DIRECTOR / DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Frank’s first dance steps were taken almost 30 years ago at back yard family parties. As a ten year old, street tango and waltz weren’t exactly popular so it wasn’t long before he found himself breaking and popping during the 80’s dance wave. He has performed professionally for over twenty years both on stage and television.
In 1998, Frank took his first Salsa class. Three months later, not being able to dance salsa (let alone teach) he opened the first Salsa school in Geelong with the help of Aloy Juno, Melbourne’s most influential Salsa instructor.
In the year 2000 Frank co-founded Melbourne Salsa. After many years of promoting Latin dance and music to literally thousands of adults every year, he still thrives on being able to extract the dance out of anyone.
DIRECTOR / EVENTS MANAGER / DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Gabriella was introduced to Latin music at a young age, she fell in love with Salsa in 1997, three years later co-founded Melbourne Salsa. This passion for self-expression through music and dance took Gabby to Cuba and Puerto Rico to further develop her dance & music skills. Her work in organising Latin events and teaching Salsa is much more than a commercial enterprise, it’s her lifestyle and Gabby wants to share her passion with others.
“Salsa is a great way to meet people, it’s one of only a few forms of dance that is supported by a really strong social scene… you’ll find a Salsa bar in every city of the world and immediately make friends”
“When people ask me what do you do?, I respond with I MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY FOR A LIVING”
Cheb Ali (Arabic for Sir Ali) has been Melbourne Salsa’s resident DJ since 2004.
Ali believes in the importance of respecting dancers and reading into their needs. He has always shown commitment to understand each dance event, the dancers and the vibe. Ali offers a lot of energy and interaction by playing the “maracas” not seen by any other Latin DJ in Australia.
“Frank and Gabby allowed me to literally play with the decks at the Grosvenor Hotel in 2005 and I have never looked back. It was just an idea!”
“See you on the dance floor!”
Jose’s first dance experience was in Madrid where he was introduced to Flamenco and Salsa. He moved to Melbourne in 1997 just as the modern Salsa scene in Melbourne was beginning. He has been passionately teaching for Melbourne Salsa since 2006. Jose’s dance experience includes other Latin American styles such as Cha Cha Cha, Merengue, Rueda del Casino, Bachata, Rock n’ Roll, Swing, Argentine Tango and Rumba. He has an impressive international dance history, attending workshops from all around the world including Cuba, South America, USA, Europe and Asia.
“Salsa has allowed me to make friends all around the world. At the time of meeting them our language was dancing salsa. Vivimos para la salsa.”
Loraine danced Ballet until the age of 14. Later on she attended Jazz and Tap classes. Her love of Salsa began at our Essendon Salsa class on opening night on 16th of August 2006 and was immediately addicted to it. Dancing up to 7 times a week for the first 6 months!
“I still love it and just want to keep dancing. I can’t help myself as soon as the music starts I have to be out there! I also love meeting the amazing people and the social atmosphere, it keeps me inspired. See you on the dance floor!”
Robi Rakosi was born in a part of Hungary where music and dance runs through the veins of the locals. Robbie is well known for his free spirited playful dancing along with his skills in choreography, performing and teaching. He has been specializing in LA style Salsa since 2003.
“I fell in love with Salsa from the first time I laid eyes on a couple dancing, there was so much passion. I believe dance comes from your heart and soul”.
GYSVIER ALDANA NORIEGA
South American born Gysvier has been exposed to Latin music from an early age. Cuban music and dance has always been his favourite. As a member of the famous Venezuelan dance academy “Caribe y Punto”. He is an accomplished Cuban salsa (Casino Rueda) dancer, competing and performing dozens of choreographies including a performance in the opening of the Miss Venezuela 2006.
“The music is inside all of us, we just have to let it flow through our body and we’ll become one with it”
From a young age Danni was competing in dance competitions. She has had various TV productions appearances and academically has pursued a range of dance theories. In her early twenties, Danni joined ‘Satori Dance Company’, training in jazz, funk, ballet, hip hop and partnering.
Danni discovered salsa in London where she took classes in all different styles. Her performing travels include London Scala, Sydney and Montreal Salsa congresses and finally back to Melbourne where she applied her love for dance to teaching salsa since 2008.
Danni Competed as a Professional Soloist in the Brisbane Salsa Solos in November 2012. Won the Victorian State Championships Partnered Teams Division three years in a row (2011-2013). Competed in the Australian Salsa Open in Sydney three years in a row (2011-2013) where her Team came 3rd in 2011, 2nd in 2012 & 2013.
Andrea began dancing at the age of five and has over 15 years’ of dance training in Classical Ballet (Cecchetti method), Contemporary, Jazz Ballet. Andrea first discovered the Latin dance scene in 2007 whilst living in London. This love of all things Latin has taken her to across the globe to South America, LA, NYC and most recently, Cuba, where she studied Salsa, Cuban Son and Rumba with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Andrea is a regular performer in Melbourne and interstate and is completely addicted to the Melbourne social dancing scene. Her favourite styles include LA Salsa, Zouk Lambada and Brazilian Samba.
“Salsa feeds the soul. It’s all about the infectious live music, the energy on the dance floor and the amazing friendships that you make. No matter how bad a day you’re having, salsa makes everything good again. I hope I can inspire my students to make salsa a regular part of their lives!”
Mike has never fluttered in his enthusiasm and desire towards performing arts and dancing is no exception. Mike began Street Latin dancing in 2011 and still trains professionally for competitive dancing and stage performances. Trained professionally in LA Salsa and Bachata, Mike also possesses a love and trains professionally in Argentinian Tango. Michael is a regular performer at Melbourne Salsa and is always looking for the next stage performance and festival.
“I do love dancing. It lends both great diversity and uniqueness to its audience. Having a love for the arts, I’m captivated between the romance, precision and refinement of tango, and the energy and excitement of salsa. To top it off, all you need is a pair of shoes and you can do it anywhere!”
Kiki was born in Miami, the unofficial capital of Latin America, where Salsa Music and Dance is a part of life. “Dance what you feel” is what her mother always said, so with her mothers words and her fathers musical skills Kiki tore up the local Salsa clubs from a young age. It wasn’t until her 20s when one night she was inspired to take dance classes, She went and joined Miami’s world famous Salsa Lovers Dance School.
Kiki teaches Casino (Cuban Style), Bachata amd more recently Salsa Moderna (LA Style).
A dance with Kiki is like dancing with Miami.
SAMBA DANCE INSTRUCTOR
Having danced a range of styles throughout her child hood and teen years, Tsambika found her calling and passion in Brazilian Samba at the age of 19. Raised and trained at Melbourne Salsa for the past 4 years and professionally for 2 years tsambika has performed with a range of professional groups which includes Melbourne Salsa’s “The Latin Dance Company” Gracing the stages of festivals, weddings, and birthdays. Specialising in dancing to live drums Tsambika brings the house down every time. Her favourite thing about teaching at Melbourne Salsa has been the close relationships she holds with her students and being able to teach them self love and to shake what their mumma gave them!
Adam always had a fascination and love for dance but was too afraid to take it up himself. On his regular jogging route, he used to see people going in and out of a dance studio, always with big smiles on their faces. So one day he went to his first beginner’s salsa class instead of his jog. That was over 10 years ago and he has never looked back. Since then he has expanded his love into Mambo, Bachata and Zouk as well as dabbled in Cuban, afro, contemporary, jazz, jive, swing and tango. Adam has performed and competed all over Australia, lastly competing in a team with Danni Cummins which came second in Australia at the Australian Salsa Open.