THE ONLY DANCE & MUSIC FESTIVAL CELEBRAting QUEER, TRANS, ALLY, AFRO-LATIN DANCERS AND MUSIC LOVERS!   

june 14th-17th, 2024 | san jose, ca

 NEW • LIVE CONCERTS •  NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS •  new • live concerts • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS •

 NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • NEW • LIVE CONCERTS • 

LIVE SALSA CONCERT
BY CHOCO ORTA

learn about choco 

live bachata concert
by Johnny sky

learn about johnny

the 2024 edition comes back with two live concerts

CHOCO ORTA

about

Choco Orta, is a prominent Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and percussionist born in Santurce, San Juan. Raised in the vibrant neighborhood of El Chícharo, her family environment introduced her early on to music, coming from a family where most of her siblings were percussionists, and her father was a talented guitarist. Her musical education, initially self-taught, expanded thanks to the influence of renowned teachers and studies at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Graduating with honors in Theater Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Choco has showcased her artistic versatility in theater, television, and film. Her entry into the music scene was led by trombonist Julio "Gunda" Merced in 1987, marking the beginning of a successful career that has included multiple productions, with highlights such as "SENTIMIENTO Y SABOR" (1997) and "AHORA MISMO" (2009).

Over more than three decades, Choco has garnered awards, recognitions, and international successes, establishing herself as an influential figure in salsa music and a defender of Puerto Rican culture.

back

learn about Jhonny sky 

JHONNY SKY

about

Johnny Sky is a classically trained American Latin pop, tropical, and bachata singer. He was born in New York in 1997 to Dominican parents. They realized his vocal talent while he was still a young child, and made the necessary financial sacrifices to get him proper singing lessons. At the age of nine he became a member of the children's choir at New York's Metropolitan Opera House. He met many great opera artists during this period, but the one who had the greatest influence was Placido Domingo, who encouraged him to follow his instincts and not be reined in by any one style. Sky began working with professional musicians and songwriting in his teens, developing a contemporary style that remained true to Dominican traditions. After signing with Premium Latin Music, distributed by Sony, he released his debut single and video in 2014. "With or Without You" placed well in various radio airplay charts. It was followed by two more singles, "One More Night" and "Solo Quiero," each one charting and garnering more attention and discussion on social media forums. His self-titled debut album was released in the summer of 2015 and landed on tropical and airplay charts immediately.

back

learn about choco orta

THE RHYTHM SEEKERS AND THE BOUNDARY BREAKERS

THE BOLD AND THE BEAUTIFUL

THE MOVERs AND SHAKERs

the qaldf IS FOR those READY TO EMBRACE THE HEARTBEAT OF AFRO LATIN CULTURE, WHERE MOVEMENT KNOWS NO BOUNDaries, AND INCLUSIVITY IS CELEBRATED.

COME JOIN US ON THIS INCREDIBLE JOURNEY —
 THIS IS YOUR TIME, YOUR RHYTHM, YOUR FESTIVAL!"

QALDF is for

AS SEEN ON:

Click to view 

discussion
panel

social dances
& pool parties

PERFORMANCE
SHOWCASES

specialty workshops

60 dance
workshops

What 's happening in the 6th edition of QALDF

The QALDF is more than just a dance event; it's a tapestry of diverse cultures, identities, and communities. We believe in the power of dance to transcend boundaries, to tell stories, and to express the beauty of our shared experiences.

We invite you to join us for a weekend filled with dance workshops, performances, social dances, and connections that will last a lifetime. Our goal is to create an inclusive, supportive, and empowering environment for everyone.




CELEBRATING THE INTERSECTION OF DANCE, IDENTITY, AND SELF-EXPRESSION

About QALDF

by mistabu media

- WORKSHOP INSTRUCTORS -

The amazing Lineup

alicia langlais

Amoura Teese

alex & Desiree

joel gomez

andrew noel

Jhesus Aponte

Bex

Serena Spears

ELEANEE & Baudillo

Jahaira

Elena rovito

Ace Fusion

GABRIELE DI MARZO

franklin liranzo

Angie & Audrey

KYLA HALLUMUS

ANGELICA medina

JAYVEN COLON

Lyrik Cruz

Lilly Rose

Latisha Hardy

LUIS AGUILAR

Monique Manzo

bRyon & sammantha

John and Liz

Kathy Reyes

Mariah & Andrea

Jahaira Fajardo

Jeremy Meza

Jessica marie

Karel & Bruno

Ngoc

Mireille Ruiz

Katlyn Rodriguez

Sabrih joy

Rafa Gonzalez

Oscar & Tiffany

tom Ogunribido

SIR JOQ

jason rodriguez

susana arenas

Specializing in Latin-style dancing, Alex and Desiree are professional dancers who partnered in 2015 to share their passion with the world. Whether it’s teaching at the world’s premier dance festivals or bringing exciting-energetic showcases to stages across the globe, they are currently among the most sought out artists today. While both Alex and Desiree are well rounded in many forms of dance the world has really embraced their interpretation of Bachata. They have undoubtedly become the leading couple representing Bachata Clasica also known as Traditional or Dominican Style Bachata. 

Their trajectory includes winning world coveted titles and recognition for their signature choreography and their abundant contributions to the Latin dance scene. You may have also seen Alex AnD Desiree on television shows, music videos, and all over social-media platforms. Despite their popularity, however, their focus continues to be the spread of joy and passion through the growth of dance communities everywhere. Apart from coaching and training dancers from across the globe, Alex and Desiree are also part of the official judging panel at two of the world's most prestigious Dance Championships such as the World Salsa Summit and Bachatea World Masters. 

Bachata Fundamentals | beginner
Bachata Partnerwork Connection | ADVANCED

ALEX & DESIREE

Bay Area Diva & Drag Artist, Amoura Teese is inspired by iconic women in pop culture, while embracing the roots of their Mexican-American heritage, combining that with glamorous, flamboyant, & colorful drag fashion, makeup, dance, and vocal performance. A former Miss Gay San Francisco & Resident Diva at The Port Bar in Downtown Oakland.

Showcase Host!

Amoura Teese

diaspora dance | intermediate

alicia langlais

Alicia Langlais is a Bay Area dancer, full-time High School dance educator, and Dance Inspiration Coach. Alicia is known for her signature dance style which integrates an Afro-diasporic aesthetic with her passion for ballet grounded in her training at Harlem School of the Arts and The Ailey School. Alicia is the creator of Diaspora Dance, a Caribbean Vibes meets Afro Pop dance party class, an all-levels movement experience that celebrates Black joy through the lens of contemporary afro-diasporic dances. She is also the Creative Director of the 2X “Best Choreography” awarding winning group, the Diaspora Dance Black Joy Parade Performance Team. Alicia has collaborated with numerous schools, companies, and organizations as a specialty workshop facilitator, speaker, and commercial artist including Xfinity, Coursera, Zendesk, Afro Punk Festival, to name a few. In addition to a Master’s in School Counseling, Alicia also has an M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology with a focus in Creative Expression. Her studies and research in Dance Therapy allows Alicia to meld her cultural and professional dance history, and personal experience with performance anxiety and mental burnout, as the basis of her approach as a Dance Inspiration Coach. In this role, she helps clients eliminate, or "slay" dance related limiting beliefs, which she calls "Dance Dragons," and obtain greater confidence, purpose, and success.

Jhesus Aponte has been surrounded by dance his entire life and has taken the talent he was born with to the greatest heights with every intention of continuing his ascension to even taller peaks. An internationally renowned dancer and choreographer who is taking the world by storm with every rhythmic move he makes, Aponte is two times winner of World Salsa Championships, prestigious titles to add to his already abundant list of accomplishments.

Born and raised in the town of Santurce in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico, Jhesus Aponte comes from a family of musicians. Music was constantly played in the home and Salsa, the cultural music and dance of the island, became embedded in Aponte's subconscious in the same way learning to speak does. It's not something you think about, it's something you simply know.

Aponte's inherent love of dance took a more professional turn at the hands of a friend who brought him to an aerobic jazz class. "I was enchanted," he says of that first formal lesson, "and decided to start training to become a more complete dancer." Classes in Jazz, Ballet, Music Theatre, Tap, Hip Hop, Swing, Hustle, Flamenco and Rumba, ensued at various schools throughout Puerto Rico, including Bailos, New Attitude, Conservatorio de Ballet Concierto de Puerto Rico, and Dance Machine, and New York City at Broadway Dance Center, Steps and Eglevsky Ballet where he had a Summer Scholarships. In 1991, Aponte landed his first job as a professional dancer, and has not stopped working professionally since. As a Choreographer Aponte has choreographed for many Stars, Concerts, TV, Music Videos and Commercials. In Theatre, The West End in the UK , Off-Broadway and many Regional Theatres in USA, Dominican Republic, Uk and PR. Jhesus has taught and perform in countries such as, North, Central and South America, Turkey, Italy, Morocco, Hungary, Spain, Japan, South Korea, China, France, Monaco, Switzerland, Norway, United Kingdom, Israel, Poland, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, St. Croix, Germany, Thailand, Australia, Guadeloupe & Sweden.

Salsa Heels Fusion | intermediate

jhesus aponte

Andrew Noel, the King of Twerk, brings the heart of twerk straight from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
 His passion began with self-taught freestyle and hip-hop influences that he developed with his high school dance team, performing annually at his local Halloween festival. His pursuit has followed him through college at Stetson University, as a member of the Top Hats Dance Team. From sports events to festivals to dance floors, in music videos and through leading classes, Andrew's love for dance has touched lives across the country, and now the world. 
In joining Confidanca as a professional twerk expert in 2021, Andrew has developed his craft at throwing ass with fellow dancers, taking his journey international to stages in Mexico City and Perth, Australia. 
Andrew's journey in dance is only beginning to blossom, and he is looking forward to bringing influences of his Haitian culture like Kompa into his unique dancing styles, showcasing that dance is not only a display of community joy, but an expression of his sense of self and unique identity.

Twerk

ANDREW NOEL

Choco Orta, is a prominent Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and percussionist born in Santurce, San Juan. Raised in the vibrant neighborhood of El Chícharo, her family environment introduced her early on to music, coming from a family where most of her siblings were percussionists, and her father was a talented guitarist. Her musical education, initially self-taught, expanded thanks to the influence of renowned teachers and studies at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. Graduating with honors in Theater Arts from the University of Puerto Rico, Choco has showcased her artistic versatility in theater, television, and film. Her entry into the music scene was led by trombonist Julio "Gunda" Merced in 1987, marking the beginning of a successful career that has included multiple productions, with highlights such as "SENTIMIENTO Y SABOR" (1997) and "AHORA MISMO" (2009). 

Over more than three decades, Choco has garnered awards, recognitions, and international successes, establishing herself as an influential figure in salsa music and a defender of Puerto Rican culture.

Singer | Musician

Choco Orta

Owner of Afinké Dance Company, Eleanee Jimenez is a New York/New Jersey artist with extensive experience as a professional dancer, instructor, and choreographer. Her passion, riveting & sexy soulful dance style, and hard-working nature quickly elevated her to be recognized as one of the top elite artists in the area. Her mission is to “share her passion with others" by creating a positive environment for people to learn, celebrate, and revel in the art of dance and Latin culture.

Baudilio Rivera, co-director of Afinké Dance Company, is a professional performer, dance instructor, choreographer, and entrepreneur. He has a positive impact on his students and is known for developing their leadership skills, instilling values, and teaching them the diversities of performing arts through a carefully crafted curriculum. 

Together they provide a world-class and inclusive learning environment curated by over 25 years of dance education. They believe that excellence is the key to learning how to dance, feel free, and be 100% your authentic self.

Mambo Footwork | INTERMEDIATE

Eleanee & BAUDILLO

Serena Spears is a fusion dancer, performer, teacher, and choreographer from Brooklyn, NY. With three decades of dance experience and a diverse background in hip-hop, modern, African, and ballet as well as Afro-Latin and Middle Eastern dance forms, Serena focuses on creating seamlessly integrated and moving fusion that inspires people around the world.

Serena began training in MENAHT (Middle Eastern, North African, Hellenic, and/or Turkish) dance in 2006, and in 2010, she transitioned to contemporary fusion bellydance. In 2014, Serena started learning Afro-Latin and partner dancing, spending the last six years exploring salsa, bachata, chachachá, rumba, Afro-Cuban folklore, tango, samba, and, most recently, Brazilian zouk. Combining her new training pathways with the old has given her a unique perspective on body mechanics, movement, and isolations and continues to strengthen her love of dance as art, connection, and healing.

Afro Latin House Fusion | beginner
SALSA RUEDA | BEGINNER

serena spears

Bex (he/they) is a trans nonbinary artist, performer and latin dance instructor from Venezuela, and the founder of Queerchata. Bex fosters spaces where Trans and Queer dancers can use movement as a tool to explore their identity, while forming deeper connections with themselves and their communities.

Queerchata ShineS | BEGINNER

Bex

Andrea Arenasvazquez (They/Them/Theirs), nicknamed “Ace Fusion” was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and in the year 1995 moved to Brooklyn, N.Y, where they were raised. Throughout their youth Ace was known as the “Dancing Queen”. They attended Hip-hop, Salsa, Bachata classes and shared their love for dance whenever the moment presented itself. Ace has made it their goal to touch the hearts of others with love and connection through music and dance. Traveling and dancing, have created so many wonderful opportunities for Ace. While serving their country in the USMC and now in their career as an International Bachata instructor, Ace has had the chance to teach and dance in places like Japan, Africa, ​Spain, Copenhagen, Sweden, France, and various states throughout the U.S. Ace is dedicated to sharing all the knowledge that has been shared with them with future dance generations to come.  

Bachata Musicality | beginner

ace fusion

Originally from Northern California, Elena has a diverse background in many different arts and sports, including ballet/jazz/modern/contemporary dance, parkour, Latin ballroom, and 13 years of competitive gymnastics.

She began her Brazilian zouk journey in 2017 with the Renata Peçanha USA school in Los Angeles. That year, she revived the Brazilian zouk community in Oakland, CA, and hosted classes, socials and weekenders there until the pandemic in February 2020.

She currently lives in Washington DC and teaches with District Zouk. She also travels around the US and Brazil teaching classes and DJing at Brazilian zouk events.

Recently she became the only person in history to progress from Novice to the All-Star division of the Brazilian Zouk Jack & Jill competitions. She is also a BZDC-certified judge.

In addition to Brazilian Zouk, she also dances samba de gafieira, samba no pé, bachata, forró, salsa, West Coast swing, and more.

Zouk - Fundamentals | beginners

Elena rovito

Jahaira Fajardo is the co-director of In Lak’ech Dance Academy, in Oakland CA. In Lak´ech Dance Academy is the direct result of the passion Angelica & Jahaira share for Latin Dance and for their community.

Born and raised in NYC to Dominican parents, Jahaira holds a Masters of Arts in Psychology, and Masters of Public Health. She is also a highly regarded speaker and educator about Afro-Latin dance as a medium to understand history, social justice, and trauma healing. 
 
In December 2015 Jahaira and Angelica placed 1st in the Latin Ladies Same Gender Division, at the World Latin Dance Cup. Jahaira made history as the first Bachata female leader to become a World Champion. In 2018, they returned to to WLDC as pros and placed first in the Bachata Couple Pro Cabaret division.  

In 2017, Jahaira and Angelica participated and completed the Alex and Desiree Bachata Instructor Certification Course. They also had the honor to Direct The AnD WW ~Team SF Season One. 

In 2018, In Lak’ech Dance Academy produced the first edition of the first ever Queer Latin Dance Festival.

bachata history & evolution| Beginner track

jahaira fajardo

Angie and Audrey are a Queer Latinx couple with a mission to decolonize society’s mentality by uplifting Afro-Latinx culture, history, and gender-free expression in partner dance. Angie started her formal training at age 14 in her hometown Colombia. Audrey was born in the Dominican Republic, where her training began in ballet at the age of 4. Though trained in a variety of dances throughout the years, it wasn’t until they both reconnected with their roots, through Afro Latin dances that they began their journey as a performing duo. Angie and Audrey specialize in salsa and afro cuban dance movement. They perform Salsa on 2, most times fusioned with flamenco dance, Afro cuban, modern, and hip hop/phunk.

Salsa Non-Binary Partnerwork | beginner

angie & audrey

Franklin Liranzo is a professional Latin dancer, coach, choreographer, instructor, judge, and photographer based in New York City. His dance trajectory has lead him to become an 8 times world champion, along with his partners: Lucia Jimenez and Mari Yogo. With Pro-Am competition Franklin’s students have received over 650 (combined) medals, making him one of the most successful instructors in the competition industry.

Franklin has traveled to numerous prestigious events around the world such as the World Salsa Summit (Miami), World Salsa Solo (Australia), Canada Salsa Congress, Calgary Salsa Congress, Houston Salsa Congress, Aventura Dance Cruise, Vietnam Salsa Festival and countless other festivals for the last 15 years.

Since Franklin’s competitive career started (2013) he has always placed in the top ranking positions, making him a world class dancer.

mambo shines | INTERMEDIATE

Franklin liranzo

Gabriele Di Marzo was born in Rome and showed a strong passion for dance from the early years of his life. After an initial experience with hip hop and artistic gymnastics, he approached Caribbean dances also, thanks to his parents. 

Gabriele achieved his first significant results by dancing with his partner Giada Cristofari, winning both regional and national competitions. After collaborating with various high-profile artists, he founded his independent company, Di Marzo Brothers, in 2015 with his brother Lorenzo and Giada. The company has since performed on some of the most prestigious national and international stages.

In 2017 the two brothers won the Pasos Libres World Championship in the men's duo category and participated again in 2019, finishing third, once again among the best in the world.

In recent years he has deepened his skills in the field of urban dance, including disciplines such as Voguing, Waacking and Heels Dance within his training, also fusing the latter with his own style of Reggaeton and Dembow.

heels bachata | INTERMEDIATE

Gabriele di marzo

Jayven Colon is entering his 6th year teaching Salsa and Bachata. He has taught for a variety of communities, much of his early work focused on low-income areas providing dance classes for non-profit organizations and public schooling. He is in his 9th year working in Public Education and has taught social dancing and choreography to students K-12, College, and adults of all ages. His passion is to spark the fire of new dancers, guiding them to find a form of expression that supports their emotional, physical, and mental needs.

“I live by the motto, everyone can dance!” - Jayven Colon

Salsa Shines | intermediate
salsa on 2 | intermediate

jayven colon

Angelica Medina is a Queer Chicanx dancer and professional therapist. 
She is also the Co-Director of In Lak’ech Dance Academy, in Oakland CA, In Lak’ech is a fusion of her passion for therapy and dance. After years of providing therapy services, she noticed that many of her clients and communities benefited from somatic forms of healing. This realization led her to explore dance as a non-verbal form of trauma release. 
In Lak´ech Dance Academy is the direct result of the passion Angelica & Jahaira share for Latin Dance and for their community. 

In December 2015 she and Jahaira Fajardo placed 1st in the Latin Ladies Same Gender Division, at the World Latin Dance Cup. In 2018, they returned to to WLDC as pros and placed first in the Bachata Couple Pro Cabaret division. 

In 2017, Angelica and Jahaira  participated and completed the Alex and Desiree Bachata Instructor Certification Course. They also had the honor to Direct The AnD WW ~Team SF Season One. 

In 2018, they produced the first edition of the first ever Queer Latin Dance Festival. 

salsa fusion - Intermediate

Angelica Medina

Kyla Hallums is a traveling dance teacher, vocal coach, empowerment guide, and multi-discipline movement professional based out of Nashville, TN. While Kyla wears many hats and offers many forms of teaching and guidance, it’s simple: whether you’re working with her in dance, singing, embodiment, empowerment, or self-love, Kyla has a special way of connecting you to yourself. She’s put thousands of hours into her own training to curate a space to authentically help others uncover and celebrate their true selves. Kyla truly believes all the answers lie within you, and with the use of breath, movement, touch, self-reflection, and connection, Kyla has been a guide for many people, from learning dance moves to conquering lifelong fears and limiting beliefs. So who’s Kyla? A lover of social dancing, especially Salsa and Bachata. A singer. A human who’s as playful as she is brave. An absolute dork who loves laughing more than almost anything else. A joyful soul. But most of all, Kyla is someone who loves to watch others step into their power, conquer fears, and simply love themselves a little harder. 

bachata con flow | intermediate

kayla hallumus

Latisha Hardy is a business owner and professional dancer, bringing culture and diversity to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Leaving corporate America in 2016, she began dancing professionally and opened her own studio. Recently moving to the Downtown area, the studio quickly became city renowned and recognized for its professionalism, expertise, and community. 
 
Latisha’s dedication to community brought together a semi-professional dance team that travels and performs across the states with a message of empowerment. The impact on the team and in the community have been remarkable.

salsa fusion | intermediate

latisha Hardy

Lilly Rose Valore is a Dancer/Model/Trans Activist from Boston, MA. She is a Program Assistant at Futures Without Violence which is a nonprofit organization working to end Domestic Violence for Women and Children.

Her work for Black Trans Lives has led her to become an artist/activist. Lilly has always had an interest in developing the lives of marginalized groups specifically within the city of Boston.Her activism work has included speaking on LGBTQ+ awareness panels and teaching vogue classes as well as history and performing at LGBTQ fundraising events.

Lilly's art often has queer symbolism weaving in and out of her work to bring awareness until her people don't have to suffer anymore. Stylistically she's a retro 1950s girl at heart but her values don't come from that era she says.

Lilly has also picked up a sudden interest in quarantine as she is telling her story through photo and film. Creating art from home! 

vogue | beginner

lilly rose

Lyrik Cruz of Puerto Rican descent from Chicago has become a highly acclaimed world renowned choreographer and master instructor who has danced in just about every corner of the world, including Canada, West Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, and Canary Islands.

He has served as a guest Choreographer to over 20 dance companies in the world. In addition to choreographing for shows at Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom and major music venues throughout the east coast, for the past 6 years Lyrik has served as a principal choreographer on creative team of legendary choreographer and TV director Debbie Allen, showcased pieces at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre for Nigel Lithgoe, appeared on the CW's hit sitcom "Jane the Virgin" as a featured dancer, choreographed for international recording artists J Balvin (Capitol Latino) and Becky G (RCA), Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle", The ELLEN Show, Greys Anatomy and the finale of American Idol "The Farewell Season" on FOX.

Cruz' is also part of the creative team for Norman Lear’s IMAGEN AWARDS where he serves as the creative director and choreographer. Most recently Cruz garnered nominations for the CHITA RIVERA AWARD in NYC and the World Choreography Awards in LA for his work in the movie “SHINE” for outstanding choreography in a film and just wrapped in Warner Brothers “In The Heights” the movie where he is one of the featured dancers. Cruz adds a unique flair and vibrant energy to every project he is involved in. Cruz is on a mission to share his passion with the world and bring his Latin fusion to the forefront of TV/film.

Latin Jazz | beginner

lyrik cruz

Inessence Dance Company directors Bryon Stroud and Sammantha Arias first joined forces in 2012. Now, their once-small group of local bachata dancers has expanded to become an organization of 100+ across the Bay Area and Sacramento.

Bachata Partnerwork | intermediate

bryon & sammantha

Monique Manzo, a Reno, Nevada local, began her dancing career over 20 years ago, training at a variety of studios located in some of the performing arts capitals of the world including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Las Vegas. 
In 2017, Monique decided to utilize her knowledge and expertise to form her own community of talented and passionate dancers through the creation of The Reno Empire, a dance studio located in her hometown of Reno, NV. Monique began directing two performance teams at The Reno Empire - Bachata and Heels. She incorporates a variety of styles throughout her teaching and choreography including Hip-Hop, Jazz, Latin, and Burlesque. Although it’s clear that Monique has a love and passion for all forms of dance, there is one style that will always hold a special place in her heart: Bachata. 
“The first time I heard a Bachata Remix - I fell in love. By allowing the music to take over my soul, my body began to realize the many styles that Bachata could encompass. It was love at first dance.” - Monique, on her love for Bachata. 
From soft and sweet to hard-hitting and sexy,
To her, providing a space for her students to grow as dancers and performers is the best part of teaching. Because of her deep understanding and appreciation for the art of dance, Monique is able to identify the individual strengths and talents of each and every one of her students, providing them with the necessary skills and technique to become more confident, empowered, and attention-grabbing dancers with every step..

heels fusion | beginner

monique manzo

Salsa On1 Fundamentals | beginner

luis aguilar

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SALSA SHINES | ADVANCED

elvis collado

13 years of professional dance experience, Teaching, performing and judging Bachata competitions in Local and international venues.
Currently based in Berkeley Ca.
Director of KathyReyesDance Performance teams.
Producer of 2 top dance socials in the Bay Area and founder of BELLA Dance Weekender, a unique women’s celebration.

Intro to Bachata | beginner

Kathy Reyes

John Narvaez and Liz Rojas, dance artists and world salsa champions, are recognized as one of the most accomplished competitive salsa dance instructors in the world with over 155 medals at the World Latin Dance Cup.

They are the founders and directors of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Two Time World Team Champion Salsamania Dance Company.

Salsamania is recognized as the premier salsa dance company in the Bay Area performing "San Francisco Style" salsa (a fusion of New York and Puerto Rican styles). Salsamania dancers are known for their hypnotic performances that are marked by high levels of grace, speed and technical difficulty. 

Intro to Salsa on-1 | beginner

John & Liz

Mariah and Andrea Burkhart, founders and creative directors of Embrace dance company, based out of Reno NV. Our love for dance is what brought us together in the beginning, and is still a big part of who we are together today. Just like the love we have for dance, our love for one another is ever flowing and everlasting. We strive to grow, learn and teach in the world of dance, continuing to create movement that represents who we are as a company as well as, who we are as a couple. Embrace is a company where we encourage our dancers to be unapologetically who they are, in a space we continue to make safe and welcoming, for all who have the desire to grow along side us.

Urban Bachata Partnerwork | beginner

Mariah & Andrea

Milton is trained in different disciplines such as jazz, ballet, contemporary and Latin rhythms,

He is one of the strongest exponents of the Same Gender in Mexico characterized by his mastery of technique and his spectacular choreography.

He is currently the champion of the World Salsa Summit 2021, Same Gender Couple.

He is also part of the strongest salsa company in Mexico (Open Break)

Salsa on-2 Partnerwork | INTERMEDIATE
contemporary | intermediate

milton

Jorjet Alcocer, is the most versatile dancer on the planet. Known as the “ Salsa MVP”. She has traveled the world both leading and following Salsa On1/On2, Bachata, Pachanga, Punta and more.

 Jorjets natural style amazes her onlookers and has given her enormous respect from the Salsa elite. From teaching a Ladies styling class one hour to teaching an Advanced Partnerwork class the next hour, she can do it all. Other dances include: Tango, West Coast Swing, Hustle, Two Step, Waltz.  

bachata footwork | beginner
BACHATA FOOTWORK | advanced

Jorjet Alcocer

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Bachata Partnerwork | INTERMEDIATE

Helen Vazquez


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SIR JOQ

Jeremy Meza is a Mexican-America dancer, choreographer and performer from Santa Ana, CA. He began his dance training in high school starting with hip hop, jazz and ballet. It was soon realized that Jeremy had a natural talent. At the age of 17, he was invited, amongst the top dancers in Orange County, to train with Complexion Contemporary Ballet Company at the University of Irvine. While there, he was inspired to proceed his dance journey. Jeremy had big dreams of becoming a professional dancer, he immersed himself in ballet, modern and contemporary for the next 4 years at Santa Ana College. After his final year, Jeremy decided to focus on hip hop and jazz funk and train at top studios throughout Los Angeles and Orange County. Soon after, he was introduced to Aubrey Ares and the style of bachata. Jeremy would spend the next 7 years training under Ares as a dancer inside her company, Empowered Movement Dance Company. 

In 2018, Jeremy had made his way from principal dancer to managing media and assisted in the rebranding of EMDC. In succession, Jeremy became a studio instructor and began teaching hip hop and jazz funk at multiple festivals across the nation. Since 2019, Jeremy has gone on to win a Wold All-Star Hip Hop Championship, 4 Bachata World Championships and 2nd at the Euroson Latino World Salsa Championship. In 2021 Jeremy started his very own dance troupe, FORCE. An electric powered hip hop fusion team that continues to spread the message of empowerment and self confidence. Jeremy’s charisma and versatility has made him one of Los Angeles most notable entertainers. 

hip hop | beginner

Jeremy Meza

Jessica Marie (she/her) started her dance journey in June 2017 in Texas. She has spent many years training and learning under some of the top instructors in the U.S. and abroad. She specializes in Tarraxinha, Tarraxo, and Urban Kiz. She has taught as an instructor in multiple cities and states around the U.S. Jessica Marie is known for her attention to detail, her ability to break down complex material, and provide individualized feedback even when leading group classes. Her dance students also appreciate her approaches around inclusivity, mindset around consent, and her promoting of safe dance spaces. Jessica Marie’s background in psychology (as a fifth year PhD student) also creates a unique learning environment as she has the ability to see more than just the dancer in the room, but she is able to connect to the person in the room fostering a deeper connection and cultivating an optimal learning environment. 

Jessica Marie is the owner and creative director of The Kiz Lab. The Kiz Lab is the biggest growing Urban Kiz dance organization in the Bay Area. The Kiz Lab is a Black-Owned and minority led Urban Kiz dance organization located in the Bay Area, CA where they host classes, workshops, and events.

Urban Kiz | BEGINNER

Jessica marie

Nacido en el distrito de Tolima, Líbano y criado en Cali, Colombia
A los 5 años tuvo inclinación por la danza de la rumba (fiestas) de familiares y amigos. La danza era una forma de expresar sentimientos y situaciones experimentadas. Gomez comenzó a bailar profesionalmente a la edad de 18 años después de terminar la escuela secundaria.
Se convirtió en coreógrafo donde creó su escuela "CaliSabor" de Joel Gomez y Compañía Danza.

Joel Gómez tiene su entrenamiento en Salsa Caleña, Salsa L.A. Estilo y salsa Puertorriqueña (estilos en1 y en2, Bachata, Kizomba, folclore moderno, colombiano, Clásico, Ragga Morfi, jazz, Danza en tacones, hip-hop y junto a Jhesus Aponte ha comenzado la fusion de una nueva Salsa Caleña con la Puertorriqueña bailada al 2).

Salsa Caleña & BACHATA PARTNERWORK | intermediate

joel gomez

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Salsa on-2 Partnerwork | intermediate

JOSHUA & NATALI

Karel Flores is a dancer, choreographer, competition judge, instructor, and founder of Karel Flores World, a global dance franchise consisting of salsa dance teams across the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia, aiming to empower women through dance. As a solo salsa artist, Karel has performed and taught in over 60 countries on six continents and has served as a judge for every major salsa competition globally. Karel’s unique fusion of salsa NY Style on2, contemporary dancing, Afro-Cuban, and Pachanga has led her to be one of the most sought-after instructors globally. 

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Bruno began his salsa training at the age of 9. He won his first junior world championship at the age of 11 and started training in jazz at the age of 14. In 2014, Bruno moved to Penn State University to pursue a Master’s in Forensic Chemistry, where he also choreographed and directed the Performance Team of the Penn State Ballet Club. In 2017, he moved to NYC and in 2018 Bruno won his second soloist world title at the La Negra International Championship, in Spain and started his professional partnership with Karel Flores the same year. In 2022, Bruno earned his PhD in Microbiology from the NYU School of Medicine and while traveling and teaching alongside Karel Flores at multiple international salsa events.

Salsa on2 | ADVANCED

Karel & Bruno

Kate Rodriguez is a professional dancer, choreographer and company director from New York. She is the director, owner and choreographer of Kate’s Dance Co. Kate is also the owner and founder of the open level dance training camp for adults “Kamp Kate”. She has been traveling to perform and teach professionally for 11+ years and has a training background in multiple styles of dance, as well as a professional competitor with multiple world champion titles.

Bachata Footwork | intermediate
Bachata Fusion | INTERMEDIATE

Katlyn Rodriguez

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Bachata Footwork | BEGINNER

Lexi Shreeve

Mireille Ruiz Born and raised in Mexico City grew up dancing and listening to Latin Music as part of her culture including Cumbia, she learned her first following Techniques dancing with her father in every family fiesta. 

She has a Mexican folklore, Jazz, tap dancing and gymnastics, background as well as she is a percussionist, drummer and Montessori Teacher. 

She grew up performing since she the age of 4.

Bay Area bachata and cumbia dance instructor, 

Mireille has been teaching, performing and leading dance teams, around USA since 2010.

Cumbia | beginner

Mireille Ruiz

Ngoc Huynh, Bay Area native who has always enjoyed music and dance. In 2013 she pursued her dance training in Heels, Contemporary, Pole Fitness and Bachata. She trained under various Bachata instructors before she started competing in 2018. She placed 1st multiple times in various Bachata competitions including the Bachata Amatuer Couple Caberet Division at the World Latin Dance Cup in 2019.
She continues this day just wanting to dance. Along with just wanting to dance, she really wants to share the dance space and platform with other passionate dancers.

Heels Fusion | BEGINNER

Ngoc

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Mambo Footwork & PartnErwork | BEGINNER
Mambo Footwork & Partnerwork | ADVANCED

Noelia & Irena

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salsa tricks | advanced

Oscar & Tiffany

Rafael Gonzalez, 23 years old, Creative Director/Choreographer/Mentor & Founder of Creation Dance Company. 
Highlights & Main focus is command and confidence with body movement & expression. 
Trained under Latin for 6+ years and started Heels/Hip Hop training in 2019.

HEELS | INTERMEDIATE

Rafa Gonzalez

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Bachata Footwork  | Intermediate
performance challenge

Roxy Vega

Sabrih is passionate about movement and shares her knowledge as a Yoga teacher and Dance Instructor. She grew up in West Africa where she found her love for adventure and her passion to teach culturally based movement. She has a 300 hr. Yoga Alliance certification from Thailand and a Dance teaching certificate from her studies at San Francisco College. She graduated with a master’s in human biology from Hunter College in New York. 

Sábrih has a background teaching Vinyasa yoga, Restorative Yoga, dance, mat Pilates and many forms of Meditation including her branded style which she named Meditative Movement. 

Some of her most rewarding work has been in teaching people different ways to Meditate in order to incorporate it into their daily ritual. She has worked with various Organizations around the U.S and Universities like N.Y.U and Colombia in making Yoga more accessible to students in times of need. Sábrih believes that through breath we provide ourselves a moment to be in the present moment and share peace in this lively moving world. She is influenced by the moments of stillness in and out of yoga.

YOGA & MEDITATION

Sabrih joy

Susana Arenas Pedroso is an internationally recognized Cuban Folkloric and popular (i.e. social) dancer. Born and raised in Havana, Cuba, Ms Pedroso began her career in dance at age twelve, studying at La Casa
de Cultura de Matanzas and at Conjunto Folklórico Nacional in Havana.
She danced professionally for seventeen years in Cuba with popular, folkloric and theatrical performing groups, including Tierra Virgen, Alafia Ire, Oche Olorun, Oriki, Clave y Guaguancó, Oba Wemilere, Rumberos
de Cuba, and Raíces Profundas.

Since her arrival in the United States in 1998, Ms Pedroso has performed and choreographed numerous pieces that have been exhibited throughout the United States, Mexico, Cuba and Hong Kong with companies such as Omo Ache, Omo Oddara, Ban Rarra, Ire Ile, Alayo Dance Company, Las Que Son Son and Obini Ashe.

A respected cultural bearer, Susana Arenas Pedroso teaches throughout the Bay Area and the country and is responsible for teaching thousands of students 


AFRO CUBAN | intermediate

susana arenas

Tom “El RastaSalsa” Ogunribido is a positively energetic Salsa and Bachata dance instructor based in Denver, CO. Tom uses his creative background as a musician and dancer, and his technical background as an engineer, to teach and inspire his students from different perspectives.

Tom also has a patient and empathic teaching style, breaks down and explains concepts in creatively different ways to provide each student with a unique learning experience in all of his classes.

Salsa footwork | beginner

tom Ogunribido

Jason Anthony Rodriguez is a Dominican-American actor/dancer born and raised from Washington Heights in New York City. He went to SUNY Purchase where he received a BA in Arts Management with a focus in dance. He discovered voguing through Benny Ninja and began his training under him. He was also mentored by Dorit Koppel in ballet and Kevin Wynn in modern/contemporary and choreography. He trained in acting at The Susan Batson Studio. 

He was a Series Regular in Ryan Murphy’s Emmy® and Golden Globe®-nominated series Pose as “Lamar” for all 3 seasons. He was also the Movement Coach for all 3 seasons of Pose for visual and print marketing. 
He choreographed for season 2 as well. 
He has guest-starred on the Season Finale of The Deuce on HBO as “Enrico”. 
He has been featured in the NY Times 5 times by Siobhan Burke, Gia Kourlas and Illise S. Carter. 
“Mr. Rodriguez is a subtle scene stealer as Lamar on the FX show “Pose,” - Gia Kourlas from the NY Times 
Jason has taught vogue in various institutions throughout the states. 
He taught internationally in Dominican Republic, Vienna and Japan. 

New Way Vogue | masterclass

jason rodriguez

- dj's lineup -

dj BIG MEANIE

dj edwin rivera

dj Ace

DJ chino

DJ Femme Papi

DJ Edge

DJ la niche

DJ Relleo

DJ olga t

DJ papi john

DJ rhinostone

DJ ron

DJ lez ortiz

A Celebration of Diversity on Stage:  Prepare to be captivated by two extraordinary nights of performances.  Hosted by the dynamic duo, SirjoQ and Amoura-Teese, witness the magic unfold on stage and celebrate the diversity that makes QALDF truly extraordinary.

Specialized Dance Intensives: seeking a deeper experience? try our 90-minute mastery workshops with renowned instructors Karel & Bruno, and kyla hallums.

Dance the weekend Away: With more than 35 hours of social dancing From the sun-kissed beats of our pool parties to the electric evening socials and themed parties, immerse yourself in an exhilarating fusion of dance styles. Featuring local and international DJs.


experience community, connection & empowerment: through the birth of new friendships, the strength of support networks, and the joy of shared moments. This is an invitation to belong, to thrive, and to be empowered by the collective spirit of the queer, trans, and ally community. 

Inclusive Beginner-Friendly Event:  Curated with beginners in mind, the QALDF invites you to choose from 13 geners of dance workshop that includes: VOGUE, HIP HOP, BACHATA, SALSA, MERENGUE, ZOUK, JAZZ, HEELS, REGGEATON, PERREO, CUMBIA & TWERK!

Experience the magic of not one but two live concerts:  adding an unforgettable musical dimension to the festival's vibrant celebration. featuring acclaimed artists Choco Orta and Johnny Sky.

6 reasons why you can't miss QALDF

Don't miss the opportunity to attend QALDF for FREE! Sign-up to volunteer and get a full festival pass! Please fill out our volunteer application below.

Volunteer for a full festival pass!

@thetattedbachatera

"every queer person who is into dance, no matter where you are in the country, you should go to the queer afro latin dance festival."

"above all, it was just good vibes. i've never felt so much love and so much support from people i don't even know"

what they say...

"As a trans woman, I got to chill at a pool in a cute 2 piece bathing suit and people wanted to dance with me. It's an incredible feeling that I had yet to experience! I felt more than just tolerated at the festival as a whole, I felt desired and celebrated."

"I felt more than just tolerated... I felt desired and celebrated. "

"It was like a glimpse into the world we could create where everyone is safe and celebrated for showing up authentically"

"QALDF was such a special space "

"It's felt like a battle to just be gay and female presenting in this world, and your festival allowed me to feel safe, accepted, and celebrated. I'm in tears thinking of it. I talked to my therapist about it and truly you've raised the bar for all festivals but also just the space I create and participate in, in my life. Thank you for what you've created."

"your festival allowed me to feel safe, accepted, and celebrated. "

Watch Previous Festivals!

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1/3

QALDF - PRINT
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DANCING WITH MY CORAZÓN
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2/3

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dancing with my corazón
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QALDF PRINT
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SPORTS SHORTS

3/3

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QALDF PRINT
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Swimsuit

1/6

QALDF PRINT
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SWIM TRUNKS

1/6

qaldf print
55 usd

track pants - UNISEX 

1/6

QALDF - PRINT
65 USD

HOODIE - UNISEX

DANCING WITH MY CORAZÓN
70 usd

hoodie dress

 QALDF 
55 usd

HOODIE - UNISEX

dancing with my corazón
45 usd

longline sports bra

QALDF PRINT
 50 usd

SPORTS SHORTS

qaldf print
55 usd

sports leggings

DoubleTree Hotel by Hilton in San Jose, CA

stay at the festival

*LIMITED ROOMS AVAILABLE AT SPECIAL FESTIVAL RATE.

  3 days of DANCE, PARTY, SLEEP, REPEAT, deserve a well rested sleep. learn more about the venue AND BOOK YOUR STAY. 

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THE 2024 EDITION COMES BACK WITH TWO NEW CONCERTS

LIVE SALSA CONCERT
BY CHOCO ORTA

live bachata concert
by jhonny sky

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Your donations helps us keep THE FESTIVAL an affordable event and provide scholarships!

Donors contributing a minimum of $100 will be recognized on our website and will receive a tax-deductible receipt.

Donations are tax-deductible through our fiscal sponsor, QCC: The Center for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Arts and Culture, which is a nonprofit organization based in the Bay Area.  Thank you for your support and for playing a pivotal role in creating an even more inclusive environment for all dancers. Thank you in advance for your invaluable support!

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