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SF Salsa Congress 2011 Instructors

Every year the San Francisco Salsa Congress brings some of the world's best salsa dancers and instructors to the Bay Area, and 2011 is no different. Click on a profile below to find out more about this year's instructors and watch videos of their past performances.


Abel Peña & Zulmara Torres Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

Abel and Zulmara are some of the top ranked On1 salsa dancers in the world. They are 3-Time winners of the World Salsa Championships, as well as other competitions around the world, including the Mayan in LA. They are known for their energetic style, fast spins, and excellent technique.

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Alex Salsita & Ivonne Pulido Location: Bogota, Colombia
Bio:

Alex Salsita and Ivonne Pulido are champions in the Colombian salsa style. Their group Esfera Latina is a well established and respected organization that has continually placed in the top echelons of competitive dance for over six years.  They are known for extremely fast and precise footwork, jaw-dropping tricks and intricate formation changes.
Most recently the group took 1st place at…

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Alien Ramirez Location: Cuba
Bio:

Alien Ramirez hails from Cuba and has been a dancer her entire life. She has an incredibly diverse background and has received classical training in jazz, ballet, contemporary, Afro-Cuban, modern, gymnastics and flamenco.
Alien won her first World Championship in 2004, and has since collaborated with many of the biggest names in the LA dance scene including Cristian Oviedo and Grizzly…

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Andy Cruz & Candy Mena Location: Chicago/New York
Bio:

Andy “Lyrik” Cruz hails from Puerto Rico by way of Chicago. He is a songwriter, poet, dancer, choreographer and instructor who has been performing professionally since he was 17 years old. Over the years he has collaborated with some of the biggest names in the salsa world, and is a well known presence at salsa festivals the world over. Candy…

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Ava Apple & Rodolfo Guzman Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Ava Apple and Rodolfo Guzman began their partnership in 2005 and together they direct the Latin Symbolics dance company. Many of today’s top dancers began their story with Ava Apple and her classes, including Junior and Emily Alabi,  and Salsamania’s John and Liz. The company is known for its ability to perform in multiple dance styles and bring much variety…

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Corey Raynor & Mireille Ruiz Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Corey Raynor and Mireille Ruiz really made a name for themselves at the first ever San Francisco International Bachata Festival, where they wowed the crowed with a fun, playful and energetic bachata routine. The performance catapulted them to instant popularity, and they have since performed their unique take on the dance at a number of festivals.
Corey has a background in…

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Cristian Oviedo & Liz Lira Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

Cristian Oviedo & Liz Lira are champions many times over in their own right. Liz is a classically trained ballerina who has performed and competed in virtually every style of dance, while Cristian has been working in Hollywood as a dancer, model and actor since 2003. Between the two of them the pair has amassed over 15 world and national…

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Dave Paris & Zoe Klein Location: New York
Bio:

Dave Paris and Zoe Klein are international dance super stars, and have been featured in a number of television shows and dance festivals. No strangers to the big stage, their performance credits include a semi-final placement in America’s Got Talent, as well as showpieces in So You Think You Can Dance, the Maury Pauvitch Show, Telemundo and Eurosport.
Dave and Zoe…

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David & Jennifer Stein Location: San Diego
Bio:

David and Jennifer Stein founded San Diego’s Majesty in Motion dance company in 2002, and since then it has grown into a veritable salsa empire. The couple is well recognized for an energetic brand of performance, with a preference for latin jazz and a detailed musical interpretation. David and Jennifer’s unique take on classic mambo has wowed audiences around the…

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David Nieto & Charlene Rose Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

David Nieto and Charlene Rose are well known dancers and choreographers in the LA style who have been featured at salsa festivals around the world. David is a top 3 finalist in the World Salsa Championships and has been a featured dancer in multiple Hollywood films, while Charlene was a semi-finalist on FOX’s So You Think You Can Dance, and…

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David Zepeda & Paulina Posadas Location: Mexico
Bio:

David Zepeda and Paulina Posadas are couple from Mexico that have taken the competitive salsa world by storm. They hold over a dozen titles from salsa competitions all over the world, including the Toronto Salsa Congress, Puerto Rico Salsa Open, World Latin Cup, and San Francisco Salsa Congress.
David and Paulina are known for their intricate & creative choreography, technique…

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Eric Caty & Kelly Lannan Location: Montreal, Canada
Bio:

Eric Caty and Kelly Lannan are professional salsa dancers from Montreal, Canada. They are the owners of Alberta Dancesport, one of Canada’s top dance studios, as well as the directors of the Salsa Rica salsa team.
Eric and Kelly are internationally known competitors, and have placed 4th at the World Salsa Championships. They are also choreographers for So You Think You…

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Francisco Vazquez Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

Francisco Vazquez is one of the famed Vazquez brothers, who are credited with developing and popularizing the LA on1 style of salsa dancing. Francisco  is also one of the original founders of the much loved Los Rumberos dance company.
He is known for an intense and sharp style of performance, with an emphasis on quick spinning and crowd pleasing moves. Los…

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Gabriel Romero & Victoria Ruskovoloshina Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Gabriel Romero and Victoria Ruskovoloshina are the directors of San Francisco based Mambo Romero dance company. The pair are known as exemplars of the New York on2 style and are credited with bringing mambo to the San Francisco bay. Their routines continue to innovate year after year, featuring unmatched musicality and feverishly detailed choreography.
Gabriel and Victoria are very well respected as…

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Isidro Corona & Ariel Lehaitre Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Isidro Corona and Ariel Lehaitre have been dancing together since 2009 and in that time have taken a number of major titles. They are the 2010 US Salsa Open Champions, 2010 Portland Salsa Congress Champions and 2nd place winners at the 2010 SF Salsa Congress. Together they are also directors of San Jose’s Montuno Dance Company.
This dynamic couple is known for…

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James Cobo & Isabel Freiberger Location: North Carolina
Bio:

James Cobo and Isabel Freigberger are principal dancers of North Carolina’s famed Cobo Brothers Dance Company. They are known for intricate partnerwork, exciting tricks, and entertaining shows. The principal members of the dance company are also known for their unparalleled skill at social dancing and musical interpretation. Their workshops often times consist of club friendly material with an emphasis on…

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JC Labio & Tellina Rezzoffi Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

JC Labio and Tellina Rezzoffi are the directors of East Bay’s Afinkao Dance Company. They are known for original and creative choreography with heavy influences in Afro-Cuban movements, jazz and fluid body motion. Together the pair have performed at events nationally and around the world, and host one of the Bay Area’s premiere monthly socials at the Beat in Berkeley,…

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Jennifer Silvas Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

Jennifer Silvas is one of the top female salsa dancers in the world and has been performing salsa at the highest levels for over 10 years. In that time she has danced with some of the top names in salsa including the Vazquez brothers. Jennifer is an expert in hip hop and latin dance, as well as classical forms.
In addition…

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Jhon Rodriguez & Johanna Vasquez Location: Cali, Colombia
Bio:

Jhon and Johanna are Colombian salsa dancers who exemplify the Cali style. Their blindingly fast footwork and precise style of performance is beloved by crowds everywhere. They have competed many times against the best in the world, with multiple top finishes in the World Salsa Championships.
Featuring extraordinary tricks and lifts, this powerful couple is sure to  light the stage on…

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Joe Zumba Location: San Francisco
Bio:

Joe Zumba has been teaching  Zumba classes and workshops on both coasts for over seven years. His classes are routinely packed, with regular attendance averaging around 80 dancers. His energetic and fun style has made him a popular choice and his infectious positive energy truly pushes Joe to standout status.

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John Narvaez & Liz Rojas Location: San Francisco
Bio:

John Narvaez and Liz Rojas are the directors of the award winning Salsamania Dance Co, which has been a staple in the SF Bay Area for over a decade. They are known for crisp clean technique, playful routines, and precise foot placement. Together they have been multiple time finalists at the World Salsa Championships both as a couple and with their team….

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Johnny & Andres Giraldo Location: Boston
Bio:

Johnny and Andres Giraldo are two brothers who started Boston’s popular Salsa y Control Dance Co. (named for the Lebron Brothers song of the same name) in 1999. They are famous for performing creative duets featuring intricate footwork, innovative use of classic salsa shines, and expressive musicality.
While Johnny and Andres are well known for their fun and entertaining routines, they…

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Johnny Vazquez Location: Italy/Mexico
Bio:

Johnny Vazques is one of the famed Vazques brothers, credited with creating and popularizing the LA on1 style of salsa dancing. He is a legend in the salsa scene, and his performance credits and numerous competition wins include stages all over the world. He is known for hard hitting and exciting routines, as well as an almost inhuman control over…

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Jonathan Ibarra & Elly Guadarrama Location: Mexico/SF Bay Area
Bio:

Jonathan and Elly are world class salsa competitors and performers based out of San Diego. Elly is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, where she was a member of the PB&G Pro Team, before she joined the World Championship winning Alma Latina dance company in San Diego, where she met Jonathan.
As a couple, Jonathan and Elly have competed…

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Luis Aguilar & Anya Katsevman Location: New York/San Francisco
Bio:

Luis Aguilar and Anya Katsevman are the reigning World Salsa Champions in the on2 division for the second year in a row. Together the pair has amassed numerous other 1st place finishes and are some of the most sought after performers and instructors in the world. They are known for creative technical dancing, precise timing, and expansive movement.
The pair is…

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Marco Ferrigno & Natalia Lopez Location: Milan, Italy
Bio:

Marco Ferrigno and Natalia Lopez are professional dancers from Milan, Italy. Marco Ferrigno began dancing at a young age, and received training from world-renown Eddie Torres, before opening his own dance school in Milan. Natalia Lopez was a longtime dancer for Alma Latina Dance Company in San Diego, before joining Marco in Italy.
Together, Marco and Natalia are the directors of…

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Mike Bello Location: New York
Bio:

Mike Bello (aka the “Mambo Fello”) is an experienced musician and dancer who helped introduced mambo style dancing to Los Angeles, with the formation of the Mambo Men and the Mambo Squad, two of the earliest mambo dance teams in LA.
Mike has spent years of research studying salsa/mambo music, and developing the best ways to teach musicality to students. …

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Milton Cobo & Erin Leger Location: North Carolina
Bio:

Milton Cobo and Erin Leger hail from North Carolina and are principal dancers for the acclaimed Cobo Brothers Dance Company (along with Milton’s brother James). The dance company is known for intricate partner work, exciting tricks, and smooth social dancing prowess. Milton and Erin have performed and taught at salsa events around the world, from North American and Europe to…

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Nicolas Cruz & Caterine Estrada Location: Bogota, Colombia
Bio:

Nicolas Cruz and Caterine Estrada began dancing together in Bogota, Colombia, considered one of the preeminent salsa capitals in the world. They were both principal dancers as part of the prestigious Escuela de formación Artística Nueva Generación de Mambo Y Chachacha, one of Colombia’s top dance companies. They are both classically trained and technically proficient dancers.
Together they combine the exciting Colombian…

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Ricardo Tellez & Tianne Frias Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Ricardo and Tianne are world renown salsa dancers and instructors from the San Francisco Bay Area. They have performed and competed around the world, and are two-time finalists at the World Salsa Championships.
Ricardo Tellez has been teaching salsa for over 13 years, and is the creator of the On5 style of dancing, which he has taught around the country….

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Rodney Aquino Location: SF Bay Area
Bio:

Rodney Aquino, aka “Rodchata” is one of the top bachata instructors and promoters in the US. He is the organizer of the Reno Bachata Convention and SF Bachata Festival, and co-organizes half-a-dozen other major bachata events throughout the year.
Rodney has a broad background in Latin dance, including International Ballroom, salsa (on1, on2 mambo, and Cuban son, Casino), cumbia, chachacha,…

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Rogelio Moreno Location: Los Angeles
Bio:

Rogelio Moreno is an actor, choreographer, and dancer originally from Los Angeles. He has studied a broad repetorie 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…

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Tito Ortos & Tamara Livolsi Location: Puerto Rico
Bio:

Tito and Tamara are internationally known salsa dancers from Puerto Rico who have performed in over 75 cities around the world. Both Tito and Tamara began dancing at a young age, and have over 20 years of salsa dancing experience. They are also skilled at other dance forms such as jazz, ballet, hip hop and more.
Tito and Tamara…

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Vassili Location: Seattle
Bio:

Vassili is a musician, dancer, and dance instructor from Seattle. He took his first salsa lesson in 2000, and has since gone on to win the “Reno Dance Sensation” competition 2 years in a row. Vassili is one of the top instructors at the Salsa con Todo school in Seattle, and his background in music gives him a…

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Zeke Ruvalcaba & Kathy Reyes Location: Chicago
Bio:

Zeke Ruvalcaba & Kathy Reyes are top level bachata dancers who are known for their passionate and tender bachata performances. Zeke is the founder of Bachata All-Stars, the first Bachata dance team in the Mid-West, and Kathy is an experienced performer with over 5 years of dance experience.
Together, Zeke and Kathy have taken the bachata world by storming, winning…

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