Kristian Santos Founder of Tumbao Latin Dance
Kristian began his journey into dance in March, 2012 when a friend convinced him to try salsa classes. At the time, he believed he would try it for just a few months. Now, 6 years later, he finds himself still learning, still growing, and eager to help others find their own rewarding paths through the amazing world of salsa.
Kristian started his journey taking salsa classes with Raices Latin Dance once per week, but after a month he was in the studio every day. He found himself quickly advancing through the school’s classes and eventually joining the student team, semi pro team and the pro team and performing in multiple salsa events. After leaving Raices, Kristian continued to take classes at various locations throughout Boston, Providence, Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx. In addition, Kristian is the Director of Yamulee Project Boston and the Founder of Tumbao Latin Dance.
Kristian focus is on helping his students see social dancing not just as a series of movements but as a kind of conversation between dance partners. By helping students understand the mechanics and signals of leading and following, he encourages them to find their own voice and style on the dance floor.
Clara Ramos Co Director of Tumbao Latin Dance
Clara began her ballet studies at Ballet School Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic at the age of 4. She continued her studies at Ballet Clara Elena Ramirez, Ballet Concierto Dominicano and Ballet Studio Doris Infante. At age 19, Clara Ramos auditioned and was selected to join the Company Ballet Nacional Dominicano, directed by Monika Despradel. She performed in the following ballets: Gisselle, Swan Lake, Romeo & Juliet, The Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and the Nutcracker. In addition, she danced the female variation of the Ballets Paquita and The Corsair and performed as Principal Dancer in the ballets Don Quixote as Kitri and Coppélia as Swanilda. Clara started dancing Salsa ON 1 at La Academia de Chicha when she was 13 years old and returned to this studio years later to help with the classes. In 2014, she started dancing professionally at On2 Dance Studio with Rafael Tejeda as Director, and in 2016 she joined Yamulee Dance Company in New York City.
Lilyvette Perez Instructor of Tumbao Latin Dance
Lilyvette has been dancing since the age of 12, intermittently taking hip hop, ballet, contemporary, and gymnastics classes. She loves to dance and eventually found Salsa and Bachata in 2012. Six months into her Salsa journey, she placed 2nd as a beginner, with her dance partner, in a small dance competition; she soon started performing and fell in love. She has performed Salsa and Bachata at the Connecticut, Boston, and Houston Salsa Festivals and loves growing as a dancer and performer. Lilyvette is a certified Alex and Desiree Bachata Instructor and was co-director of the AnD Worldwide Rhode Island Team. Lilyvette was a dancer with La Fuerza Massachusetts and is currently a dancer with Tumbao Worcester and Yamulee Boston Project.
Eric Telfort Instructor of Tumbao Latin Dance
Eric Telfort is a Miami native who found salsa through cougars at the Iguana lounge in New York City while escaping the stresses of graduate school in 2009. Eric had no prior experience taking studio dance classes, but quickly picked up the movement of salsa when he was re-introduced to it by Carlos Gonzalez of Mambo Pa Ti in Providence. Eric has been dancing for 5 years and has performed with Mambo Pa Ti, Raices Latin Dance company, and currently Yamulee Boston project. A professional visual artist, Eric sees salsa as a creative form of expression to interpret the human condition.
In addition to salsa, Eric is an Assistant Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, and a professional fine artist. He enjoys video games, basketball, shopping, and the casual company of friends. On the dance floor he often assumes the spirit of his dancing alter ego; Black Mambo.
Alexis Pacheco Hip Pop Instructor at Tumbao Latin Dance
Alexis started dancing at the age of 7, beginning with salsa at a local studio. At the age of 13, he started taking hip-hop classes, and over time he took part in many performances and brought home many metals. Now, thirteen years later, he is part of Phunk Phenomenon, a hip-hop group stationed out of Boston that has participated in America’s Best Dance Crew, World of Dance and Hip-Hop International. Alexis currently teaches hip-hop at Dance Works Academy in Upton, MA. He also forms part of a local entity called OLYTNUS, teaches at a local youth center and takes part in many local events. Through this work, he has helped stimulate Worcester’s creativity and build community. Alexis loves learning new things and acknowledges that the best teachers never stop being students. Alexis’ hip-hop is a hybrid of all the styles he has learned over his career, which have included classes with Les Twins and the best salseros and salseras in Worcester. Alexis’ goals are to expand horizons all around and to develop a unique way of approaching music as a whole.
EDMY ORTIZ Flamenco Instructor at Tumbao Latin Dance
Born and raised in the Dominican Republic, Edmy has lived alongside a family of many talents; a family in which exudes the very concept of art, ranging from architects to musicians. She initiated in arts at a very early age; was formed in acrylics and oil paints in the Dominican Republic through several art classes at Bellas Artes and private lessons with Thelma Tejada and Miguel Valenzuela. After finishing her Architectural studies in 2003, she moves to Worcester, Massachusetts where she continued to pursue arts by frequenting numerous classes at the Worcester Art Museum and as a member of ArtsWorcester, presenting her first solo exhibition in 2008 at the ArtsWorcester's gallery at Quinsigamond Community College. Through her pieces she conveys the message of originality and develops a field of opportunities for others to emerge into her ancestry.
Edmy is also a Flamenco dancer. She started Flamenco back in 2001 at the Academy of Spaniard Dance "El Patio Andalúz" where she acquired her solid foundation by studying "Sevillanas, Castañuelas y Técnicas de Clásico Español", directed by Paquita Acosta (Spanish dancer, bailadora). She counts with over 10 years of experience teaching and performing in the Worcester-Boston area, mostly under the training of Maestro Ramon de los Reyes. Mrs. Ortiz has also integrated herself into workshops from Issac de los Reyes, Nino de los Reyes, Soledad Barrio, La Lupi, Pastora Galvan, Jesus Carmona, Jose Maya and Omayra Amaya.