ARTISTS

**2018 Artists below. 2019 Artists to be announced**

HAROLD & REGAN (Canada)

Introducing our first international artists from Canada, Harold Rancano and Regan Hirose! Harold and Regan are a Latin dance couple best known for their energetic, and acrobatic flair on stage. Based out of Winnipeg, the flavorful couple has achieved plenty of success on both a national and international level, most notably being two-time World Bachata Cabaret Champions as of 2017 and currently two-time Canadian Bachata Champions.

Aside from competition, the duo also directs RHR Latin Dance Company and Cubanisimo Dance Productions in their hometown, where they train and coach their teams and students, some of which are also World Champions.  They also coach and mentor various teams outside of their city by both teaching and creating choreography and most recently have launched their World teams in Japan, Florida, Montreal to name a few.

With all their success through competition, performing and teaching, the duo is currently living their dream as professional dancers traveling the world to share their vast knowledge of styles and various Latin rhythms such as; Salsa on 1, Salsa on 2, Bachata, Pachanga, Cuban Salsa, Cha cha cha and Lifts & Tricks. Whether it’s privates, group classes or to coach teams, the couple has the experience to adapt to any teaching environment.

ARTHUR & LAYSSA (Adelaide)

Back by popular demand!

Layssa was born in Rio de Janeiro – Brazil and at 14 years old she discovered her passion for Classical Ballet with her teacher Sandra Castro. Performer, Teacher and Choreographer, she started dancing Latin and Brazilian Ballroom Dance in 2007. She specialized in Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira during her years as part of Renata Peçanha’s Dance Company in Brazil, over this time she performed with the company at different events including Congresses and at Theatres. She won with the company the 1st Place in the “Onda Zouk“ Competition. Jazz, Classical Ballet and Contemporary are other dance styles that she studied for many years improving her technique. She has been also involved with the Márcia Pinheiro Company, where she choreographed shows of Ballet and Contemporary Dance.
From 2009 to 2012 Layssa taught and performed Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira both nationally and internationally in countries in Europe.
In 2013 Layssa started her new career with her new dance partner, Arthur Santos.

Arthur was born in Goiânia – Brazil and at 12 years old discovered his dance passion at high school with Jazz and Contemporary. Performer, Teacher and Choreographer, he started dancing Latin and Brazilian Ballroom in 2007 and after 3 months was invited to made part of Sport Dance’s Company where he learned Brazilian Zouk, Salsa, Samba de Gafieira, Bolero, Chachacha, Forró and one of his favorites Argentine Tango.
In December 2007 he did his first Zouk workshop with “The Queen of Zouk” Renata Peçanha in Goiânia and has never looked back. From 2008 till 2009, he went to study in Morelia – Mexico where he started to teach Brazilian dances at Mundo Dance Academy, and where he met Paulina Pousadas, today 7 times World Championship in Salsa On2, and she invited him to be part of her dance company MoreSalsa where he learned and improved his dance, especially on Salsa.

In 2012 Arthur opened his own school, Arthur Liebscher Dance Studio in Goiânia, and 2013 he and Layssa moved to Adelaide – Australia where they’ve been building a strong Brazilain Zouk and other Brazilian dance styles. Together they travel extensively around Australia and overseas to places like Singapore, Indonesia, Abu Dhabi, New Zealand and the USA. In 2015 they got their Distinguished Talent Visa in Australia, and in 2017 they became Directors of the Brasilatino in Adelaide.

GABRIEL & LETICIA (Argentina)

We loved these two last year so much that we’re bringing them back! Gabriel Salgado & Leticia Beltran have been performing and teaching at various international Congress since 2010. They are considered one of the best exponents of Urban Bachata, having won multiple championships worlwide.

They are recently won a the following titles:

• World Bachata Champions of Champions 1st Place 2015
• Argentinian Salsa Open Champions 2015
• World Bachata Masters 2nd Place 2015
• World Latin Dance Cup Bachata Cabaret Champions 2015
• Argentinian Salsa Open Champions 2014
• 2017 World Latin Dance Cup Champions

LUKAS & RENE (Melbourne)

With a deep foundation in various Latin and Afro-Latin dances for over 10 years, Lukas eventually dedicated much of his time to Kizomba and it’s styles, becoming one of the few certified Kizomba/Semba instructors of Australia. Learning from international greats home and abroad, Lukas has trained, taught and performed internationally in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. In 2015 Lukas is also the winner of the 1st Africadancar championship in Australia and the 1st Australian to compete in Kizomba internationally in Lisbon. Lukas is one of the few instructors in Australia certified in teaching Kizomba & Semba, his School is MKDA (Melbourne Kizomba Dance Academy) previously known as Mundo Style (now Mundo Style Entertainment).

At a very young age Rene had already been training in various styles of dance including belly dancing from the age of 4, completing her cert 4 in dance by high school to then eventually completing her Latin ballroom medals. Rene began her performance career within the circus life as a lifts artist and contortionist before finding her love for dancehall and other west Africa styles dancing. Since the beginning of 2016 Rene found kizomba before becoming part of the MKDA team early 2017 teaching and performing with Lukas Enciso.

JAIME & SERA (Sydney)

Jaime Jesus is back, and once again brings to NZ another one of his amazing proteges and one of Australias Newsest Sensations Sera Fichera!
Together they are Australian Bachata Professional Champions 2017.
https://youtu.be/E7JycQCV2-A

Sera is also Australian Samba Professional Champion 2017.
https://youtu.be/vJv_zX5FcdM

And Multiple times Australian Professional Reggaeton Champion as part of the very famous LDA Reggatoneras Team..
https://youtu.be/w0SenUA6QhE

DEBRALEE (Sydney)

One of Latin Dance Australia’s Senior Instructors for Brazilian Samba and Reggaeton, Debralee’s dance experience spans over the last 25 years. Intensively studying RAD Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz, Tap, Folk and Hip Hop since the tender age of 5 yrs old with Jenny Kay School of Dance led her to acceptance in 1999 into the prestigious Brent Street Full-time Performing Arts Course where she was awarded the Certificate IV in Performing Arts.

Debralee then turned her sights onto the Latin World, where she studied Brazilian Samba under Marcia Percival and Amy Mills, and Reggaeton under Mary Grace Brown.

She is now one of the leading Reggaeton and Brazilian Samba Instructors in NSW, selected to judge both Samba and Reggaeton competitions in Sydney and has been performing, teaching and choreographing for audiences Nationally and Internationally for the last 10 years.

LEO & BECKY (Brazil / Christchurch)

Leonardo Neves and Becky are Professional Dance Teachers whom currently travel the World Dancing, specializing in Brazilian Zouk, Samba de Gafieira and other Brazilian Dance Styles. They are invited to Teach and Perform at Congresses, Workshops and Festivals all over the World

Leonardo Neves begun dancing at 8 years old as a part of an after school program, this is where his interest in Dance begun. Leonardo then spent 6 years attending various dance schools he studied Bolero, Soltinho, Samba and Forro. When he was 14 years old he went to Renata and Adilio’s Dance School, here he studied Zouk, and other Brazilian styles of dance for 7 Years. Over this time he performed with the company at different events including Congresses and at Theatres. He competed with various dance partners and won the 1st Place in the “Onda Zouk“ Competition. After some time he became the dance partner of Renata Pecanha, he traveled, taught and performed with her Nationally. From 2009 to 2012 he traveled both Nationally and Internationally teaching and performing these Choreography from small events to some of the biggest Congresses in the World. He is now a well known and recognized teacher by many people in the dance scene. At the beginning of 2013 Leonardo started his new career with Becky Neves, they have many exciting travels and congresses planned for the year, to share the love of dancing around the world.

Becky began dancing in High School where she studied Dance as a Subject. She learnt to Choreograph, Document and Videograph different styles of dance. She then went into Latin American Dancing at Colleen Murray Dance Studio, during this time she studied a little of Samba, Jive, Cha Cha Cha, and Rumba in the Latin American Genre. She competed in local Dancesport competitions in her level and made a placing in every competition. Within 10 months of training she competed in one of the biggest dance competitions in New Zealand in 30 years the ISDF. The same day she was selected to go to Australia to dance on a television program called ‘Strictly Dancing’. After a few competitions and a few years she started dancing more of the Street Latin Styles with Latin Fire, with them she studied Salsa, Street Cha, Merengue and Bachata. She performed and competed with them for some years. In this time she entered into the South Islands (Teachers Level), the Nationals (Professional level) and even started a Bachata Team which she trained and took to the New Zealand Pacific Salsa Congress. Her team was selected to Perform in Australia at the Sydney Salsa Congress. Becky then began her interest in Zouk and Samba and traveled to Brazil to expand her knowledge in these styles of dance. She taught on a Cruise ship event organized by ‘World Salsa Tours’. She has been training very hard since with Leonardo Neves. She is the Dance Partner of Leonardo who is an International Professional Artist who specializes in Brazilian Dance.

RICK & ALEX (LA/USA)

Alex Balgood Started training in 2004 with World renowned instructors Melissa Fernandez and Luis Vazquez, winning her first place title as amateur at the Conga Room in 2005, trained by World Champion Abel Peña. In 2006 she join the dance company Magic Mambo , collaborating in her couple routines along with the director Jose Cheverria. Alex won first place amateur at Moonson 2006 and 2009, and was a Finalist at the World famous Mayan competition 2006, 2007, 2008. Between 2014- 2016 she was part of Omambo Dance Company directed by Omar Muñoz before becoming an instructor  for Latin Spice Dance Company with Rick Jimenez.

CHLOE (NZ / Euro based)

Chloe began dancing Salsa at 15 and quickly became a leader and teacher to younger students in after school classes. In these early years she was selected to represent Nelson and New Zealand at various national and Australian events both in teams and as a solo dancer.

Since moving to Wellington in 2009 she began training and performing with the performance team Salsacalafragalistic founded by Jacob Rosevear and teaching for the well known local school, Salsa Magic – Latin Dance School.

In 2012 she co-created the performance team The Clave Collective with Jacob Rosevear which grew to more than 30 members. The team forged a proud reputation of the highest standards on and off the dance floor. It’s members went on to perform and compete around the world winning numerous Salsa and other Latin dance titles.

As Chloe’s passion for Salsa and street Latin dance grew, so did her hunger for knowledge and dance training. She has proudly worked personally with many Latin international artists in training and choreography including Serena Cuevas (USA), Elli Torres & Carlos Galliano (AUS), Gaby Equiz (MEX), Serigo Jasso (MEX) Mariano Nerris (USA), Sharon Parkir (AUS) and Greydis Montero Liranza (CUBA & NZ). After performing at the Los Angeles Latin Festival in 2016 she moved to Italy to study Salsa and other Latin styles full time with professionals including Fernando Sosa, Tatiana Bogurno, Adolfo Indacochea, Tania Canarsa and Jhesus Aponte among others.

Chloe is currently residing in Hamburg Germany but continues to train as a solo dancer for competition and performance, she is also dancing with Mambo Magic, Adolfo Indacochea’s student team. She continues to work with Salsa Magic in Wellington choreographing routines and working with the teaching team over video.

EMILY (Christchurch)

Director of E Dance Productions, Emily started in the Salsa scene back in 2007. Emily toured around New Zealand, Australia and Asia with her dance partner for 4 years, specialising and developing the growth of Bachata. With the travel and access to top performers and instructors, Emily was able to increase her knowledge and share her passion with her students. The combination of hard work and top instructors have shaped the way Emily dances today. Her passion in dance ranges from Salsa, Bachata and Cha Cha. Since then she started E Dance Productions in 2012, which has already won two National titles. “My passion is to empower men and women and to teach them self worth. I love to style in dance and to do that, you need to believe in yourself. Technique is always fundamental, but you need to nurture yourself to see your dancing grow.”

Some of the many awards E Dance Productions and Emily Glubb have achieved: 1st in Latin & Salsa Shines Teams, Female Salsa Soloist (NZ Latin Dance Cup), 1st Latin & Salsa Shines Teams, Same Gender (NZ Salsa Solo), 1st Latin & Salsa Shines Teams (South Island Competition), 1st Salsa & Latin Shines Teams, Open Salsa Couple (NZ Salsa Open)
World Latin Dance Cup in Miami: 3rd Place with Lucy MacVicar same gender pro couple
NZ Latin Dance Cup: 1st Salsa Shines Team and Female Salsa Soloist
South Island Competiton: 1st Latin Shines Team and Open Couple
World Salsa Solo: 1st Same Gender, 3rd Latin Shines Team, 3rd Female Cha Cha Cha Soloist

TAMAS & CHELSEA (Hungary/Wellington)

Tamas’ passion for Kizomba started in Lisbon, Portugal, 2010, where he first encountered and fell deeply into the dance and culture of Kizomba.  With a solid background in other styles of dance, Tamas had a pivotal opportunity to learn from Mestre Petchú, the first Angolan teacher who developed a methodology for teaching Kizomba (so called “Geometry of Kizomba”).

After completing this intense instructional course in 2011, Tamas began sharing his new found knowledge, enriching his own students with core fundamentals and growing the Kizomba community in his hometown, Budapest, Hungary.  Based on Petchú’s teachings of West-African / Angolan culture and the Geometry of Kizomba, Tamas integrated this with his own methodology of teaching Kizomba, focusing on the engagement of the audience and teaching reliable techniques that result in a unique Kizomba experience.

Tamas is currently based in Wellington, New Zealand where he gives workshops and privates on demand. Moreover, he permanently works on building the local kizomba community to grow it bigger than ever was.

Tamas is the founder of the Hungarian Kizomba Association and the annually held event YES Kizomba & Afro Festival.  His profound understanding of Kizomba and sought after teaching style resulted in many formal invitations by organizers of major and popular European and International Kizomba scenes, events and festivals.

Below is a snapshot history of where Tamas has taught:

Here is a snapshot history of where Tamas has taught:
Sydney International Afro Kizomba Festival | Sydney 2017, Melbourne Kizomba Festival | Melbourne 2015, Australian Kizomba Festival | Melbourne 2015, Absolut Kizomba Festival | Adelaide 2015, Bailar Kizomba Festival | Sydney 2015, Melbourne Kizomba Festival | Melbourne 2014, LIKE – London edition | London, UK 2014, TOMA-TOMA festival | Bratislava, Slovakia 2014, Salsa Addicted Festival (SAF) | Timisoara, Romania 2014, Lisbon International Kizomba Energy Festival (LIKE) | Lisbon, Portugal 2013, Kizomba Italian Festival Event (KIFE) | Trieste, Italy 2013, Kizomba Milano Festival | Milan, Italy 2013, And many more..

VIVIO (Cuba / Auckland)

Director of The Cuban Groove Dance School in Auckland, Isbert (Vivio) Ramos is New Zealand’s leading male Cuban dancer, having trained at the National School of Arts in Havana and with over forty years experience as a professional dancer and teacher. His experience includes dancing with The Ballet of Camaguey in Cuba, performing and teaching for Danza Contemporaria de Cuba, creating choreography and performing in the Lady Salsa show, which toured all over the world, as well directing and choreographing the Cuban Carousel show, which toured New Zealand. Additionally, he has been a judge and instructor at various national and international latin dance events and festivals.

Be captivated by the dynamic energy created during one of Vivio’s classes, where you will experience a journey within Cuban dance and music.

 

REUBEN & MIA (Christchurch)

Reuben is a NZ Professional Salsa Champion, Judge for many NZ & Australian Salsa Dance Competitions and is the director/owner of ‘Salsa Latina’ Dance Centre in Christchurch, one of the few full time Latin dance teachers around. He has extensive teaching & performance experiences in many various styles in Latin dance and has trained vast amounts of dancers, some of which are still in the scene today doing extremely well. For over a decade his dancers & teams have achieved many prestigious NZ & Aust Champion titles including NZ & Aust Salsa Team Champions & this year in 2017, both his Salsa & Mambo teams became NZ national Champions again. Reuben started dancing Cuban/Miami Salsa & Brazilian Samba/Axé & Lambada back in late 1999 and moved into linear styles around 2005. Since then, he has learnt from countless local & international teachers, constantly learning and upgrading skills which have developed a unique personal style. However his passion & favoured styles are still Salsa on1 & on2, closely followed by Kizomba & Bachata. For 15 years he has also DJ’d at weekly event & organised many large scale Latin dance events in the South Island including the Hanmer Salsa Winter Festival & finally he has taught & djayed at most of the NZ Congresses over the years. Mia is orignally from Bali Indonesia, has been dancing Salsa for almost a decade with Salsa Latina and has a dance history since a child. Now teaching along side Reuben for the last few years and has won countless competitions in solo, couple & team categories, in New Zealand and Australia, with Scott her performance partner.

RAFAEL (Cuba / Wellington)

Born in Cuba on the eve of Carnival, Rafael has dancing in his blood.  From winning “best male performer” at his first international dance festival at age 10, he went on to compete and perform all over Cuba, including at the renowned Festival del Caribe in Santiago de Cuba and Teatro Nacional de Habana.  Specialising in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian dance, Rafael worked as a professional dancer and choreographer in Havana before moving to Wellington in 2005 and founding CubanFusion where he teaches everything Cuban… from Rumba to Cubatón, including Afro-Cuban Contemporary.

A regular at congresses and festivals in New Zealand and Australia, Rafael is famous for his high energy and fun teaching style, dynamic performances and signature big smile.

In addition to being a dancer and choreographer Rafael is a sought after singer and percussionist and performs in a wide range of bands, including his very own Afro-Cuban jazz band AfroKan.  It’s this sound understanding of musicality that brings an added dimension to his teaching talent.

Rafael looks forward to sharing his knowledge of and passion for Cuban dance with you at Congress this year.

BEN & FERN (Auckland)

Ben Hammond an 11x Street Latin dance champion has taken New Zealand by storm with his non-conforming performances . His ability to continue to grow and push the gender bending norms has had his invited to perform and teach at some of the most prestigious events across Australasia , as well as working with some of the top artists in the country and co-coaching one of New Zealands most wanted teams along side Fern Ngatai .Through his work he hopes to share his love and knowledge , challenging the way others think and create their art .

Fern Ngatai is an indigenous Maori creative specialising in Latin dance, whose work is based around the concept of restoring self belief into others and breaking moulds by using dance as a tool to communicate this message. Fern who is currently holding 1st Place in the Reggaeton Freestyle shines section, first discovered her love for dance through Street dance. Which later lead her into all Latin Genres, Reggaeton being her main Style. She has been invited to travel, teach and compete internationally. Fern is a wahine toa who puts her feminine energy in to her art forms but delves into her masculine side freely. Bringing a unique style to the scene, while breaking gender roles to embrace her true essence in Dance is who Fern is.

ADAM & LEONA (Wellington)

Adam began dancing the fun style of Cuban Salsa in 2007, then fell in love with and began dancing the passionate and flowing Brazilian Zouk in 2010. Also to compliment these styles he has a keen interest in dancing the beautiful Bachata and funky Samba de Gafieira. Adam has learnt from a diverse range of the world’s best Brazilian Zouk teachers, both in New Zealand and abroad. They include Kadu and Larissa, Allison and Audrey, William and Paloma, Lidio and Monique, Adilio, Alex and Daniela, Renata and Jorge and more. Adam is also involved in ethnic Polish folk dancing and is heavily involved in keeping this tradition alive. He has been teaching, trained, competed and performed in New Zealand and abroad since 2008 in all of the dance styles. This wide diversity of dance styles has given Adam a very good understanding of the variety of particular body movements needed accentuate each style of dance. Adam has been teaching Brazilian Zouk, Salsa and Bachata as part of the Salsa Therapy team since 2012.

Leona started ballroom dancing at the age of 14. After several years of lessons, many tests with
results of high level points and being tightly involved in ballroom dancing, she discovered salsa at the age of 18. Although never having learnt any fundamental steps in latin dancing, Leona soon learnt to understand, follow and love Salsa and other Latin dance styles by travelling to different countriesand dancing in different cities.
The first time she saw Brazilian Zouk was at the NZ Salsa Congress in 2009 and she instantly fell in love with the flow of the dance, the connection of the dancers and the variety of music you
could dance Zouk to.
One year later Leona started her Zouk journey by attending classes at Salsa Therapy and going to her first Zouk events in New Zealand and Australia.
She has a great fundamental base in Brazilian Zouk and continues to learn by travelling to Zouk
congresses and learning of the worlds top Zouk artists.
Since october 2012 Leona has been teaching and performing Brazilian Zouk together with Adam as part of the Wellington Salsa Therapy Team.
Team performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8IImLoTvhY

Other confirmed guest instructors…

  • Jacob & Tara (Wellington)

  • Rafa & Georgia (Wellington)

  • Ricardo & Yan (Auckland)

  • Irina & Rene (Whanganui)

  • Saione & Emily (Auckland / Dunedin)

  • Mark & Anabela (Auckland)

  • Francisco & Javiera (Auckland)