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About Us

Group classes:
 

Salsa, Bachata, Cuban Dance, Argentine Tango, West Coast Swing, Belly Dance, Zouk, Contemporary Dance, Zumba fitness, BollyX fitness.


Belltown Dance Studio was established since 2005

We know learning a new dance can be intimidating and somewhat overwhelming at first, and we do our very best to make this process fun and easy. For partnering dance, we are known for covering a great amount of detail and technique. For our leads, we are don't just offer a pattern of moves, but a style and flavor that makes you overall a smooth dancer, in addition, our pattern are all lead-able and very current with the times not some flashy patters that was a popular 20 years ago. We also provide each student with individualized attention. Our dance instructions are creative, fun, unexpected, we are all about sharing that awesome connection and musicality with your partner where you BOTH can self express.

Do you learn how to perform when you never have taken a dance lesson in your life? Some studio may think is okay or sell you as a beginner the idea that it will make you a great all around dancer. Please beware that this one of their way use you to promote their studio/team. At BDS, we like to put the horse front of the cart, learn how to dance before you perform and not try to lock you in to months or annual team contract or some choreography that maybe bought from another dance company. Yes, this can be a very fun and challenging experience, months or a year later find yourself asking "Why do I feel like I'm only beginner or below average social dancer?"

We like to ask that everyone, please think clearly before you commit to a team contracts, learn any dance the right way, meaning learn the true essence of about the dance, the connection of lead and follow, after you have establish yourself as a intermediate level, then maybe prehaps consider performing when you are ready.

Follows: We make sure you are not just a prop in our group classes or on the dance floor, we cover a lot of details and technique how to become a best follow you can be, by being light on your feet, on point, styling to express who you are through your body movements, your sensuality, your playfulness, and make you feel you are the star in every dance.


Dance Events:

At BDS, we offer a Salsa Dance Practica on every Sunday except last Sunday of the month, this is where you can practice what you’ve learned in a low-key, un-intimidating atmosphere. We start with low tempo music, and advance to medium pace songs to get you off the ground, this dance is open to EVREYONE. Intro lesson at 7pm, dance till 11pm

Monthly 2nd Friday salsa Bachata dance events where we have themes of each month w/intro lesson 8:30pm-1:30am.

Tango Dance events are offer 1st, 3rd & 5th Fridays and last Sunday of the month.

Salsa on Alki Beach & Salsa at Bell Street Park are offer during the summer months.


GROUP CLASSES & SPECIAL WORKSHOPS
At BDS, we are known for
having highest quality instructors for our regular group classes & workshops to provide you with best of serves/training/education. We are also known for having the most top notch dancer in the world for our workshops, Salsa Champion dancers such as Charlene Rose, Liz Lira, John & Liz of Salsamania, Alien Ramirez, other world famous dancers Jorge & Leslie of Bachata Caliente, Mike Zuniga & Jennifer Silvas, please check our workshop pages for updates.

Salsa - Bachata Instructors

JIM CHOW  Head Salsa Dance & Bachata Dance Instructor, Owner of Belltown Dance Studio, Event planner & Organizer for Salsa on Alki Beach

From a very young age, Jim possessed the rhythm and
love of music which has influenced him throughout his life. For a while, he was known as an exceptional freestyle club dancer. But freestyle days were over when Jim was introduced to Salsa in 1999. 18 year later, Salsa still is his biggest passion and primary means for self expression. Although he was started learning LA style (on 1) and captivated by its flares, drama, and beauty, in early 2004 Jim started adding the flavor and softness of NY style (on 2), to his dancing, and also able to dance and teach both on1 & on2. This made his style truly unique, and on the dance floor he stands out above the rest.

In 2010 he started a joint project with Salsamania Dance Company and got to learn under one of the top salsa dance company and champion dancer John & Liz of Salsamania, since then he have apply lots of their technique in his teaching program, most recently he had the pleasure to perform at 2015 Seattle Salsa Congress under Salsamania of Belltown Dance Studio.

To Jim, Salsa is more than simple dance moves. It is playful, dramatic, sensual and flirtatious. Within a short period of time he was addicted and dancing at a professional level. Jim has been a successful artist working nationally for 20 years, and this art background has had a definite impact on his dancing and instruction. In his artistic eye, Salsa is very much comparable to an ongoing mastery of Kung Fu. Because of this, Jim is able to correctly express body movement and body language, and is exceptional at sharing accurate cues and direction for better footwork, patterns and styling with his students.
Jim has danced with some of the most well-known national salsa champions and local dancers. To offer the ladies a better concept of being an outstanding follow, he complements his instruction with talented dance assistants who offer the grace, fun, flirtatiousness, and proper technique of ladies styling.

Since 2002 Jim has been demonstrating his technique to students in dance studios such as Cameo Dance and American Dance Institute, as well as workshops in health clubs, Gold's Gym, 24 hrs Fitness, Columbia Athletic Club, Bally Total fitness, UW, UW of Tacoma and in a number of private events on locatioprivate lessons.

He has done many presentations at parties, fund raisers, salsa intro lesson as well as perform for Porland Salsa Congress, Bachata lesson at 2012 Seattle Salsa Congress & Salsa Festivals along with other dance masters. From 2010 to present, he had the opportunity to study and performed 2014-2016 under the World Champions John Narvaez and Liz Rojas of Salsamania Dance Company at Rose City Salsa Festival & LA Salsa Festival. 

He is also the founder of one of the most amazing Seattle outdoor dance in the summer call Salsa on Alki Beach. A dance he had started since 2008, and has developed a loyal following 350-800 salsa on Alki fans.

Jim gets a great deal of personal gratification from sharing his passion and seeing his students progressively mastering the art of Salsa. Why dance with just an instructor when you can dance with an artist? His Keywords: Always follow your passion, forever stay humble, and always open to learn.

John Narvaez & Elizabeth Rojas
Guest Salsa Instructors

John & Liz:
John and Liz is one of the world’s top mambo dance companies. As a non-profit corporation, Salsamania's mission is to gain recognition in the world salsa community as having the best performance teams and training organization.

Salsamania Dance Company currently consists of two training teams (On 1 and On 2), four performance teams and over 80 members from 16 countries.

Salsamania dancers follow a structured dance education program allowing them to move through several levels while focusing on core values such as teamwork, professionalism, competition and grace. At the culmination of this training, skilled dancers who wish to perform may be invited to join one of our performance teams who compete and perform throughout the US and abroad.

John and Liz have honed teaching techniques that focus on the fundamentals—timing, technique, musicality, style and music history—enabling students to learn and progress rapidly. John and Liz, as well as other advanced members of Salsamania Dance Company, use these methods to teach over 400 beginner and intermediate students per week in community centers, night clubs, and dance studios throughout the Bay Area.

Their link: http://www.johnandlizproductions.com/

Belly Dance instructor

Nadira
Belly Dance Instructor

Nadira has become one of the most passionate, elegant and dynamic Middle Eastern performers in the U.S. Having graced many audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Turkey, Egypt and abroad, her dance is graceful, seamless and multi-faceted.
As testament to her expanding dance repertoire, she has laid claim to multiple national titles:
- Belly Dancer USA
- Belly Dancer of the Year
- Sisterhood of the Dance
- Double Crown Belly Dance Performing Artist
- Emerald Rain Champion
- Entertainer of the Year
Nadira is featured in IAMED’s “Bellydance-O-Rama 2” DVD and Peko's "The Magical Art of Bellydance", both filmed in Hollywood. She is also featured in the performance DVDs “By Dancers for Dancers, Volumes II & IV" and the instructional "Combination Nation, Vol 3".
NOW AVAILABLEis a new solo instructional DVD, "5-Layers From the Ground Up"! Nadira shows you how to build your dance starting with your feet and working your way up. Whether just beginning or a seasoned professional, everyone will be challenged with this DVD.
(purchase DVDs).
Nadira has been a featured performer on Persian television, toured Turkey, performing and teaching in Istanbul and Antalya as well as Egypt and more recently China.
Some of her favorite performance venues will always be those close to home, such as 2001-current Arab Festivals, Folk Life and Bumbershoot festivals – some of the largest festivals in Seattle, WA.
Nadira has also given her time and talent to functions for the arts including the Visual Arts Gala for Bumbershoot, Fifteenth Annual Fundraiser and Auction for Fashion Group International and Poncho Gala Auction; hailed as the largest auction for the arts in the world.
She has also performed for members of the world renowned Pacific Northwest Ballet, based in Seattle and the 21st annual "Seattle Celebrity Waiters Luncheon" for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Nadira began her journey as a performer at the early age of six. She has studied many forms of dance from classical ballet to hip hop to jazz. In late 1998, she was introduced to Middle Eastern dance after a car accident she thought ended her dance career. Utilizing this new medium of dance as a form of physical therapy, Nadira quickly embraced this style. She incorporated her broad dance and musical background with new technical moves, and her unique style emerged.
One can see how much she truly respects, enjoys and understands Middle Eastern music in her dance. Her ability to capture the crowd with her skilled grace and playfulness has earned her the respect of the local Persian and Arabic communities.
She has the ability to intrigue the audience, yet keeps them at ease with her playfulness. Nadira is an outstanding entertainer, a sought after performer and instructor.

Kristen Grace

Jazz Funk & Hip Hop Dance Instructor

Kristen has been the primary hip hop teacher at Studio West Dance Academy since it’s opening and has founded the performing group EDGE.  Kristen is now the director of Studio West's newest addition, The Beat Box Hip Hop Dance Studio. Kristen got her start dancing competitively with H2Whoa, Gig Harbor High School’s hip hop dance team, and went on to lead her university team as captain and choreographer at PLU - staging various pieces for the student choreographed show each year. She has trained with DASH, Koncrete Studios, Velocity, and Westlake Dance Center along with many other master classes and workshops from Seattle, Tacoma, LA to New York. Kristen has over 10 years teaching experience in various schools and studios throughout the south sound.

She now dances with Olympia/Lacey based adult dance team Audacity Cru, and recently competed with them at the World of Dance Finals in Los Angeles, as well as World of Dance Seattle. Kristen is extremely passionate about bringing new life into the dance community and building dancers into movers who have the skills and confidence to pursue their artistry in whatever capacity they choose.

Julis Juju Flores
Contemporary Dance Instructor

Julius Flores has been dancing since December 2006. He was offered a full scholarship to join the Honolulu Dance Performing Company, where he trained in ballet, jazz, and hip hop under the direction of Cathy Izumi and Elizabeth Miller. In 2008, he traveled to Los Angeles for a dance convention to represent Hawaii. It was at Dance Excellence that he was offered a chance to join the California Pacific College of Performing Arts, also known as The Young Americans College of Performing Arts. He has traveled throughout the United States teaching dance and music under the direction of Bill and Robyn Brawley while he also trained in performance technique. He also studied psychology to prepare himself with the tools to better analyze and understand his surrounding environment. In 2010, he performed with a group at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. During that same year, he was given another opportunity to join a dance company in Los Angeles. He trained in ballet and jazz under the direction of Lisa Diaz with her studio Legacy Dance Academy. He was exposed to amazing choreographers with whom he trained alongside and later joined Silver Lake Contemporary Ballet. As the year passed, he moved back to Hawaii and was offered a position as co-director at Honolulu Dance Studio where he shared the knowledge that he had gained from his training in dance. Julius was chosen to be a lead male dancer for Hawaii Opera Theatre, where he had the opportunity to work with some of the top opera artists. Julius has choreographed many top soloists for dance competitions and has been awarded First Overalls, Judges Choice, and Choreographer of the Year.

After spending a summer in San Francisco, California, training in modern and ballet with Alonzo King Lines Dance Center, Julius is now located in Seattle, Washington, where he hopes to expand his knowledge of dance and share his passion by teaching his crafts to all levels. His goal in life is to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them express their emotions through dance.

“Dance is not just a step. It’s who you are.”

West Coast Swing

Wren Newman
West Coast Swing Dance Instructor

Wren's extensive training began early with a childhood of competitive gymnastics. After gymnastics she devoted herself to various forms of dance before falling in love with West Coast Swing. She has focused her competitive energies on local, national and international competitions, while helping to foster the local WCS community through social dancing, as a member and officer of the Seattle Swing Dance Club and through spreading her passion of West Coast Swing and the community to new dancers. Through dancing, she’s found her calling of bringing her knowledge and cheerful love of people and dance to teaching West Coast Swing and supporting events around the world in the role of Competition Coordinator.

Argentine Tago

Koa Hons
Argentine Tango Dance Instructor

Koa Hons, a tanguero originally from Hawaii, was mesmerized by the connection, movement and music after watching the world famous Forever Tango group perform in Seattle in 2008. This was a transformative point in his life! His tango adventure started immediately and with tenacity by participating in Argentine tango classes in Tacoma and in Seattle. His love of the culture, music and the abrazo (embrace) has fueled his passion for Tango.

In 2009 he started teaching Argentine Tango in Olympia & Tacoma, WA with Jenny Mulligan, and since then has taught in Seattle with Michelle Badion, Belllingham, and Vancouver B.C. His instructors include Jenny Mulligan, Carlos Barrionuevo & Mayte Valdes (BsAs), Eva Lucero & Patricio Touceda (BsAs), Michelle Badion (USA), and a wide range of other instructors from Berlin, New York, L.A., & San Francisco.

Koa competed in his first competition in the 2011 Seattle Tangoearth Immersion Salon Tango Competition and placed 2nd. Among frequenting local milongas (social tango dances) & Tango festivals in the US & Canada, he recently performed with Michelle Badion and at the Seattle Folklife Festival, Northwest Dance Extravaganza and other functions.

Koa focuses on sharing his passion for tango with his students and anyone willing. He thrives to inspire a desire to pursue the connection, community, and music involved within this loved dance. With his analytical attention to detail and technique, development of an individual’s dance ability is the goal, and the method is guided by cooperative learning amongst students, gentle elastic connection between partners, playful exploration of possibilities, and plenty of fun!

Fitness Instructors 

(Dee) - Demetria Sprinkling
Zumba instructor


Dee has been instructing Zumba and fitness classes for over 5 years. She has a masters degree in sports medicine and has been educated and exposed to wide range of fitness programs.  She finds Zumba Fitness to be the quickest
path to unleashing her need to dance, exercise, and connect with other people.  She  is passionate about  nurturing a creative uninhibited environment that keeps students motivated and coming back to  
take it to the next level. Dee's focus on  leadership and teaching  make it easy for students to participate and feel great about dancing their way to any personal fitness goal.

Amruta Dhotre

BollyX Instructor

Amruta comes from city of Bollywood, Mumbai! Growing up she binge watched Bollywood movies and enjoyed every minute of dancing. After graduating from Northeastern University in 2014, she moved to New York. Soon she was introduced to the BollyX community. BollyX is Bollywood inspired 60-minute cardio fitness routine. She took her training to be an instructor in Feb 2016. Her goal is to share her passion and joy of dancing with everyone.

Judy Ramos
Zumba instructor

Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas with a love and appreciation for music and dancing.  Judy been a Zumba Instructor for 5yrs and I’ve worked in Healthcare for the past 13yrs in both direct Patient care and Hospital Administration. She currently the Director for the Swedish Heart & Vascular Institute and look forward to proudly serving the Seattle community.

Chelsea Ramos
Yoga  instructor

After over a decade as an avid yogi, Chelsea finally took the next step in her practice by completing the Life of an Urban Yogi 200-hr teacher training. Since then, she has been teaching and leading workshops at studios and festivals across the northwest. Her classes feature fun, creative sequencing, an upbeat soundtrack to get your body moving, and intentional theming to help you take your yoga with you.

Lauren Carter
Yoga  instructor

Yoga has given me the strength to go after my dreams. After working in the corporate world for over 10 years I finally had the opportunity to pursue my passion for yoga. I have always been in love with movement and dance and knew I had to make it a full time part of my life. Yoga is my therapy, it helps me connect to my mind and body and gives me the ability to explore my strengths and weaknesses in a judgement free space. And I love giving students the chance to do the same. I am enjoying this forever journey and the opportunity to share it with others.

Kayla Lean
Buti Yoga  instructor

Kayla has been practicing yoga since 2012. In 2014, she fell deeper into her yoga practice in search of better health after getting diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Her love of yoga only grew when she began to practice a type of yoga called Buti Yoga.
Buti yoga is a mix of power yoga, cardio intensive tribal dance, plyometrics and strength/core work. Her body and mind changed rapidly just by hitting her mat 3-4 days a week. She was ecstatic about the practice, the results it gave her and the supportive tribe of women she connected with online that came with it. Buti Yoga was too amazing not to share with other women near her. So in September 2016, She received her Buti Yoga certification at the Georgia Dance Conservatory in Atlanta. She can hardly wait to share more Buti with the women of Seattle!
In addition to her love of Buti yoga, Kayla enjoys baking, creating art and living a holistic lifestyle. She loves a life of abundance, passion and creativity.

Olivia Lintz 
Buti Yoga  instructor

Olivia has 9 years experience as a passionate instructor well versed in various fitness styles. Particularly talented and passionate about Buti Yoga and Dance Fitness. She's known for creative and challenging routines with well thought out playlists within a supportive environment. She focuses on innovation and fun as well as movement acting as emotional and physical therapy.

Belltown Dance Studio Teams

Mike Zuniga & Jennifer Silvas

Guest Bachata Dance Instructor

Mike Zuniga, founder of rhythmicFUSION, was born and raised in Orange County CA found the love for bachata at the age of 22 while dancing on “Bachata Caliente” of Los Angeles CA. Determined to share his passion to teach, choreograph and perform it was not long till Mike decided to start his own dance company “Rhythmic Fusion” in January of 2010, the first and only bachata dance company in Orange County. “Rhythmic Fusion” has brought bachata to Orange County teaching at various locations, hosting workshops, and social events.

Currently Mike Zuniga is determined to fuse his dynamic dance style and skills in to take bachata to a whole new level. You will see him teaching workshops that will take your bachata to places you never imagined and performing to routines that will leave you begging for more.

RhythmicFUSION and Mike Zuniga have travelled to places to teach and perform such as New York, Chicago, Reno, Hawaii, Texas, Atlanta, France and many more.

______________

Jennifer Silvas is an accomplished dancer, teacher, performer, and choreographer with over 25 years jennifer silvas vip danceof experience and extensive training in Jazz, Hip-Hop, Ballet, Tap, Salsa and Swing. She began her training at the young age of 3, studying dance under the infamous Caspary family in the Los Angeles area, and quickly began a successful career as a child actress; appearing in commercial ads for Barbie, Coca Cola, Burger King and Lincoln. In 1995, she was awarded a scholarship at Edge Performing Arts School and soon after her completion of this program she was booked as a featured performer with Holland America Cruise lines. Jennifer started to train in Salsa in 2000 and began training in several Salsa Dance Companies. She later created her own kid’s traveling salsa team. Under her direction, these dancers traveled all over the world performing at International Conventions, which eventually lead many of them to performance roles in film and television.

Belltown Dance Studio
2217 3rd. Ave. Suite 102

Seattle, WA 98121
Phone: (206) 930-7246

Email:
Salsa1jim@yahoo.com

 

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