)

Jesse of Peruvian/Chinese decent was born and raised in Elizabeth New Jersey in January of 1973. He began his dance training in 2001 under the instruction of the Million Moves Man Ismael Otero and The JLo of Salsa Yesenia Peralta. In just a short time, Jesse became one of Ismaels assistants and part of Caribbean Soul 2 (Semi Pro Team). Jesse obtained a distinct style, creating his own turn patterns, and mixing them in ways unthought-of. In recognition of his creativity, Jesse was asked to be a part of Caribbean Soul (The Pro Team) and assisted with some of the routine choreography. During his four years as a Caribbean Soul Dancer, Jesse has performed locally at nightclubs, Latin festivals, and socials throughout the Tri-state area. Jesse has also shared the stage with some of the best dancers in the world at Salsa Congresses in Puerto Rico, Canada, LA, Boston and Miami. In 2005, Jesse sought a different style and went to study under New York's Victor Mayovanex, director of the Karisma Dance Company. While learning the elegant Karisma style, Jesse joined Koncepto Karisma, the Semi-Pro team and has performed at prestigious worldwide venues such as the LA & New York Salsa Congress to name a few. As a Karisma dancer, Jesse continued his growth & inherited a stronger, elegant and more polished dance style.

Jesse brings a solid foundation of the Tumimambo Style to the Salsa Community. He is a performer, choreographer, dance instructor and director of two dance groups (Signatura & Iniciales de Signatura). He teaches Salsa/Mambo classes at 2 New Jersey locations: Beyond Dance in Cranford and Dancer's Pointe in Westfield. As a dancer/performer Jesse delivers his smooth style with a perfect blend of creativity and elegance. As an instructor/choreographer Jesse is constantly expanding his teaching skills, emphasizing mainly on leading techniques and originality. Together Jesse brings 8+ years of dance experience and knowledge to the stage, dance floor, and to his students.

 

Abdul Al-Ali
Conga Beat (Virginia)

Abdul began dancing LA Style Salsa on1 in 1998 and then went on to join Salsa Fuego Dance Company in 1999. At the '99 DC Salsa Congress, he discovered the New York style of dancing and began dancing on2 shortly thereafter. He left Salsa Fuego and has been training his students to an advanced level ever since. He has competed in numerous salsa competitions locally and outside the DC-Metro area. He is well known among serious salsa dancers nationwide for his unique dancing style, choreography, and instruction.

 

Paula and Julian
Salsaoco (Colombia)

Founded in 2009, Paula and Julian share their dance experience to found Salsaoco. Now it is a collaboration of eleven professional and experienced Colombian style dancers from New Jersey. Their style is a high speed, musically precise explosion of energy with incredibly fast foot patterns and jaw-dropping lifts. Apart from performing, the group shares their expertise in their hometown as well as at dance events around the country helping promote this unique style born in Colombia.

Enjoy their YouTube Performances here.

 

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Adelicia Villagaray
(Maryland)

A native Baltimorean, Adelicia grew up in the heavily populated Latino community surrounding Patterson Park. With her mother being Puerto Rican and her father being Peruvian, culture had always impacted her life. Food, festivities, music, and of course dance!

Adelicia began dancing when she was four years old, and no, not in any classroom… in the kitchen. Her mother would blast the Spanish music while cleaning the house… and lo and behold, Adelicia learned to Merengue holding on to her mother’s hips and the broom! Through her family, Adelicia learned and lived with Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, and Bolero, along with many other popular Latin dances.

In 2001, Adelicia saw an infomercial for a new fitness phenomenon… you guessed it, Zumba! She ordered the VHS tapes and did them religiously… losing more than fifty pounds. As the years continued, she purchased each new Zumba series.

While attending Temple and Towson University, she studied Theatre and in her spare time took various dance classes including hip hop, tap, jazz, and modern. In 2007, she also began studying under her godmother Nancy Flores, aka Nonci Tirado, International Latin Ballroom professional. She also began teaching Hip Hop classes. In 2008, Adelicia decided to take her life in a new direction and train to be a Zumba Instructor, as dance had become a major influence and strength in her everyday life.

Since the beginning, Adelicia had been dancing with Beto on her TV, so she figured why not be trained by the creator of Zumba himself! She attended Beto Perez’s workshop, (also accompanied by trainers Tanya Beardsley, Maria Browning, Lindsey Taylor, and Tony and Jessica Witt) in Pittsburgh, PA in 2008. Since then, Adelicia has been teaching all over Maryland and spreading the joy of Zumba wherever she goes! 

Find out where Adelicia is teaching right now in Baltimore.

 

Vanessa Beltran
(Maryland)

 

Vanessa was born in Ceiba, Puerto Rico and has always had a passion for dance since she was a little girl.  She attributes her love of dance to her mother, Maria, as she always remembers watching her dance and shine with joy whenever she danced.  Eventually out of all the music genre's she grew up listening to, Salsa and Merengue was the music that filled Vanessa with the most engery and excitement.  It wasn't until she went to high school where she was able to apply that passion with proper technique and structure.  In high school she danced for three years and was in the Junior Dance Company her senior year. Over the years Vanessa has performed at many school, corporate, and local community functions.  She has competed in many events in the DC & Baltimore area and has one all but one (a jack and jill competition at a social venue.)  Vanessa has a passion for dance for the art of it and for the joy she gets from introducing people to Salsa.  She is well known for her natural and smooth style, and over the years students have gravitated to her for her attention to detail and commitment to excellence that she holds for herself and her students.

 Vanessa remains humble and focuses on God first, family second, and then everything else.  She has a kind heart and a warm soul.  Her goal is to share her love of dance to all she can and is most satisfied with the philosophy of dance as an art and watching people grow along their journey.

 

Joe Figueroa

 (Philadelphia)

Joe began his career as a professional dancer for MTV Studios, and his unique style and talent quickly secured his reputation in New York City. Joe's extensive background in Freestyle, Pop and Hip Hop ultimately led him to work with legendary choreographer Jamie King, who has choreographed for an impressive array of stars including Britney Spears, Shakira and Madonna. Currently Joe is one of the most sought after salsa and Bachata instructors / choreographers in the industry today.

In 2000, this accomplished artist and choreographer transitioned his passion and talent to the art of salsa dancing and quickly became a prominent figure on Philadelphia's burgeoning salsa scene with his unique body movement and choreography. Known as a premiere salsa instructor and performer, Joe has trained under the guidance of Rogelio Moreno, Jesus Morales, Josie Neglia, world-renowned salsa dancer Alex DaSilva, as well as with master salsa instructors in London, Milan and Australia. Joe combined his extensive knowledge of dance and creativity to develop a distinctive style of salsa dancing known as "Philly Style Salsa" — an explosive salsa style that combines smooth moves with sharp, complicated turn patterns. This unique style has earned Joe the reputation of the hottest salsero on the East Coast.

Joe currently teaches salsa dance classes in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware and can also be seen performing weekly throughout the tri-state area. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of the Luna Negra Dance Team.

When women are asked what Joe's greatest ability is, they respond by saying, "He can lead any woman at any level and make her feel like the queen of the dance floor."

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Jackie Fortunato
(Colombia)

 

Born in Barranquilla, Colombia.  When Jackie was 3 years old she started participating in the “Comparsas de Carnaval” an event that presents folklore dances from all over the country.   When she was 8 years old Jackie started performing hard syncopated African dances such us “Mapale” and the spectacular “Samba” from Brazil.

She later became affiliated with Sonia Ochoa & Lilian Palacios who performed and taught thru a recognized ballet company.  As they mentored her, she began participating in competitions as she was developing her skills in Ballet classes and Folklore. After that period of time, she took several  Flamenco and Jazz classes and while in the studio where these studies were taking place she heard the sound of coins making music. She went to check it out and what she discovered was beautiful Belly dancers and instantly fell in love with this form of dance expression.  She immediately began taking classes with mentor and soon started performing as a Belly Dancer.

Jackie moved to Maryland in 2006. Without knowing English she understood dancing is a body language, and expressed herself clearly and artistically through the visual movements. She continued training with the best available mentors she could find including Raquia Hassan from Egypt, Saida from Argentina, Ava Fleming and Ansuya from USA and more.

 

Niss Albaig
(Maryland)

Niss Albaig is the co-founder of SalsaNow, a Baltimore based company specializing in teaching Salsa and other Latin dances as well as being one of the premier dance event promoters in Maryland .  Niss combined his love of dance and people to become a Ballroom Dance Instructor in 1994 for the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Bethesda, Maryland .  He has taught in Baltimore and the surrounding area for the past 6 years, first as part of Dancing with Grace Productions and more recently with SalsaNow.  He is proficient in smooth and rhythm dance styles, but has specialized in Salsa.  Niss' teaching style is clear with attention to detail.  Students can look forward to a fun and active class where they will always learn and properly execute a beautiful new pattern with great style and technique.

 

Zoukalma
(Washington D.C)

Adrian Atoro, Amy Rocores, and Lottena ‘Auntie Ox’ make up Zoukalma – a group dedicated to spreading Brazilian Zouk in the nation’s capital. All three are notable dancers in their own right who fell in love with Zouk and decided to dedicate themselves to it entirely, pushing the limits and restrictions of American social dance. Already a certified ballroom instructor and accomplished Latin dancer, Adrian spent several years studying Zouk both in and abroad before he began working intensely with his two partners, both of whom have now traveled extensively to further their skills. In addition to her years of experience as a Latin performer and instructor, Amy also brings her first-hand knowledge of Latin & Brazilian culture, dance, and language. Lottena’s background in Salsa Casino and non-partnering dance-forms such as DnB and House, combined with her years of Latin dance and performance and now single-minded dedication to Zouk make her dancing unforgettable.

 

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Darlin Garcia
Art in Motion (Pensylvania)

Darlin’s creativity and love of salsa is evident in his sizzling and fast-paced choreographies. He is Director and lead choreographer of Art in Motion Latin Dancers. He has danced and performed in Philadelphia, nationally and internationally, and has been in several competitions, winning 3rd place at the ESPN World salsa championships.

 

Antonio Doza-Williams
(New York)

 

 

Antonio Doza-Williams, of Dominican background, has been dancing since the age of 3. After many years of studying hip-hop, he took an interest in dancing Salsa.  In 2008, he trained with the world renouned  dance team ClaveKazi. His amazing Isolation and Body movement brings an intriguing style to the floor. Known for his great performance presence, he brings so much heat to the stage that he guarantees all eyes are on him.  Antonio has traveled throughout the US showing off his talents and to other countries such as the Dominican Republic, Bolivia, Japan, Colombia and Guatemala.

 

Melissa Pabon
(New York)

 

Melissa was born and raised in Connecticut, USA.  She was raised by parents of Colombian descent as the oldest child of two girls.  While growing up, she was quickly introduced to her Latin culture, specifically through music and dance.  She started dancing tap, jazz, and ballet at the age of five and quickly started performing in front of hundreds of people.  Family and friends always remember the parties, picnics and family gatherings, in which Melissa somehow always knew how to put on a show.  Winning dance competitions, trophies, and awards she never forgets listening and dancing with her father to some of the greatest music of all times.  Dancing became Melissa’s escape from the world’s struggles.  She found comfort and a life long dream in which she later began to accomplish.

In 2001, Melissa joined Fred Astaire Ballroom Dance Studios in Norwalk, CT where she quickly was competing and performing in Latin and Smooth dances.  She participated in various competitions and showcases, winning numerous awards and prizes.  There she was given the opportunity to become a certified dance instructor, an opportunity she will never forget.  In 2003 Melissa quickly realized New York City would be her next challenge.  Later on that year, she decided to move and make NYC her home.  After moving to NYC, Melissa did not want to stop dancing; from there she continued to learn from some of the most respected salsa/mambo dancers in NYC.  Within all these years, Melissa has had the opportunity to train, dance, and share the stage with some of the most talented dancers as well as respected music artists all over the world.  Melissa continues to teach and perform at both national and international events.  She has been known to perform at the formally world known Copacabana in NYC, also with Enixe Dance Company from Brooklyn, NY, ESPN World Salsa Champion Darlin Garcia (Art in Motion) from Philadelphia and Noel Rodriguez (Calle Luna & Jayson Molina, PR) from Philadelphia.  Melissa also freelances with MTV Tres as a Dance Director/Choreographer.  She has been part of MTV Tres “Tu Pride”, ESL (English as a Second Language), Wisin Y Yandel “Artist Speaking Tres”, and MTV’s Dances from the Hood.  She has always had a passion for teaching kids as well as adults in all aspects of Salsa/Mambo.  She is a well-known and admired instructor/dancer specializing in Ladies Styling & Body Movement.  Her classes are full of energy and passion; it is a class not to miss.  Her accomplishments have been a dream come true and now she takes pride in keeping them alive.

 

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Michelle Reyes
(Washington D.C.)

Michelle Reyes is a salsa dance instructor in the DC Metro area and has been teaching dance for over ten years.  She has a salsa dance studio in Bethesda, MD and founded her company, SalsaDMV, two years ago.  SalsaDMV which stands for DC, MD, VA, is a great place for the beginner dancer learning to take their first steps to the seasoned salsero looking for a great place to dance! Michelle has over 100 students from the DC metro area that take latin dance classes weekly.  She is an active and predominate member of the DC salsa community.  Six years ago she also started a weekly salsa night in Bethesda which has now become the largest & longest running salsa night in the area- "Salsa Tuesdays" at The Barking Dog!

Personally, Michelle has competed locally and won salsa dance competitions, performed nationally and internationally at various salsa congresses, and trained with some of the best salsa coaches in the world!  She has also choreographed and trained 7 student groups, judged high school and adult salsa competitions, and has taught at major salsa congresses and festivals.  She was a featured instructor last year at The Baltimore Salsa Fest! Last month, Michelle co-directed the 1st Salsa Fashion Show in DC and plans to have another one in the spring time.  She is a fun and energetic person and absolutely LOVES her chosen career- DANCE!  Salsa dancing is her passion and she knows how lucky she is to be able to share this art with everyone.  Michelle can make dancing very easy to learn and her easy going and encouraging approach will make you want to continue to learn more!

 

Susan Leiter
(Baltimore, MD)

Susan's life reads like a rich tapestry - diverse, colorful and exciting!

 Teaching for over 34 years, she's trained in all levels and styles of both Latin and Smooth dances -- including performance techniques and choreography - with some of the world's best coaches and choreographers. She competed (and placed) professionally, and with students, in national and world level competitions including the United States Ballroom Championships and the World Professional Smooth and Latin Ballroom Dance Championships in Madison Square Garden where she and her partner ranked in the top 8 of the world's 57 best professional teams. Today she passes these skills onto a variety of students, all ages, all skill-levels and all over the United States who want to hone their techniques in both private and group settings. For 8 years Susan organized, ran and was the resident teacher at, Baltimore's largest and most successful Salsa night where the classes were upwards of 80 people on any given night.

After writing and teaching the extracurricular Latin dance programs at Johns Hopkins University for 12 years, she expanded her instructional palate to include childhood education, weekend workshops, dance technique and isolation classes and dance cardio classes for women and eventually founded the company AliveWithDance.

She is patient, funny, and takes great pride in explaining how to do what seem like impossible moves to even the most beginner students and brings her passion for teaching and commitment to the craft to every aspect of AliveWithDance.

Keith Givens

Latin Motion (Virginia)

Keith Givens, a native of New York City, has been dancing for nineteen years. As a Salsa Instructor, Performer, and Choreographer with his own performance dance company called Latin Motion and his own promotional company called High Energy Productions, Keith has promoted salsa events, taught classes (beginner to advanced) ranging in number from one (1) student to five hundred (500) students, and performed his own choreographies at numerous events, including the first ever Salsa event held at Glen Echo's Spanish Ballroom in Glen Echo, Maryland. As a former member of the DC Salseros/ Latin Vibes Dance Company, he has performed nationally and internationally in such places as: The Kennedy Center and the Lisner Auditorium in Washington, D.C., and World Salsa Conventions in Los Angeles, Toronto, London, and Holland. He specializes in teaching Salsa and other "social Latin" dances, including Merengue, Cha-cha, Bachata, and Samba. Often, you'll here him say "Ooh Salsa" as he teaches dancers how to move to that Latin beat. Affectionately dubbed "The DipMaster" among the DC Salseros, Keith is known for his creative partnering moves and high-energy style. He also enjoys all other ballroom dances, Hip-Hop, African dance and freestyle dancing.

 

Weiver and Release

ALL SALES ARE FINAL

The entire event, including all workshops & performances, shall be undertaken at the Instructors, Performers and Student’s sole risk.
The Towson Dance Studio, Crowne Plaza Timonium, KayaDance Company or any location chosen for the event shall not be liable for any claims, demands, injuries, damages, action or cause of action whatsoever to the person or property arising out of or connected with or possible negligence on the part of KayaDance Company, its employees or agents. Instructors are subject to change.

 

 

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