Why form Encuentro Latino?
Laucinda and Gareth’s passion for Salsa brought them in contact with some of the Stateside, Manchester and London based practitioners. They were greatly excited by what the students, exposed to that quality of teaching, had achieved and recognised the incredible potential of salsa to enrich and invigorate people’s lives.
Encuentro Latino was launched at the beginning of 2003 (although Laucinda had been teaching Salsa since 2000), formed primarily out of a desire to give their existing students a better service and broaden the participation and popularity of Salsa in the region.
Why choose Encuentro Latino?
They feel that Salsa is an incredibly inclusive dance style that utilises and develops the natural sense of rhythm inherent in ALL of us.
They believe that when working with Encuentro Latino the classes are your passport to the buzz and excitement of the Salsa dance scene in Yorkshire and all around the world.
Encuentro Latino have carefully considered the structuring of their lessons to ensure that all levels of experience are catered for.
“We wish to give our students a vocabulary and sense of shared understanding that will allow them to improvise freely and with confidence in a club environment.”
They encourage a relaxed and supportive atmosphere in class and are committed to developing the social aspect.
They are the only professionally trained and qualified Salsa / Mambo instructors in York and the only teachers performing Salsa in York professionally.
Laucinda Roberts – Director
Aka Lossie was trained at the London Studio Centre where she studied Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary Dance, Music and Theatre.
It was during this time that she performed in the West End and toured with a Theatre Company. She has been teaching, performing and choreographing dance for 30 years. She has worked with a wide variety of people such as dance classes in the community and schools / private sector, running dance events for all ages and abilities including some special needs experience, rural arts, council work and musical theatre dance work for White Rose Theatre Arts.
She started teaching and performing Salsa in March 2000 & is UKA Licentiate qualified.
PLUS Laucinda’s Ballroom class!!!
Laucinda trained with Matthew Cutler from BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing (winner in 07′ with Alesha Dixon) and James White of White Diamond Entertainment to bring you her own brand ‘Gently Ballroom’. Elegant, gentle paced, recreational Ballroom dance steps for those looking for a touch of class in their class who want to exercise in style to their favourite easy music, plus a little Latin thrown in for good measure!!! No partner required. Maybe you fancy the Foxtrot, query the Quickstep or are wondering about the Waltz? See classes page for details! Pictured with Matthew to the right ->
Laucinda is also a qualified Teaching Assistant which enables her to bring her performing arts talents to the education sector whilst understanding and supporting the workings of the school classroom / syllabus and day to day running.
From June 2021 Paul and Rosi of Humba Rumba will be helping Laucinda to take a back seat from her late-night Salsa events and parties in order for her to develop more daytime classes in ballet and ballroom for the over 50s and to work in the education sector as well. However, Laucinda will still be offering specialist Salsa workshops twice per month at York Dance Space (see classes page for more info’).
Gareth is a co-director but since 2013 has slowly been moving and education himself into the world of Physiotherapy and currently in health research. You will still catch him out guest teaching and DJing occasionally and at the ‘Mambo Dojo’ plus on the social dance floor. In London Gareth studied Flamenco at the Greenwhich Dance Agency and was asked to be an apprentice with the professional company housed there; but he decided it would be useful to gain a formal dance training before specialising.
He received a BA Honours Degree in Dance covering a variety of dance related topics including choreography, anatomy, contact improvisation, stage production and dance in the community.
He performed in various shows including the Edinburgh Festival. He then went on to train at The Northern School of Contemporary Dance where his studies included, Ballet, Contemporary, Jazz and Contemporary Music.
He started teaching and performing Salsa in September 2002 & is UKA Licentiate qualified. Like Laucinda he has been catering for all ages and abilities from education and rural arts development, through to work with special needs, visually impaired and vulnerable adults. In 2012, after a successful application and audition, he worked for a company called ‘Dance United’, delivering Contemporary Dance programmes to young offenders in Leeds, Bradford & Keighley for 9 weeks. He worked both as a Support Artist and Lead Artist under the Artistic Director for ‘Dance United Yorkshire’ Helen Lindsall. During his contracts with Dance United he has gained a ‘Social Inclusion Practice in Dance’ award, 3 Credits at Level 3 (OCN Certificate). Gareth has also worked for several years as a professional Conga player in the North’s famous Salsa band ‘Mambo Con Rumbo’.
Salsa / Mambo training
In 2002 / early 2003, they invested in their training by working privately with instructors / dancers such as top U.K Mambo Instructors Emma Moore and Mushi Noor from Salsology in Manchester.
In June 2003 they received a grant from the Arts Council Of England to train with the most sought after Mambo / Salsa Instructor / Performer in the world, Mr. Frankie Martinez. Frankie runs the Abakua Latin Dance Company and is based in New York. He travelled to the U.K to train Laucinda and Gareth in all aspects of Mambo through to Cuban Body Isolations, spinning and performance.
In October 2004 Laucinda and Gareth were invited to stay in New York with Frankie Martinez. They took various styling, foot work, body work, turn pattern and cha cha classes with either Frankie or several members of his company ‘Abakua’. Pictured from left to right, front row: Gareth and Erica, and on the back row: Carmen, Frankie, Lossie and Johnny.
April 06′ Continuing to expand their knowledge of Afro Body Movement they took some private ‘Rumba’ training with Osbanis from Cuba.
June 06′ – June 07′ training / performances with the Salsology Dance company, Manchester. Directed & choreographed by Emma Moore & Mushi Noor.
They have also taken many Master Classes with Juan Matos, Yamulee, Santo Rico, Victor & Burju, Eddie Torres and private training with Milton Cobo.
They have continued to work with pioneering and innovative instructors from around the world and are always striving to obtain the best techniques and methodologies.
Together they became sought after on the national Congress scene and recently made their 9th international appearance teaching at the Mambocity 5Star International Salsa Congress in London! They have also taught and performed at the original UK Congress Bognor 05′, Brit Fest Blackpool 06′ & 07′, GB Salsa Experience Manchester 08′, 09′, & 10′ and Mambo City Congress 12′ and 13′ and performance with Salsology Dance Company Belgium Salsa Congress 07′. They have also guest taught / performed at smaller events all over the north of the UK from Birmingham to Newcastle, Manchester to Hull.
Such is their devotion to their students, they spent much of 08/09 preparing some of their advanced level for performance experience. Their student show ‘Ran Kan Kan’ went down a storm all over the north. They are proud to have been selected to perform in ‘Dansopolis’ at the West Yorkshire Playhouse and at ‘GB Sexp’ II (international Salsa congress). Take a look at the video of the student show:
They both hold U.K.A Licentiate Salsa teaching qualifications (see biographies for details of other dance qualifications & training).
We also have a number of great guest teachers and regular team teachers: Paul Mandalia from Humba Rumba, Melissa Jordan (who has been a valuable member of the team for many many years & is currently on maternity leave), Phil & Krystyna from Salsa Pickering (who have trained with Encuentro Latino since 2001), plus our latest addition Lissy Dickinson. More about Lissy: Lissy started dancing at the age of 4 and it grew into a passion! She obtained various awards and certificates in ballet, tap, Jazz, Freestyle, Rock n Roll, Latin American and Ballroom. Within her dance school she competed as a solo, pair and in a team in the UK. She took part in dance showcases at venues such as Hull City Hall and Bridlington Spa. Lissy started training privately with Encuentro Latino 5 years ago and quickly moved into demo work with us, then on to becoming the Salsa teacher for York University’s Latin Society. Lissy is now a regular member of the teaching team.