Toronto Dance Salsa
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Salsa Instructor / TDS Operations
An avid competitor in both Salsa and Bachata, Aleksander brings his passion for teaching and his love of dance to every class he teaches. A member of the elite TDS 'Caliente' performance team, Aleks began his salsa career when he walked into Toronto Dance Salsa years ago without any dance experience. TDS instructors helped Aleks turn his proverbial 'two left feet' into the coordinated feet of a dancer and now Aleks helps his students do the same.
After years as a helper, assistant and performer Aleks now brings his passion for salsa to all his classes. He focuses on solid technique, body movement, individuality and partner connection. But, above all, Aleks wants his students to experience the joy of dance. Known for his energy and his ability to adapt to diverse learning styles Aleksander's classes are above all, Fun!
Learn more about our Toronto Salsa Dance Lessons
Tripping over her two left feet, in 2007 Lily made her way into her first Salsa class with Toronto Dance Salsa. Learning a brand new dance, at first, seemed like a daunting experience. As it turned out however, by the end of the class she fell in love with it, and saw any obstacle as an opportunity to learn more about herself, and the dance she loved.
She began by going to socials and outings where she got to practice the turn patterns and movements learned in classes. As she got more comfortable dancing, Lily also realized she was part of something larger – the Toronto Salsa community.
Aside from Salsa, Lily has training in a wide range of dance disciplines such as Samba, Bachata, Cha-Cha, Contemporary, Jazz, Flamenco, and all standard ballroom dances.
Her hard work and passion, combined with her charismatic demeanor led her toward the performance aspect of dance, where she has had the opportunity to learn from and share the stage with some of the best dancers in the world. Lily's performance experience includes Salsa Congresses, Bachata Festivals, various street festivals, charity fundraisers, and corporate events.
She currently performs with BASo Alto Ladies, as a company member. With BASo she continues to further develop her Salsa technique, with a particular emphasis on sophistication in ladies styling, precision, execution, and transforming musical interpretation into dance.
Lily's attention to detail, as well as her ability to identify with dancers of all skill levels, and connect with people, made for a seamless transition from student to teacher, where she excels in creating an inclusive atmosphere of intrigue, respect, and fun!
Lily is an advocate for honest self expression. She believes that everyone has the right to tell their whole story without judgement from others. She wanted to create an environment where her best friend and her girlfriend would feel comfortable showing up. She reached out the LGBTQ community and gained a more intimate understanding by listening to their stories about their lived experiences. Equipped with the information, and the intention of creating a compassionate culture, she has shared the knowledge with her assistants and helpers, who are empowered to celebrate diversity.
Learn more about our Toronto Salsa Dance Classes
Dance is a combination of many passions in Lisa’s life. Love of music, love of languages and love of dance. Like many TDS students, Lisa first experienced salsa at a Toronto Dance Salsa outing in 2008. She was forcibly dragged by her best friend and fellow TDS instructor, Jessica Jenkins to an outing where she claims to have been lost, scared, confused and AMAZED by the talent she saw.
While the first few socials and outings she attended were fraught with nervous anticipation, Lisa quickly became addicted to Latin dance, a common phenomenon in the salsa dancing world! Since that time, Lisa has become a part of the FAMILY at Toronto Dance Salsa. From student to assistant and now an instructor at the studio. Before learning to dance, Lisa’s considered herself a soccer player, snowboarder, wakeboarder, volleyball player, triathlete and more, but never a dancer. She is proof that anyone can learn to dance.
Lisa is our resident Bachata instructor, you can find her at the studio every Wednesday for our Bachata program and she also teaches Salsa at TDS. Her classes are characterized by good music, learning, and F-U-N, not to mention smiles and laughter – a MUST in her class!
Learn more about our Toronto Bachata Lessons
Kizomba Instructor / Wedding Choreographer
Felipe has been dancing and performing since the age of seven. While growing up in Chile, he discovered salsa and eventually started teaching and choreographing. After moving to Canada, Felipe continued pursuing his passion for dance by learning many Latin dances such as, Cha Cha Cha, Pachanga, Hustle, Samba and Bachata, becoming a champion of the bachata amateur division at the 2013 Toronto Bachata Festival. Felipe has learned from Billy and Katie, Tito and Tamara, Grupo Alafia, among many other well known instructors around the world.
In 2013 he fell in love with Kizomba and has been teaching, choreographing and performing it ever since. Felipe is the director and choreographer of the Toronto Kizomba Squad, his team has performed at the Canada Salsa Congress, Toronto Kizomba Festival, among many other important events.
Felipe is known for his passion for kizomba, understanding of the roots, musicality, creativity, smoothness, and thoughtful partner connection. Felipe and his partner Katerina have been teaching successful local and international workshops and they are excited to continue on their Kizomba journey!
Learn more about our Toronto Kizomba Lessons
Argentine Tango Instructor
Born and raised in Mendoza, Argentina, Daniel started his training in the arts at a young age, taking courses in oil painting, martial arts and (Argentine) folkoric music and dance. Living in Canada since 1994, Daniel, like many others, fell in love with salsa on a night out at a club (La Classique). Immediately he began to learn all he could about salsa music and dance and soon he was teaching, performing and competing, winning competitions such as Berlin 1998 (first place, dance partner Karina Elizondo), Mambo Salsa competition 2000 (first place, dance partner Teria Morada) and Toronto Fit One 2006 (first place champion, dance partner Natalli Reznik).
In 2002 Daniel was introduced to Nelson Avila, world reknowned Argentine Tango dancer and choreographer, and started to dance Tango professionally with Nelson’s dance company Tango Revue. With the company, Daniel performed 3 full length stage productions until the company was dissolved in 2004 when Nelson left Toronto to join the cast of the Broadway production of Forever Tango in New York.
Over the last 10 years, Daniel has not only continued to train, teach and perform salsa and Argentine Tango on stages throughout Canada, but he has also been involved in many movie and video projects and has had the pleasure to work with such stars like actors Antonio Banderas (Take the Lead – 2005), Edward Norton, Danny De Vito (Death to Smoochy – 2002) and singer Amy Sky (“Phenomenal Woman” music video - 2000).
With his varied experience in performing, teaching, choreography, and dance training background, Daniel blends all aspects of his dance experience every time he steps on the dance floor. He is known for his unique style, intricate footwork and musicality.
In addition to teaching salsa and Argentine Tango, Daniel continues to train and perform with his dance partner, Hanna Barcyk.
Learn more about our Toronto Argentine Tango Classes.
Hey guys, I’m Evan! When I was in university I joined the ballroom dance club. I thought it would be something fun to try. I loved it… but my girlfriend at the time didn’t. So we stopped… After we broke up I thought it would be awesome to get dancing again. I missed it and wanted to give salsa a try. I joined Toronto Dance Salsa in 2005 and fell in love with the music, the dancers, and the TDS community. I instantly had a new group of amazing friends and loved the challenge of learning a new skill.
I caught the TDS salsa bug. I joined as a Helper in 2006, was a part of TDS’ first performance group, and began teaching in 2007. My favourite part of teaching is watching students develop from taking their very first salsa class to having the confidence to ask others to dance and improving their skills from one level to the next.
In January of 2016, I took over the company and am committed to continuing the tradition of building an amazing #Family for people to be a part of.
Learn more about our Toronto Salsa Dance Lessons
TDS Founder / Original Owner
Sharon began her salsa journey in 2000 when she stumbled upon a salsa club in Toronto. By the end of the evening she was hooked and the decision was made to develop her dance skills. After only a year of dancing, Sharon was assisting with group and club classes around Toronto. At this time, Sharon began competing and performing, dancing salsa over 40 hours per week.
In 2002 Sharon began instructing. With a background in Adult Education, Sharon created syllabuses with a focus on easy to understand techniques that are user-friendly for even the most novice student. Sharon's enthusiasm for dancing is contagious and her classes are well-known around Ontario for being engaging, interactive and easy-to-follow.
In 2005 Sharon established Toronto Dance Salsa Inc., specializing in Salsa, Bachata, and Merengue instruction. She grew the student base to about 5000 students a year, making it the largest salsa school in Canada. Sharon's goal was to continue to foster the TDS community to make it a home for anyone who wants to learn to dance, meet new friends, get out of their shell and challenge themselves... and we've built upen and honour that goal.
Learn more about our Toronto Salsa Dance Classes
Who We Are | Other Contributers
Rob aka DJ Duck
House DJ for TDS Socials & Parties
Rob has been a lover of music since the age of 5 when he was given his first Fisher Price turntable. He was exposed to all facets of music and embraced all types of music that sounded good to the human ear. Eventually as a hobby, this led to a huge collection of music and in good faith he has permanently borrowed his parents old record collection! Rob has been DJ-ing house parties, clubs, weddings and corporate events for over 15 years. He has developed an ear that has shaped him to become a music producer and audio engineer. He founded his own company, DJ Duck Productions and has worked with many independent artists around the world.
A couple of years ago, Rob accompanied some friends to El Rancho and was fascinated by the various movements and rhythms showcased by the dancers that night. His interest in Latin dancing peaked, however he was apprehensive to learn the art. This past year Rob overcame his initial fear and enrolled in salsa lessons with TDS with his cousin Jeff and good friend Sorubi. The threesome were always interested in learning salsa and participating in the lessons together has made the experience of classes even more fun. Taking part in these classes has also given Rob an unexpected perk. In his many years as a DJ has hasn't really explored the Latin area of music. When Sharon asked Rob to take over the top 10 salsa hits, he has now broadened his repertoire as a DJ and looks to rapidly grow his Latin collection, with maybe a CD mix to come soon as well.
On a personal note, Rob is a wonderful person who is always there for his friends, makes them laugh and makes the people around him better. It is clear that this experience with TDS has allowed him to develop an appreciation for all he has learned and he hopes that he can continue to share his enthusiasm with others.
Private Lessons Instructor
Daughter of an accomplished musician, Dori grew up surrounded by music, and moving to it only seemed natural. As a child, she could often be found dancing in her parents’ kitchen. And being Newfoundland-born, she learned to dance a jig at a young age!
Dori first learned to spin on ice where she excelled at ice dance and competed in synchronized skating and ladies free skate. She finished her figure skating career by taking home gold for her solo routine at the provincial championships.
Off-ice, Dori was introduced to social ballroom dances at university in Nova Scotia where she developed a passion for Jive and Cha-Cha. She instantly knew that dance had to remain a permanent part of her life.
After university, Dori moved to Toronto and sought to continue dance. In 2002, she was introduced to Salsa. Inspired by the Cuban rhythms and passionate flavour of the dance, she never looked back. Dori began performing with Salsa Picante Dance Co. in 2005 and joined their Pro performance team in 2006.
Dori continued her training and studied directly under Teddy Olaso who helped bring her dancing to a whole new level. She also worked one-on-one with many world renowned dancers such as Ana Massacote, Karel Flores, and 5-time World Salsa Champion, Luda Kroitor. In addition to Salsa and Cha-Cha, Dori has also studied dance styles such as Afro-Cuban, Bachata, Merengue, Ballroom, Hip Hop,and Modern. In 2009, Dori joined the United Salseros Pro dance team and performs throughout Canada, the U.S., and internationally.
At Toronto Dance Salsa we have an amazing family of over 60 volunteers who are committed to assisting our students. Our volunteers are current or former senior Toronto Dance Salsa students who have caught the salsa bug and hold a great passion for sharing their love of salsa with others. All our classes have at least 6 volunteers who take their own time to walk around the room providing advice and guidance during the lesson and are also available to join the rotation if we have an absent student which assists us in maintaining an even number of male and female dancers in each lesson.
If you are interested in becoming a TDS Helper, here are some requirements:
1) You must have completed Salsa Nightclub Level 4 at TDS. It is preferrable you also took level 1, 2 and 3 with us as we need our helpers to be aware and comfortable of our syllabus and method of instruction.
2) You must have an outgoing, kind and helpful personality. You will be helping beginners learn how to dance. This takes patience, encouragment and a sense of humour.
3) You must be part of the TDS community. That means regularly attend Sunday and Wednesday night socials and bi-weekly outings. It is great if you are an online friend of the community too, posting comments and getting involved on our facebook fan page.
4) You must get to know the TDS instructor team so that we know who you are and that you are interested in being a helper.
For further information about becoming a Toronto Dance Salsa Volunteer please contact us for details.
These are just a few of the thousands of testimonials we have received from our students…
Nina G., Level 3 (Tuesday)
Although I only began learning salsa six months ago, joining Toronto Dance Salsa I already feel like I’m part of a welcoming and exciting community. I have enjoyed all the classes I have taken so far, with Sara in Level 1 and Sharon for Levels 2 and 3. The atmosphere in the classes is always friendly and fun, and the material is taught at the perfect pace, with lots of opportunities to practice. And I love dancing with and hearing the advice of helpers, who really are helpful. Having said all that, it comes as no surprise that I’m developing a salsa addiction, the benefits of which are incredible. In the last few months I have met so many interesting people and got to dance with many of them at the Sunday Socials (at which I am now a regular) and some of the outings. And, it seems like the salsa addiction sparked by TDS is contagious, because I’ve already got several friends as enamored with it as I am. All in all, I am excited for my salsa journey to continue!
Stewart M, Level 1 (Tuesday)
The instructor (Sharon) was outstanding. She was able to reach all the students and accommodate all different learning styles, with great results. Bravo!
Melissa E, Level 1 (Tuesday)
I loved that everything was reviewd each class and that everything was cumulative. The pace was great and I learned so much.
Stefano S, Level 1 (Tuesday)
I thought the classes were extremely well paced and structured. I never felt lost and I was always able to figure out all of the moves before the end of each class.
Olesia B, Level 3 (Monday)
Sharon is truly a tremendous instructor! I'm amazed that she can observe a student for moment and instantly inform them of what they need to work on and/or what they are doing correctly. :)
Svetlana I, Tango (Friday)
I have next to nothing experience with Tango - but other classes that I took - there was not so much attention to detail and I loved that with Daniel - he teaches "the details" - in Tango it seems to make quite a difference.
Julie W, Level 2 (Saturday)
The instructor was very energetic. The sequence of the moves taught was very logical. We would always feel like we were building on something we already knew.
Christine K, Level 2 (Saturday)
Hi, just wanted to send out an accolade for Tracie. It was our first time taking her class, and she was absolutely fabulous! Funny, energetic and an outstanding instructor. The flow of her class is perfect, and she makes everything so easy through accurate cueing and intelligent progression. Tracie is a huge asset to your team, and I am looking forward to my next class with her. All the best! -Christine
Armando A, Level 3 (Thursday)
Tracie and Jessica! Theyre amazing dancers and teachers. Hope I can learn more from them again in the future.
Jacqueline W, Reggaeton (Sunday)
Tracie is an awesome teacher! She's so energetic and is a really keen observer as well.
Natalie S, Zumba (Thursday)
The music was fantastic. The instructor, Tracie Yee, was super! She was very enthusiastic, fun, motivational, and an amazing dancer!
Nelissa (Lisa) A, Level 1 (Friday)
The camaraderie- for a beginner- it was scary not knowing anyone or how to dance salsa -- so it was encouraging to have instructors that were friendly and open and easy going
Janet S, Level 1 (Friday)
Olivier made the class environment so comfortable. Loved how the male-female ratio was perfectly balanced!
Amisha S, Level 3 (Sunday)
Sharon is an awesome instructor, funny, patient and one hell of a dancer. I also like how structured and organized the classes were. I never had to stand around waiting to try a move because there was always a helper to try them with. Can't wait to start level 4!
Siobhan S, Level 3 (Tuesday)
Sharon makes everything really easy to understand and follow. I don't consider myself a "natural" dancer, but it is so easy to learn the routines and movements in these classes. I loved that I could feel comfortable and relaxed - not at all intimidated or nervous. Toronto Dance Salsa really has a way of teaching so everyone feels at ease.
Winnie F, Level 4 (Thursday)
The people are SO friendly, and the instructions are made easy to understand. I absolutely LOVE taking classes with you guys!
Daniel W, Level 1 (Tuesday)
Instruction was put in a way that we found easy to follow and grasp. We've had dance champions teach us ballroom before but we found you (Sharon) taught better.
Diana D, Level 1 (Friday)
Olivier and his help were amazing! They are funny, positive and support a lot!
Arielle M, Level 1 (Thursday)
Jessica was really enthusiastic and great at breaking down the salsa moves to a level I could follow! Assistants were fantastic. I love the social events on the weekend. Great studio location!
Ben M, Level 1 (Thursday)
The instructor Jessica was good. She was funny and joygul and we as students can tell she loves to dance. It was very close to our home so that was excellent. The pace wasnt too fast or slow it was just right. the moves we learnt were fun.
Sara R, Level 1 (Sunday)
I like the feeling that TDS gives you as soon as you start level 1,that your part of the family...Thanks guys
Cecilia T, Level 1 (Sunday)
Sharon is very patient and her teaching style helps me to learn better as she uses examples to explain why we do this way versus other way.
Elisa Y, Level 1 (Sunday)
Sharon was an amazing teacher! Her pace, patience, & positive energy make this beginner's class an enjoyable one!
Mildred R, Level 1 (Tuesday)
I love our instructor Sharon,with her friendly approach each and everyone of us,esp.for us level 1 salsa.
Sean , Level 1 (Tuesday)
Sharon's instruction made the dance steps easy to learn. She also kept the class running smoothly and had me motivated to learn more dance moves & combinations.
Kliment, Level 1 (Monday)
Tracie is phenomenal! I love her enthusiasm and energy! She is a great instructor.
Anja Z, Level 1 (Monday)
Tracie is funny, talented and an excellent teacher. She was so patient and constantly gave us positive feedback. She also gave constructive criticism and tips on how to get better. The helpers could relate to the students which made us feel a lot less intimidated to ask for help. .
Ian Vl, Level 1 (Monday)
The entire experience was awesome. Traci Yee is knowledgeable, a great dancer, an excellent instructor and it was just a lot of fun.
Giselle I, Level 3 (Sunday)
I loved the fact that my partner and I were given the option to do rotations and dance with other people. It allows you to actually focus on what you can do better about techniques and what needs to be improved.
Andreea P, Belly Dance (Monday)
The isntructor was very friendly. She broke down the choreography for each class very well, and she always took extra time to make sure everyone in the class was comfortable with each dance move. The music was excellent and the atmosphere was very fun! Thank you!!
Subodh J, S.T.U.D Program (Sunday)
Evan was great. He taught things that I would not have learnt otherwise and were male-leader specific. The whole premise of the class is wonderful and brings a smile to the face
Mark C, Level 1 (Tuesday)
I loved that Sharon and Jessica created such a care-free, positive environment for all of us to learn in. The paces of the classes were great, and everyone was very helpful!
Christopher K, Level 2 (Tuesday)
We really enjoyed the teach/practice/clean up approach to the lessons. We especially liked how Jessica explained the dance steps and the opportunities for the men and women to face the mirror and learn their part of the dance individually.
Subodh, Level 4 (Sunday)
Beautifully taught with careful attention to the appropriate tempo for the class. Atmosphere was excellent with structure and solid teaching while keeping it fun. The timing just before sunday social is great too - one reason I did the class was to provide the nudge to turn up to social !
Roy Reedon - Salsa-Nightclub 4
Sharon G. Is excellent. Absolutely fantastic. She made it fun and not too stressful, event though I struggled at times. I will definitlly recommend and I will more than likely continue later this year.
Dilushinie J, Level 6 (Tuesday)
The moves were great...a lot of nice styling moves. Sharon and Evan were great walking around and helping out when you were stuck.
Tony H, Tango (Friday)
Daniel and Tracie are excellent teachers and their energy and passion for dance, gets me excited to learn. I also love how they take the time to welcome almost every student as they come in for class.
Matthias K, Level 1 (Sunday)
The instructor was excellent--attentive to students, engaging and encouraging. Time of the class worked well with our schedule.
Tiffany W, Level 4 (Sunday)
I really enjoy being a part of Toronto Dance Salsa! I have to say the way salsa is structured is done well! Tracie makes things look great and is an excellent teacher throughout the whole class. I look forward to taking level 5.
Aissatou D, Zumba (Tuesday)
I love the positive ambiance, the spirit of the instructor and her give-it-all you can attitude! I always feel renewed, happy and motivated to do even more!!
Genoveva V, Belly Dance (Monday)
Christina was always positive and helpful. She dances beautifully and she's very inspiring
Gigi H, Belly Dance (Monday)
Christina was an amazing instructor. Her enthusiasm and patience made the class fun yet a great learning experience.
Paige O, Level 1 (Sunday)
Olivier was a great teacher with lots of energy. His choice of music was really great too.
Kendra R, Level 1 (Sunday)
How much fun it was! I loved that Olivier didn't take himself too seriously and was able to really help me relax and put the whole room at ease.
Jennifer S, Level 2 (Tuesday)
Loved dancing, loved the music - Olivier is funny, approachable, supportive and still challenges the class with new moves and routines. The entire network is super welcoming and supportive.
Ute B, Level 3 (Sunday)
Olivier did a marvellous job! Providing easy understandable instructions in a fun way with many options for practice - highly recommendable dance instructor
Alison F, Level 1 (Saturday)
I really like the rotation method for singles dancers. Jessica Ma was funny, helpful and made the class a lot of fun!
Harshan L, Level 1 (Saturday)
I became a comfortable dancer.and Saturday is the happiest day of the week,and met some amazing people.
Tony R Salsa- Nightclub 2
Instruction was excellent. It wasn't intimidating. The fact that you could switch partners or remain with the same partner is a good idea.
Carrie F - Salsa- Nightclub 1
it's a lot of fun to learn how to salsa dance with my husband and we really appreciate the flexibility of the make up classes given that we've often had to travel out of town on business lately
Lucy I- Salsa- Nightclub 1
Consistent build on dance steps learned every week so you really feel the progress you are making. A reflection on an excellent instructor and course designer.
Kristen B - Salsa- Nightclub 1
Everyone was very friendly and fun which made it an atmosphere that was something to look forward to attending each Friday, even after a long day at work. Sharon is an excellent teacher and has developed a great teaching style and class environment. Thanks for everything!
Liane F - Salsa- Nightclub 3
Very efficiently and effectively run. Sharon has great energy, enthusiasm and lots of smiles, not to mention excellent dancing and teaching skills! Thanks for everything!
Sean D - Salsa- Nightclub 1
This is a great course to learn those critical first steps! I consider Salsa to be a difficult dance, espiecially with our busy schedules. Thanks for easing me into this scene!
Thank you for visiting our new section called "Changing Lives". We are dedicating this section to true stories of our students who have changed their lives by taking salsa lessons with us. Whether you have met someone special, new friends, increased your self-confidence, became fit or enjoyed any of the amazing benefits that salsa dancing and our classes can provide you, your story should be told!
Please visit our forums and enter your story under "General Salsa Dance Discussions" or email your story to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will choose a selection of stories to be showcased in this section!
Thank you for sharing your lives with us!
Jimmy Proposes To Rebecca In Class!
Congratulations to Jimmy and Rebecca for their recent engagement. Jimmy asked Rebecca to marry him during their Sunday Level 5 class and brought many tears to their fellow students!
Jason's Life Changed with Toronto Dance Salsa!
"Toronto Dance Salsa has changed my life because it helped me tackle my fear of dancing and rebuild my confidence. I had an extremely rough year iand my confidence was already at "rock bottom". I thought that I would never get out of the rut that I was in. When Karina referred me to this school, I had no idea what to expect. Was I ever glad that she referred me! I never knew that dancing could rebuild my confidence, change my attitude, and be so much fun at the same time! Sharon Galor is an excellent teacher who simplifies the dance steps, she's always smiling, and always has a positive and encouraging attitude. I have discovered the joys of dancing, learned to have fun again, and enjoy my life because of her. I have applied this new feeling of self-confidence to other aspects of my life. My family sees a big difference in me now. I have recommended this school to many of my friends Thank you so much Sharon! I will see you in Level 3 and for many more classes and salsa outings to come!" ........ Jason Schlesinger
The Toronto Dance Salsa Helper Team's Debut Performance
Talk about changing lives! Most of our helpers had never danced prior to their first Toronto Dance Salsa class. Not only did they learn to dance in such a short amount of time but they were able to showcase their new talents in an amazing performance at the final outing of the summer, attracting an audience of over 200 people. Congratulations to everyone!
Ran and Leah are engaged!
Ran and Leah met a year ago in Northridge Club's level 3. Fast forward to one year later and they are in love, engaged and planning their dream wedding. Congratulations Ran and Leah!
Sharing a new passion with your long time friends or forging new friendships, that is what salsa is all about!
Toronto Dance Salsa Inc.
All inquiries are answered via email. Please don't hesitate to contact us and we will answer your message quickly!