Artists for 2018 will be confirmed very soon
The artists listed on this page are from last years 2017 festival
Toni & Lara (SPAIN)
Bachata & Salsa workshops
Toni and Lara were the first to teach Bachata Sensual in Barcelona and have been traveling to different places in Europe offering workshops and incredible shows. Well known in Spain, these two dancers are specialised in Bachata Sensual, Salsa and acrobatics.
They have been judges for many dance events like Bachataarte, Street Bachata and more in Spain and France.
Gil & Shelley (UK)
International World Championship Salsa Teachers and Performers.
Featured Dancers, “Cuban Fury”, 3 Gold Stars “Got To Dance”, “The UK’s Best Salsa Performers”, Salsa Consultants, “Matilda” The Musical.
Gil is well-known internationally for his creative and unique turn patterns and shines which he teaches with an absolute emphasis on technique and a sense of humour. He is a world championship level performer, having represented Mexico and Austria in numerous national and international highest-level competitions with co-member of Pexava Dance Company, Anke Obermayer. Their most notable achievements include second place in the European Championships Zurich, and third and fifth in the world in the Salsa Open, Athens 2008 and 2009 respectively, placed with the likes of Adrian and Anita, Fernando Sosa (Tropical Gem), and Oliver Pineda.
Shelley is an infectiously enthusiastic dancer who is widely acknowledged as one of the UK’s most popular teachers and performers. Together with Lee Wright, they held several national and international competition titles including European Bronze and Silver Medallists and World Semi-Finalists and Top UK Dance Act. Shelley has made numerous appearances on National TV including BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and the Kiss FM Urban Music Awards and is grateful to have worked with every top salsa name in the country.
Shelley is also a fully-qualified Personal Trainer and holds a PhD in Biological Science from Oxford University, able to bring together anatomy, fitness and conditioning work plus dance technique to truly progress your dance to another level
Kat & Eddie (UK)
Kathleen & Eddie have been performing together since 2009, meeting in the Laith Sami Performance Group. In 2014, after encouragement from Laith, they started teaching and performing as a couple.
Eddie is always striving to progress as a dancer and is still training in number of different Salsa and Afro-Cuban dance styles. Eddie is also resident teacher at the prestigious Caramelo Latin Dance School in London.
He is originally from Caracas, Venezuela.
Kathleen, or ‘Kat’ as she is commonly known, is originally from Cape Town and trained in ballet, tap and modern jazz before discovering Salsa.
She has performed internationally and they both performed together in the Diablo Dance Company as well as being featured dancers in the Salsa based film comedy ‘Cuban Fury’ starring Nick Frost.
Kat: “My favourite expression is: free spirit through dance, this is why I dance, for the way that only dancing to wonderful music can make you feel ….and the connection that is created between two people sharing that little piece of magic.”
Jason & Lianne (UK)
Jason Canning entered the world of salsa in 2006 and has been hooked ever since! He first started teaching in 2008, initially LA Salsa before branching out into New York Salsa, Bachata Moderno, Dominican Bachata and Bachata Tango. 2017 will be Jason’s fourth (?) year at the Peterborough Latin Festival – he just can’t stay away!
Lianne studied dance as a child and after a long break rediscovered her love of dancing when she started learning salsa in 2009. Lianne has been teaching salsa and bachata alongside Jason Canning since 2010 her favourite of the styles being Bachata Tango, of course!
Scott & Inga (UK)
Bachata Sensual workshops
Bio coming soon
Riquita Alta (UK/ANGOLA)
Born in Benguela, a southern province of Angola, to an Angolan mother and Portuguese father, in the early 1970’s and on the cusp of its independence from Portugal, Riquita is the youngest of four siblings.
Due to the Civil War that ensued in Angola in 1975, Riquita and her family were forced to flee their homeland and become refugees in Portugal, where she was to live until her move to London in 1989. In the mid 70’s and with the influx of Angolan refugees, the Portuguese government unwittingly created what could be perceived as “immigrant ghettoes”, where the displaced families held on to their cultural heritage by ways of music, dance and food. It was against this backdrop that Riquita’s love of Dance and music was born and there it thrived.
By ways of unwinding and socialising, the whole neighbourhood would get together most weekends and hold “Festas de Quintal” (backyard parties), where dance and music were the main focus.
At these social gatherings, everyone would dance together, including the children. At this time, Kizomba music as we know it, didn’t exist, but Passada (which was what Kizomba dance was called at its infancy) was danced to music from artists such as: Bonga, Africa Tentação, Os Kiezos, Duo Ouro Negro, Bana, Elias Dias Kimuezu, Teta Lando and so forth.
In 1984, Riquita heard for the first time “Zouk La Se Sel Medikaman Nou Ni” by the mighty Kassav and her lifelong affair with what is now known as Retro Zouk began. The introduction of Zouk music into the Angolan and Palop culture in general, was so explosive, that Passada was danced nearly exclusively to Zouk music. It was upon her return to Angola in 1986 that Riquita’s passion and understanding of this beautiful dance style exploded and her bond with kizomba was sealed forever. By going to numerous parties and clubs whilst there, she truly learnt how to Dance.
By the mid 1980’s, and with the arrival of immigrants from other Portuguese ex-colonies, the neighbourhood parties weren’t enough to accommodate this ever growing subculture and the first Kizomba clubs were opened in Portugal. As well as the parties, Riquita now could indulge her passion for dancing in places such as: If Club, Maiombe, Globo, Aiue, Cave Adão, Visage, Kandando… By the the late 1980’s and early 1990’s artists such as Eduardo Paim, Ruca Vandunen and Ricardo Abreu started mixing Zouk music with Semba from Angola and Kizomba music was created.
Riquita’s teaching of Kizomba dancing came purely by chance. In 1989, in a bid to convince her reluctant and non Kizomba dancing best friend to go clubbing with her, Riquita successfully taught her to dance in one afternoon. That afternoon was the beginning of many spent teaching various friends.
When Riquita moved to London in 1989, there was already a small but thriving Palop community. As in the early days in Portugal, all the dancing was done in house parties… That is, until the first Kizomba Club was opened by Alex Gurgel in Oxford Street, club 79. It was at Club 79 that Riquita entered and won her first Kizomba competition, in 1992.
The dance style popularity was growing slowly but steadily, and in 2004, the demand for classes increased so significantly that Riquita, noticing a gap in the market, asked Kwenda Lima, who had recently arrived from Portugal, to teach with her. They were the first ever Kizomba teachers in London.
Some of Riquita’s first students are now very successful teachers in their own right.
In 2009, Riquita and her then dance partner Guimas went on to represent the UK in ÁfricaDançar. Since that first afternoon in Portugal, Riquita has continuously taught Kizomba and her expertise and respect by her peers has enabled her to judge in Kizomba and Semba competitions.
With nearly 30 years of dancing experience, Riquita is one of the most sought after and respected Kizomba teachers in the UK. Because of her approach to teaching and emphasis on the Basics and Foundation, Riquita is often called a Kizomba Purist. To her being a Purist merely means that if one has strong foundation one becomes a better dancer… And the results speak for themselves.
Riquita’s passion for Kizomba dancing is unparalleled, only to be rivalled by her passion for sharing it with others. Kizomba doesn’t just run through her veins, it’s glued to her bones and in the air that she breathes. If you wish one thing for yourself today…Wish that you get to learn and be touched by Kizomba…The RIQUITA WAY!!
Guter Narciso (UK)
Guter was born Sao Tome and Principe, two Small island in west Africa that were Portuguese colonies before. He’s a promoter for local Kizomba events and classes in Suffolk Since 2010.
Guter Narciso began singing in 1996/97 when he was a member of Catholic church choir. He has participated in various competitions on the national radio and won with a Best music award on the radio at that time. In England he participated in the Multicultural Festival in Suffolk, and became more popular as a singer of Kizomba Music in UK, he already has a show throughout England, following his solo career he created a band that has been followed around the world. On his new cd he has songs and lyrics that he wrote since 1997. For Guter his success in Kizomba music is just the start, and he has in his mind many musical projects to share.
John & Emma Barry (UK)
John and Emma have been teaching salsa in Lincolnshire for 12 years. Running successful classes in Skegness, Boston, Sleaford, and Lincoln. In the early years they taught Cuban style salsa and ran regular Rueda workshops. Later they taught crossbody salsa on1 and as their own dance styles and passions evolved they now teach On2 Mambo, Cha cha and Pachanga, occasionally bachata. John and Emma are as passionate about continuing to develop their own dancing as they are teaching it. They have trained and performed with The Mambonitos choreographed by Miguel and Mayana. During this time they had the amazing opportunity to perform at Mambocity congress straight after the Mambo King himself Eddie. Other teachers that have inspired them are Marchant and Davina and Gary and Jayne. They now continue to learn directly from Adolfo Indacochea and Tania Cannarsa.
John and Emma are committed to developing the standard of dancing in Lincoln and Boston and the On2 scene. Last year they performed with their own performance group around the country.
Bryan & Veronica (UK)
Winners of the Cambridge Bachata STARS competition, representatives of Daniel & Desiree and directors of their “World Team Project” in Cambridge. They are also the founders of “Sensual Tuesdays“ the Bachata night in Cambridge and are ready to bring you their hottest and trendiest Bachata moves.
Salsa (Cuban) workshops
Juan Carlos Pacheco is a Professional Cuban Dancer and Choreographer who was born in Cuba but now resides in Peterborough, United Kingdom. He studied all forms of Cuban Traditional Dance from all the venerable Masters for 21 years, mainly in Havana, Cuba, and was a regular performer with the Buena Vista Social Club.
Juan Carlos started his dance studies at the National School of Ballet in Havana, from the age of 7 until the age of 11. He then went on to study at the National School of Art and has a qualification from the Superior Art Institute of Cuba.
He has danced with the Muñequitos de Matanzas (Rumba/Columbia/Guaguanco) and with the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. He has performed in shows with the world famous Buenavista Social Club and Conjunto Chapotin and his Star, Septeto Habanero, Havana Casino, Van Van 1999 La piragua, Anjel Bonne and his Band, Casa de la Musica and Okay Cuba, and many others.
Juan Carlos has also appeared on many Cuban TV programmes, including the “Palmas y Cañas” TV programme, Para Bailar 1982, a festival celebrating Cuban Music, a country music festival, De la gran Escena, and with the Cuban TV Ballet Company. He has also Danced alongside the famous Hermanos Santos, and at the Hotel Inglaterra, Hotel Nacional, Hotel Triton, and the Hotel Riviera in downtown Havana, a formidable venue for traditional Cuban Culture.
He create Rumbahavana salsa (noa JCSALSA), group who teach and perform in Peterborough and over the country.
David Bonner (UK)
Kizomba & Semba workshops
Bio coming soon.
Ahmed & Agne (UK)
Bachata & Salsa workshops
Ahmed Co-founded Salsa Coventry in 2012 (with Olivier Franck) and since then the salsa scene has substantially changed in the city. Ahmed was introduced to Salsa in 2007, In 2008 and 2010 regularly attended classes with Super Mario in London, he promoted Salsa around the Middle East co-organsing events in Jordan, Lebanon and UAE through the isalsame.com platform. In 2011 Ahmed and Agne partnered up and started teaching together. This year Salsa Coventry launched their newest project, the Salsa Coventry Performance Team which aims to further develop skills of the local dancers.
Agne started Salsa in 2009 in Lithuania and continued in the UK, since the young age of 3 Agne was doing Ballroom Dancing in Lithuania, she is part of the Salsa Coventry Team with Ahmed and Olivier since 2012.
Olivier Franck (UK)
Bachata & Salsa workshops
Franck Olivier Njofang, commonly known as ‘Oli’, was born in Yaounde, Cameroon.He was first introduced to salsa in Manchester by his sister Ruth and she inspired him to dance. Soon he got the ‘Latin bug’ and he became a regular face on the local scene in Coventry and Birmingham.
Having found his passion, he started teaching at The Litten Tree in Coventry with Terry O’Neill and he has not looked back ever since. Oli is very versatile and teaches many Latin and Afro Cuban styles, salsa on 1 and on 2, Bachata, Kizomba and Cha Cha. Since 2011 Oli has been teaching Salsa and Bachata at Warwick University and has helped with the choreography of their yearly show competition which they have won several times.
From 2012 until 2015 Oli has been teaching at Mambo Vibes in Northampton. Oli is also part of the Latin Motion salsa team and teaches at various events and congresses in the UK.
In 2011 he co-founded and launched Salsa Coventry with Ahmed Malik, which currently provides weekly classes and has proven to be very popular throughout the West Midlands. Furthermore, he is running a performance group, teaching his own choreography that will be launched and showcased during the LatinMotion weekender in August 2017.
The foundation of Oli’s passion is the interpretation of the music in all its complexities. He enjoys the creative process of wanting to interpret the musical instruments in the song and the breaks, expressing the flavour of the music with dance movements. Oli is known as being a very approachable person, and although he values the technique and likes to push his students technically, on the dance floor the main aim is to have a good time and when you dance with him he will certainly try to put a smile on your face.
“With the Prominence of social media, web-education has become the norm. Yes support your local clubs and classes, but we must stop collecting GB of Videos without ever Practicing them at home. You are your best teacher. Practice practice, practice” Olivier Franck
Steve Eden (UK)
Bachata & Salsa workshops & Salsa & DJ
Steve has been on the Salsa scene since 1998 and has been running his own Salsa company called Salsa Sensation, since Feb 2000. Nearly all your stars of Salsa have worked with Steve at one of his many clubs and events. As an outsider looking in you can see that Steve really does genuinely know and love them all. This is evident with the appreciation he shows to every single person that he has worked with and for.
Steve has introduced thousands of people to the dance world of Salsa through various different events from regular weekly night to party nights, All dayers (both UK and International), Weekend breaks away, Salsa holidays abroad, many charity events, (holding fundraisers with Mayors and Mayoress), to launching a whole new movement which was called ‘Gravesham Activ’ with Len Goodman and so much more. There really is no end to Steve’s list of achievements, inside and outside of Salsa. Being a self taught dancer, teaching is a passion of Steve’s in ALL areas of dance. It all began at the age of 12 when he found his love of music and dance. With a personal development programme, he continuously strived and still strives to bring the best to every area of dance of which he is part of and this does not limit itself to just Salsa! Steve is well known by all throughout the dance world of Kent and surrounding counties. He has helped masses of people through their journey of dance, whether it be to become a Professional Qualified Instructor or to become a damn good dancer and/or performer, of which some of his students have been seen on TV, in the West End Shows and many others.
Teaching classes is his true passion, and you can see it when he teaches. The classes are energetic and loads of fun, but you still have a great sense of achievement. In addition to this, Steve also really connects with the people he teaches. When asking students of his classes why this is, their response was “Every time I come to a class of Steve’s, he is really understanding of everyone in the class and our abilities, yet really wants to help us push through and achieve more. No rushing, no belittling, no rolling of eyes, just continuous positive energy, so you really can’t do anything but smile and take it all in.”
Steve the DJ absolutely loves playing for the vast and varied audiences he reaches, and this really comes across in the music he plays. Always playing a wide range of music and certainly knowing how to read the floor, he mixes in all the best of the classics and the moderns of the Salsa scene, blending in other styles with ease, such as Bachata, Kizomba, Cha Cha Cha, Reggaeton, even through to a touch of RnB, from the soft and gentle to the fast and furious.
DJ Manu (UK/PERU)
Salsa workshops & DJ
Born in Perú, Manu grew up in Spain and his passion for music started with ’70’s Salsa Dura which he used to listen to as a child.
Manu started to dance when he was seventeen years old starting with Cuban style before moving on to crossbody On1 and then Mambo. He is self taught, simply through watching other people dance and then laterly, he studied with some of the best teachers and dancers in the world including Frankie Martinez and Eddie Torres. He has been dancing for seventeen years, teaching for fourteen and DJing for thirteen.
His first ‘serious’ performing began in 2010 with the name Sabor & Bembé and has performed at major congress events in Spain, Italy, Germany and Portugal including the Benidom Salsa Congress, Salsorro, Murcia Salsa Congress, Berlin Salsa Convention, Munich Salsa Congress and the Bolonia Salsa Congress.
He DJ’s at many of the premier Salsa events in the UK, including the Mambocity 5 Star Congress, ULU, Pexava & Bailadura and in teaches regularly for Latin Ice (Arthur and Aiste) and as well as with the legendary Supermario and teaches a range of Latin dance styles.
DJ Vish (UK)
Kizomba room DJ
DJ Vish has been in the Kizomba scene only for 5 years but has taken the Europe by storm. He regular guest Dj’s in kizomba festival in countries like Lithuania, Bratislava, Poland, UK, Czech, and many others. His unique style in mixing music seamlessly ensures the dance floor energy is always hot. DJ Vish has Kizomba music for everyone from traditional Kizomba to Ghetto Zouk, and Urban Kizz.
Francis Karemo (UK)
My name is Francis Karemo and I am from Freetown, Sierra Leone, which is on the west coast of Africa. Having grown up with West African music, I started to learn and have been dancing Kizomba in London since 2010. Kizomba was the first partner dance I learnt and since then I’ve also developed a deep love for Cuban Salsa:)
I was lucky to be taught by some of the most passionate and knowledgeable teachers in England at a time when Kizomba was still taught in a very traditional way. I will always be grateful for the time spent training me and the many discussions about the culture, history of the dance and the music. Kizomba seems to have changed both in the way it is taught and danced since then, but I have tried to stay true to the principles I learnt and what I was taught.
My teaching journey started in earnest in 2011 in London and I have been fortunate since that time to have also been invited to teach in various other cities in England and also in Wales. I run a weekly night in Norwich called ‘Slick’ that consists of a beginners and improvers class followed by social dancing, every Wednesday, at Vodka Revolution. Through dance, I have met a lot of interesting characters, talented people and have learnt a lot about human nature. It has taught me a lot about myself and I am grateful for the experiences I have had.
I am old fashioned and a traditionalist. I am from Anglophone Africa and not a Palop but I believe it is both important to gain knowledge about and respect the origins, traditions, culture and history of the dance and more importantly the music. Musicality is very important to me.
For me, Kizomba is a gentleman’s dance, where, from the initial hold, we should respect our lady and dance and interpret the music for her. It is a beautiful dance where we can find a deep spiritual connection between man and woman that is unique.
The beauty of Kizomba is in its simplicity. I believe it is important to show your personality when you dance and always dance from your heart x
Like life, I continue to try and improve my dancing every day.
Jose Ferrera Mulen (UK/CUBA)
I’m an AfroCuban percussionist and Salsa teacher, I’ve been a member of the Dance Libre professional dance and music company for more than 15 years, I moved to England in 2005 and worked in various festivals like Womad, , Salsa congress, Afrocuban party, etc.
DJ Andy – Mambo Vibes (UK)
Salsa & Bachata DJ
I live in Northampton and was introduced to Salsa dancing in 2002. After that first encounter I found myself instantly hooked. I would go and seek out clubs to take part in the group dance lessons and then social dance as much as I possibly could. Moving on to 2008 I started to get involved in teaching, and then opened my first club in Olney, Buckinghamshire and then later in 2009 I relocated to Northampton with the launch of Mambo Vibes. Since then I have operated Mambo Vibes based from Northampton hosting weekly club nights, party nights, private events, and private dance lessons.
I’m fully involved in the promotion of Salsa and other related dances, I teach, DJ, and promote. In March 2015 I achieved the UKA – Licentiate (Club Dance Salsa Division) teaching qualification.
I have a passion for Latin music and have a vast collection of ‘quality’ music that I love to share to the dance floor, wether it is Salsa, Bachata, or Kizomba I will keep the floor on fire all night. I have a big and well respected reputation for the way I set up sound systems. My original background is in electrical & electronic engineering and I really do know how to set up the equipment to achieve the best clarity in the music possible.
You can find out more about Mambo Vibes here
Graham & Morfudd (UK)
Graham and Morfudd live in Suffolk and have been dancing since 2000 with Ballroom and then Salsa. Since 2007 Argentine Tango has been their main focus.
They have studied Traditional Yang Family Tai Chi since 2004 and incorporate the philosophy into the movement of tango to promote listening awareness to body movement, musicality and floor-craft.
Graham is also a tango DJ around East Anglia.