Since January 2017 I have been serving as a Salsa and Bachata dance instructor at Austin Inspired Movement. I teach group classes weekly, host workshops at special events, do performance demonstrations, and teach one-on-one and couple private dance lessons.
In September 2019 I also started teaching weekly group salsa lessons at the Club Bantu Latin Thursday Nights.
Below is a recount of some of my dance background:
My dance career started from an early age with calypso and soca dancing in Barbados, West Indies with family and friends (the enclosed picture is me in 2016 in my CropOver Carnival Fifth Element Mas Band costume). While growing up in New York City I was formally trained in Ballet, Tap, and African dance at Harlem School of the Arts. While attending Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania I received a degree in Dance and became a principle company member in the Bucknell Dance Company performing and choreographing Ballet, Modern, and Jazz under the direction of Dana Frangione.
After moving to Los Angeles, California, I started Latin partnered dancing in 2005 with Argentine Tango (pictured) with the Tango Expressions Performance Team under the leadership of Cristina Lupani Rabino (the daughter of Maria Maffia) and Master Pete Rabino (who is also a 9th Dan Martial Arts Instructor).
The next season of the Inspired Movement / Alma Latina Amateur Bachata Performance Team (pictured) directed by Favian Bustos. I performed in the role of a lead (a role typically assumed by males).
While at the 2018 BIG Salsa Festival I attended the Gabriela Equiz Ladies Bachata Bootcamp (pictured) and performed alongside professional dancers the same night of learning the choreography in 4 hours.
In 2018 I joined the Inspired Movement Ritmo Unidos co-ed Bachata Team (pictured) co-directed by Keyler Maguilbray and Nathan Beasley. I again performed as a lead. This time the routine included tricks and lifts.
In November 2018 I again performed as a lead (pictured) with the Inspired Rhythms Performance Team in the directorial debut of Gerard Smithwrick and co-directed by Jasmin Sheth. The team debuted at the Dallas Bachata Festival. I was the only female lead in the over 70 performances over the weekend.
From November 2018 – July 2019 I trained and performed a Salsa On2, hip hop, and Afro Cuban routine on Karla Blanco de Landry’s El Sabor de Austin Advanced Team (pictured). Karla is a multi-time champion at the World Salsa Summit.
In August 2019 – January 2020 I took my dancing journey to the next level and became a co-director, with Gabriela Luevano, of the Inspired Movement Ladies Bachata Performance Team (pictured). The mission of the team is to strengthen the community, technique, and performance skills of intermediate women/female identified dancers in the Austin. TX Area. #Dance2Inspire.
In November 2019 I participated in the Jonathan & Jennifer Isabel Bachata Challenge – learning a routine in 4 hours and performing it the same day. The World Bachata Champion duo, often referred to as #JSquared, are based out of New York City. We learned a routine that previously had only been taught to professional dancers and performed it at the Austin Inspired Movement Anniversary Weekender. I further challenged myself to perform as a lead.
I love to dance, I enjoy teaching dance, and I continue to learn how to express myself through dance. I have started a blog series exploring how the art of dance can be a metaphor for the tenants of leadership entitled, “Life Lessons from Dance“.