Masterclasses in Havana:
Cabaret Tropicana, Rumba Guaguancó, Rumba Flamenca
One of the best experiences and cultural activities in Cuba during our last trip were the masterclasses with some of the best and most famous Cuban choreographers and dance teachers, all of whom come from Cuba's most prestigious dance schools.
Salsa & Flamenco Dansakademi lead dancer and choreographer Milla Serrano Rubio had the huge honour to work together with former dancers and choreographers from Cabaret Tropicana - Maglen and Nancy Martinez. After a previous collaboration in Teatro América where the three made a choreography for 20 young dancers from Cuba and Sweden together, Maglen and Nancy taught Milla everything about the Cabaret Tropicana style - with basic and advanced steps, typical poses and moves as well as a complete choreography.
Alongside "Las Jimaguas" and Dani from the Afrocuban folklore company Raíces Profundas, we furthermore received a masterclass in Rumba Guaguancó, with the use of dance accessories such as shawl and Spanish fan. The masterclass focused on advanced steps and moves, musicality and body movement.
We also had the honour to work together with one of Cuba's youngest flamenco talents Erika Bartelemí Espinosa. Erika is the number one lead performer of the flamenco school Eduardo Veitía, founded by the former director of the National Ballet of Cuba. Erika is also a dancer in one of the world's largest flamenco academies Lizt Alfonso, that travel and perform around the world, and make dance videos for Enrique Iglesias. We learned everything about the Cuban Flamenco Rumba style and its fusion with the Cuban traditional and folkloric dance styles, bringing back home Erika's brand new choreography. Erika participated in all of our promotional videos in Old Havana and granted us an exclusive and very detalied interview.
Making promotional video in Old Havana
alongside Cuba's young talent Erika Bartelemí
We made this promotional video together with the young and successful Cuban flamenco dancer Erika Bartelemí Espinoza (front right) who comes from Cuba's most prestigious flamenco dance school, Litz Alfonso - the one who made the sensational video "Bailando" by Gente de Zona, shot on the very same square in Old Havana town. "Being able to stand on the exactly same spot and with a dancer from the same group is a dream coming true"
-Milla Serrano Rubio.
Continue reading and scroll down to read an exlusive interview with the young talented dancers Erika Bartelemí Espinosa.
Rumba Flamenca style in Cuba involves a lot of fusion from the Afrocuban and traditional Cuban dance styles. This fusion style is also one of the main characteristics of our rumba flamenca style. Working with Erika was fun and we learned a lot from her. We talked a lot about the fusion between the Cuban dances and flamenco - both as music and dance form. Salsa & Flamenco Dansakademi travelled with 13 members of the dance school to Cuba, including adults and children with a vast arrangement of cultural dance projects. We also made two more promotional videos in this beautiful scenery full of colourful colonial architecture.
Performance in Teatro América
and working alongside legendary Cuban choreographers
Our dance school obtained a special permission from Cuba in order to participate and perform during two consecutive days in Cuba's largest and most famous theater "Teatro América" in collaboration with the island's legendary choreographers Magén Martinez and Nancy Martinez "Las Jimaguas" both of whom worked, danced and choreographed in Caribbean's most well-known dance establishment "Tropicana". "I could not wish for more than being supported and work together with the legendary choreographers from the Cuba's most prestigious dance establishment" - Milla Serrano Rubio
We created a salsa choreography for kids/teens together, where everyone has choreographed a different part of the song for their own dance group, ending with a common choreography by Milla Serrano Rubio in the last part. The show was a huge success - the bright yellow colours, feather-light Spanish fans that added the distinctive touch typical of Salsa & Flamenco Dansakademi, and the pronounced Tropicana-style of Maglen and Nancy Martinez made it a one of a kind unique masterpiece. Both children and adults from Salsa & Flamenco Dansakademi performed further Rumba Flamenca shows alongside the young Cuban flamenco dancer Erika Bartelemí Espinosa. The entire presentation ended with all participants - Cuban and Salsa& Flamenco dancers dancing off with "Más Macarena" choreographed by Milla Serrano Rubio.