Luisito Cabrera, Artistic Director, established Salsa Des Moines out of a passion to teach the art of salsa dancing and desire to incorporate salsa dance into the mainstream Des Moines entertainment and social scene. He focuses on teaching students how to be a better salsa dancer by understanding the concepts of rhythm and timing, musicality, lead and follow, partnerwork, and styling. Luisito taught all the ballroom dances at the Fred Astaire Dance Studios in New York City and was involved in competitive dancing. His passion for latin dancing brought him to focus primarily on teaching salsa, chacha, bachata, merengue, hustle, east and west coast swing. In addition to teaching in NYC, he has also taught salsa dance in Switzerland (Geneva, Bern, Lausanne, Zurich) and has attended numerous salsa congresses all over Europe and the United States.
Melanie Rivera has a foundation in hip hop and jazz, and has been dancing salsa for the past nine years and instructing for the past 4 years with Continuing Education and at the DMBDS. She was the founder and president of Descarga: Latin Dance Club at Iowa State University. And has performed throughout central Iowa, including at the Inaugural Ball of former Iowa Governor, Chet Culver and as the lead salsa dancer in the production of Swing! at the Des Moines Playhouse. Melanie has also participated in the Chicago Salsa Congress for more than five years. She specializes in teaching beginner, intermediate, and ladies styling/shines in salsa, and beginner cha cha, merengue, and bachata. She will teach couples, groups, and individual males.
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