Salsa Dance

Music and Dance Instructors in Havana, Cuba


Percussion and Drumming


Take advantage of the exclusive opportunity to take percussion and drumming lessons with one of the best drummers and teachers in Havana, Ruy Lopez-Nussa! Lopez is a graduate of the Cuban "Instituto Superior de Arte" and has toured as a professional musician all over the world. In addition he has maintained an impressive teaching career that began in Pinar del Rio in 1976. Most recently he has held a position as professor for percussion at the School of Music "Amadeo Roldan de La Habana". His passion for teaching has lead to the foundation of the music school "La Academia".

You can see a short video about Lopez-Nussa and "La Academia" on YouTube:

In our drumming workshop we will start with learning to drum the basic rhythm of the Cuban Son on a Conga drum. We will then learn the basic rhythm of the Rumba and learn to add additional percussive instruments, most importantly for dancers the Clave sticks. We learn the difference between the Son and the Rumba Clave. At the end of the workshop we will be able to drum a Conga sequence as used in the street parades in Cuba.

Afro-Cuban Body Movement


Our Afro-Cuban body movement workshop is taught by Elizabeth Fernandez Almeida. Elizabeth is a graduate of the Cuban National School of Ballet where she reached the level of Prima Ballerina. After a long career working with various famous choreographers, Elizabeth is currently working as a Prima Ballerina for the Cuban National Television Ballet Ensemble.

During Elizabeth's class you will work on body movement isolation techniques for the shoulders, chest and hips. These body movements of Afro-Cuban origin are an essential part of Salsa dancing. These are the skills that you can definitely take home with you and use as styling in any type of Salsa danced around the world. You can see a video with all the Afro-Cuban body movements we worked on during the retreat in Havana in January on YouTube.

Salsa Dancing


Our Salsa dance workshop is taught by Caridad Rodríguez Riverón, who is known in Cuba by the name Caruca. Caruca was a well-known dancer when she performed with her husband, and she has spent many years of her career directing and choreographing for the Cuban National Television Ballet and for the famous cabaret Tropicana.All our dance partners are either members of the Cuban National Television Ballet or full-time Salsa dance instructors. Some are also performers at the Tropicana. A low quality video of a show from Cuban TV that was choreographed by Caruca can be seen on YouTube.

The Salsa class starts with a short warm-up that introduces common Salsa steps and the specific steps that will be incorporated in the patterns that we will work on with our partners. The rest of class is dedicated to partner dancing. You will learn a new pattern with your instructor and work together to expand what you learned earlier. The class ends with a Rueda that incorporates all the new patterns we have learned with our partner!

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