TRAIN WITH THE BEST IN BACHATA!
maestro carlos leonel paulino
Carlos has also been an instrumental part of our BachaTour! with Baila Con Pasión since the very first event we hosted! Carlos's zest for life, 'pasión' for people and of course for the dances of his country, make him an instructor who's workshops you do NOT want to miss! This includes an impromptu animation right in the middle of the club, that bring people to their feet and to the dance floor! Carlos teaches one of his workshops on the beach of La Isla Saona which gets the whole island dancing! Carlos is also with us for various nights out dancing as well as on our daytrip to La Isla Saona.
More of his bio...coming soon!
Bachata Workshop with
Carlos Leonel Paulino & Cassandra de Mercedes
Our Very Own Directors!
Cassandra and Pedro Mercedes
Cassandra has dedicated her entire life to her art and began her journey in Ballet at the age of 2 she started dancing professionally at the age of only 13 and began her journey in Latin dance more than 20 years ago. Once she discovered Bachata it became one of her passions. Her instruction style, knowledge and professional reputation most definitely speak for itself.
Cassandra was invited to teach Bachata in the very home of Bachata which was an honor that will never be matched nor forgotten. She has taught at festivals and congresses Internationally and is one of the few instructors that has trained with many different Dominican instructors when living in the Dominican Republic, studied the intricacies of the dance and the music as well as the various styles. She has lived in the Dominican Republic where she and her husband Pedro, who teaches by her side and handles the business side of things, had a school in Bavaro, Dominican Republic. During her time there, she was immersed in training so that she could bring that training back to her students who are now dancing not only the more commercialized style of Bachata known as Modern, Urban and Sensual Bachata, but also Authentic Dominican Bachata.
Pedro, having grown up in dancing family learned the same way that Rodolfo did, by watching and learning with family, friends and neighbors. Their academy is located in Minnesota after having locations in Charlotte NC, Bavaro Dominican Republic and Stuart Fl and are honored to offer this fantastic opportunity to be immersed in the culture of this and other beautiful Dominican dances!
This dynamic couple will also be teaching various workshops during this amazing dance immersion vacation and they can't wait to share their knowledge and passion for these dances with all of you in the home of Bachata, Merengue and Tipico!
Ninafrika has taught dance for over 11 years in Cabarete. She specializes in Cuban Salsa , Bachata Tradicional, Bachata Moderna , African dance ( and other influenced like Afro Cuban & Afro Brazilian ) . She began her journey in African dance since a very young age, as her Father is from Cameroun. Her Salsa training was both in Cuba ( La Havana ) & Paris and she also dances LA Style On1 & New York Style, On2 . She is a lead dancer and teaches both Men's and Women's Styling. Her Bachata journey began in France ( Moderna ) & continues in the Dominican Republic ( Las TERRENAS , Santo Domingo , Bonao ....) .She is incredibly passionate about teaching & she has her dance school in Cabarete, Dominincan Republic for 8 years.
Ninafrika is the real deal. She is a formally trained dancer in many styles of Latin dance with masters worldwide and she loves to share the passion she has for dance with as many people as possible. She continues her training so that she can
bring her students, the best of the best training and also to hone her own skills on the dancefloor.
Ninafrika speaks Spanish, English, French & a little bit of Russian . She also has a fire dance tribe that performs at different events & they are also the first group representing Cabarete in the annual Dominican Carnaval for the last 2 years ( Yemaya Tribe ) . She travels to do workshops in various places around the globe such as France, East Europe, Texas, and New York City. She hosts an amazing Latin Night in Cabarete that she is so proud of .
She cannot wait to meet you all and share her passion & love of dance with you and we are honored to have
her a very special part of our event!
MAESTRO Sterling cabral
Sterling CabralI comes to us from the heart of Santo Domingo and he shares a bit about his journey in dance here..... "As a dancer, the truth is that I never thought to go on stage, much less teach, all of this came to me suddenly, before entering a dance academy to learn to dance salsa. I was always motivated by the salsa or pop dancers that I saw in different spaces such as on television and ironically I rejected things more culturally specific such as bachata and other cultural aspects around me, because I thought they were the cause of the social inequality in which I lived. When I was 20 and had my own income, I paid for my first salsa classes but only for social purposes but I got deeper and deeper until I wanted to dance professionally.
In that 8-year journey, while intermittently learning salsa, I learned English, worked in different areas of call centers, became certified as an air traffic controller, and made some personal investments of time and money to know what the future holds.
In 2018 I went to Boston for an irony of life and an opportunity provided by friends of friends of mine who finally made a before and after in my life as a dancer, on that trip to Boston of more or less 3 months. I had the opportunity to dance for the first time at a conference, to teach regularly in a studio to dozens of people (in English) and to meet and dance with my dance idols.
This experience was motivating for me, which made me open my mind and I began to see dance more as a profession that I had to develop and polish.
In 2019 I went for 6 months to train in NYC, Cuba and Colombia, I took classes of Afro-Cubans and contemporary, salsa and bachata, I danced in dance groups and gave some private classes, I also started for the first time, a project as a couple with a plan to do presentations and workshops of salsa, bachata and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms. In addition, in the last 3 years I have collaborated with teacher and dance friends as well as I have investigated and disseminated knowledge about it in different groups of people interested especially in Antillean culture and dances.
In 2020 apart from the pandemic, my plan is to continue developing and sharing my culture."
We are excited to have him join our amazing team of Artists!
MAESTRA Ana Saldaña (fefita)
Ana Saldaña was dancing back in 2000 in a televised Salsa Rumba contest and took lessons for many years at the "Soneros" academy and at "On2 Dance" that is run by Directors Fellito and Mariel. She has participated in several Salsa and Bachata contests since then and has worked hard to train and make a career for herself as a professional dancer. She has now been teaching Bacahata professionally for over 5 years.
We are thrilled to have Ana as a part of our BachaTour with Baila con Pasión 2020 / 2021 and beyond!