We have a variety of capable instructors at our Falls Church Studio. Our students can learn dancing, singing, painting, and various musical instruments.
Our Dance Instructors
Susana Lizarraga - Owner/Director
Susana Lizarraga was born in La Paz, Bolivia. At an early age she started teaching dance to her friends and creating her own routines. Dance was something that came from her spirit, considering there was no Television, or Internet at the time. After majoring as an auditor, she decided that dancing was her true passion in life. In the 1981 she enrolled at Humberto Lizarraga's dance studio, an already famous dancer and choreographer. After 4 years of dancing together they married in 1985. Together they toured various schools, Universities, and Theaters to spread the beautiful art of dance. In 1992 they founded Latin Dancer Inc. in northern VA. Unfortunately Humberto passed away at the age of 58. Nonetheless, Susana, along with her son Patricio, continue teaching dance, singing, painting and the visual arts at Latin Dancer Studio.
Patricio Lizarraga - Lead Dance Instructor
Patricio Lizarraga born January 1987 in Bolivia. He began learning dance at the early age of 14 years old. Patricio is the son of the former director and dancer Humberto Lizarraga and his wife Susana Lizarraga. He specializes in Latin dance (Salsa, Bachata, Rumba, Merengue, and Cha Cha). He began to feel very passionate about Argentine tango not long after starting his dance career.For more than 10 years Patricio has taught in his own dance academy, public schools, night clubs, convention centers, and also workshops. He continues to show his growing talent at the prestigous Argentinan festival today.
Michele Yandell - Dance Instructor
Michele began dancing at the age of four. She specializes in Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Gymnastics, Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue. Since she was eleven years old she has been a part of mentoring programs and summer camps. She has the ability to communicate with others well because of this. As an adult she found her true passion in Tango and trains daily and receives instruction from world champions. She enjoys sharing her passions with people who wish to learn dance.
Ronald Rios - Dance Instructor
Dancer Extraordinaire AKA FuNk2cLiVe
Professional Dance Instructor, Choreographer and Performer with more than 7 years of professional dance experience specializing in L.A.,DC and NY Style Salsa and Hip Hop.
Notable performances include appearances on the hit TV show "THE DROP," SITV, and Descontrol on Univision.
Also, have been featured on the 2007 Latin Grammies and in the short film salsa movie "Mano" would be in feature film soon!.
The Elite Specialist of The Elites Of Dc (www.Theelitesofdc.com) >br>The focus to a Nice refine way of living as a single men or women.
1. Help and advises to pick and choose the right attire for a special date or business occasion.
2. I analyze and give the last opinion on someones profile, and after organize and pick the potential Elites on men or women.
3. Give the last look on events,flier and projects of the website(www.Theelitesofdc.com), And pick and organize for the next one!
4. Help and Advise for love connection and relationship.
Aldo Ortega - Dance Instructor
Mixing a blend of high energy, dedication and humor,
Aldo's classes are aimed to get beginners out on the dance floor quickly; While also refining details in dancers that are looking to further their knowledge.
He has a passion for teaching, both kids and adults, evidenced in the amount of hours that he has spent teaching volunteer classes in his first years of college.
He also loves learning and expanding his style, both from different instructors and students as well.
His patience allows students to grasp complex dance steps in a simple and fun manner.
Aldo has also been playing guitar for over 10 years.
Having played in various bands over the years, his style ranges from rock, jazz, Spanish classical to Renaissance-era music.
His passion for teaching dance extends to music and you could catch him in restaurants playing around the area.
Dancer since 2009. Styles, Cuban, New York Salsa On2, LA Salsa On1, Kizomba, Semba Tarraxinha and Argentine Tango.
My dancing experience focused on the Afro-Latin word.
A total of experience 8 years dancing and training 5 to 7 times a week.
Note that dancing 5 to 7 times a week would equate under all other conditions to 24 years if you condider once or twice a week the norm.
Kizomba 4 years.
Kizomba is an Afro-Portuguese tango like dance very popular in Europe and all the world.
It is quickly becoming the new dance to know. It focuses on connection.
It is a partner dance like tango.
It has three style: Slow, medium and quick corresponding to tarrazinha, kizomba and semba. In fact kizomba came from semba, an Angolan dance.
Tango 1 year
Bachata 8 years
Salsa 8 years
All these years are intensive learning and intensive practice.
Salsa congress & Workshops
Kizomba Congresses & Workshops
Bachata congresses & Workshops
Private lessons with international kizomba instructors
Blog Master of The Kizomba Room.
Blog Master of Kizomba Music
Administrator of the kizomba Room Group Kizomba Student and Performance team under Oscar BA the Kizomba Ambassador Workshops and festivals Sawa Sawa DC, SKyzomba, Miami Beach Kizomba Festival, Virginia Beach Kizomba Festival, Kizomba NYC French Connection.
Promoter and organizer of Kizomba & Bachata Love Festival Bethesda
Studied kizomba under Kwenda Lima(Portugal), Ivo Viera(Portugal), Shani Mayer(Israel), Tony Pirata(France), Sara Lopes(Spain), Cymeone Mopao(France), David Campos(USA), Charles Ogar(USA), Eddy Vents(USA), Djz Vasco(France), Henry Jamba(Zchech Republic), Paulo Cruz(Angola), Enah Lebon(France), Yair & Chaliana(USA), Maria Ivaniva(USA), Rico Suave(UK), Mamdela Mandela(Angola), Norma Facey(UK), Lucia Noigueira(Portugal), Karla Villareal(USA), Monica Kizomba Harmony(USA), Rachel Cassandra(USA), Puto Chines(France), Kristofer Mencak (Sweeden), Miguel & Sabrina (France), Miguel Monteiro (Portugal).
Bessy Slz - Dance Instructor
Our Music Instructors
Maria de Fatima Cantelli - Singing Instructor
Maria de Fatima Cantelli, born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, holds a magna cum laude Vocal Performance degree from The Catholic University of America. Her love of opera comes as a heritage from her Italian grandparents, and her love of teaching springs from a desire to contribute to vocal art tradition and artistic expression. Ms. Cantelli has performed both the mezzo and the soprano operatic repertoire, and among her favorite roles are:
- Penelope (Il Ritorno D'Ulisse in Patria)
- Orfeo (Orfeo ed Euridice)
- Mother Superior (Suor Angelica)
- Zita (Gianni Schicchi)
- The Third Lady (The Magic Flute)
- Suzuki (Madama Butterfly; Santuzza, Cavalleria Rusticana)
- Magda Sorel (The Consul)
Ms. Cantelli has been a recipient of scholarships and awards for her dedication not only to individual students, but also to audience development. Her latest endeavor is with The Opera Guild of Northern Virginia, working for the fund-raising project Singing HOPE for Haiti, which took place on Mother's Day, May 9, 2010. Ms. Cantelli can be reached by e-mail and by phone at (571) 331-3820.
Mr. Aguilar started his studies at the Venezuelan Conservatory of Music, studying the classical guitar of Edo Aragua Maracay. From there, he studied electric guitar, learning the Latin rhythms and Brazilian music, including jazz rock. Following his studies, he went on to work with several major record labels as a studio musician, integrating rock bands and recording several albums as the lead guitarist with many of them. He then studied music pedagogy with Professor Cristobal Edo Gornez in Valencia edo Carabobo. His work has taken him to the Academy Yamaha in Maracy Edo Aragua, as well as to Musiyama in Margarita Edo Nueva Esparta, where he worked as a music guitar professor and taught the "Cuatro," which is a folk instrument of his native country. He began Flamenco Guitar studies with professor Pepe Blanco and then worked for four years at a renowned Margarita restaurant named La Sevillana, where he acted with the flamenco show.
Profile coming soon :)
Nazir Becerra (Pacha)
Mr. Becerra was born in Bolivia and is the guitar teacher at our local dance studio. He plays lead guitar for ZAFRA and is a professor at the Falls Church High School. In Bolivia, he went to Milan Guitar High Level School, the Anglo-American School, and the Man Cespedes Academy, among others. He has participated in fold, praise, and a variety of other musical groups. Mr. Becerra has extensive experience teaching children and adults of all ages.