Aotearoa Cuban Festival is proud to present the following national instructors. These talented people will take you on the journey that is Cuban dance. Prepare to have lots and lots of fun!
Keep coming back here as we confirm more artists.....
Greydis Montero Liranza
Rotorua New Zealand
Originating from Havana Cuba, Greydis is an award winning and highly accredited dancer with over 20 years experience in the dance world. She has performed and taught throughout the world sharing the hot, sexy and sublime rhythms of Cuba and the Caribbean.
Her national and International experience along with 6 years training at the prestigious and highly competitive Cuban National School of Art ‘ENA’ has allowed her to bring an unparalleled wealth of knowledge, technique, skills and passion to dancers and audiences.
She settled in New Zealand in 2002 after her worldwide tour as Choreographer and Principal Dancer of the hit international show Lady Salsa. She is currently the only professional Cuban Female Dancer, Choreographer and Tutor in New Zealand.
Greydis is not only a world class exponent of Cuban dance, but a whole range of exhilarating, feel good dances styles and fitness. She is currently the Creative Artistic Director of The New Zealand Cuban Dance Festival.
Whether you join one of her dance lessons or witness a performance, you will be captivated by her magical presence on the stage and her fun loving approach to teaching.
Her explosive energy combined with her strong cultural background makes Greydis a hypnotic entertainer and an asset to the dance community.
“Dancing for her is a blessing, a passion and something to be shared”
Wellington New Zealand
Born in Cuba on the eve of Carnival, Rafael has dancing in his blood. From winning 'best male performer' at his first international dance festival aged only 10. He went on to compete and perform in many festivals, including the renowned Festival de Caribe in Santiago de Cuba. Specialising in Afro-Cuban and Afro-Haitian dance, he worked as a professional dancer and choreographer in Havana, and has performed all over Cuba, including at the Teatro Nacional de Habana.
Rafael has been based in Wellington, NZ since 2005. Under the CubanFusion banner, he teaches Cuban-style Salsa, Afro-Cuban contemporary dance and percussion. His high-energy, fun style inspires many non-dancers to attend classes and further inspires some of his students to become performers, either at local community events or as part of Cuban comparsas at Jambalaya and the Cuba Street Carnival. Highlights are his choreography of LatinBeat's winning entries in 2007 and 2009 in the Cuba Street Carnival's Illuminated Street Parade.
Auckland New Zealand
Vivio continues to run the Cuban Groove dance school in Auckland.
At age eleven Vivio (Isbert Ramos) started his career at the prestigious & highly competitive National School of Arts ‘ENA’ in Havana, Cuba. There he studied many forms of Performing Arts, International & National Folklore including (Salsa, Mambo, Son, Cha Cha Cha, Rumba, Conga, Mozambique, Pilon, Yoruba & Congo) Ballet, Jazz, Rhythm, Composition & Choreography with Contemporary & Modern Techniques including Gymnastics, Acting, Music & Painting. He graduated after seven years not only with honours but also as the ‘Top Student of the Year’ with National 1st prizes in both Modern & Contemporary Dance.
In the following three years he danced for Ballet de Camaguey and then joined the National Company Contemporary Dance of Cuba where he reached the level of ‘First Dancer’, remaining so for the following 14 years, and travelling with them all over the world.
Vivio joined the dance musical Lady Salsa & it wasn’t long before Vivio’s expertise was called upon to completely re-work & refine the Lady Salsa Show. Vivio and his partner at the time, Greydis Montero Liranza, proudly toured the globe as the Principal Dancers & Choreographers, bringing with them a vast knowledge & experience to New Zealand. Togehter they moved to NZ and established The Cuban Groove.
Most recently Vivio has taught workshops and performed at many festivals including Bay Salsa Festival and New Zealand Cuban Festival as well as the 2013 New Zealand Salsa Championships.
Auckland New Zealand
A newcomer to the New Zealand Cuban Salsa scene, Diego has quickly developed a following in Auckland Rueda scene and is now running his own Rueda Group “Bailando Rueda”, with their studio based in South Auckland. As the group is growing they have come together for impromptu performances of "Rueda Cantada" - a style of rueda when the steps are called out on the stage.
Originally from Chile, his focus is Cuban salsa and specifically Rueda de Casino (Miami style). He was a member of the performing group and an instructor at A Lo Cubano y Social, Santiago de Chile, and spent time in Cuba in 2017 developing more of the Cuban style . He is welcoming and runs well structured classes where moves are broken down technically and ensures students get individual attention. We look forward to seeing Diego become a more familiar member of the New Zealand Cuban Dance scene.
Auckland New Zealand
Javiera is from Puerto Montt in the south of Chile. Co-Founder of Puerto Montt Salsa in 2010, the first Salsa school in the city with more than 250 students who enjoyed different styles like Cuban Salsa, Rueda, Bachata, Salsa LA style, Tango, Cueca, Arabian Dance, and Zumba. Rueda was one of the favourite styles due to its fun, happy and dynamic nature.
In 2014 Javiera decided to embark on a new personal project and left Chile in search of new challenges. In October 2014 she arrived in Auckland and in January 2015 discovered Viva Dance where she was taken on to teach, bringing her special brand of contagious fun to all of her classes. She is now working full time at Viva utilising to the full her experience and know-how in running a successful dance studio.
Javiera co-taught the first ever Viva Cuban Salsa team, which performed at the NZ Cuban Festival in 2015, New Zealand Salsa Congress and Sydney Latin Festival in 2016 and is a regular favourite contributors at Aotearoa Cuban Festival and Bay Salsa Festival.
Rotorua New Zealand
Liza Kohunui is of Ngai Tuhoe me Te Arawa oku iwi. Liza began dancing at the age of 12, she has performed and trained in Hip Hop, American Jazz, Hula and Latin dance. Liza’s passion for Cuban Salsa began 12 years ago, since then, she established Rotorua’s first Latin Dance Fitness (Salsacise).
In 2009, she Introduced the Worlds growing fitness craze ‘Zumba’ to Rotorua, plus travelled to Cuba to further her knowledge in Salsa. By 2010, Liza’s company Dance 2 Inspire Ltd was created to inspire people through the movement of dance. Since then she has been teaching Cuban Salsa in Rotorua.
"Salsa dancing enables me to enjoy the freedom to express my femininity and sensuality, the bonus is that I get to meet and dance with all kinds of people. The complimentary part of Salsa is that I get to maintain my fitness and health." says Liza
"I am truly living my DREAM!"
Tauranga New Zealand
Director of Salsa ¡Agua!, Kate has been dancing Latin dance for more than 25 years and dancing Salsa for more than 15 years. She has been teaching Cuban dance and Salsa since 2008. A trip to Cuban in 2009 saw her training in Havana with Isaias Rojas Ramirez director of Ban Rarra dance company. She was a senior instructor and performer with the Cuban Groove in Auckland, working with New Zealand’s premier Cuban professional dancers Greydis Montero Liranza and Isbert (Vivio) Ramos for several years before her relocation to Tauranga in 2013. A return trip to Cuban in 2017 lead to further opportunties to train in Havana with Isaias Rojas Ramirez director of Ban Rarra dance company and Santiago All Stars.
Kate is a trustee of the NZ Cuban Festival Trust which runs the Annual National Cuban Festival, and is also part of the organising committee for the Bay Salsa Festival. She teachers a range of Cuban dancers (Salsa, Rudea de Casino, Son , Rumba, Chachacha, Cubaton and some Afro Cuban dances), Bachata and Merengue.
Her patient, fun, energetic teaching style is contagious and she will have you dancing and having a great time before you know it. Kate is captivated with the fun, authenticity and depth of Cuban dance and she wants you to discover the joy of Cuban dance too.