NZ Salsa Congress Artists. Watch this space for 2021 announcement.


YESSICA & ANDRES (Colombia & Spain)

Yessica Gil & Andres Montoya

Professional Dancers and Latin Styles teachers.
5 times Bachata Champions – Bachatart World Champions 2019
Two-time Bachata Champions Bachatart Spain
1st Place Bachata Open Spain
World Champions Bachata Open Spain
2nd Place World Bachata Fusion
2nd place Bachata Summer

EDYTA & MARCO (Poland & Italy)

International instructor, choreographer and performer of carribean dances born in Warsaw, Poland currently living in Milan, Italy. Connected with dance since early childhood, studying various technics like jazz, contemporary, reggaeton, cuban afro, zouk, samba which enrich her salsa and bachata dancing. Performing and teaching on international stages since the age of 14. For nearly 6 years dance partner of Talal Benlahsen and for 3 years one of the main dancers of Latin Soul Dancers by Adolfo Indacochea. Her positive personality, professionalism and passion make people follow her everywhere she goes. The most important thing for her is to transmit the postive energy to people through the dance.

Internacional instructor and performer of salsa born in Milano, Italy. Moved first steps in salsa when he was 27 years old. At the age of 30 years old he got the chance to dance in the Latin Soul Dancers of Adolfo Indacochea. From that moment he danced for 8 years next to Adolfo in the most important congresses of the world and improved his skills in salsa thanks to The Maestro. He trained most of the members of the group and his knowledge about salsa New York style technique has given him the chance to teach in the most important mambo Academy (LSD MILANO), in the famous and unique Sosa Academy and in many international events. He is also the promoter of the Londoner event called MASTER JAM.


We welcome back world renowned Latin dance and Zouk professionals KADU PIRES and LARISSA THAYANE! Kadu and Larissa started dancing together in 2005 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2007 they moved to Australia where they worked at Rio Rhythmics Latin Dance School for 5 years, in 2012 they founded their school called K&L Dance.

Kadu was born in Sao Paulo where he started his studies in Latin dance. At 18 years old he moved to Rio de Janeiro where he started teaching and performing with Jimmy de Oliveira and Alex de Carvalho dance companies.

Larissa was born in Campo Mourao, Parana. At 14 years old she moved to Curitiba where she graduated at Escola de Danças Classicas Teatro Guaira in ballet and contemporary. She also joined the University of Dance (Faculdade de Artes do Parana). 4 years later Larissa got hired to work at the Youth Company of Rio de Janeiro Theatre where they performed all over Brazil. One of the highlights of her career was to perform at the Kennedy Centre with the National Symphonic Orquestra in Washington DC, USA.

Since 2007, they spend up to 46 weekends in the year travelling to teach, perform, choreograph and judge at the world’s most important dance events and competitions. They have been instrumental in boosting the popularity of Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira internationally. Their credits include competition wins and television appearances in Brazil and in Australia where they lived for 10 years, including choreographing for So You Think You Can Dance Australia and judging at the World Latin Dance Cup.

In 2013 they founded the K&L Dance School in Brisbane which taught over 200 students and Casa do Zouk congress in the Gold Coast, Australia which attracts over 500 participants every year!

In 2014 Larissa founded the Brazilian Zouk Dance Council (BZDC). The Brazilian Zouk Dance Council serves, supports, and promotes all aspects of Brazilian Zouk. BZDC encourages the growth of Zouk throughout the world. The Council is supported by its board of directors – Gilson Damasco, Renata Peçanha, Alex de Carvalho, Rodrigo Delano, Kadu Pires, Larissa Thayane, Rafael Oliveira, Jaime Aroxa, Phillip Miha and Freddy Marinho. In 2014 the first BZDC oficial Brazilian Zouk Jack and Jill took place at Casa do Zouk in Australia, since then registered competitions are gaining popularity all over the world.

Today they are based in Los Angeles – USA, where they began the K&L Teachers Training Certificate (K&LTT) and are working to improve the growth of Zouk in North America. They have also been dedicating time studying and competing West Coast Swing, their new passion. Kadu and Larissa placed on Showcase division at the US Open Swing in the last 3 years.

Gonzalo-Jhoana (Chile & Peru)

For the second consecutive year GONZALO returns to NZ Salsa Congress, to share with the salsa community in New Zealand. He is the Founder & Director of ‘Dansón Studio Latin Dance Academy’ in Santiago – Chile, and one of the most recognized Salsa Choreographers in the country. He began his career as a professional Salsa Dancer in 2015 (Cuban and New York Style), where he has excelled as a male soloist while collaborating with professional teams and other professional dancers.

Gonzalo has participated in a number of congresses and championships around the world, including Chile, Argentina, Peru, Panama, Cuba, the USA and Italy. In World Salsa Summit 2019 (Miami), he collaborated with the professional team ‘La Casa Del Mambo’, representing Chile and winning 3rd place in the competition. 2 times Professional Male Soloist Champion at South American Championships held in Chile (International Chile Salsa Congress 2018 – Copa Minga 2019).

This year Gonzalo will be joined by the amazing JHOANA PALHUA, a professional dancer with 6 years of experience, who has become the pride of a new generation of Salsa and Bachata dancers from Peru, with multiple International awards and South American championships, mainly as soloist. She is Director and Instructor of her own company ‘Ladies Move Peru’ in Lima, founded in 2018.

Jhoana is currently 6 times world champion of Salsa and Bachata at a professional level. The titles obtained during 2019 gives her the direct classification to the semi-final of the prestigious world championship ‘La Negra Salsa’ which will be held in Spain in May 2020. A summary of Jhoana’s latest achievements in Salsa and Bachata are as follows:

• 1st Solo Category Female Salsa Pro, World Latin Dance Cup Qualifying Peru 2017
• 3rd Solo Female Bachata Pro. World Salsa Summit 2019
• 2nd Solo Female Pro Salsa + 2nd Solo Female Bachata Pro, Euroson Latino World Salsa Championship 2019
• 1st Solo Category Female Salsa Pro + 1st Solo Female Bachata Pro, Trujillo Latin Fest 2019
• 1st Solo Category Female Salsa Pro + National Minga Cup Championship 2019, Santiago, Chile.
• 1st Solo Female Bachata Pro, Peru Latin Fest 2019
• 1st Solo Category Female Salsa Pro, Peru Latin Fest 2019 South American
• 1st Solo Female Bachata Pro + 1st Solo Category Female Salsa Pro, World Latin Dance Cup 2019

• 1st Duo Salsa Pro Female + 1st Duo Bachata Female Pro, World Latin Dance Cup 2019
• 1st Duo Salsa Pro Female, Euroson Latino World Salsa Championship 2019

• 1st Ladies Bachata Pro + 3rd Ladies Amateur Sauce, Euroson Latino World Salsa Championship 2019
• 2nd Category Ladies Amateur Sauce, World Latin Dance Cup 2017
• 1st Ladies Amateur Sauce, World Latin Dance Cup Qualifying Peru 2017

This year Gonzalo and Jhoana started working together as a couple which we are thrilled to see at the NZ Salsa Congress!


Vibrant and charismatic Latin Styles teacher, specialized in Mambo Boogaloo and Pachanga. Erick has an extensive background as a Dance Instructor and judge for National and International competitions. General Director and Producer of MAMBO MAGIC, one of the most important Salsa events in Chile.






JAIME JESUS Director of Latin Dance Australia is joined this year with seasoned professionals SERA and MARY-GRACE







JEREMY & LEA (New Caledonia)

Jérémy and Léa are true passionate Kizomba and Urbankiz dancers from New Caledonia who have traveled and taught at Australian festivals, around New Zealand, and learnt from the best instructors in Europe.

They have been teaching with passion over the past 4 years mainly in New Caledonia.




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.

BARI & WIMMY (Wellington)

WIMMY WIMMY has been dancing since she was 6 years old and fell in love with partnered dance in 2013. She discovered Kizomba during her dance trip in Sydney and has gone through miles to learn from international Kizomba experts. She is a passionate instructor, always strives to teach the best techniques and explains them very thoroughly.

BARI CHIN has been dancing since 2000 with experience in ballroom styles, capoeira, breakdancing, gymnastics and latin styles such as Cuban Salsa and Bachata. Bari has taken a focus on Kizomba & Salsa.

After many years teaching some complex movements in break dancing, capoeira and gymnastic, Bari has a real talent in explaining the body movements in a variety.  Even if you think you have two left feet you’ll come out loving Kizomba.

Together Bari & Wimmy run Wellington’s Danca, the home of  Kizomba.




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.

Other confirmed guest instructors…

  • Jacob & Chloe (Wellington)

  • Claudio & Javiera (Auckland)

  • More artist to be confirmed soon!