Team

shaan color_210x280_bw

Shaan is an internationally respected and established Latin dance instructor, performer and DJ. He can be found regularly teaching in London, the U.K. and internationally. Affectionately known everywhere for beautiful leading skills and for “London’s smooth moves”, he has been dancing Salsa, Cha Cha, Mambo, Bachata and other Latin dances for 20 years; teaching for more than 15 years, acquiring a vast knowledge and experience, equalled by very few, in the field of Latin dance in the UK. 

 

Shaan was the creator, originator of the concept and true founder of Latin Dance Academy. With the Caramelo Latin Dance, he is taking his concept of dance schools to another level and is excited to boldly go where no salsa and latin dance school has gone before. 

 

He is internationally renowned for his ‘light lead’ which has made him a favourite with ladies worldwide to dance with!

Shaan has performed at some of the biggest Salsa congresses and festivals in the world like Berlin, Athens and Amsterdam with Caramelo Dance. Its stylish, smooth and exciting choreographies had taken the international salsa scene by storm and firmly established Shaan as an internationally renowned performer and instructor.

 

Adding to his many abilities, Shaan is also a very popular and in-demand Salsa DJ, regularly playing sets in London, nationally and internationally. He has played at prestigious congresses all over the word, from the United States to Asia, in San Francisco, New York, Dubai, Mumbai, Cairo, Amsterdam, Zurich, Berlin, Vilnus, Tallin, Riga, Freiburg, Paris, Monaco, Zagreb, Sibenik, Rovinj, Chisinau to name a few.

 

Along with his friendly personality, this has made Shaan one of the most well-liked and internationally renowned performers, instructors, MCs & DJs in the ‘Salsa World’ today!

 

 

 

shaan color_210x280_bw

Anna’s first steps in dancing were taken at the tender age of 5 when she started taking ballet classes and later on switched to ballroom for a period of a few years. 


In 2006 while living in Brussels she happened to be at a Latin club with a group of friends and got absolutely fascinated by the music and the feeling of just wanting to get up and dance. She jumped into the social dancing straight away and it was a whirlwind. 

 

While in Belgium she took Cuban salsa classes with Alex and Flo but soon moved on to NY On2 style with Alain Vander Linden and Sylvia Hollander. Anna was fascinated by their classy, playful and fluid style of movement and the fun and joy she experienced in their classes. During those years she also took classes with Alain and Sylvia’s former students Jimmy & Vie and performed in a show as part of their student team.

 

Anna moved to New York in 2009 where she spent a couple of years enjoying the advantages of being at the epicentre of the On2 dance community and benefited from taking classes with Carlos Konig, Almira Ayos, Angel Ortiz, Eddie Torres, Frankie Martines and Santo Rico dance company. 

 

In London since 2011 she continues to enjoy her passion for Latin music and dance, as well as the community spirit it provides irrespective of where you are based. Alongside Shaan, Anna was instrumental in establishing the Caramelo brand and the infrastructure of the school. Here she got to explore her creative side, as well as apply in practice and further develop the hands-on business mind-set. She is also actively involved in the coordination of the student training & performance teams, as well as enjoys documenting the journeys of the teams through the performances, the smiles and good times of Caramelo’s students and friends at the parties through her latest hobby which is photography.


Anna is proud to be a part of such a unique school as Caramelo and having seen first-hand the profound positive impact Latin dance environment can have, she is delighted to be able to facilitate and contribute to this experience for other people.
 

 

 

Caramelo Latin Dance DorianDorian started dancing Salsa and Bachata in 2003 as a social hobby. In 2005 he was spotted & asked to join the

'Diablo Dance company' and soon after was performing in a sell-out musical in Hammersmith.

Since then he has performed in numerous venues and congresses throughout the U.K. as well as doing work dancing in music videos, adverts, films & game shows.

In 2006 he won the 1st place in the European Salsa team championships.

 

As well as dancing salsa for more than 10 years, Dorian studied various other dance styles including Lambada, Hiphop, Jazz, ChaCha, Ceroc & Bachata, and was also a Gold medal finalist at the 'Harrow School of Gymnastics'.

 

Aside from Salsa, Dorian is an extremely talented Bachata dancer and instructor. His creative turnpatterns and funky and original footwork made him one of the favourite Bachata instructors with Caramelo students and beyond. 

 

Dorian now teaches salsa and bachata in a number of venues throughout London, helping people to achieve their true potential in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. He has a keen desire in helping people to learn, and teaches at a pace that is 'right' for student, so that they master and experience the joy of dance.

 

 

 

ovgu_adatas_bachata_caramelo_latin_danceÖvgü was born and brought up in Cyprus but she has been living abroad for about 8 years. Dancing has always been one of her favourite hobbies. She has studied various styles of dancing when she was a teenager such as hiphop, ballet, salsa and cha cha cha. Övgü moved to Spain in 2009 where she began dancing salsa on1 and on2 as a social hobby. Soon after she fell in love with both of the styles and started taking salsa, cha cha cha and pachanga classes, as well as traveling to congresses to learn more from all the great dancers and performers all over the world.

 

Övgü moved back to London in 2013 to do her masters at Kings College. Soon after she arrived she met her bachata dance partner Angus who she became the BachataStars UK champions with in 3 months after they met. They also won the 4th place in BachataStars Europe finals.

 

Övgü has been performing with her group "Reyes del Ritmo", who have won Bachata Team Masters UK competition and got the chance to perform in Madrid World Bachata Team masters competition.

Övgü now teaches and performs with her partner and group throughout London, as well as internationally. 

 

Ovgu is part of the Caramelo core instructors team and you will find her teaching Salsa, Ladies Styling and Bachata every week at Paddington Academy. While she is focused on delivering all the detailed techniques and challenging her students, she never forgets to make sure that you are having a great time in her class.

 

More than anything she loves teaching, helping people express their feelings through dance and sharing her love and passion with her students. She believes that no matter where we get and how successful we are we should never stop learning and never forget where we have started in the first place! There is always more.

 

 

Marina Gogeanu Caramelo Latin Dance InstructorMarina has continuously pursued her passion in dance since she started training in classical ballet at the age of seven. Her dance portfolio is very diverse, including contemporary ballet, character, commercial and most importantly Latin dance. Marina is a recognized Bachata performer and instructor of international level, as well as  a certified Salsa dance instructor.


Marina performed on numerous international stages and she was featured in many TV programmes, adverts and music videos. Her experience also includes dance choreographies and performances for fillm and TV series, where she performed with other cast for the  world premiere of the film “Cuban Fury” and was also featured in a well known TV series “The Royals”. One of the highlights of her career has been working as an assistant choreographer for “Strictly Come Dancing” which is one of the most popular British television shows.

 

As part of the Caramelo teaching team Marina shares her feminine, elegant and graceful style with students every week. Being a very passionate Bachata dancer and choreographer she places a lot of focus on body flow, musicality and creative isolations. 

 

 
 
 
 

Caramelo Latin Dance Linda Urgosova

Pedrinho comes from Brazil and started to dance when he was only 10 years old. In 2005 he enrolled in a course for professional dancers in Rio de Janeiro at the Jaime Aroxa Dance School. Pedrinho completed 5 years of intensive training that encompassed all the Brazilian Ballroom dances (Bolero, Samba, Tango, Forro, Zouk Lambada, Rock soltinho). Pedrinho's training covered on musicality, body awareness, teaching, running classes and performing. 

 

In 2009 Pedrinho joined the Carnival Samba School-Mangueira and in 2010 he entered a dance competition in Dance festival in Rio de Janeiro where he successfully took the second prize place, dancing Zouk Lambada. 

 

In 2011 Pedrinho moved on to work for a dance company in São Paulo as an instructor, choreographer and performer.


During 2012-2013 Pedrinho travelled around Europe teaching workshops and performing at many Zouk Lambada and Samba congresses.

 

With his partner Linda Urgosova he regularly teaches and performs around Europe and Brazil. 

 

While Pedrinho is an expert in the traditional Brazilian dance styles, he constantly innovates and tries to push the boundaries of creativity with his original choregraphies that move in step with the times and incorporate new and exciting contemporary elements that create a funky, captivating and modern feel to his partnerwork routines. Pedrinho is very passionate about what he does and always strives for the highest standard in his work and in his approach to teaching dance.

 

 

 

Caramelo Latin Dance Linda Urgosova

Linda is a dance teacher and choreographer with a background in Gymnastics, Ballroom and Latin dance. She was born in Slovakia and studied Gymnastics 9 years, when at the age of 14 she started learning Ballroom and Latin dance styles.


After moving to London in 2005 Linda found the Brazilian dance styles of Zouk Lambada / Brazilian Zouk and  Samba de Gafieira. With this new passion she quickly reached a high professional level to become a teacher and performer in UK and abroad.


In addition to her strong base on Latin and Brazilian dances, Linda has also completerd a Contemporary course at The Place in 2007 - 2008, which helped improve her base and core techniques.


Linda currently works with all the Zouk Lambada styles which have developed over the years.

 

Together with her partner Pedrinho Mattos, who also teaches Brazilian Zouk and Samba de Gafieira at Caramelo, they travel and perform around Europe and Brazil.

 

As a dancer, Lida is efforlessly graceful, sensual and feminine. Together with her lovely personality and professional training and knowledge, she is a well-rounded and much loved instructor in the Caramelo team. 

 

 

 

Fahim Shan Caramelo Latin Dance InstructorFahim discovered Salsa and social dancing in 2013 and fell in love with the the dance and the change of lifestyle that this new passion brought about.

 

A dedicated dancer, who has strived to improve at every opportunity, Fahim started taking classes from Shaan at the Caramelo Latin Dance school, as well as attending classes with other UK instructors such as Gil & Shelly, Super Mario, Mauro and Jeff Tarpinian. In 2014 Fahim joined the Caramelo student performance teams and competed as part of the Caramelo Salsa student team in an international competition at the Salsa Convention Berlin in May 2014. The team finished an impressive third out of 12 European student teams which competed at the event. Subsequently, Fahim also trained and performed with the Caramelo student Salsa and Cha Cha Cha teams at the Salsa Beach Splash Festival in Croatia in July 2014.

 

Over the past year and half, Fahim has visited numerous International latin dance congresses, taking workshops from world famous teachers to help improve his overall dance level and technique. Additionally, he has taken a serious interest in Kizomba and has been learning from Nuno Campos, one of the best UK Kizomba instructors. Fahim's main passions are Salsa and Kizomba, as well as continuing his development in Bachata and Cha Cha Cha.

 

Fahim is now taking the next step in his development by joining the Caramelo teaching team. His bubbly personality and charming personality will hold him in good stead to develop as a teacher and help his students grow. 

 

 
 

Teresa Whitter Caramelo Latin Dance InstructorTeresa comes from the tiny cluster of islands known as Bermuda, and relocated to London in December 2015 in search of an around-the-clock salsa community in which to grow as a dancer and teacher, as well as have easy access to Europe's many salsa festivals and congresses. In 2005 she uncovered her passion from salsa from her tennis instructor, who thought her agility would serve her well on the dance floor; he recommended she try a class of his (who coincidentally was one of the island's top instructors at the time), and from that day forward, it was love at first step!  Six months into classes, she had her first show with the school's pro team, and first international show three months later, as well as teaching her own classes. 

 

Teresa taught Salsa, Bachata, Casino de Rueda, Latin Hustle, Beginner Argentine Tango and Ladies’ Styling, as well choreography for performance teams in Bermuda for ten years, alongside overseeing the operations of Sabor Dance School and Salsa Friends (Latin dance schools) organising socials, and producing special events. Her classes are technically sound but also full of giggles and random jokes. She also loves to play with fire – quite literally. She was a fire performer for five years with Rockfire Productions Bermuda, and hopes to continue on in London.

 

With Caramelo Latin Dance Teresa performed in a number of choreographies, as well as travelled to international congresses to represent the school and the UK's talent. Teresa is regularly teaching Salsa, Mambo and Cha Cha Cha courses at Caramelo, more recently she has also been choreographing the Caramelo student Ladies Salsa Team.

 

She loves keep herself thoroughly challenged with ballet and other dance forms, and truly believes that dance is a metaphor for life. Dance has opened many doors and revealed many paths to herself and others, and she intends to continue to spread her passion as far and wide as she can. 

 

 
 

Batu Bajdaroglou Caramelo Latin Dance InstructorGabriella first began dancing at age 3 when she begged her parents to take her to a ballet class. She spent her childhood in the dance studio as well as singing and acting. Salsa entered Gabriella's life at age 7 through her mum, being around her Colombian step father & family she was introduced to the Latin culture where her love for salsa music and dance began.

 

She trained in Latin and Ballroom where she achieved Silver medals from the ISTD, as well as studying Contemporary dance for many years and continuing with ballet. With Caramelo, Gabriella trained and performed with the Caramelo Student Teams after which she moved into assisting and teaching regular 4-week courses, and more recently began assisting in and choreographing the up and coming Caramelo student teams. In addition to Salsa and Mambo, Gabriella is also developing her skills in Samba No Pe, the Brazilian Carnival dance.

 

Gabriella loves all aspects of dance - performing on stage, sweating in the studio, social dancing the night away and of course teaching and sharing her experience with others.

 

 
 

Batu Bajdaroglou Caramelo Latin Dance InstructorBatu began his dance journey back home in Turkey in 2008, when he was encouraged to join dance classes by aone of his intructors who saw his potential. He started with salsa and bachata and swiftly went on to learn Cha Cha Cha, Argentine Tango, International Ballroom as well as ballet, contemporary, hip hop and popping.

 

After successfully performing across Turkey in solo, couple and team shows, as well as teaching for 3 years Batu moved to London in summer 2015 to continue his dance career in the UK.

 

Batu is a the three time winner of the Turkish Dance Federation championship and is known for his dynamic moves and being a fun, engaging teacher who is very popular with students.

 

His positive attitude and love for dance is contageous and you are guaranteed to have a great time in his classes.

 

 
 

kathleenBorn and raised in Cape Town, South Africa, Kathleen trained as a gymnast from the age of 4 years old doing both acro and artistic gymnastics. At age 10, she moved over from gymnastics into dance and started training in ballet and tap dancing. With a good understanding of her body movement with music she quickly progressed and was soon performing on stage in Cape Town's theatres. After training with prima ballerina Phyllis Spira, she was cast into the Cape Town City Ballet's Nutcracker. Not long after this, Kat started training in modern jazz and contemporary where she found her true passion for dance!

 

Across all dance forms, Kat took part in competitive performances in Eisteddfods in SA, winning diplomas and distinctions in both Solo, Duet and Team Categories. In her late teens she moved over to London where she did a westend jazz adult course at the Royal Academy of Dance before stumbling upon ballroom style, which later led her to salsa!! She joined, competed (Latin Pulse EU team championships 2nd Place 2011) and performed with Laith Sami's student group until being asked to join Diablo Dance Co. as Laith's dance partner in 2011. Kat has taken lessons with top female salseras including Magna Gopal, Shelley Cook de Prado and Jennifer Benavidez. She continues to do lyrical jazz and street dancing in her spare time, and still dances, performs and teaches nationally with her partner Eddie. Together they were invited to be a feature dancer in the salsa movie Cuban Fury (released in 2013). Always pushing to be better and doing it with a smile, Kat encourages all dancers to believe in Free Spirit of Dance! She joins the team with a passion to share the fun and freedom of expression that dance brings!

 

 

 

eddie-2Originally from South America and having grown up with the Latin Culture, Eddie Torres (Jnr.) found salsa in 2010 and quickly realised his passion for the dance and salsa music! He fast tracked his learning process by going out to social on a daily basis across London and taking classes with all the top teachers that he could find, namely Laith Sami, Shaan Shaan, Gil and Shelley, Super Mario, Mauro and Eva, Robert White, Miguel & Mayana and Silvia.

 

After joining, performing and competing (Latin Pulse EU Team Championships 2011 - 2nd place) with Laith Sami's LSPG performance group, doors started to open and he was asked to join Diablo Dance Co. in 2011, with whom he still dances with to date. He has performed all over London and the UK including shows at prestigious salsa events such as Mambo City Congress, SOS, Scala and Latin Motion in Birmingham amongst others. Eddie has also trained alongside Gil and Shelley with their new project, El Alma de Pexava.

 

In 2012 Eddie was invited as a featured dancer in the salsa movie Cuban Fury. Eddie is always striving to progress as a dancer and has is still training in a number of different styles of dance, including salsa on1 and on2,chacha, hiphop, ballet, lyrical jazz and more recently pachanga and Afro-Cuban. He joins the Caramelo Latin Dance team with enthusiasm and a willingness to share knowledge on all that he can.