Festival Line-up
Here are the instructors for this year's festival:

DJ Super Chino (SF)

DJ Super Chino (AKA Jairo Aguilar) hails from Nicaragua and has been a DJ in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001. Formerly a competitive dancer, DJ Super Chino has an intimate understanding of the music and history of salsa and bachata.

He is well known for his extensive collection of rare and hard-to-find tracks, and has been a featured DJ on the Hard Salsa radio show, as well as the San Francisco International Salsa Congress, San Francisco Salsa Festival, US Salsa Open, International Reno Bachata Festival, International San Francisco Bachata Festival, and the Reno Salsa Festival.

In addition to his reputation as a salsa DJ, Super Chino also plays Hip hop, Reaggeton, Top 40 Bachata, Salsa, Merengue, and Cumbia.

He has been invited to DJ at:

  • Alberto’s in Mountain View
  • Reno Salsa Dance Sensation
  • Hot Salsa Fridays at the Dance Spectrum
  • Latin Fever Fridays in Oakland
  • Down Low Lounge in Berkeley
  • Cocomo’s SF
  • Dance Troupe Socials
  • Korea Salsa Festival
  • Dj Chino is Also Available for
  • Private Events
  • Weddings
  • Quinceaneras

Eder Ivan (LA)

Emelie Andagan (SAC)

The Yemaya Salsa Dance Company was founded by Emelie Andagan & Heather Wong-Xoquic in October, 2000.

Emelie learned to dance salsa after only a few years due to her extensive dance background of over 20 years and many years of experience as a ballet and jazz student, and later a teacher at the Ballet Theatre of Dover Dance Conservatory. The troupe started as a small group of only four couples that rehearsed twice a week in various garages and practically anywhere with a smooth surface.

She owns and manages Yemaya Dance Studio in sacramento, and is the main director of Yemaya dance Company.

 

Francisco Junior (LA)

Bio coming soon.

Jennifer Benavidez (UK)

Jennifer Benavidez, now residing in London, England, is a Latin dance instructor/performer/ choreographer who is the co-owner of Extremos Salsa Dance School based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands for the past 8 years. Dance, especially SALSA has been her passion for over 20 years. Born in San Antonio , Texas , USA , her Mexican heritage has given her dancing rico sabor (good flavour). She discovered 'partner' dancing in 1992, and has enjoyed training, teaching, performing and just plain dancing salsa all over the US , Europe and the Middle East .

You can see her in numerous TV/film projects such as VOC, Alleen Nog Een Man, Life and Cooking, I Love the 80's, Hoe? Zo!, Alternative Love, TMF, So You Think You Can Dance, The Way She Moves, and The Life of David Gayle. She has given workshops and performed for a diverse range of companies (ABN-AMBRO, National Geographic, ING, Martin Air, KLM, Belegger.nl, Unilever, Expatica and Amsterdam Police Department) , organizations (BBC, BNN,RTL5, The Music Factory TV) , and festivals (Amsterdam Gay Pride Canal Parade, UIT Markt, Latin Village, Vondel Park Summer Breeze, Rotterdam Summer Carnival, Roots Festival, ContraBanda, and Dansen Op Het Leidseplein)

In addition, Jennifer co-organized the Amsterdam International Salsa Festival for over 3 years, has judged numerous dance competitions and loves working with student showteams!

John & Liz Salsamania (SF)

John Narvaez and Liz Rojas are world-class ground-breaking Salsa dance artists and directors of the Salsamania Dance Company, which they founded in 2000. Their story tells us of how a dream, fueled by passion and foJohn Narvaez and Liz Rojas are world-class ground-breaking Salsa dance artists and directors of the Salsamania Dance Company, which they founded in 2000. Their story tells us of how a dream, fueled by passion and focus can change lives. Salsamania is a non-profit corporation with a mission to develop the best training programs and performance teams in the world. The company is based in the San Francisco, Bay Area.

As a powerful force in the industry, John and Liz in just five short years have proven themselves to be equally effective on the business, as well as creative side. They are among the most accomplished competitive Salsa dance couples in the world, having also taken their company – which includes both the Salsamania, professional team; and Son De Mania, semi-professional team to the top of the world’s Mambo dance scene. Having won numerous accolades for their many achievements, Salsamania is highly visible as a current top ranking champions of the 2005 and 2006 World Salsa Championships.

John and Liz came to the U.S. from Colombia at the ages of 11 and 10 respectively. Drawing upon the rich heritage of rhythm from their Columbian roots — a musical universe in its own right, John and Liz bring an undeniable love and intelligence to their approach of Salsa Dance. They have evolved a deep appreciation for the beauty of Latin dance into a clear vision of sharing their passion and knowledge of Salsa throughout the world. In 1997, they began an intensive approach to Salsa involving many hours of study, choreography, performing and competing. They began to build their skills and credibility through teaching and performing in such local competitions as MTV’s Telemundo and Alberto’s Night Club events, where they won top spots.  

The Salsamania Dance Company has touched and transformed many lives throughout the world. The company is the #1 Bay Area Dance Team – known for its hypnotic performances marked by high levels of grace, speed and technical difficulty. The international interest in and influence of John and Liz’s teachings is spread across several continents. Each year, the couple is invited for an extended-teaching stay in Beijing China. They are regularly invited to perform, along with their professional dance team in many parts of Asia, Europe and South America. The company has a reputation as a major launching pad for the development of well-rounded and technically skilled Salsa talent. With four performance teams and over 80 members, Salsamania dancers follow a structured dance education program that allows them to move through several levels — while focusing on core values such as teamwork, professionalism, musicality, competition, the social aspects of dance and grace. The outgrowth of this teaching success are the Salsamania Dance Company training programs, devoted to well honed teaching techniques that use a building block approach to learning, thus enabling students to learn and progress rapidly. 

John and Liz promote their local and international activities as a means to enhance awareness of the tremendous beauty and benefits of Salsa Dance, and the many opportunities to learn and perform on a world-wide scale. 

cus can change lives. Salsamania is a non-profit corporation with a mission to develop the best training programs and performance teams in the world. The company is based in the San Francisco, Bay Area.

Luis Aguilar (SF)

Luis Aguilar debuted in 2000 with the Salsa Mania Dance Company in San Francisco. Since then, he performed with such giants in the Latin music industry as El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, the Tito Puente Orquestra, Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Jose "El Canario" Alberto, Oscar de Leon, Eddie Palmieri, the Spanish Harlem Orquestra and Sonora Carruseles. In addition to his impressive performance credits, Luis has taken 1st place in many Latin dance competitions and Congresses such as The San Francisco International Salsa Congress and the Bay Area Salsa Dance Competition.

Since joining forces in 2007, Luis and Anya have become the ON2 WORLD SALSA CHAMPIONS for the second year in a row, along with having become two time undefeated San Francisco Congress Salsa champions in '09 & '10, undefeated two time New York Congress champions in '09, '10, Puerto Rico Hustle and Salsa champions '09, and are currently the North American Salsa Champions and two time winners of the NY/NJ salsa open. They can also be seen in the upcoming film La Epoca, La Epoca Part 2 and Dancing Scared. Within their short time together Luis and Anya have already graced the stages of many events including Mambo City London Congress, Rome Salsa Congress, San Francisco Salsa Congress, New York City Salsa Congress, International Hustle and Salsa Congress, Puerto Rico Hustle and Salsa Festival, Korea Salsa Congress, Antwerp Salsa Congress in Belgium, Toronto Salsa Congress, Montreal Salsa Festival, Costa Rica Salsa Congress, Ecuador Salsa Congress, San Diego Salsa and Bachata Festival, St. Louis Salsa Congress, Seattle Salsa Congress, Romania Latin Fever, toured Milan as well as televised productions such as Sabado Gigante, Good Morning America and Univision.

With their combined backgrounds, Luis and Anya make a dynamic duo that brings a fresh new element to the salsa dance floor. The right balance between flavor and technique, Luis and Anya's teaching and performing methods are second to none. Successfully teaching and performing worldwide, Luis and Anya are often referred to as the future of salsa. With their combined backgrounds, impeccable musicality, & elegant yet intricate style, they are the fusion that takes salsa to the next level.

Orlando Valle (SF)

Orlando Valle had been dancing, competing, DJing, teaching salsa and bachata for over a decade! He currently hosts a successful weekly bachata social in San Francisco.