The New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup (NZWLDC) Representative Team consists of thirty-six (36) team members including management and caregivers; dancing in solo, couples and teams – children, junior and adults divisions at the World Latin Dance Cup (WLDC) in Miami Florida over the week 12-18 December 2016.

Andrada & Alberto

Andrada & Neo

Andrada Neagu born in Bucharest, Romania and Alberto Juárez Grifaldo (Neo) born in Cancun, Mexico; both boost with utmost pride to call themselves Kiwis and to represent New Zealand at the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami, an opportunity and challenge not to be missed.  Andrada has been dancing since the age of 6 including the genres of Latin Dance Sport (Ballroom) in Romania and she began to compete in Samba, ChaChaCha, Rumba, Paso Doble, Jive and Rock’n’Roll and Neo started his dancing career in 2014 competing in the Capezio Kiwi Classic and NZ Salsa Open in 2015  and most recently the NZ World Latin Dance Cup.  They are committed to dancing together and seeking to improve their dancing technique and style to conquer the stage in Miami.

Lucy MacVicar

Lucy

Lucy is a nomadic salsa, mambo and cha whizz. She returned to NZ two years ago after training with Sharon Pakir of Spin City Dance in Melbourne and is now setting the kiwi salsa scene on fire, polishing the Vuelta team’s technique and adding choreographic inspiration to their routines. She is the director of new the company Mambo Lab, and is passionate about collaborating with fellow professionals and pushing New Zealand’s students to achieve new levels. Lucy is also studying full time towards a Bachelor of Medical Imaging, which has allowed her to work with dancers across the country.

Rebecca Connaughton

Rebecca

Rebecca is the mastermind behind the quirky and energetic choreography produced by Vuelta Dance and has been choreographing for and training the team since 2012. She was a rhythmic gymnast in her youth and learned to salsa on the social dance floor of Salsa Sudada in Tokyo. She remains a fun and enthusiastic social dancer who constantly seeks to improve her technical foundations. Rebecca works at the University of Otago and is mum to two gorgeous wee ones.

Ingrid Crawford

Ingrid

Ingrid was dragged along to a free salsa class in Christchurch and has never looked back. She has been dancing competitively since 2010, and with the Vuelta Dance team since it started. She has travelled extensively through Latin America, picking up dance tips on the way. In her spare time, she is a General Practitioner in Dunedin, or can be found under a pile of half-finished costumes!

Briar Bradfield-Watson

Briar Bradfield-Watson

Introducing the baby of the Vuelta Dance Team, Briar. Briar grew up on a lifestyle block in the King Country but ditched the pet lambs and mud fights when she moved to Blenheim, aged 14, and took up salsa dancing. Briar continued dancing salsa competitively when she moved to Dunedin to become a student in 2012. She is still on her journey as a student, with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours under her belt, and currently working on her coursework master’s degree at the National Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Otago.

Christal Allpress

Christal

Christal become a salsera by accident when she went to a free Zumba class at a local salsa school and came away enrolled in salsa classes instead! Christal has danced since she was young. She danced ballet for 10 years, Rock ‘n’ Roll for 4 years and has been living and breathing salsa for the last 6 years. When she’s not dancing she runs her own beauty therapy business, a makeup school and is mum to two beautiful daughters.

Raine Symons

Raine

Raine has been dancing for the last 25 years. Juggling 2 kids a husband and a full time job with NZTA, dance becomes downtime from her real life shenanigans. An eclectic performer, Raine has a variety of dance styles and genre’s that she specializes in, and is currently In the process of converting most of her dance qualifications into kiwi recognized titles. Competing with Vuelta in Miami will be her first major international competition after a major health battle and is on the top of her bucket list!

Marea Colombo

Marea Colombo

Marea has spent the majority of her life dancing. Whether hip hop, jazz or contemporary, movement has been a key element. Vuelta is Marea’s first jump into latin dance and she is very excited. Off the dance floor, Marea is currently completing her PhD in Social Psychology at The University of Otago. In her free time, she is an Improvised Comedian with a local improv troupe and enjoys SCUBA diving.

Shenaragh & Ken

S&K

Shenaragh, caring, funny and passionate about dance; works with young kids learning to dance; and shares the stage with world dance celebrities.  She has a dream and that dream is to dance with her dance partner Ken Hudson – New Zealand and Australian Latin Dance Champion, on the World Latin Dance Cup stage, they are now the first to represent New Zealand in the Limitless division at the World Latin Dance Cup.

Emily Glubb

Emily Glub

Director of E Dance Productions in New Zealand, Emily started in the Salsa scene back in 2007. For four years she toured around New Zealand, Australia and Asia with her dance partner, specializing in Bachata and building the growth of Bachata in New Zealand. With the travel and access to top performers and instructors, Emily was able to increase her knowledge and share her passion with her students. The combination of hard work and top instructors have shaped the way Emily dances today. Her passion in dance ranges from Salsa, Bachata and Cha Cha. Since then she started E Dance Productions in 2012, which has already won multiple National titles.

“My passion is to empower women and to teach them self worth. I love to style in dance and to do that, you need to believe in yourself. Technique is always fundamental, but you need to nurture yourself to see your dancing grow.”

Hannah Braddick

Hannah1

Profile to come… watch this space.

Christa Murphy

Christa1

Christa joined the Latin scene two years ago coming from a Jazz, Hip-hop & Gymnastics background. She entered her first competition just 6 weeks after joining E Dance Production’s team and hasn’t looked back!

Outside of dance she is a Structural Engineer and is shortly making the move to South America in search of an adventure.

Aimee Rhodes

Amiee Rhodes2

Aimee has been dancing for the majority of her life, starting with ballet and quickly finding her place with jazz dancing. She entered the latin scene in 2011 and found a real love for it after joining E Dance Productions in 2014. Aimee has thoroughly enjoyed performing and competing with EDP around New Zealand and Australia. Outside of dance, Aimee studies at the University of Canterbury where she is nearing the end of a Masters in Earthquake Engineering.

Yan Zhou

Yan1

Profile to come… watch this space.

Sarah Sonal

Sarah Sonal2

Sarah has been dancing as long as she can remember, and has danced jazz, hip hop and contemporary before joining the latin scene. She has been dancing salsa since 2011 after seeing a poster for a free class, and with E Dance Productions since it started in 2012. She has performed and competed with the team nationally, in Australia and Thailand. Outside of dancing she is a Registered Anaesthetic Technician and a Statistics Masters student.

Alina Solomkina

Alina Solomkina

Profile to come… watch this space.

Sebastian Vera

Sara & Seb

Sara (Serbia) and Sebastian (Chile) have been dancing together as a couple for 5 years and have proudly represented New Zealand around the globe in prestigious competitions in New Zealand and Australia where they secured National Titles in Salsa and Bachata Amateur divisions. Their biggest achievement to date is being the first NZ Amateur salsa couple to place in the World Latin Dance Cup in Miami, FL, where they have placed 7th in the World in the 2015 championship. They have traveled extensively throughout Europe to work with the worlds best salsera y salseros including Grisselle Ponce, Frankie Martinez and Rodrigo Cortazar and now lead New Zealand’s Karen and Ricardo World Dance Crew Auckland.  Apart from dancing, Sara and Sebastian have full time jobs, love traveling and spending time with family.

Coco Jorge Sequeiros

Coco

Jorge (Coco) Sequeiros was born in Peru, South America and has been living in New Zealand since November 1991 and dancing Salsa for as long as he can remember.  Salsa being a passion for him wasn’t enough so it also became his way of life, a way of life which he is sharing with New Zealanders so that they also will know the passion of the dance, music, food and culture of his homeland.  Coco considers his Salsa style to be a Kiwi style originally derived from a combination of the Salsa of Peru and the Salsa danced in New Zealand.

Coco’s illustrious career has seen him attain many awards however the highlights that stand out are:

  • 3 x Semi-Finalist World Salsa Championships
  • 7 x New Zealand Salsa Champion (2006-15)
  • 3 x New Zealand Bachata Champion (2012-15)

Te Ao Marama Nepia

Te Ao Marama Nepia1

My Name is Te Ao Marama Nepia and I am 11 years old. My name means the world of light. I started dancing when I was 3 and started salsa at 8.

I go to Bohally intermediate, Bohally is a great school I really enjoy the technology center.

Dance is one of my many hobbies. I also play Netball. We just finished Netball season and we came 2nd in junior grade 1. I also love learning about Maori culture. I am learning how to use a taiaha which used to be a weapon, but I use it to strengthen my body.

I love dance and I have done many types including: salsa, hip hop,ballet,Highland  and jazz. I have competed at six competitions at a national and international level. I hold six national and international titles as a soloist and as part of a team. I love dance and I will keep on dancing.

Tee xx  The World of Light

Salsa Solo Competition -Christchurch

1st place Youth Salsa Soloist under 13 – 2016

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2016,

 

World Salsa Solo Competition – Brisbane

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2015

2nd Place Youth Latin Duet – 2015

 

World Latin Dance Cup – Christchurch

2nd Place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2016

1st Place Junior Salsa Shine Team – 2016,

Sophia Bendell

Sophia Bendell

My name is Sophia Bendell and I am 15 years old. I was born in Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand.

I live with my family in Little Ngakuta Bay. I have three sisters and two brothers.

I was involved in Marlborough harriers for seven years competing and winning many regional titles in my age group.

I attended three separate cactus courses. This is a fitness boot camp with a strict and disciplined training regime run by the police and the army.

I have been involved with dance for eight years, training in Salsa and Hip hop. I am part of the New Zealand salsa kids winning many national and International titles as a soloist, duet and teams.

I competed and qualified at the World Latin Cup Christchurch in March 2016. I qualified as a soloist and in the team events, making my World Latin Dance Cup debut in Miami as part of the studio HQ team.

Salsa Solo Competition -Christchurch

1st place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Duets – 2015, 2016

1st Place Youth Latin Duets – 2015,2016

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015,

 

World Salsa Solo Competition – Brisbane

1st place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2013, 2014, 2015

1st place Youth Latin Soloist – 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Salsa Duets – 2014

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015

 

World Latin Dance Cup – Christchurch

2nd Place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2016

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2016,

 

Shakedown -Hip Hop Dance Championships -Nelson

1st Place Junior Hip Hop Soloist – 2015

 

Top of the South Salsa Championships

1st Place Youth Intermediate/ Advanced couples – 2013,

1st Place Youth Beginner couples – 2011, 2012

 

South Island Championships

1st Place Youth Advanced couples – 2013,

 

New Zealand Salsa Open

2nd Place Salsa Semi pro couple – 2014,

1st Place Youth Latin Soloist – 2015

2nd Place Youth Latin Duets – 2015

2nd Place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2015

Tiarna Nukunuku

Tiarna Nukunuku

Profile to come… watch this space.

Lucy Bendell

Lucy Bendell

My name is Lucy Bendell and I am 14 years old. I was born in Blenheim, Marlborough, New Zealand.

I live with my family in Little Ngakuta Bay. I have three sisters and two brothers.

I was involved in Marlborough harriers for seven years competing and winning many regional titles in my age group.

I have been involved with dance for seven years, training in Salsa and Hip hop. I am part of the New Zealand salsa kids winning many national and International titles as part of a duet and teams.

I competed and qualified at the World Latin Cup Christchurch in March 2016. I qualified as a soloist and in the team events, making my World Latin Dance Cup debut in Miami as part of the studio HQ team.

Salsa Solo Competition -Christchurch

2nd Place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2015, 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Duets – 2016

1st Place Youth Latin Duets – 2016

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

 

World Salsa Solo Competition – Brisbane

2nd place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2014, 2015

2nd place Youth Latin Soloist – 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Salsa Duets – 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2013, 2014, 2015

 

World Latin Dance Cup – Christchurch

1st Place Youth Latin Shine Team – 2016

1st Place Youth Salsa Shine Team – 2016,

 

Top of the South Salsa Championships

1st Place Youth Beginner couples – 2011, 2012, 2013

 

South Island Championships

1st Place Youth Intermediate couples – 2013,

 

New Zealand Salsa Open

2nd Place Youth Latin Soloist – 2015

2nd Place Youth Latin Duets – 2015

3rd Place Youth Salsa Soloist – 2015

Amber Bendell

Amber Bendell

Profile to come… watch this space.

Tiarna Nukunuku

Te Ao Marama Nepia

Profile to come… watch this space.

Vicki Bendell

Vicki

Vicki Bendell is the director of studio HQ- “Let’s Dance” Blenheim, New Zealand.

Vicki lives in the Marlborough Sounds with her beautiful family, and is always busy juggling her family life, accounting business, studio HQ dance and four younger children with their activities. Two older children are now working overseas.

Vicki is not a dance teacher, however with high standards, a good eye and a strong driving passion for dance knows how the teams or individuals should look for performance or competition.  Vicki gives her love and energy to the children to aid them in their special journey of dance.Vicki is extremely dedicated and attends every dance training session and coaches the children about performance, facial expression and energy.

Vicki has invested in world class choreography and tuition from national and international dance tutors. Amazing, talented dancers are flown in to Blenheim to work with Vicki and the children of studio HQ. Vicki says the results have been outstanding, we are humbled and blessed.

On behalf of myself and the children of studio HQ, we would like to recognise and acknowledge our choreographers and tutors that have made a difference to our NZ Salsa Children. Huge shout out to Emily Glubb- Christchurch ; Irina Kapeli –Auckland; Elli Torres –Brisbane; Ben Hammond –Auckland; Fern Ngatai –Auckland; Greydis Montero Liranza –Cuba, Rotarua; Kiel Tutin –Auckland; Alexander Lima –Auckland; Christa Albert –Auckland. Thank you darlings xx

Kathy Reese

Kathy

Hailing from Whangarei, in the winterless north of New Zealand, Kathy Reese will make her World Latin Dance Cup debut in Miami.  Having lived in Christchurch for 26 years, she is a Chartered Accountant who has worked for public practice firms for over 10 years.

Kathy has a background in ballroom and Latin American dance, and took up salsa 5 years ago. On the dance floor, Kathy is one half of the winning World Salsa Solos Masters Same Gender Couple for 2015.  She is also a member of the Latin Fire Dance Academy performance team, which has enjoyed many successes at the South Island Salsa Championships over the years.

Off the dance floor, Kathy has an arts degree from Auckland University and a commerce degree from the University of Canterbury, and is a busy mother of 2 daughters.

Alfonso Rios

Alfonso

Profile to come… watch this space.

Sonia Hems

Sonia

Sonia is a qualified and highly experienced dance professional living in Auckland, New Zealand with an extensive repertoire of dance styles under her belt, she has achieved national and international recognition and success in a large variety of dance genres.

Sonia has became immersed in Street Latin dance, which is now her main focus, creating her dance dance school – Casa Del Ritmo Dance Company and School of Performing Arts Ltd, a Latin Dance Studio that specialise in the Street  Latin styles of Salsa, Bachata, Street Cha-Cha-Cha and Latin Fusion, as well as Jazz, Tap, Ballet, Burlesque, Musical Theatre, Contemporary and Lyrical genres.

Sonia collaborates and works with national and international artists to perform and teach at Street Latin events in New Zealand and overseas and currently holds New Zealand Champion titles including Couples Salsa, Salsa Shine Teams, Duets and Solos.

Marie-Louise Hudson

ML

Director, Co-Founder of the New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup and Trustee of the New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup Trust.

Artistic Director Mentor for Team New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup

● Mentor

● Artist Director

● NZWLDC Management

Petera Hudson

Petera

Director, Co-Founder of the New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup and Trustee of the New Zealand World Latin Dance Cup Trust.

Educator – Philanthropist – Idealist – EventManager

● Mentor

● Travel guidance

● NZWLDC Management

● Media Management

Nestor Manuelian

Nestor Manuelian1

Director of Latin Dance Australia, Modus Vivendi Dance Productions and Sydney International Bachata Festival, born in Uruguay and raised in Australia, Nestor started dancing Salsa in December 2002.  Since then he has taken the salsa world by storm and has become one of Australia’s most sought after dancers. He is renowned for his world-class teaching, choreographies and teams. One of the most sought after Instructors Australia has produced. Nestor’s great ability to teach earned him the honor of teaching at the biggest salsa congresses around the world teaching all over Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United States. Recognized by his ability to coach, teach and encourage dancers in a way where people excel technically but have an hour of jammed packed fun as well!  Nestor made his performance debut in November 2003 and since then he has gone on to win MULTIPLE Salsa and Bachata National and International Titles including 4 World Titles as coach and dancer. Throughout his illustrious career Nestor has been in hundreds of cities around the world and Australia.

Awards:

  • 7 times Couples and Teams Australian Champion (2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008)
  • 3 Times World Salsa Championships Finalist: 2005 – 4th, 2006 – 10th, 2007 – 6th,
  • 2007 Asian Salsa Open Champion,
  • 2009 Australian Bachata teams Champion

Cheryl Puohotaua

Nara & Cheryl

Mum and care giver of Shenaragh.

Inspirational, driven, strong, Maori Whanganui Woman ensuring every opportunity is available for her daughter and her family.

Tehei mauri ora!!

Sam Nemani

Nara & Sam

Dad and care giver of Shenaragh

Sam’s Tongan values underpin the the foundation of life in their home.  No task is too difficult, ask and it will be considered, family first and last.