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Returns July 2015

DANCE & SONG (from 2013)

dance class


The goal is to have classes that are challenging and comfortable with students of similar skill levels grouped together.

Refer to the guide below when choosing your dance level.

Students who are having difficulty keeping up in an advanced class may be asked to either stop participating and observe or move to a class that is more appropriate to the individual’s skill level.


party dancingLevel 1 - requires little or no prior experience with Afro-Cuban dance styles.

Level 2 - requires prior Afro-Cuban folkloric dance experience with the ability to keep up in a moderately fast paced environment. Participants must be:

  • able to pick up moves and steps quickly
  • familiar with the bembé /güiro step
  • familiar with the fundamental orishá steps

Level 3 - Master class. For professional dancers, teachers, and performers of Afro-Cuban folkloric dance. Requires mastery of the fundamental orishá steps, and the ability to keep up in an extremely fast-paced, high energy environment. Intended for those with many years of experience in Afro-Cuban dance.



Woman in dance poseTwo folkloric dance classes will be offered each weekday. Instruction will provide a comprehensive study of the traditional Afro-Cuban dance repertoire of the Lucumí, Arará, Bantú, Carabalí, Haitiano traditions, rumba, and conga de comparsa with an emphasis on orishá dances. Each class will be accompanied with live drumming.

LEVEL 1 classes will acquaint students with the fundamental Afro-Cuban folkloric dances with an emphasis on orishá and Haitiano styles. Each particular dance will be broken down slowly.

LEVEL 2 classes will examine the folkloric repertoire with an emphasis on orishá and Haitiano dances. Dances may or may not be broken down, with an emphasis placed on the nuances of each dance.

LEVEL 3 classes will focus on the folkloric repertoire with emphasis on orishá and Haitiano dances. Dances may or may not be broken down. These classes will move quickly, with great emphasis on the nuance, subtleties, and characteristics of each dance. May include choreography.


Sat., July 20: 8:30-9:45 p.m.


Sun., July 21: 8:30-9:45 p.m.


Instructors: Lázaro Galarraga and Lázaro Pedroso

Six song classes will be offered through the week. Primary focus on orishá songs, with additional instruction drawn from the folkloric repertoire.

Lazaro Galarraga singing into microphoneLázaro Galarraga is a native of Havana, Cuba. He was a founding member of the Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba. A world-renowned teacher, performing artist, choreographer and writer of Afro-Cuban music, culture and folklore, he has recorded, performed and taught across the U.S. and worldwide. He is now the musical director for the Caribbean Crew and for the Percussion Artists Workshop (PAWS) Afro-Cuban Folklore ensemble in Los Angeles.

Lazaro PedrosoLázaro Pedroso is a scholar of the song traditions of Yoruba-Lukumí. He is also a respected batá player, and an elder of the Yoruba-Lukumí tradition, with a half century of experience as a santero in Havana. Lázaro has been employed as Professor of folkloric percussion and Professor of the Escuela National de Arte, Instituto Superior de Arte, and senior adviser of the Centro Superior de la Enseñanza Artistica in Havana, Cuba. He has participated as a musician in festivals of music and dance throughout Cuba. He has also traveled internationally as a leading participant in a folkloric performance tour of France in 1994, a teaching and performance excursion to Mexico in the year 1992, and in 2001 to the United States to give performances, workshops and classes.


Instructors: Danys "La Mora" Perez

Sat., July 20: 7-8:15 p.m.


See video examples of the fundamental Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms and dances, including rumba and conga de comparsa. (Please check back for online access to video.)



SAT., JULY 27, 8 p.m.: Week-long participants are invited to attend the faculty performance, which is open to the public for a nominal admission charge. Students are invited to dance with faculty in the conga de comparsa.

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