Queer Latin Dance Festival, 2018

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June 8 & 9, 2018
June 8
In Lak’ech Dance Academy presents
Workshops 3-5:15pm
Challenge:10am to 12pm
Performances & Social dancing: 9:30pm-2am
Tickets: $40-$85 sliding scale, NOTA
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-queer-latin-dance-festival-tickets-44664043356
Website: queerlatindancefestival.com

June 9
1st Queer Latin Dance Festival – Theme: High School Prom

Musical act: Andre Veloz
Challenge: 10-12p.m.
Workshops: 12:15-3:45pm
Showcase: 7:30pm-8:30p.m.
Social dancing: 9p.m.-12 a.m.
After party: 12 a.m.-3 a.m.
Tickets: $40-$100 sliding scale, NOTA
Tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/1st-annual-queer-latin-dance-festival-tickets-44664043356

Website: queerlatindancefestival.com

Creating Queer Community Program

Founded in Oakland in 2017, In Lak’ech Dance Academy is the first Queer Latin dance academy in the U.S. The Directors, Angelica Medina and Jahaira Fajardo, strive to share their love of dance with the world by uniting diverse communities. They offer opportunities for growth and healing through dance and are actively building an inclusive, loving community of talented dancers. They would like to create visibility by training strong Queer performers, as they believe that visibility increases awareness & open mindedness – which has a positive impact on the LGBTQ community as a whole.

The festival is a celebration of the community In Lak’ech Dance Academy has fostered throughout their first year. This celebration includes two full days of dance – workshops, choreography challenges, performances, social dancing, after parties, and more!


Jahaira & Angelica
In 2014, Jahaira Fajardo and Angelica Medina, the Directors of In Lak’ech Dance Academy met and fell in love on the dance floor. They both share an immense passion for dance & decided to grow as dance partners while training for competition. In December 2015 they placed 1st in the Latin Ladies Same Gender Division, at the World Latin Dance Cup. Jahaira made history as the first Bachata female leader to become a World Champion.

In 2017, Jahaira and Angelica participated and completed the Alex and Desiree Bachata Instructor Certification Course. They also had the honor to Direct The AnD WW ~Team SF Season One. In Lak´ech Dance Academy is the direct result of the passion they both share for dancing and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others through dance.

Alfredo Rojas
Alfredo is the Salsa Director at In Lak’esh Dance Academy, where he brings his passion for dance, his warm personality, and his vivid teaching style to his students and colleagues. An avid dancer since 2009, Alfredo is now creating dynamic on-2 Salsa choreography and trains competitive dance performers. From Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico, Alfredo came to the U.S. in 2000. He attended basic Salsa lessons around the Bay Area until he found and joined Salsamania Dance Company. During his six years with the Salsamania Alfredo competed in both the 2014 and 2015 World Latin Dance Cup, where his teams ranked second and third place, in the Amateur Salsa Team division. He has performed in shows throughout the Bay Area, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.

Tina & Courtney
Originally from Boston, Tina has been dancing since the age of 2, and has trained in ballet, tap, jazz, and ballroom. After falling in love with Latin dance and training with Alma Latina Boston, she is now Directing her own team, establishing her passion for teaching. As a queer female lead, she has become a major advocate for individual empowerment and expression. Tina’s goals are to give her students the technical foundation needed, so that they can explore their individual creativity.

Courtney trained for ten years in classical ballet at Walnut Hill School for the Arts in Natick, MA. Throughout college at the University of Michigan, she choreographed and performed lyrical and ballet pieces with Salto Dance Company. She currently lives in Boston, where she performs sensual bachata with Alma Latina and Boston Touch and teaches ballet classes to Latin dancers.

Zeke Ruvalcaba
Zeke Ruvalcaba is a Mexican/Chicago native who has maintained the spirit of Bachata alive in Chicago for over 10 years. His creative approach in teaching has much to do with his degree in Dance and Secondary Education. Zeke has trained in Ballet, Modern and Jazz and specializes in choreography/instruction, in addition to spinning, styling and body movement. One of his strongest assets apart from his energetic and humorous personality is his ability to follow as well as he leads. On the dance floor, Zeke captivates people with his unique flamboyant style weather leading or following.

David & Lyliana
David Beltran, 22 and Lyliana Beltran,18, are a brother and sister duo from Los Angeles, CA who have been dancing since the age of 3 and 6. Part of MG Dance Company who are currently 4 time World Latin Dance Cup Champions, they are trained in many genres of dance like salsa, bachata, hip hop, contemporary, jazz, ballet, tango, etc. Their team motto is: always learn and train with an “open mind, open heart” and ALWAYS stay humble…

Jhon & Dalia
Jhon Freddy Narvaez, representing Colombia & the San Francisco Bay Area, is a world-class ground-breaking salsa dance artist, instructor, and world champion, who has garnered too many titles to list. He has helped mold champions of the past, present & future with one of the proven best instructional methods & curriculums the Salsa dance world has yet seen. In the last 17 years, his work etiquette, presence, and vision have set him apart from many others in the world of dance.

Dalia Lascares, is a salsa instructor and competitor originally from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Dalia began her dancing career at the tender age of six. Known for her unique styling repertoire and spinning technique, she has become one of the top dancers in Mexico and currently ranks in the top three in the “On 2” Salsa Couples division at the World Latin Dance Cup.

Andrew Cervantes
Andrew is currently one of LA’s Top male soloist and a three time World Latin Dance Cup Champion in the same gender division. He exudes tremendous showmanship and energy both on stage and on the dance floor. He has the ability to lead and follow, and is most known for his following styling and multiple fast spins.

Ensemble Floclorico Colibrí
Ensamble Folclórico Colibrí Is a Mexican Folklórico dance group under the artistic directorship of Maestro Arturo Magaña. Their mission is to promote the pride of identifying as LGBTQ Latinx through the fine art of Mexican Folklórico dance. It was the vision of Maeestro Arturo Magaña to create a unique folklorico group where the LGBTQ Community would have the creative platform to express and validate their sexual and cultural identity.

Rey and Vicky
Rey Ursery first learned dance in the Marine Corps, but started training in 2014 with Ferocity Dance Company in Washington D.C. His foundation of Brazilian Zouk transformed into a love for sensual Bachata. His former teams were Daniel y Desiree World Team Project D.C., Island Touch Intermediate D.C., and Nuevo Ola D.C. He now lives and dances in Phoenix, Arizona.

Vicky started dancing in elementary school focusing on jazz, ballet and lyrical/modern which lead her into competitive dancing. In 2012 she began her training in Latin dance with Artistry Dance Co and Rumba Azteca then Alma Latina. She moved to Mexico for 2 and a half years training under the Alma Latina pros and is currently the director of the Alma Phoenix Ladies Bachata team.

Mireille & Manny
Manny & Mireille really made a name for themselves in 2014 when they wowed the crowded with a fun, playful Bachata, Cumbia, Quebradita routine. Their performance catapulted them to instant popularity. Founders of Sabor Latino Dance Co., the only team in the Bay Area that performs Bachata Cumbia and Quebradita. Mireille Ruiz has been dancing Cumbia, Banda, and Quebradita since she was a young girl. Emmanuel Villarreal “Manny” started his dance career with Cumbia. In 2009 he started teaching Quinceaneras (Sweet 16). His young, fun and enthusiastic way of teaching teenagers made him a very popular instructor in the Bay Area. In 2017 he began Co-directing Alma Latina (Oakland).

Helen & Jeremy
Helen Vazquez began her dance career in 2011. Soon after, she began to compete and won 1st place Amateur Couple at the WLDC 2013. Today, Helen is the director at Hermosura Dance Productions. She continues to compete in the Professional division with new projects this year.

Jeremy Babagay has been dancing for almost 10 years. He is two-time World Professional Rising Star Finalist, and continues to teach all over the Bay Area.

Francisco Junior
Francisco Junior started dancing at the age of 19 with Salsamania dance company. By the age of 20 he began co-directing an international team by the name of, Grizzly Dance Company. That journey consisted of team and partner World Championships, as well as traveling around the world.