Background I have been dancing informally (unschooled) off and on forever, but only discovered 'La Salsa' in midlife, after raising children and running a business (or being run by it!), and discovered, never too late, that I was "born to dance" and I have not stopped since. I have immersed myself fully in the world of salsa, embarking on the journey to understand various forms as well as gain access to my own authenticity and skill in movement. Over the years I have studied a variety of styles ranging from Nuyorican, Salon/Club, to Cuban & Miami, as well as folkloric & regional forms, as well as popular dances of Cuba. I have studied with many of the distinguished teachers we are lucky to have in the Bay Area, including: Russ Hamer, Gabriel Romero, John Narvaez and Liz Rojas, Garry and Viola, Isabelle Rodriguez, Nick Van Eyck & Serena Wong, Susana Arenas, Ryan Mead and Sidney Weaverling, Rick Washington, Manuel Suarez, Roylando Lobato, Roberto Borrell and more. From my exposure to and exploration of many forms, I have developed an ability to respond authentically to the music with my own flair, featuring a lot of Cuban flavor, some "ballroom", some hip hop and some of my own innovation. I have developed a unique teaching method for exploring rhythms, and locking in a strong partner & circle dynamics. I enjoy being on the learning edge and pursuing the essence and the cultural origins of these dances, which of course, always leads to more questions than answers.
The dance is rooted in the music, the music is layered and nuanced, providing much for dancers to respond to. So we spend time listening, doing rhythmic exercises and getting multiple tracks running at the same time. We play with dancing on 1, 2 , and 3 and learn how each relates to clave (one of the key rhythms in Latin music). I help new students get to dancing immediately regardless of how many left feet they think they have, and familiar with the basic dynamic early on, with fun easy exercises which illustrate the tension, spacing, opposition, movement, directional impulse needed to hold the circle or the pair together and allow for an exhilarating flow. I believe that once your form is good and movement comes naturally, then intermediate and advanced level moves are easy to master. We stay on the exhilarating learning edge, balancing the introduction of new material with review of previously learned.After years of research exploring and analyzing partner dynamics I am honing the ability to identify the elements that really make a partner dynamic work, whether it be Cuban style, Cumbia or ballroom or other, and am hopefully able to save students a lot of learning time by breaking it down for them. See descriptions of each individual class for more detail.