Laura Canellias, LA's Salsa Diva -
is LA's premiere salsa instructor & has been teaching salsa in Los Angeles for the past 33 years. Laura has performed & choreographed for TV, film
and stage & continues to teach, perform & judge at local & international events. Her skills have taken her throughout the United States, Canada &
Puerto Rico as well as Europe, Japan & Asia. She has been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College for 22 years & has also taught at CSULA & Loyola Marymount University. She currently teaches classes at By Your Side Dance Studio in Culver City / Los Angeles.
Years in Review:
As for special events, I was pleased to be invited to teach and/or judge once again at:
- The 3rd Annual Womens Dance Fest, Los Angeles, CA
- The 15th Annual High Desert Dance Classic at
Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, CA
- 21st Annual LA Salsa Fest, Los Angeles, CA where I was the first woman to be inducted into the Salsa Hall Of Fame!
- The Granada presents: LA's Top Social Dancer competition
- I choreographed a salsa piece for both the spring & fall semesters Global Motion Dance concerts for Santa Monica College.
- I also had the pleasure of performing with my students at the By Your Side Dance Rock & Roll Showcase!
2020 - Last year was off to a great start for me until the pandemic hit in mid March & everyone's world was turned upside down! Everything came to a screeching halt! As you all know we were in total lockdown with jobs ending, schools closing, dance studios closing, food shortages & worst of all, losing people we loved & cared about from this terrible virus.
It was a year of misinformation in many forms and also an election year, all of which had our country so divided with an us against them attitude that I hope is never repeated again in my lifetime! I was never so happy to see the end of 2020! THE WORST YEAR EVER!!!
Out of the two studios where I was teaching, Downtown Dance had to close it's doors last August. Fortunately,
By Your Side Dance Studio managed to weather the storm.
As for my classes at Santa Monica College, they closed the campus last March and all of our courses went online. Even though our dance department's enrollment dropped considerably, I managed to hold on to my classes throughout last year.
2021 - Now we've entered into 2021, things are slowly beginning to turn around. This was the first year since 1999 that I did not have enough students enrolled to keep my class at Santa Monica College. So, our dance department chair devised a way for several of the dance teachers to share classes. It's not ideal but we were able to continue to offer our students classes as well as give the teachers an opportunity to teach. As I mentioned, By Your Side Dance Studio is still up & running & slowly adding more classes as we move into April. According to California's governor, our state should be reopening by June 15th with safety measures in place ie: masks, temperatures taken when entering & limiting the number of students per class by asking students to reserve their spot by signing up in advance. So, day by day we're trying to return to some sense of normalcy. It's going to take some time but I'm praying that we've seen the worst of it. I'm thinking by 2022 we should be in much better shape? Let's hope so. Everyone stay safe out there.
Hugs & hope to see you soon!
21st Annual Los Angeles Salsa Festival - May 2019
Yes, in 2019 this was the 2nd year that they were inducting people into the prestigious Salsa Hall Of Fame and I was the first woman ever to be inducted! What a great honor, although bittersweet due to the fact that this was the Salsa Festival started by my dear friend & partner, Albert Torres, back in 1998. We unfortunately lost him in 2017 due to ongoing health issues but somehow, I knew he was there in spirit. He, along with master musician & friend, Johnny Polanco, were both inducted posthumously this year by the event's new organizer, Edwin Rivera. Also inducted into the Salsa Hall of Fame this year were my two friends & well respected teachers, Eddie Torres from NY & Rogelio Moreno from LA.
In closing, I'd like to thank all of you for your continued support. I love teaching! I feel that it's my life's purpose as well as performing, judging & promoting a healthy life style through dance.
Wishing you all the best year ever wih a life of perfect health, wealth, love, success & of course....
lots of dance!
Peace & Blessings,