Moving Juntos 2023
Afro-Cuban Music & Dance Kids Classes
Back by popular demand, the Afro-Cuban Music & Dance series educates children on traditional forms of Cuban culture in a fun and energetic way! Team taught by a local musician and dance instructor; each class is split into two sections with a brief break in the middle (one hour total instruction time) and will culminate in performance opportunities May 28 and December 10. We have designed them to expose younger generations to these important cultural traditions, dance and rhythm, all while learning basic skills and coordination. Music will be taught by Javier Navarrette and Dance will be taught by Susana Arenas Pedroso and Denmis Bain Savigne.
Shawl Anderson Dance Center
Session 1: Feb. 5 - Mar. 26
Session 2: April 2 - May 28 (no class on April 9th)
No classes June or July
Session 3: Aug. 13 - Oct. 8 (no class on Sept. 3)
Session 4: Oct. 15 – Dec. 10 (no class on Nov. 26)
For Session 1 & 2 (Feb-May) - Both music and dance will focus on rhythms and movements of conga/comparsa in preparation for the SF Carnaval parade participation May 28th.
For Sessions 3 & 4 (Aug-Dec) - Both music and dance will focus on 2 orishas TBA in preparation for a mini performance in the last class on December 10th.
Classes are $140 per session or $20 drop-in/class.
Scholarships and reduced rates available. Email email@example.com for more info.
It will not be necessary to take the first set in order to sign up for the second or third. No prior dance or music training is required. Classes will be taught bilingually. Instruments and skirts will be provided. Costumes for performances TBD.
Shawl-Anderson Dance Center
2704 Alcatraz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705
Register for Classes
Ramon Ramos Alayo
Ramón Ramos Alayo was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age eleven. In 1990 he earned a masters degree in contemporary and folkloric dance and dance education from the Havana's National School of Art. a graduate of Havana’s National School of Art, specializing in folkloric and contemporary dance. He was a principal dancer with several prominent Cuban dance companies, including Danza del Caribe, Narcisco Medina Contemporary Dance Company, touring throughout Europe, Belize, and Canada. His success continued after relocating to the U.S. in 1997; he has performed as a dancer with numerous outstanding companies, including Robert Henry Johnson, Kim Epifano, Sara Shelton Mann, Zaccho Dance Theatre and Robert Moses’ Kin. Ramon currently teaches Cuban popular dance, Afro-Cuban modern dance and children's movement at several local dance studios and schools.
He is respected throughout the Bay Area as a dancer, teacher, choreographer and the founder and artistic director and choreographer of Alayo Dance Company (2002) and CubaCaribe (2003). As director and choreographer, his work is an innovative fusion of Afro-Cuban modern, folkloric and popular Cuban Dance. He eloquently articulates his aesthetic vision through a synthesis of these dance styles, citing from each traditions, movements, narratives and concepts indicative of Cuban culture.
Susana Arenas Pedroso
Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Susana Arenas Pedroso began her career in dance at age twelve, studying at La Casa de Cultura de Matanzas and at Cojunto Folklorico Nacional in Havana. She danced professionally for seventeen years in Cuba with popular, folkloric and theatrical performing groups, including Tierra Virgen, Alafia Ire, Oche Olorun, Oriki, Clave y Guaguancó, Oba Wemilere, Rumberos de Cuba, and Raíces Profundas. Since her arrival in the United States in 1998, Ms Pedroso has performed and choreographed numerous pieces that have been exhibited throughout the United States, Austria, Mexico, Morocco, Martinique,Cuba and Hong Kong with companies such as Omo Ache, Omo Oddara, Ban Rarra, Ire Ile, Alayo Dance Company, Las Que Son Son and Obini Ashe. In 1999 Ms Pedroso founded her own dance companies, Saudunga Cubana, which specialized in Cuban Popular dance, and Olorun, which specialized in Cuban Folkloric dance. In 2004 Ms Pedroso joined the two troupes into one, establishing Arenas Dance Company, an all-female ensemble that has developed an expertise in folkloric and popular Cuban rhythms and traditions.
Javier Navarrette is a professional percussionist, musician, composer, arranger and educator living in Oakland, California, specializing in Afro-Caribbean music. Javier’s performance and recording career spans over three decades.
Amongst the many greats he has played with are: Poncho Sanchez; Los Van Van; the Conga Kings: Francisco Aguabella, Carlos “Patáto” Valdez, and Milton Cardona; as well as with jazz legends such as Jon Faddis; Tootie Heath; Jerry Gonzalez; Trini Lopez; and Nestor Torres. He had the honor to perform with the late Aretha Franklin at the Oakland Coliseum in her last concert tour. He toured with Linda Tillery and the Cultural Heritage Choir, and Bobi Céspedes, as well as performed with popular groups such as Ozomatli, and Los Mocosos. Javier has recorded on three Grammy-nominated albums with John Santos and the Machete Ensemble/Folklorico Kindembo.
Javier studied with masters in Cuba such as Miguel Angá Díaz; Jose Luis “Changuito” Quintana; Folklorico Nacional de Cuba; and with Bay Area masters John Santos; Michael Spiro; and Jesús Díaz. In 2022, Javier received the artist scholarship award with Plaza Cuba Travels to study music at La Escuela Nacional de Arte in Habana, Cuba.
He teaches music in public/private schools and in adult workshops. For the past 10 years, Javier has been teaching with Living Jazz Children’s Music Project in the Oakland public schools and at the summer Jam Camp for Children.
Javier produces Modúpue Sundays with Arts at the Basin, Rocky's Market, Brooklyn Basin, Oakland, and the Neighborhood Sessions at The Annex in El Cerrito, both musical events presenting the Bay Area’s legendary musicians in the Afro-Latin music Scene.
Denmis Bain was born August 9th in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. He grew up always surrounded by love which helped to stimulate his passion for the arts. Denmis was taught at a young age that happiness comes from within and the importance to live life to the fullest. He has embraced this concept and strived to pass on his love for life and express his happiness through dance.
Denmis received the majority of his formal training in Cuba. He attended Regino Eladio Voti en Guantanamo, Escuela Nacional de Arte in Havana and was a part of Conjuncto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba.
Denmis is probably most known for his work with the Havana Nights Dance Company. He toured and performed in more than 16 different countries and was a lead dancer in about 450 performances of "Havana Nightclub - The Show". The performances received standing ovations and outstanding reviews from critics and audiences all around. The tour ended in Las Vegas, Nevada with intentions of returning back to Cuba afterwards.
Denmis has taught for students of all ages and backgrounds. His teaching venues have been regular scheduled classes at Stanford University and Mt Diablo Unified School District. He also has taught for festivals and workshops around the world. Dennis is currently the owner of Cuban Rhythm and Rumba Dance Studio located in Vallejo, California. With a goal to show everyone how to feel and appreciate dance, Denmis Bain is sure to get into your heart and touch your soul.
Classes made possible by the California Arts Council. Thank you!