Celebrating Afro- Latinos and African Americans who continue to break barriers and inspire the next generation of artists.
Guy Lovell a.k.a “Mr. Nuevolution”, was born in Harlem and raised in the South Bronx. He eventually moved to Florida where he found his passion for the art of L.A. Style Salsa On1, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, and NY Style Mambo On2. Having a background in Hip Hop, Tap, and Ballet helped him grasp salsa and begin to form his own unique way of listening and dancing to the music. For the past 4 years during his formal training in Salsa, he had the opportunity to train under Nery Garcia, Tanja Kensinger, Laura Lorenzo, Ivette Murga, Ignacio Murga, Jorge “Salsafix” Cruz, and Al “Liquid Silver” Espinoza. During this time, he had the opportunity to teach at Salsafix Dance Studios and perform on Al Liquid Silver’s Performance Team. He eventually formed Nuevolution Dance Studio with the help of his wife Cristina Padilla. Currently he is working in developing choreography and building the school name. Keep a close eye out for he plans on bringing a new style of dance to the Salsa Community.
Monique Richard is a performer/instructor/choreographer at Balmir Latin Dance Studio. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and of Dominican and Puerto Rican decent, Monique has been dancing Merengue, Bachata and Salsa her entire life. She grew up with musical influences such as Marc Anthony, Victor Manuelle, El Gran Combo, Antony Santos, Fernando Villalona and many more. Monique walked into her first salsa class in September of 2010 at Latin Fever Dance Studio & shortly after joined the performance class. In 2011 she joined Balmir's Mambo Tirado under the direction of Nina Tirado. After 3 years of training she was promoted to the Balmir Latin Dance Company in 2014, where she began traveling, performing and competing nationally and internationally. She began competing in the amateur division, never taking less than second place. She has won gold medals in Bachata, Salsa, Hustle, Kizomba and Cha Cha Cha. Monique is now competing at a professional level, taking gold in most. She is always looking to continue her growth as a dancer. Monique has trained with world class instructors like Tito Ortos and Flavia (Tamara) Livolsi, Eddie Torres Jr., Nelson Flores, La Mora, Anya Katsevman, Billy Fajardo and Katie Marlow. She has dance training in Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha, Latin Hustle, Kizomba, Afro-Cuban and Ballroom. Monique is a unique performer who has dominated stages at Latin Dance Events at home and abroad including, Calgary, Trinidad, Dominican Republic, Toronto, Cozumel, Niagara Falls, Orlando, Miami and Hawaii. She has taken her dance career to new heights, landing a dance role in the film "Shine The Movie". Monique is currently in a Partnership with Mike Garcia. Both Monique and Mike are passionate about advocating for body positivity in the Latin Dance Community. Monique continues to strive for excellence by taking on more challenges, setting more goals and loving every minute of It
Brandon Hampton is a Washington University in St. Louis alumnus with concentrations in International Studies (Latin America, Asia, and Africa), Spanish, and Marketing. His undergraduate studies gifted him the opportunity to spend a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile where he achieved fluency in the Spanish language.
Currently, Brandon is a WUSTL 2022 MBA Candidate with concentrations in Marketing and Entrepreneurship and interests in Media/Entertainment, and Fasion. In his career, he wishes to combine both his zeal for performing arts and entrepreneurship. "Dance like no one's watching" is one of his life-quotes as a dancer and creator at heart. He applies this mindset to everything he does with persistence, passion, and proactivity. This includes his work with Ritmos Negros (Black Rhythms), a monthly, bilingual podcast in English and Spanish about the African origins and Black contributions to the music and dance of Latin America and the Caribbean. As a lover of music, dance, language, and culture, Brandon seeks out opportunities to learn from and engage with diverse communities and perspectives.
Follow his work and connect here: https://qr1.be/IU7D
Tabitha Hitchye was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Her ethnic background is a multi-racial mix with string African American roots. Raised as the daughter of a musician, she was exposed to the music industry as a young child and grew up singing in various choirs & groups. At the age of 19 she was introduced to Latin Dance which turned into a love and passion for her. Latin dance & music inspired her to become a dance instructor in order to share the love of dance with others. She has been teaching Salsa, Mambo, Bachata, & Flamenco for a combination of 14 years and dancing for 23 years. Musicality, Rhythm & Timing is a major focus in every class that she instructs, while also encouraging her students to add their own style into their dancing. She co-founded Baltimore Salsa Dance Company in 2008! She has performed at various events over the years with Dance In Time Productions, Sentimiento Dance Company, Linda’s de Doza, and has instructed/performed in numerous events & charities throughout the DMV area: University of MD Eastern Shore, Penn State University, Northern Virginia Community College, The Army National Guard in DC, Baltimore National Aquarium, Baltimore City Association of School Psychologists-Charity Event, Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, March of Dimes Fundraiser, & various congresses. She currently holds the following certifications: Salsa Instructor & Business Development from Edie Salsa Williams in Palm Springs, CA, Flamenco & Spanish Dance from Marsha Bonet & Dancers, LLC, & Zumba Fitness I & II. She is currently a member of the Catonsville Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Tax Professionals, AAHPERD, National Association of Dance & the National Association of Professional Women. Her educational background includes Fashion Design/Merchandising, Business Management, Accounting & Cosmetology and is also an authorized IRS registered tax preparer, Assistant Meetup Organizer for the Baltimore Salsa Meetup Group & Organizer of the Baltimore Latin, Flamenco & Spanish Dance & Maryland Latin Dance Meetup Groups. She is also now the new Professor of Latin Dance for the Spring 2022 semester at the Peabody Conservatory, an institute of John Hopkins University and one of the most prestigious performing arts schools in United States!
Rachel Lewis, originally born in the Caribbean, grew up surrounded by various musical styles and rhythms. She turned to dance at a young age and fell in love with movement arts which led her to pursuing various dance styles. She has studied and competed in a wide array of dance genres including ballet, modern, African, and Latin dance. Rachel soon developed her sexy, sultry dance class format Ladies'N'Heels with the intention to meld a variety of musical and dance styles along with sass and sensuality. With a background in teaching and performing salsa and bachata, Rachel presently performs and teaches with a focus on footwork, body movement, and individual expression. She is the creative director of EmberEssence dance team which performs Salsa with a focus on diversity, artistry, creativity, and excellence.
International Ambassador of Dominican Arts, Edwin M Ferreras is a knowledgeable and enthusiastic educator of music, dance, and ethnomusicology. Born in 1984 in San Pedro De Macoris, he moved to Washington Heights at a young age. While in New York City, he earned his BA in Music/Dance Education from City College of New York with a secondary concentration in music production. After graduating, Edwin began an international dance and teaching career. Today he works as a global teaching artist with his dance partner Dakhóta Romero and their company, Areíto Arts. As a world-class educator, he has taught and trained dancers many artists and instructors around the world; his professional credits as educator and curator include HBO Max Romeo Santos “King of Bachata,” Facebook Global, Youtube Studios, Curriculum Development for CUNY, and teacher training for the NYC Department of Education, City College Dominican Studies Institute, NYU Afro Caribbean studies, Dream Project Bachata Academy in the Dominican Republic and New York.
Mike Garcia began dancing at the age of 12 at La Salsa De Hoy in Brooklyn, NY. Within a year Arelis Beato brought him into Tropical Image Dance Company. Soon after, he accepted an invitation to join Cecilia Williams’ Revelation Dance Company. Seeing his full movement potential, Ms. Williams took Mike with her to Modern Jazz classes at Broadway Dance Center & Ripley Grier for more complete training. Gaining experience as a performer, he began traveling both nationally and internationally. It was Nydia Ocasio who, not only trained Mike in Afro Cuban, Rumba and Samba, but also introduced him to Addie Diaz as a perfect fit after a Dominican Republic performance. By 14, Mike was invited to join her world-renowned Addie-Tude Dance Company. With Addie, he furthered his travels and performed with various artist such as El Canario, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz, and Frankie Vasquez. With the disbandment of Addie-Tude in 2004, 16 year old Mike Garcia took a break from the Salsa world, during which he started God’s Glory Dancers at Onward Ministries in Brooklyn. God’s Glory Dancers were trained by Mike, and together they performed nationally. NYPD officers frequenting the church noticed his talents and asked that he teach Salsa and design showcases for Clergy Community and Police (C.C.A.P), a youth program aimed at keeping inner city youth off the streets. This project brought him in front of audiences such as the Commissioner of the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg. At the age 18 he was introduced by his youth pastor to a group of junior high school students at I.S. 49 that had talent but no avenues for expression. The result was a school dance program built in tandem with the Community Affairs Director and I.S. 49’s Principal. Also growing out of his I.S. 49 encounter came Mike’s love for hip hop, and shortly after Center of Attention (a dance crew with local Brooklyn talent) was born. 2008 brought the renaissance of Addie-Tude, and with it came now-20 year old Mike Garcia, making his return the Salsa community. A year later, Santo Rico Dance Studio hired him to teach and choreograph hip hop for the kids program. About the same time, he also began teaching along side his mentor and director, Addie Diaz. She saw promise in Michael and named him Captain and Assistant Choreographer, training him to run the performance company. Addie-Tude continued to perform, travel and teach for three years until its dissolution in 2011. In June of the same year, Mike used his knowledge, creativity and performance skills to form his own company. This vision, along with former members of Addie-Tude Dance Company came together to form Movimiento Dance Company. Addie continues to guide Mike as a director as he crafts and trains his company. Under his own brand, Mike has performed and instructed workshops around the world, choreographed for theatrical productions, trained several professional dancers, and coached a world champion. Mike has also appeared in the movies “Undefeated” 2003 and “Notorious” 2009. Mike and his company look to bend the rules of how choreography and performances are done: taking movement to new heights, creating their own path in the dance community and taking the world by storm. Mike has worked full time as a dance instructor. He taught for the Santo Rico Dance Studio Kids Program in Manhattan, Addie-Tude Performing Arts Center in Westchester, NY, Jorday Rivera Dance Studio in Queens, NY, and, Salsa Latina in Long Island, NY.