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The Organizer

Carmen R. Guynn

St. Louis’ finest stylist, Carmen R. Guynn has performed and instructed salsa, bachata, and cha cha for twenty-one years. The native of St. Louis is known for her unique, distinctive styling. Carmen is considered one of the most solid and articulated instructors St. Louis has to offer. Her dance background includes tap, jazz, modern, and hip hop. She won Miss Salsa St. Louis in 2002 and has performed in several cultural awareness festivals and fundraisers in St. Louis, Chicago, New York, and New Jersey. She has performed and taught in several Salsa Congresses, including Northwest Salsa Congress, Chicago International Salsa Congress, Memphis Salsa Festival, Cincinnati Salsa Festival, New York Salsa Congress, New Jersey Salsa Congress, St. Louis International Salsa Bachata Congress and others.

Carmen is trained under renowned Salsa and Bachata instructors: Josie Neglia of L.A., Edie “The Salsa Freak” of L.A., Ivan Rivera of Razz M’ Tazz from New York, Troy Anthony and Jorjet Alcocer of Houston, Texas, ESPN World Salsa Champions Abel Pena and Zulmara Torres. Carmen specializes in training techniques for footwork, partnering, ladies styling, leading, and following.

She is the Artistic Director and owner of Almas Del Ritmo Dance Company, LLC, and she is the Choreographer of the performances Las Damas Con Ritmo, Salsa Sabor, and Conexion Divina. Carmen also started the first St. Louis Touch Franchise for both co-ed and ladies styling teams from the world-renowned Island Touch Dance Academy. she coached these teams to perform at Thanksgiving Day Parade, Fair St. Louis, Festival of Nations, Dancing in the Streets, local corporate companies in the St. Louis area, and many salsa/bachata congresses around the country. Her team Conexion Divina earned the spot on the second episode of the OWN's Television Show “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s” first season.

Twenty years ago, Carmen had the desire to bring the first Salsa Congress to St. Louis. With hard work, dedication, and love for Afro-Latin culture, music, and dance, this came to fruition on October 4-5, 2010, with her as Executive Producer of this first Latin dance production in St. Louis. In its fourth year, the production landed itself on the Hit TV show MTV MADE's in 2013. The St. Louis International Salsa Bachata Congress is now celebrating over 10 years! 

In June of 2013, Carmen choreographed the salsa scenes in the epic play "Soy Yo! (I Am Me!) An Afro-Latina Suite" that confronted the silence around mixed identity in the Midwest. The play was well received and performed by the Hazelwood school district in January 2014.

Carmen became a certified ZIN ZUMBA® fitness instructor in March of 2010 and she enjoys implementing her dance skills and technique into the fitness training program ZUMBA offers. She is also certified in Zumba Toning and Zumba Kids.

After 14 years in the field of engineering, Carmen walked away and began the work of full-time advocacy against human trafficking. As head CATE (Coalition Against Trafficking and Exploitation), she works with community members, service providers, and the Missouri Attorney General to build resources, best practices, and implement the law to fight this crime. Her goal is to always be a voice to the voiceless.

Carmen is a Christian and not afraid to share the good news of Christ to anyone who will listen. Family means more to her than anything, and when she is not teaching, dancing or producing events, she is with those she loves. Carmen is a motivational speaker and a life and business coach. She is also a member of the Tapestry Network, a Christian Women Business organization. Carmen holds a Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Webster University, a Masters in Business Administration from Fontbonne University, and a certificate in Evidence Based Coaching (EBC) from Fielding Graduate University in Santa Barbara, CA.      

                                                

                                                      TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

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