Meet Our Teachers

Roberto Perez

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Cardio Salsa & Latin Movement
Wednesday 6:30-7:30pm
Sunday 1-2pm

Learn Salsa steps, syncopations & Latin movement direct from the streets of Havana in an aerobic class format! Zumba certified! NO experience or partner necessary! Drop-ins welcome!

Roberto is the Executive Director, Co-founder, Performer, Instructor, Choreographer, and DJ of Havana Nights Latin Dance. Roberto was born and raised in the heart of one of the most musical city in the world, La Habana de Cuba, where the dances Mambo, Cha-cha-cha, Son, Danzon and Guaguanco were first introduced along with “Casino” – the traditional way of dancing to the music known worlwide as “Salsa.” From an early age Roberto was introduced to Cuban rhythms and movement by his mother and step-sister, who was a professional dancer at the Academia de Danza in the famous Tropicana Cabaret in Havana. During the mid-nineties, while living in South America, he stared dancing in shows and cabarets, including one of the most famous Salsa festivals in the world, “Festival de Cali”, Colombia. Upon his arrival Syracuse, he immediately started spreading his love for Salsa, and other Latin American dances and music, throughout Central New York as a member of the Latin Club at Syracuse University and as host of the  Latino radio show “Nosotros”. Roberto now teaches classes which weave Cardio Salsa, SalsAerobics, and traditional Cuban movement into a dynamic and exciting class full of exotic musical flavors. The routines feature aerobic interval training with a combination of fast and slow rhythms that tone and sculpt the body utilizing easy to follow dance steps.

Ciara Cunningham

Vinyasa Flow
Monday 7:15-8:30pm
Wednesday 10-11:15am
Friday 7:15-8:30pm

Ciara Marie Cunningham has been practicing yoga since 2005 when she took her first classes at the CNY Yoga Center (now Dharma Yoga Syracuse) with Saraswati Om. At the time she was an antsy teenager struggling with asthma and anxiety, and yoga provided an undeniable, almost-instant relief. Fast forward to Glasgow, Scotland in 2014: as her husband was undergoing treatment for a brain tumor, Ciara found a renewed passion for yoga and general wellness through movement, and a resolution to share that passion with others. Since her introduction to Ashtanga yoga under the guidance of teachers Kyle Gray, Gemma Maryan, and Colette Forrest-Bosque, she recommitted to a daily practice that incorporates elements of both Ashtanga and yin yoga. Upon moving back to Syracuse in 2016, she completed her RYT-200 Teacher Training through the Boston Yoga School’s adjunct program at O Yoga Syracuse; she shifted her life whole-heartedly towards making movement more accessible to everyone in her community. She has studied with teachers like Kevin Courtney, Ame Wren and Josh Summers.

Discovering a healthy balance of active and passive in practice, and seeing where one can build upon and maintain healthy and functional movement, is one of the things Ciara enjoys exploring the most in her personal practice. Ciara’s classes tend to place an emphasis on connecting mindful breath with playful sequencing as you explore personal edges of sensation and ranges of motion. She likes to incorporate music in her practice, and tends to teach a “vinyasa to yin” style — starting by building heat, then ending the class at a slower, more restorative pace.

Monique Williams

MONIQUEWILLIAMS
ZUMBA
Saturday 9-10am

Monique has been doing african dance for over 20 years. She currently dances with Wacheva Cultural Arts Dance Studio and is an active member of Adanfo African Dance Ensemble. Her passion for dance and wanting to live a healthier lifestyle led her to become Zumba Certified in July 2016. She now assists with Amani Bowale youth african dance troupe, located at Southwest Community Center in Syracuse, NY. She is also a CNA, has an associates in Clinical Medical Assistant, and is an ItWorks Distributor. In her spare time, she continues to promote and support healthy living in the community. She and her husband, Tony, reside locally where they are raising their 4 children. Monique from Syracuse, NY

Sara Marsh

Elemental Hoop Dance Picture
Elemental Hoop Dance
Sunday 2:30-3:30pm

Sara is a certified Elemental Hoop Dance teacher. Influenced by the natural world and meditative practice, Elemental Hoop Dance enables people to channel the fertile restorative energy of the five elements. Sarah’s teaching provides a vehicle for her to be in service to others’ vitality, supporting them as they learn the joy of this self-empowering dance process! As a safe practice of communication with an “external other”, dancing with a hoop offers deep personal, as well as relational, therapy. Termed as a “flow art”, hoop dance practice  has the ability to soothe and relax a person’s tense muscles into smooth an natural form, along with a their emotions and boundaries. Occurring simultaneous, through repetitive movement, a restructuring of the neural pathways can occur, supporting mental anatomy towards re-alignment with grace.

In class, we create a depth of rich communal hoop dance language, focusing equally on “vocabulary” and “inflection”. “Vocabulary” is learned through trick technique. “Inflection” is honored through individual, authentic, expression of flow. Inspired by experience with meditation, ritual, yoga and Qi gong, Sarah weaves components of all throughout class. Sarah’s goal as a teacher is to hold supportive and nurturing space for each student so that they may leave class feeling full, empowered and deeper rooted in their unique beauty.

“It is my perspective that I am a healer, and so are you! By this I mean that through focused intention and careful practice, I have the ability to heal myself and so do you. Elemental Hoop Dance can be a great practice of healing. I hope you choose to join me in the Dance!”