Australasian artists

Manuel and Florencia - Kizomba

Manuel and Florencia

Candela Latin Dance – Melbourne, Australia

Manuel and Florencia are founders and principal instructors of Candela Latin Dance, one of Melbourne’s best Afro-Latin dance schools.

Teaching professionally since 2005, Manuel and Florencia are the dynamic duo behind many successful parties, festivals and other dancing events held over the last 10 years, including the Australian Kizomba Festival.

Highly experienced in Afro-Latin dance styles, they are renowned for specialising in Kizomba (Semba, Tarraxa, Urban Kiz) and Cuban dances such as Salsa, Rueda de Casino, Son, and Rumba.

Their passion for Afro-Latin dances and professionalism in teaching has allowed them to be featured at some of the most prestigious Latin dance events in Australia, including Sydney Cuban Salsa Congress, 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.

Manuel and Florencia’s reputation as excellent and passionate dancers has reached international status and in 2014, they became the first Australian Kizomba instructors to teach at a major international Kizomba festival, L.I.K.E. Festival in Portugal, which is widely considered to be the international hub for Kizomba.

Florencia holds a degree in Arts from the University of Melbourne, with a strong background in the performing arts, particularly musical theatre, acting and film.

Manuel, besides dancing, is one of Australia’s most experienced Afro-Latin DJs. He has taught Brazilian percussion at the Melbourne Samba School, and has performed with several Latin bands in Melbourne’s thriving live music scene.

Luke and Sara

K&L Dance – Brisbane, Australia

Luke and Sara are passionate about Kizomba, and they have been avidly sharing this love, dedicating most of their spare hours each week to developing and refining curriculum, teaching Kizomba, training performance teams and facilitating regular socials and ‘practicas’ for the wider dance community.

Although only a fresh partnership, Luke and Sara have already won the hearts of students, artists and organisers alike at a number of well-established festivals, such as Byron Latin Fiesta, Brisbane Latin Festival, Bailar Kizomba and the Whitsunday Latin Festival, with excellent feedback about their workshops, performances and team attitude.

Luke

In 2002, as Luke watched his dad and friends rock and roll and swing the night away, he came to realise the happiness inspired by dancing. Luke learned ballroom Latin and new vogue, and started performing in and around the Mackay district with Latino Rhythms.

In 2014, Luke relocated to Brisbane to train under Kadu Pires and Larissa Thayane, and has focused on Kizomba also training under Nelson Campos, Vasco Moestus, Mestre Petchu, Miguel & Susana, Lucia and Bruno & Catarina (ALC).

Sara

Sara started with jazz ballet at the age of five, then during secondary school she studied dance extensively continuing to achieve exceptional grades in performance, choreography and written appreciation analysis. She was a member of her high school’s competitive cheerleading squad and has artistic roller-skated at state and national levels.

Sara discovered the passion of Latin dancing during a volunteer trip to Costa Rica in 2010 and the Latin scene has been part of her life ever since – offsetting her “day job” as a financial accountant.

With Kizomba as her core focus, Sara has been inspired by training with Kizomba masters such as Albir Rojas, Sara Lopez, Mafalda Butterflies, Nelson Campos, Vasco Moestus & Mestre Petchu. In 2016, Sara was the official Brisbane representative of the Sara Lopez World Teams Project, training a group of ladies to perform an internationally renowned choreography.

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Lukas

MKDA – Melbourne, Australia

With a deep foundation in various Latin and Afro-Latin dances for over 10 years, Lukas eventually dedicated much of his time to Kizomba and its styles, becoming one of the few certified Kizomba/Semba instructors of Australia. Learning from international greats home and abroad, Lukas has trained, taught and performed internationally in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

In 2015 Lukas was the winner of the 1st Africadancar championship in Australia and the 1st Australian to compete in Kizomba internationally in Lisbon. His School is MKDA (Melbourne Kizomba Dance Academy) previously known as Mundo Style (now Mundo Style Entertainment).

Andrea Fernandez

Free2Dance – Darwin, Australia

Andrea is owner and instructor at Free2Dance in Darwin. Starting her dancing career in Ballroom dancing, it was in salsa that Andrea found her true passion.

Teaching professionally since November 2014, she is highly experienced in Salsa, Bachata, Casino De Rueda and Merengue.

After intense study, Kizomba was added to her repertoire in early 2016, and has since cultivated a large number of students.

Andrea has quickly established herself in the Darwin dancing scene as a brilliant dancer, and equally fantastic instructor. Her students come from all walks of life, and she has inspired many people to give dancing a go, with many finding a new passion in dance.

Andrea believes that dancing is about connection, and the flow of the music. She emphasises that one must thoroughly know the basics before building into something great.

Kizomba lessons with Andrea, are not to be missed!

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Badi and Helen

Badi and Helen

Riovana – Perth, Australia

Badi is the Director of Riovana in Perth and a highly experienced teacher and performer with many years experience in Kizomba, Bachata, Zouk and other Latin Styles.

He and his partner Helen have featured at numerous festivals including Bailar Kizomba in Sydney and Australian Kizomba Festival. They recently returned from a European tour attending some of the most prestigious Kizomba events across Europe.

Hannah Melder

KizAngels, Perth, Australia

Hannah is a passionate artist, having danced her entire life in various styles including Salsa, hip hop, Jazz, Zouk, Bachata  . Hannah has been dancing Kizomba for four years now, learning from some of the best international intructors and Perth Kizomba pioneer Kizomba Muxima (Camilo).

Always looking to improve herself, Hannah has furthered her experience in Kizomba by traveling to Portugal and completing Teachers’ Training with both Mestre Petchu & Vanessa, as well as Afro Latin Connection.

Hannah has also been fortunate enough to participate as both a teacher and a performer at various Kizomba festivals in Australia such as AWAKE, AKF, BK and as far as Batuke in London, Kizomba Paradise in Dili And ALFA in Kuala Lumpur.

This has allowed her to collaborate with some of the world’s best Kizomba teachers including Helio Santos and DJKS Vasco. Hannah loves sharing her passion of this rich cultural dance and her knowledge of Kizomba, Semba and Tarraxinha.

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