Meet the incredible instructors for the Queenstown Salsa Festival 2022
Sydney - Australia
Winner of numerous salsa championships and founder of the “Shine brothers” and “Salsa unit” professional dance teams, Artia was born in the capital city of Tehran/Iran. He is one of the most regarded upcoming professionals in the Australian scene and is sought after for his style, energy, teaching and social dancing all around the world.
He has studied Latin dancing and been mentored by some of Australia and worlds best including Oliver Pineda, Adolfo Indacochea, Fernando Sosa etc. He also trained in ballet, lyrical, hip-hop, and jazz with Robert Sturrock and the Industry Dance Academy, and was a member of the elite “Modus Vivendi” salsa team competing in world level competitions.
Emily Dance Productions - Christchurch
Emily is one of the leading instructors in New Zealand with over 12 years’ experience teaching across New Zealand, Australia and Asia. She has performed, competed and trained in Miami, Italy, Paris, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Singapore. Director of E Dance Productions with multiple national titles and the current World Salsa Solo Bachata Champion in the Professional Division.
Emily mentors and trains dancers across New Zealand, specialising in confidence and ladies styling.
Bailando Rueda - Auckland
Originally from Chile, Diego is a popular face on the New Zealand Salsa scene. His focus is on Cuban (Miami Style). In Santiago, he was a member of the performing group and an instructor at A Lo Cubano y Social, Santiago de Chile. He spent time in Cuba in 2017 honing his Cuban style.
With his exceptional teaching style and his attention to technical detail, Diego has quickly developed a following on the Auckland Rueda circuit. He also runs his own Rueda Group “Bailando Rueda” from a studio based in South Auckland.
Ricardo & Yan
RYDE - Auckland
Ricardo and Yan are the directors of RYDE based in Auckland. They have a combined Latin dance experience of over 20 years specialising in On2 Salsa and Bachata. They started their partnership in 2018 and have trained, performed, and competed in the US, Europe, South America, and Asia, as well as teaching across Australasia. They have won several titles across Australia and New Zealand as a couple and soloist, and their teams are the current national champions.
Ricky is known for his complex turn patterns and cheeky fun style on the social dance floor. Yan is known for her footwork and musical choreographies.
They are excited to teach at the Queenstown Salsa Festival and share their love of dance.
Kate Le Brun
Pasión Salsa - Wanaka
Kate discovered Salsa dancing in 2009, and quickly immersed herself in Latin music and culture.
She has had the privilege of learning from one of New Zealand’s musicality masters for many years, and has studied in Cuba and Peru with world champions and street dancers alike.
Now living in Central Otago, Kate is the driving force behind Pasión Salsa Wanaka, and DJs around New Zealand at Latin events.
Pasión Salsa - Queenstown
Originally from Uruguay, Matias defines himself as a “bailador” who is always in search of new songs to share his passion for dancing. His love for Latin music led him from dancing to DJing and has been the resident DJ at Pasion Salsa Queenstown for the past 5 years running and organising the social nights.
He DJed in the first Queenstown Salsa Festival last April and DJed twice at the NZ Salsa Congress.
“When there’s real love behind something, it makes a difference”.
So makes sure you are on the dance floor when he’s playing because you don’t want to miss out those tunes.
Born in Colombia Rafa grew up with Salsa as a big influence in life and after spending a good part of it in London and other main cities in Europe, he noticed the salsa wave expanding. Apart from being a Salsa instructor and performer at Salsa Magic in Wellington, stage winner and mentor, Rafa also brings us the Salsa joy and flavour as a DJ. Join us this year at the Queenstown Festival and dance to the best classic and fresh salsa and bachata tunes from DJ Rafa.
Originally from Lima, Peru, Walker came to New Zealand 6 years ago. He first landed in Wellington and then moved to Queenstown looking for new challenges and opportunities. He started playing music around the Queenstown-Lakes region for the past 4 years and had his first debut on the turntables at the NZ Salsa Congress earlier this year. Walker also has his own radio channel called SB Radio on Zeno FM Online and is looking forward to sharing his tunes with everyone at the Queenstown this year!
DJ Neat (also known as Shan Patel) is originally from London, UK and his passion for dancing started in New Zealand nearly 8 years ago. Since then he has found a love for DJing and discovering new Afro Latin music to play at dance socials as well as being an avid dancer in Cuban Salsa and Kizomba.
You will find DJ Neat at local Salsa and Kizomba socials in Auckland as well as travelling around the country to DJ at festivals.
Specialising in Cuban Timba, Salsa, Bachata and Kizomba (Zouk, Ghetto Zouk, Tarraxinha).
Daisy started learning Salsa and Bachata dance in 2012, and she fell in love with the warm atmosphere and the friendliness of the dance community which led her to run Latin social parties from 2014.
Daisy’s interest in dancing Bachata and Kizomba motivated her to learn how to DJ for social events, and she has been invited to DJ at regular social parties and national Latin events since 2016, including Viva Sunday Social, Latin Fiesta, New Zealand Salsa Congress, and other local dance events. Daisy was voted “Auckland Best Latin Party DJ” in 2017, and she continues to share her passion for Latin music with everyone in the dancing scene.