Tanja began teaching professionally in 2008 with Jorge "Ataca" Burgos. Initially they were primarily dancing salsa but switched to a bachata emphasis after a friend of Tanja recommended they do a routine together. They have a dance organization called Island Touch Dance Academy that currently has 15 teams scattered across the globe.
Brian "B-Rye" Gomez is of Mexican/Spanish descent and growing up in his hometown of San Antonio, Texas. His early influences were Tejano, Cumbia, and Country dancing. He began his dance journey back in 2010… studying, performing, and eventually teaching and directing. His training all started at Semeneya Dance studio the most influential Latin Dance studios in San Antonio.
Brian was introduced to Island Touch Dance Academy very early in his dance career. His love for Bachata and Salsa romantica made this company a perfect fit for him. From that point on he has developed his dance, performance and training largely in part based on the training of Jorge "Ataca" Burgos. He was part of one of the first Touch Team franchises. The highlight to his on stage performance career has been performing with Tanja "La Alemana" Kensinger at the 2015 Dallas Salsa Congress. He hopes to continue his involvement in the latin community, not only by dancing and teaching, but by co producing Latin Dance events in his home state of Texas.
Carlos Hernandez and Arlette Guerra founded Zafire Dance Project a few years ago after performing in several top NYC pro teams such as Karisma and Yamulee. The are well-known for their intense and energetic dancing style and have quite quickly become known in the NYC mambo community and also at national and international salsa congresses and festivals.
Fausto Felix and Maria Ramos have been dancing together for over 6 months now, and have dazzled audiences with their high octane performances. Fausto and Maria both trained with the legendary Santo Rico Dance Company, eventually becoming a pair of their lead dancers. After leaving Santo Rico, Fausto began his own successful dance company, La Fuerza Dance Company, teaching, performing and competing worldwide. Fausto is a 2x World Champion in the Just Salsa Division for 2014 and 2015, and World Champion in the Team Division for 2015.
Maria, after Santo Rico, started her own wildly popular dance group as well: D'Cor Dance Company. In less than a year, her group has gained international recognition. In her early career, Maria performed as a back-up dancer for some of the world's biggest acts such as Shakira and Kanye West. She also has appeared in several commercials and on shows likes Saturday Night Live. Fausto and Maria have won numerous competitions individually, Fausto in salsa and Maria in Hip-Hop. They are known for their precision and dynamic choreography and they are excited to be combining their talents and showcasing what they can do around the world!
Favian was born and raised in Katy, TX and attended the University of Texas at Austin. As a freshman he joined Texas Latin Dance where his love of dance blossomed becoming its President in his junior year. After college he began his professional career at Arthur Murray Dance Studio, teaching Ballroom, Latin, Country & other Social Dances. Introduced to a new dance, Kizomba has created a new passion and he became one of a handful of instructors teaching in Texas. Seizing opportunities to teach throughout the US and Internationally prompted him to create his own dance company, Austin Inspired Movement. Specializing in bachata/ kizomba currently directing three dance teams, weekly group classes and special events, he continues to share his love of dance with the world.
She is member of the Casino Stars, she has presented shows in over 200 festivals throughout Venezuela and in many different countries, to include: Aruba, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Italy, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain and in U.S.A states such as: Florida, New York and Texas. Her background is with World Class experience. The implementation of Ballroom dancing and in other areas of dance such as Ballet, Jazz, Hip Hop, Salsa, Bachata, Latin Hustle, West Coast Swing, Kizomba and Traditional Folkloric dance also coaching and physical trainer all this experience makes her one of the Best Female Latin dancers in the world.
Maria Ivanova aka Kizomba Chick™ is a Kizomba instructor, promoter and performer who has been sharing her love and passion in the US and overseas. Maria is the first official face of Kizomba in Florida spreading her vision for this breathtaking sensual dance tempestuously. Having learned Kizomba with some of the greatest masters in Kizomba like Kwenda Lima, Petchu, Ricardo Sousa and Paula Loureiro, Albir & Sarah, Joao & Mafalda and many more, she continues to travel abroad to satisfy the thirst of learning and dancing, bring back to her students latest techniques and patterns.
Lee Rios has studied, taught, and performed Salsa as well as many other traditional Latin Dances for over 20 years. He is the founder and director of Semeneya Dance Company in San Antonio, Texas and his first studio in 1999. Rios has been a featured performer/instructor at tons of national events as well as international festivals which include: Bahamas, Belguim, Bermuda, Canada, Curacao, France, India, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Along with his playful manner of teaching, he is a highly creative dancer that has impressed the most educated Salsa audiences around the world. He is known for his unique style of turn patterns, choreography and his ability to light up a crowd with his famous "improv acting" skills. On a dance floor, in a hallway or in the elevator, anyone will enjoy his presence. Truly a must have at any function.
Internationally renowned artist Marc Brewer, based in MI, is one of North America's most sought after Afro-Latin Dance instructors, performers, and choreographers. Certified in 9 American competitive ballroom dances and proficient in Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Hip-hop, dances in the Afro-Latin genre are his specialty and main focus with extensive training and experience in Kizomba, Salsa, Bachata, Theater Arts (Lifts, Dips, and Tricks), and Brazilian-Zouk. He is rapidly leaving his mark on the competitive Afro-Latin dance world with recent finalist placements at the American Kizomba Open Championship (1st) and International Kizomba Open (3rd) in 2013 and the 2014 Toronto Bachata Congress Kings of Bachata Competition (2nd). Marc also had the pleasure of starring alongside Sara Lopez in Daniel Santa Cruz's critically acclaimed Kizomba music video "Lento". With performances and workshops taught this past year in Paris, Mexico, Madrid, Luanda, Bucharest, Los Angeles, Prague, Toronto, New York, Montreal, Miami, Chicago, Houston, New Jersey, Washington D.C, and more.
Marietta Villalobos a native of Costa Rica was raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and now hangs her dancing shoes in San Antonio, Texas. Marietta grew up around many different cultures and well versed in all aspects of dance but none more so than Kizomba. Along with her 10 years of experience, she also certified to teach Kizomba by Mestre Petchu and Vanessa. Marietta also specialized in Tarraxinha. She guarantees to keep you laughing, while simultaneously building confidence in her students.
El Tiguere's father being a self taught musician imparted a feel and love for music that would permeate all that El Tiguere does. Some of El Tiguere's earliest memories are of going to the NY night spots with his mother to dance the night away. El Tiguere has been dancing formally (studio taught) for three years and got his name for his swaggy, sexy and sometimes unconventional style of dancing. A true believer in dance what you feel, El Tiguere loves and embraces all styles of dancing, however, his true loves are Bachata and Mambo. A passionate teacher, El Tiguere has been teaching students what he knows about dance since his third month dancing!
Enter Dj Dio, his approach to deejaying comes with a passion for music and dance. He is able to give the dancer the full range of what bachata, salsa, kizomba has to offer. To him there is nothing more rewarding than keeping the dance floor full of energy. A resident in many Houston hot spots and a favorite DJ at many dance congresses and festivals. Dj Dio likes to bring that sexy tropical flavor. Once you enter a room where he's mixing live you'll never want to leave.
Ramón is a veteran in the San Antonio Latin Dance community. He is one of the most humble and popular social dancers in Texas. He has also performed with one of San Antonio's most influential Latin Dance Studios, SEMENEYA. His wealth of knowledge and experience in the social dance scene gives him great perspective when he DJs. He is able to play a variety of music styles, ensuring that the dance floor always stays alive.