Born and raised in Atlanta, GA, My grandmother was a dancer, so at a very young age I was already dancing around the house. At 4, she signed me up for ballet and tap classes. I was too shy to dance in front of anyone so she took me out of group classes and signed me up for baton twirling. I did that for about 10 years and during this time became involved in sports (running, basketball and fast pitch). Around the age of 18, a group of friends and I started messing around breakdancing. After breakdancing this lead to my best friend (Jose Diaz) and I saying how we've always wanted to learn salsa. So, we finally decided to find a salsa class and start taking classes. I was hooked.
We started taking about 6 hours of classes a week and going out dancing in latin clubs a few nights a week. During this time, I was struggling with the idea that having a "normal" life; i.e.: go to college, get a job, get married, and retire is what I was suppose to do. I was inspired by the impact dance was having on my life and the impact the instructors were having on their students lives. So, one day I made the jump. I decided to quit college, knowing I could always go back if I wanted to, and pursue becoming a dance instructor for the difference it has in peoples lives. I haven't looked back since.
I trained and taught at the studio I started at for about 8 more months before I expanded out on my own as an independent dance instructor. I have been running my own company for the last 11 years. This company has had two main focuses: my own dancing, training and performing in the arts, and teaching people to dance.
I focused mostly on the latin club dances (salsa, bachata, merengue, and cha-cha); but I have also competed and trained in the ballroom and hip hop world. This has lead to me performing in several theater productions, films, and music videos. As well as producing and choreographing.
Becoming an independent dance instructor started off slow. I was my own team, instructing and marketing. I started with only two students, focused on building an online presence for marketing and going out dancing. I eventually started my own group classes, and within three months went from two hours a week to averaging 40 hours a week. I also had my own performance teams and threw my own events (latin and breakdancing).
A life changing event and the economy tanking gave me the push to move to Los Angeles where I continued to chase my dreams in the performing arts at a much higher level. While in Los Angeles, in addition to growing my company, I began to re-pursue my passion for acting.
Moving here, six and a half years ago, I knew I was going to have to start over and build a completely new business. Since I had done it before I had an idea of how to accomplish this. I started off a little slower than in Atlanta, since I was also making sure to leave time for my own training as well. I grew an even stronger internet presence with Yelp, Groupon, and Living Social and within a few years my group classes were consistent and large.
Today, I am still teaching 20-30 hours a week and continue to have a strong passion for the performing arts and the impact it has on peoples lives.