Juan Mejia & Melanie

Juan, born in Bayaguana DR, learned the authentic and traditional style of bachata naturally while dancing in the DR for most of his life. Today, he is a product of his immense love for bachata and his desire to continuously improve his dance. His style is classic, soft, and full of expressions that respect the accents of the music. You will have the great opportunity to experience and to become infected with this wonderful style. Juan currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland, where he continues to contribute to the growth of classic bachata dance. He has taught at many events including the Baltimore Salsa and Bachata Congress, FTLOB in Pittsburgh, Bachata Saturday in NYC, and Passionate in NC. At his own school 'Bachata Fix RD', originally founded in his hometown in the DR, he now teaches weekly classes across the greater Baltimore Metropolitan area. Come and be part of this wonderful event. "Bachateame Mami".

Pipo Alcala (Dominican Republic)

Pipo Alcala was born in San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic. His father, an outstanding "Sonero" dancer, passed on to him at an early age the passion for Latin Caribbean dances. In 2000, he founded his first dancing school "Pipo La Fama" where he trained the best Salsa dancers in the country (including some very famous sport stars like Sammy Sosa) and participated in various national competitions.

Named national champion in 2003, he took part in numerous demonstrations and exhibitions across the country, danced for various TV programs and international movies, « For Love or Country: the Arturo Sandoval Story » with Andy Garcia being one of them. He also set up choreographies for several of the biggest Dominican salsero’s concerts: Michel, Adruba, Keman Nuñez, Grupo Negro etc. In 2004, the singer Sexapil solicited Pipo in order to collaborate in the realization of his Emmy Award nominated video “Meneando la Cola”. At the end of 2004, he moved to Las Terrenas and created a new dancing school "Salsa Caribe". Since then, Pipo performed several times in congresses and events in Dominican Republic, Europe and North America.  Now he has moved to Montreal, Canada to spread the authentic bachata in his new homeland

Samy (France)


Samy El Magico is a professor, event organizer and Founder and President of the France based dance school Art & Dance Academy, the dance school offers 12 genres and is famous for it’s teaching pedagogy. .
The dance and the music has always been a big part of his life. He arrived in Paris 2001 as a DJ and event organizer, 2006 he started the first Latin club « El Quartier Latin » and throws the first bachata workshops. Being surrounded by South American artists he creates the events DominGo Loco, Home Of Bachata, Lady Loca, Festival 1,2, Troyes, concerts and show accommodates. He wins various competitions of Bachata in France and becomes a finalist to « King of Bachata ».
He works today in partnership with numerous Dominican artists, instructors and musicians, to which he is bound by a profound friendship. He participated the DR 1st Bachata Festival and became the key partner for the DR 2nd and DR 3rd.
Samy el Magico is the Partner of the Dominican Republic Bachata Festival organized by Bachata Ambassador. Samy participated the DR 1st Bachata Festival.
Samy el Magico has been teaching and performing in France, Italy, Germany, Spain, Morocco, Tunisia, Belgium, Dominican Republic and United States. During his world tours he has done programs for the television channels TV7, Channel 34, Univision and TV Estrell. He produced his first DVD BACHATEAME MAMI during his tour in California. He has danced for the famous bachata artists such as Teodore Reyes, Luis Miguel Del Amargue, El Pequeno de la Bachata, Joan Soriano, Bachata Heightz, Voz has Voz and Evidence.

Jennifer Benavidez (United Kingdom)

Jennifer Benavidez, now residing in London, England, is a Latin dance instructor/performer/ choreographer who is the co-owner of Extremos Salsa Dance School based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for the past 8 years. Dance, especially SALSA has been her passion for over 20 years. Born in San Antonio , Texas , USA , her Mexican heritage has given her dancing rico sabor (good flavour). She discovered 'partner' dancing in 1992, and has enjoyed training, teaching, performing and just plain dancing salsa all over the US , Europe and the Middle East .

You can see her in numerous TV/film projects such as VOC, Alleen Nog Een Man, Life and Cooking, I Love the 80's, Hoe? Zo!, Alternative Love, TMF, So You Think You Can Dance, The Way She Moves, and The Life of David Gayle. She has given workshops and performed for a diverse range of companies (ABN-AMBRO, National Geographic, ING, Martin Air, KLM, Belegger.nl, Unilever, Expatica and Amsterdam Police Department) , organizations (BBC, BNN,RTL5, The Music Factory TV) , and festivals (Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, UIT Markt, Latin Village, Vondel Park Summer Breeze, Rotterdam Summer Carnival, Roots Festival, ContraBanda, and Dansen Op Het Leidseplein)

In addition, Jennifer co-organized the Amsterdam International Salsa Festival for over 3 years, has judged numerous dance competitions and loves working with student showteams!
Jennifer Benavidez | Incognito Dance www.incognitodance.com, 31 May 2013

Tony Lara (Australia)

Born in Spain and former England and Italy resident, Tony Lara is the godfather of Bachata dancing! Tony Lara is one of the very first few people that promoted, performed and taught bachata all over the world. He currently owns several dance festivals and dance competitions around the world.

Promoter, Pioneeer, Judge, Teacher, Performer, Choreographer and DJ extraordinaire has taken the Latin world by storm over the last 12 years. Known as the “Bachata King” he has done probably more than anyone to spread this sensual Latin dance around the world today. He has taught bachata in 351 cities all over the world and is the organizer of Sexy and Sensual Latin Festival in London, as well as the host of Bachata World Champions competition.

Why is Tony so popular? the answer is simple, he loves what he does and he loves entertaining people, so it is no wonder he has travelled the globe bringing the love of Bachata and laughter to dancers from different cultures and backgrounds.

Tony’s classes are always engaging, cool and fun, his performances are creative, unique and inspiring and he loves social dancing with everyone, so if you not experienced Tony Lara catch him at a festival near you!

Gabi Pineda (Mexico)

Gabi grew up in Monterrey, Mexico listening to Colombian Vallenato and Regional Mexican Music from the state of Nuevo Leon. He started performing Mexican Folklorico when he was 6 years old. He moved to the USA at the age 10 and learned to dance Country 2 Step and Tejano Music. Later, he learned to dance Salsa and Mambo in 1991 from his neighbor in Houston, Texas who was a director of a Salsa Band.

His first Salsa Social was in 1994. He used to go out social dancing in Houston, Texas in the mid 90's and he got hooked. Aside from numerous legendary dance masters where he learned to dance with,  he very much credit his dance foundation under K'yuco Dance Co. under the tutelage of Salomon Amaya and Rocio Alcorta.
When he moved California in 2001, he became a guest instructor at Fresno State University in 2005. He also began teaching at local dance studios and nightclubs in central California where he performed numerous time.

Gabi Pineda became a well-known social dancer in California, Texas and dance congresses all over USA that promoter started noticing him.

After a couple of years teaching in Fresno and being active at dance communities in the USA, he started getting invited to teach by promoters in the USA and all over Mexico. He is well-known in teaching Salsa Structure and Concepts as well as Bachata.

As every serious dance enthusiasts and a true student of the art, he got deeper and became passionate with bachata that he began studying it's roots and history in 2008.  Later, he started teaching Bachata and it's roots in 2009 at major dance festivals. Gabi has also judged dance competitions in the USA and has often sought by dancers for coaching.

Gabi values the art of teaching dancing that his methodology revolves around 'organic', natural movements for social dancing. His #1 priority in teaching relies on connection, flow and natural movements.


Carlos Cinta (Chicago)

Carlos Cinta “El Cirujano”, is a world renowned Caribbean/Dominican Bachata expert and educator! Carlos has taught at many international festivals and events around the world. His first YouTube video attracted over 8 million hits! Because of his carefree, lighthearted and fun attitude towards dancing, people are ultimately drawn to his Bachata style and his teaching methods. Carlos is known for his unique teaching ability and “Bachata Musicality” Music Courses and has shared his passion of Caribbean Style Bachata to sold-out workshops at festivals all over the world. Carlos Cinta was born in San Francisco. He was raised in Chicago. Although Carlos’ first experiences of Bachata were not particularly pleasing, it was only after attending a club in Chicago and seeing Bachata danced with sensuality, passion and sexy moves that he truly fell in love with it. In 2010 Carlos collaborated with Joan Soriano, the world-renowned bachata artist and guitarist from the Dominican Republic, to create the first-ever Bachata musicality and timing CD. Visit www.bachatawithcarlos.com

Edwin Ferreras & Dakota (New York)

Edwin M. Ferreras is a New York based, Dominican-born dancer, instructor, and director of LFX Dancers. Edwin has performed and taught in dance congresses around the world including; Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, and Russia. He has also shared his passion for dance throughout the United States. Edwin teaches connection, musicality, leading and following techniques, as well as elements of Bachata music and dance, including roots and culture. His firm knowledge and understanding of music allows him to interpret and connect to it seamlessly. His focus on the sounds and detail of the instruments help him teach students to listen, feel, and create, as apposed to memorizing numbers, steps, and patterns. Edwin's content and ability to connect to students facilitates their learning and encourages them to express themselves in their own unique way. Edwin started dancing when he was a toddler at family functions and parties. By the age of 18 he entered the hip hop culture and dove into the world of breakdancing. He joined KR3Ts, under the instruction of Violeta Galagarza, where he learned about street dance. In 2007, while earning his BFA in Music and Dance Education in New York, Edwin founded a dance team. Leveraging his dance and music expertise, Edwin desired to put together a special team of dancers to fulfill their potential within the group’s now trademark “FUSION” style. This vision gave rise to LFX Dancers. In 2008, LFX had evolved from a college based team into a NYC-based teaching group. By 2013 LFX was incorporated as a dance company, offering dance performance and teaching services in the US and around the world. In addition to his work with LFX, Edwin has been teaching for the past 11 years and has been a key player in the development of the bachata scene in New York. He taught the first bachata classes, held at Piel Canela Dance School and at New York's first bachata party, Bachateame Mama. For the past six years, Edwin has served as the lead Bachata instructor at Joel Salsa Dance School. In 2015, Edwin met and began dancing with multitalented artist, Dakota Romero. In 2016 she became his dance partner and teaching assistant, traveling together to work in national and international events. Dakota is a professional artist; singer, dancer and actor. Her extensive training in music and dance started when she was a child. She has an impressive resume and her ability to learn quickly and effectively has made her a fitting counterpart to Edwin's work in the Latin dance community. Thus began their partnership, which has been captivating the world of dance. As a musician and choreographer, Edwin has had the opportunity to work with various artists including Luis Vargas, Kiko Rodriguez, and Luis Miguel del Amargue, to name a few. Edwin was featured on Telemundo in a news segment called Fiebre de la Bachata. As a scholar, he continues to research the deep roots of early Afro-Latin dances (Bachata, Bolero, Son, and Merengue) to further his growth as an ambassador and advocate for social dances and their authenticity. Dakota Romero is a multicultural, Los Angeles native Singer, Dancer, and Actor. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Dakota studied ballet as a child. She appeared in her first production, Hansel & Gretel (ballet), sparking her love for theater. She later performed in musicals such as Godspell (at the Alex Theater), and The Wiz of Oz (as Dorothy), to name a few. In high school, Dakota studied dance at world renowned dance studios such as The Millenium Complex, Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio, and EDGE Performing Arts Center. She took classes from Los Angeles' most influential choreographers including Jayson Wright, Marty Kudelka, and Dante. During class, Dakota was scouted and hired by the producers of Sesame Street, casting her in a Cartoon Network hip hop music video. Dakota has always loved exploring and learning new styles of dance. She has dabbled in Belly Dance, Swing, and Flamenco, where she studied under the late legendary Maestro Teo Morca. After completing a 14 city arena concert tour in Europe, and while earning her BFA in Music, Dakota spent the summer in Paris, where she was introduced to, and fell in love with, Bachata. Upon returning to the states newly inspired, Dakota continued to pursue her passion for latin dance, a seed that was planted in her as a young girl, by her grandmother. Coincidentally, just before moving to New York, Dakota met Edwin Ferreras at a workshop in New Mexico, and the two have been dancing together ever since. Dakota quickly found a home within NYC's latin fusion dance team LFX Dancers, and became Edwin's dance partner and teaching assistant. Together they have been performing and teaching Merengue, Bachata, and Bolero around the world

Jorge Elizondo (Dallas)

Jorge Elizondo was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas, where the sounds of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the United States meet. In this unique environment, Jorge trained in music theory and Latin dance and developed "Bachata Fusion," a style of dance that combines turn patterns and body movements from traditional Bachata, Tango, Cha Cha, and Salsa with many original moves. The end result is an expressive, active style of dance that removes all barriers and allows dancers to be more creative.

Formerly a public school teacher, Jorge's passion for teaching equals his passion for dancing. His Bachata BootCamp tour has taken him to over 400 cities throughout North America, South America, Asia, Australia, Europe, where he has taught tens of thousands of students.
Throughout all his journeys, he has continued to develop new concepts to share with the world. He has produced 37 instructional DVDs ranging from beginning bachata to salsa, and his work has been sold in over 40 countries. His strong leading abilities and worldwide exposure also earned him a place in the "World's Best Leads" DVD created by the world-renowned Edie the Salsa Freak.

Jorge's mission is to spread the love of bachata all over the world and encourage people to live a healthier, more active lifestyle

Ryan Rockstar & Evie (SF)

RYAN "THE ROCKSTAR" and EVIE ALVA Ryan “The Rockstar” has dedicated his heart and soul to Bachata, Salsa, Zouk, and Kizomba and went from simply doing moves, to deeply feeling the rhythm and music. He’s gone from turning his partners to turning heads, and from simply grasping the dances, to being one of the driving forces towards everyone being their own Rockstar on the floor. 8 years ago, he stepped into his first Bachata lesson, and his life changed forever. He was teaching a year later, and has since become famous for his Bachata Romantica workshop series world wide. Blending sensuality, connectivity, and love, with a variety of different dances styles, these workshops help dancers tap into their inner romantic, unlocking a dancer's personal presence and style. True to his moniker, Ryan can always be found on the social dance floor til it closes down, and has been lauded for being one of the most approachable and dedicated social dancers. Ask for a dance and you will get 110%! Two years ago, he met Evie Alva, and the instant chemistry they had has fueled an amazing partnership. She started her dance career in multiple forms of technique- martial arts, gymnastics, and eventually ballet. She has over 8 years of Latin and ballroom teaching experience: from salsa, to bachata, ballet, hip-hop, contemporary, Bollywood, zouk, kizomba, forro, samba, belly dance, flamenco, and more! She has trained and taught in India, Brazil, and USA. Combining technique from belly dance and ballet, and infusing it with Latin styling, her specialty lies in teaching ladies styling, bachata styling, spinning technique, follow-technique, body isolation (belly dance), and Brazilian dances. Together the two are bringing connection, affection, emotion, and fun back to Bachata. Get ready to open your mind and your heart! For private lessons, group lessons, or inquires, email Ryan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. And Evie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Jimmy JSmooth Bui

With 16 years of cumulative dance experience, Jimmy "JSmooth" Bui has had formal university education in dance for four years during which time he was educated in Body Mechanics, Physics, and Dance Showcase Performance. He has applied that experience through instruction and performances during his career as a dance studio owner and instructor for J Smooth Salsa. Since 1997 his experience includes 2 years of ballroom dance, 16 years of Salsa dance, 6 years of Bachata dance, 1 year of competitive dancing, and 11 years of professional dance instruction.

Jimmy never once thought he would be Salsa dancer, or any dancer for that matter. He took one introductory dance class because his best friend told him he should or else be the awkward groom at his own wedding. Today, the former, shy high-school band player, now a successful entrepreneur, leads one of San Jose's successful non-profit organizations.

In 1999 Jimmy began to take salsa lessons from instructors in the bay area. Rather than sticking to just one instructor, he educated himself with classes from a variety of instructors very early on. Lessons offered from dancers such as Josie Neglia, Alex D'Silva, Jake Jacobs, and Jean-Carlo helped shape a dance style that was unique to him.

Since August 2002, Jimmy has been an instructor of Salsa and Bachata dance at his startup non-profit, J Smooth Salsa. Based at the Miraido Studio in San Jose, he has made many contributions to his community by offering free dance lessons, donating time and money to various organizations, participating in youth guidance programs, and supporting many of his peer dance instructors through assistance or advertising.

In 2007 Jimmy began to take Bachata lessons from Bachata pioneer Rodney Rodchata Aquino. The years of experience have enabled to dance all forms of Bachata which include Dominican, Modern, and Traditional while teaching his own style of Bachata.

Now a seasoned dance instructor and entrepreneur, Jimmy devotes his attention to judging and guest dance instructions at dance festivals.

Rodney Rodchata Aquino

Aside from being the first organize to bring Bachata Festival in the USA (Reno & San Francisco in 2009), Rodney is also a one-time co-organizer of the very first Dominican Republic Bachata Festival in Santo Domingo.

A top organizer of bachata festivals all over and with over 150,000 subscribers in his newsletter and over 30,000 friends combined in myspace, twitter, tribe and facebook, Rodney Rodchata Aquino is a popular Latin Dance instructor, promoter and lecturer in the world. He was the first man in history to ever organize the very 1st international bachata festival in USA (Reno Bachata Convention, SF Bachata Festival), and co-organize Lithuanian Bachata Festival, DC Bachata Congress, and soon in Hawaii, Seattle and Puerto Vallarta. Solely responsible for revolutionizing bachata dance in USA, RODCHATA, as bachateros intimately calls him, has been in the Latin Dance scene for over 15 years and is considered the foremost authority in the bachata dance, both Dominican and Modern styles. He recently launched his much awaited dance DVD line up, Latin Dance Stimulus, a 5-volume of dance instructional DVDs of bachata, salsa and merengue.

A certified instructor, his dance background includes Latin International Ballroom, salsa (on1, on2 mambo, and Cuban son, Casino), cumbia, chachacha, merengue and bachata. His first encounter of the bachata dance was in the New York area in the 90’s. He embarked himself into dancing bachata and studying the culture and since revolutionized bachata dancing in USA and the world.

He is the founder of the Salsagang.com (MySalsaNetwork), a dance website that revolutionized salsa dancing in the Bay Area. He also founded iBachata.net, and Rodchata.com that produces successful events such as Annual Reno Intl Bachata Convention, Annual San Francisco Bachata International Festival, Club Bachata and Havanisimo events. He had the opportunity to teach the Latin Dance at major events all over Europe, Asia, Australia, USA and beyond. Aside from teaching all over the world, he also teaches regular bachata and salsa classes all over the Bay Area.

Rodchata has MA in Counseling Psychology and is presently a PhD student. He is a certified Personal Fitness Trainer and holds a 4th Degree Black Belt in the Martial Arts. His experience in the Martial Arts for 20 years and his background in Fitness Training plays a vital role on his effectiveness as a dance teacher.