Shaka Brown's Biography

Shaka Gonzalez Brown is one of the most sought-after dance instructors in the world. Having taught in over 35 countries, Shaka’s influence can be felt around the globe.  Shaka makes learning fun, and has helped thousands to find the dancer within themselves. Shaka teaches turn patterns, spinning, body movement, footwork, musicality and more. His style is both engaging, challenging and educational. Shaka is well known for his fluidity, creativity and musicality on the dance floor and he’s easy to find at any event, generally social dancing until the last song!

Shaka believes that no two classes should be the same, and that everyone is capable of learning to dance. His professional approach and positive attitude have provided him with golden opportunities. He has taught a wide range of students, including the Deaf, and those with physical challenges, how to enjoy life through movement and dance.

Shaka has released 14 instructional videos. His “Step-By-Step” video series was selected by Canada’s BPM Tv for syndicated broadcast to millions of  viewers. Additionally, Shaka works closely with other instructors, sharing tips, guidance, and strategies for developing a career in dance. It was this passion for dance, sharing, and learning that Shaka founded SimpleDanceMethod.com, built for dancers anywhere in the world to learn, teach, and contribute to the world of dance.

In 2005, Shaka Brown co-founded the Capital Congress, a 4-day festival of Latin dance held annually in Washington DC.

Outside of dance, Shaka’s hobbies include raising tuberculosis awareness, motorcycles, volleyball, chess, and language study (Shaka speaks Spanish and Portuguese). You can find out more about him at www.ShakaBrown.com

Roy Ruiz's Biography

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Roy moved to Florida in 1996 hoping for a better education. Roy started dancing at the age of 16 as a break dancer and later caught wind of salsa. He has been dancing and teaching salsa for 12+ years.

 

Throughout his dance involvement, he acquired a good understanding of different styles of Latin dance, and has performed and taught at multiple locations in the U.S. and internationally (Germany, Holland, California, Texas, Florida, and Oklahoma). While in Texas, Roy has also won several regional salsa competitions, including 1st place at the Texas Salsa Classic in 2010.

 

Roy has also performed with hip hop dance groups in various college events. Moreover, he’s competed in BET's Spring Bling in 2004 and auditioned for So You Think You Can Dance in 2011. Roy produced and directed the Capital City Salsa Festival, a salsa congress in the heart of Texas, from 2009 through 2012. This event gained recognition all over Texas with a yearly attendance of 1000+ salsa enthusiasts.

 

His humility and passion for salsa made him an advocate of the dance and leader of the Texas salsa community. Roy now lives in Seattle and has gained recognition as a prominent dancer in the Pacific Northwest. He’s also co-founder of a very popular salsa/mambo socials in Seattle: Mambo Pica Pica. This event is hosted on the first Sunday of every month at Dance Underground.

 

He has expertise in Mambo On2, Salsa On1, Cha Cha Cha, Pachanga, Dominican-Style Bachata, Afro-Cuban Rumba, and many other dance techniques. While in Seattle, he hopes to continue to spread his love and knowledge for Latin Dance.

Shani Talmor's Biography

Shani Talmor, born and raised in Israel, has traveled worldwide presenting her sensual and sexy Salsa style. Trained in a variety of dance styles, including Ballet, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Samba and Afro-Cuban, Shani is an energetic and explosive dancer. She is world-renowned for her unique, sensuous styling and body movement on and off the dance floor. She has powerful stage presence and a passionate love for teaching. Certified in Simonson Jazz Technique By Dance New Amsterdam, NYC and graduated of the Intern summer program at Broadway Dance Center, NYC. 

Shani started her way in the dance world in the age of 7 dancing jazz and ballet at "Dance Alma & Arnon" studios in Israel directed by Alma Frankfurt and Arnon Zucker. She joined the studio performance company and was performing on TV shows and many local events with the company till the age of 18 when she was exposed to Latin dance and culture. She began establishing her name in the Latin world in Israel in 2000, as part of the Israeli Salsa Academy "Latino Del Mundo" directed by Lior Petel and Ronen "Paco" Biran. Shani has been teaching and performing at Latin cultural events and TV shows in Israel. She specializes in Cuban style, L.A style, ladies styling and Samba. 

At the age of 20, Shani moved to Spain in order to further enhance her dance career and become part of the world-renowned salsa dance company known as "Imperio Azteca" directed by Johnny Vazquez and Ramon Morales. After only one year in the company, Shani became Johnny's permanent dance partner and the group's principal female dancer. She continues to be one of the most memorable former dancers in the company. In 2004, the group and its members were voted "Best Group of the Year: 2004" by the Europe salsa community. 

In 2005, the group shifted its functions and activities to Italy and became part of "Academia Latina" located in Caravaggio, Bergamo. Shani taught various dance styles, including ladies styling, Cha-Cha-Cha, Samba, L.A style and Mambo in the academy. She performed most successfully with Johnny in numerous international salsa congresses, festivals and Latin associations throughout Europe. 

In 2007, Shani moved to NYC to be part of Caribbean Soul Dance Co. directed by Ismael Otero. Ismael and Shani have manifested a unique immersion of their individual styles, which also include all aforementioned dance styles (i.e., Cuban salsa, NY mambo, LA style, Hip-Hop and Jazz). In addition, Shani has been requested by choreographer, Sekou McMiller in September 2008, to join his Latin Jazz project “Proyecto Descarga”. 

In 2008, Shani founded and is the director of an All females ladies styling performance team calls “Shani’s Girls” which is performing most successfully in the past 4 years in many Latin events over the USA such as Washington DC, Boston, Connecticut, NY, Philadelphia, Puerto Rico, Miami and more. 

Recently, Shani has been performed with Pitbull, Marc Anthony, T-Pain and Ne-Yo on the NBC morning show, performed at KatDeluna Video clip "Dancing Tonight" and new upcoming artist "Carishma", and currently dancing on the TV show “Mira Quien Baila”, “Sabado Gigante” and “Don Francisco Presenta” on Univision TV Network, Miami. 

In the end of Dec 2010, Shani has been asked to perform and become "The mambo king", Eddie Torres, dance partner. Eddie and Shani have been traveling in the past 3 years to many salsa congresses and Latin events around the world such as: Saint Petersburg White Nights Salsa Fest, Russia, Punta Cana salsa congress DR, Angora Salsa Addiction; Charlotte Salsa Invitational, Seattle Salsa Congress, Miami Salsa Congress, ON2 Salsa Congress in Milan, Italy, Istanbul International Dance Festival, International Salsa Festival in Marseille, France, Israel Salsa Congress, Warsaw Salsa Festival, Poland, Brazil Salsa Congress, Zurich Salsa Congress, Croatia Salsa Congress, Venezuela Salsa Congress and many more.