About Candela Latin Dance
At Candela Latin Dance, our purpose is to give everyone who feels a connection to Latin dance and music a home where you can learn to dance, socialise, party, and make friends.
We guide our students so that you can improve your dancing skills, perform and be part of the welcoming and active Latin Dance community we have built for more than a decade.
Manuel and Florencia
Manuel and Florencia are the principal instructors and directors of Candela Latin Dance, one of Melbourne’s most successful Latin Dance companies. They have been teaching professionally and full-time since 2005.
Highly sought-after and well respected in the Australian Latin Dance scene, they are the dynamic duo behind many successful classes, parties, festivals and events over the last 10 years, and have a strong following in Melbourne and around Australia.
They have made several intensive study trips overseas (Cuba, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Portugal and France) to study dance, music, percussion and the cultures of the dance styles they represent, and have trained with some of the best dance teachers in the world.
Experienced in several Afro-Latin dance styles, they are renowned for specialising in Cuban Dance (Salsa, Rueda de Casino, Son, Rumba) and Kizomba (Semba, Tarraxa, Urban Kiz), as well as Bachata, Reggaeton and Zumba. For years they have hosted the most popular weekly Cuban Salsa and Kizomba classes in Melbourne.
Manuel and Florencia have featured at some of the most prestigious Latin Dance events in Australia, including Sydney Cuban Salsa Congress, Australian Kizomba Festival, Melbourne Latin Festival, Sydney Bailar Kizomba Festival, Byron Bay Latin Fiesta, AWAKE Perth Kizomba Festival, Sydney International Bachata Festival, Portsea Summer Latin Festival and Absolut Kizomba Festival Adelaide.
In addition they have produced their own successful events, such as the Portsea Summer Latin Festival, an exciting annual beachside getaway, as well as their monthly Latin Club Melbourne parties, which attract hundreds of dancers from all over Melbourne and Victoria. They have also hosted the Melbourne leg of the International Rueda de Casino Flash Mob Day.
In 2014 they made history by organising the Australian Kizomba Festival in Melbourne, the first ever Kizomba festival of its kind in Australasia. The event is now the region’s premier Kizomba festival and the highly-anticipated 4th edition returns in August 2017.
Another major achievement was when they became the first Australian Kizomba instructors to teach at a major international Kizomba festival (L.I.K.E. Festival 2014), based in Portugal, widely considered to be the international hub for Kizomba.
Florencia holds a degree in Arts from the University of Melbourne, and has a strong background in the performing arts, particularly musical theatre, acting and film. She has previously been interviewed for Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine as an expert on Latin dancing and its health benefits.
Manuel comes from a well-known artistic family, is one of Australia’s most experienced Afro-Latin DJs, has taught Brazilian percussion at the Melbourne Samba School, and has performed with several Latin bands in Melbourne’s thriving live music scene. He was also a member of the 1st place Rueda Team at the 2006 Australian Salsa Championships.
Manuel and Florencia are top-calibre teachers in every regard – they are renowned for their warm and friendly teaching style, clear and engaging methodology, extensive knowledge, alongside a huge dose of charisma and fun!