Adrian Chaves is an intuitive massage and energy therapist certified by Esalen Institute, California and NSW School of Massage, Sydney, Australia. He has worked alongside of personal trainers, physician and nutritionists to achieve the best physical results possible to athletics clients, performers, dancers and people from all walks of life. His nurturing style of bodywork has been shaped by the healing arts of therapeutic and sports massage, deep tissue, aromatherapy, shiatsu and the subtle yet powerful modality of Reiki. Your session is an invitation into a sanctuary where your physical and energetic blockages will be effectively and safely released. 20% OFF in your first session!
Aisha is a second generation dancer, having grown up embedded in the world of dance. Trained in Ballet, Modern, and Jazz, she found her passion in World Dance, studying a wide range of styles including Brazilian, Salsa, African, Afro-Haitian, Flamenco, and Belly Dance. She has trained in various places throughout the country as well as internationally, and has currently been teaching and dancing professionally in the Bay Area for over 10 years.
Andrea Spearman, is a student, teacher, choreographer, and performer of a variety of modern-based movement. Her background includes the study of modern dance, hip hop, jazz, west African, ballet, Haitian, Latin styles, worship dance, musical and dramatic theatre, music theory, dance composition, dance history and production. She has studied under Dawn James, PJay Phillips, Dr. Linda Goodrich, Jacqueline Burgess, Dr. Zak Diouf and Carla Service. Andrea’s style and passion emphasizes the importance of solid technique, flawless rhythm, dedicated practice and personal style. She has performed for Avon Products Inc., Parado Medical Group, Stanford University, Oakland’s Art & Soul Festival, Dance-A-Vision, Dance Mission Theater, Culture Shock Oakland, Sacramento Black Art of Dance, Eastlake Music Festival, and more!
Andreas has studied Yang Style Tai Chi Chuan in the Plum Blossom International Federation, founded by Grandmaster Doc-Fai Wong, where he also took part in martial arts tournaments, placing in medaling positions. Andreas has the special capacity to teach the preciseness, purity and beauty of movement and at the same time to transfer the experience of flow and a feeling of connectedness of body and mind to his students.
Chauncey began his dance career at the ripe age of eighteen in the Bay Area. A very diversified background as with training that starts in Afro American jazz under the direction of Danny Duncan. Later in modern jazz with notables like Raymond Sawyer, Ed Mock, Claude Thompson, and Michael Peters. He has danced in Various Dance companies throughout the US, and Europe. Musical Productions, stage, television and film including Blues Brothers. Chauncey’s experience and versatility as Dancer, Choreographer, Teacher brings a unique form of movement and training that will motivate students of all ages, nationalities, and cultural backgrounds.
Chi Chi Okonmah
Student, teacher, choreographer and performer of rhythm tap, Chi Chi’s style and passion (greatly influenced by the late tap master Gregory Hines) emphasizes the importance of solid technique, flawless rhythm, dedicated practice and personal style.
A native San Franciscan from the Mission District, Christiane has developed her own style and technique by blending street and club moves with formal training studied since age 5. She was a member of Culture Shock and the director / choreographer for her own company, Rare Form. Christiane teaches Hip Hop at ODC Dance Commons in San Francisco and The Beat in Berkeley.
Erick Barberia, Cuban dancer, singer and percussionist, graduated from the Escuela Nacional de Artes (ENA) in Habana, Cuba. He began his professional career in the Artistic Community Company, Korimakao as a dancer, drummer and actor. Subsequently, he became a master teacher of dancing, singing and Afro-Cuban percussion in both the ENA and the Escuela Internacional de las Artes (CENCEA) in Havana, Cuba.
Felipe embodies a very fluid style of dancing, moving seamlessly through all ranges of the embrace. His dance is at once dynamic, smooth and extremely musical. As teacher, his dedication, enthusiasm, and sheer knowledge of the dance always come across with great clarity. To watch him and to work with him is extremely inspiring and instills a real joy and respect for the dance. He has an extensive background in other forms of movement and has been influenced by the most respected tango masters and dancers. He is a prominent tango teacher in the San Francisco/Bay Area and shares his passion for tango all over North America and Europe.
Gregg’s background includes the study of piano, jazz music (history, theory, and on piano), gymnastics and psychology. This range provides students the technical feedback, musical, and artistic qualities necessary to develop within and outside the classroom setting. He has studied with 35 instructors over 18 years including Gregory Hines, Dianne Walker, Roxane Butterfly, Linda Sohl-Essel, Mark Mendonca, to name a few. He makes an ongoing study of tap masters like Eddie Brown, Honi Coles, Cholly Atkins, Baby Laurence, and Jimmy Slyde. He has been called a teacher/artist/performer with the emphasis in that order. Gregg’s been teaching in California for 14 years. His first love is that of teaching — seeing students grow and enjoy the process and expression it provides.
The world’s first capoeira regional academy was created by Master Bimba (Manoel do Reis Machado), the founding father of the style “capoeira regional”. Helio learned that at this Association of Capoeira, Master Bimba gave grants for students to attend. There, he interacted with dedicated capoeiristas, besides Mestre Bamba, Reni Veneno and Cabaca were Helio’s main inspiration, and people from across the globe that positively influenced his life. Professor Sereno has taught capoeira workshops, in Brazil, the United States, and Canada. Currently, he teaches at the YMCA in Berkeley, at Rainbow Recreation Center in Oakland, the BEAT studio and in several school programs for youth throughout the in the San Francisco Bay Area in northern California. Come take a class with him, you will love it!
Homer & Cristina Ladas
Homer & Cristina each bring with them over seventeen years of social dance experience emphasizing a fusion of tango ideologies, via the ‘one tango’ philosophy. They have traveled extensively to dance, learn, and teach! Since 2002, their Monday night at The Beat intermediate drop-in class + practica (co-hosted with Felipe Martinez) has been their ‘local’ home base & hang-out. Coupled with Dan & Pier’s Thursday night beginner classes and the monthly 4th Saturday all-nighter, The Beat has been a tango staple in the local community as well as earning an international reputation for where to dance tango when in-town.
Isaura Oliveira was born and raised in Salvador-Bahia, the cradle of African Brazilian culture. She has devoted her extraordinary talents to work in academic, artistic, community, educational and health venues. Isaura is a dancer, actress, dance teacher, and choreographer. A certified Yoga Instructor, Isaura also holds a BFA in Dance Performance, School of Dance of the UFBA, Brazil. Isaura appeared in a PBS and BBC-TVs documentary, Dancing#5: New Worlds, New Forms (1993), as the representative for Brazilian dance, through her classes and interviews.
Jessica Erin Judd
Jessica is a long-time dancer with training in jazz, lyrical, hip hop, modern, and rhythm tap dance. She loves leaps, turns, and any dance that allows her to travel extensively about the stage and has been thrilled to pursue her love of dance within Big Moves since 2001. Jessica is the Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE, Big Moves’ resident performing company for people of all shapes, sizes, and genders with a deep repertory that spans jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater. Big Moves is the only service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on stage.
Jhonatan & Daniela
Daniela has been choreographing Quinceañera’s over 4 years and has recently partnered with Jhonatan as dance and business partners. Together they own Jhonatan and Daniela Productions as well as teach bachata classes, private lessons, and host bachata socials in the bay area. They currently run Bachata Takeover along side Sabor Latino’s Emmanuel Villarreal and Michelle Donehew Perez, a free summer bachata social at Lake Merritt every month.
Kathryn Golden is a certified instructor practicing yoga since her teens. She believes in creating an environment to work creatively, deeply and safely where practice can be a therapeutic release in our day-to-day routine. Golden’s passions include dancing, performing and is an award-winning filmmaker.
Katy Yong has an extensive dance and movement background and training since the age of 8. As native of Peru, Katy grew up immersed in Latin American and Chinese cultures. Her earlier studies involved Peruvian folklore, Afro-Peruvian and Chinese dances as well as Jazz, Ballet and Modern Dance. In addition, she trained competitively in Rhythmic Gymnastics throughout high school. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Worlds Arts and Cultures with Dance concentration from UCLA. As an instructor, she continues to be inspired by her students’ energy, dedication and pure joy for dancing.
Lisa & Dana
Dana has taught Cajun and Zydeco dance classes at the Beat dance studio in Berkeley for over 30 years. He is a serious dance teacher who primarily emphasizes rhythm, coordination, and lots of practice as a foundation for everything in dance. He is an expert at syncopated footwork, advanced hand-moves and complicated dance patterns.
Lisa has been Zydeco dancing for over 15 years. She first began dance in Dana DeSimone’s basic Zydeco dance class at the Beat in 1999 and has been dancing regularly ever since. Lisa’s goal is to make everyone a better dancer so they will gain skill and confidence as dancers and have more fun at the dances.
Luz Mena is a Cultural Geographer, dance instructor and performer in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her regional emphasis is Latin America and the Caribbean. Her research explores how dance articulates crucial meanings related to gender, race, class, and sexual difference. Trained in Latin America and in the United States in a wide gamma of dances, including Afro-Caribbean, Afro-Brazilian, modern-contemporary and ballroom, Luz specializes in teaching Latin American Rhythms to beginners with an emphasis on cultural meaning, expression and the pleasure of movement.
Lynn Brilhante’s dancing and choreography is often described as dynamic, fluid, and gutsy. She brings a fresh and innovative approach to the world of jazz and shows a unique ability to merge and update various elements, in the process creating her own trademark style. These talents have recently earned her a nomination for the Theatre LA Ovation Award for Choreography. Lynn has also received the Dance Masters of American Choreographer’s Award and the Robbi Award for Choreography. Her acclaim reaches internationally to the jazz workshop, Die Werkstatt, in Dusseldorf, Germany, where she continues to be invited as a guest artist.
Matilda St. John
Matilda spent her elementary school years training in jazz and dreaming of becoming a Solid Gold Dancer. Although those early dreams never materialized, she was delighted to find and join Big Moves in 2002. Matilda loves across-the-floor work and whip-fast pas de bourrees. She’s the current Director of Big Moves, the only service organization in the world dedicated to getting people of all sizes into the dance studio and up on stage, and the Co-Artistic Director of emFATic DANCE, Big Moves’ resident performing company for people of all shapes, sizes, and genders with a deep repertory that spans jazz, lyrical, contemporary, and musical theater.
Nick & Irina
Nick and Irina met each other on the dance competitions where they perform with different partners. By that time (about 20 years ago) they both were top swing dancers in Russia. They constantly competed against each other in regional, national, and international championships for a few years until… they got married. Each has a unique experience as dance instructors and choreographers, their students were champions and prizewinners in Russian and Ukraine nationals, their own three kids along with “ Swing Kids Dance Company” actively perform recently in Berkeley, Alameda, San Francisco, LA, and Oakland. Nick and Irina are passionate about Swing Dance. They actively teach, perform, and compete for the sake of “Old Time Style” and New Generation Development.
Patricia’s methodology of teaching “Soul Line Dance” as an alternative to the traditional exercise class, to socialize as one dances and to relieve stress, with a main focus being Fitness, Health and Wellness. Soul Line dancing is one of the dance forms that you do not need a partner and can be done to any music, by all ages, any and all social-economic status, and ethnicity. Anyone can dance and everyone is welcomed. We love to feel good and “Soul Line’ dance embodies so much of that. Participants learn through demonstration and layered drills, steps and movement leading to feeling and sense of accomplishment, motivation, inclusion and creativity in a safe space for personal growth along with positive feedback, encouragement and development of self worth.
Paul parish is a certified Pilates trainer with 30 years of study in ballet (also in lindy hop, West African, Limon, Cunningham, contact improvisation techniques. He has performed with Dance Brigade, Remy Charlip, UC Dance and Drama, Omega West and Folawole. He is also a dance critic and has written for San Francisco Magazine, Ballet Review, The New Yorker and the Bay Area Reporter.
Roger has been a dancer, teacher and choreographer since 1979. He has trained extensively throughout the U.S.A. and overseas, studying an assortment of dance styles and techniques including modern, jazz, blues, African Haitian and ballet.Roger currently teaches (modern jazz blues) for adults and creative movement classes for children and teens.
Susana Arenas began her dance training at age twelve at the Casa de la Cultura in Matanzas, Cuba. On completion of her course of study in Matanzas, Arena moved to Havana and joined popular, folkloric, and theater dance troupes, including Tierra Virgen, Alafia Ire, Ochew Olorum, and Oriki. SHe also danced as a soloist for Compania Folklorica Raices Profundas, and has performed and taught in the United States, Europe and Asia.
Yismari Ramos Tellez
Cuban dancer and choreographer, Yismari Ramos Tellez, graduated from the National School of Art in Havana, Cuba with a degree in modern and Afro-Cuban folkloric dance in 1992. For six years Yismari danced with the Tony Melenedez Dance Company in Cuba, and later for the Ballet de la Television Cubana in Havana. She regularly performed on television, in video, and in live shows for the top bands in Cuba. She toured in Italy, Russia, Spain, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Ecuador, Canada, and Panama. With more than 20 years of experience as a teacher, Yismari is currently the artistic director, choreographer, and soloist of Las Que Son Son, and sings with Dos Four, a Cuban reggaeton and salsa band.