Our Team of Dance Instructors
Cafe Arte has recruited some of Washington's most accomplished dance instructors, each of whom brings their own personal approach to the dance floor.
Byron Morales Lorca
Founder / Salsa, Zumba and Latin Mix Instructor
Byron Morales Lorca began his dance career at the age of 12. Having learned a variety of Latin dances, he became a member of the salsa dance troupe “Papagayo’s Club” in Santiago, Chile. After excelling in numerous dance conferences and performances, Byron began teaching Latin dance in 2002 in various gyms, salsa clubs and businesses. These experiences enabled him to open his own salsa studio in 2008: “Salsa Urbana Santiago”, where he taught different styles of salsa, including salsa en linea and salsa Cubano. Since his arrival in the United States in 2009, he has been teaching private salsa classes and has become certified to teach Zumba fitness and indoor cycling. With the opening of Café Arte, Byron is thrilled to once again have his own space where he can introduce a wide variety of salsa styles to all levels of students.
Artistic Director of DC Casineros dance company, Amanda has been choreographing, teaching, and performing Casino infused with Afro-Cuban dance for the past seven years. Her experiences of sensuality, vitality, and community health in Rueda de Casino led her to study its connections to dance/movement therapy in graduate school. She trained professionally in Ballet and Modern dance at George Mason University (2003-2005). While studying modern and folkloric dance for a semester at el Instituto Superior de Arte (ISA) in Havana, she also trained in Rueda de Casino and performed on the TV program Para Bailar. She has taught at over 15 salsa congresses and performed internationally with her dance partner, Adrian Valdivia. Her salsa dance style highlights the body isolations and dynamism of son and rumba, subtleties of orisha dances, and lyrical free styling of modern dance.
Tango Mercurio is a non-profit arts education organization presenting Argentine tango as an agent of community development. Because tango dancing transcends boundaries of class, ethnicity, and generation, our work facilitates greater cultural understanding and social cohesion. The community-based art form of tango plays an essential role in the overall health and stability of contemporary societies by providing ongoing public opportunities for creative engagement and collaborative growth. www.tangomercurio.org
Helena Hassan began dancing in 2000 where she had her first taste of Cuban Salsa in Cadiz, Spain. From that moment on she fell in love with it. Her deepest roots originated in the Latin venues where she learned to dance first with her heart. As the world of Salsa expanded for her, Helena desired to learn all elements of Latin dancing. She began her professional training with the Melao dance company, an on2 women's performance group, from 04-07.In late 2007 upon returning to active duty with the Navy she was deployed to Landstuhl, Germany for two years. While away she was asked to teach in the American and German Salsa venues. She began teaching Salsa and Bachata for the next two years. As a direct result of her passion for Salsa a new community of dancers were born. To this day the salsa community continues to grow in the Landstuhl/ Kaiserslautern area of Germany with former students who she taught and our now very active in teaching and the promotion of salsa events. In 2009 she returned to the U.S. where she continued teaching in Chevy Chase. Today she teaches Dominican Style Bachata and partnering along with salsa on1 and on2. She keeps active in the community as she makes guest appearances at local venues and events in the DC metro area to teach women's styling: Bachata and Salsa. She is one of the original members of DC Mambo swing under the direction of internationally known Salsa all-star Andy Cruise and co-director Michelle. At the present time, Helena performs with Victor Yang, and they have already debuted their most current routine this past December. Helena is known throughout the DC area for her sensual body movements and musicality and is a joy to dance with on the dance floor.