Bio cont.

 

Laura has recently been immortalized in print as a featured character in the book, Faith In Carlos Gomez: A Memoir of Salsa, Sex & Salvation, written by her good friend and student, Samantha Dunn. When asked about her extensive career, Laura jokes "I feel like I've taught half the people in L.A. " which would be no big surprise, with over 30 years of teaching experience to her credit.  Her reputation & teaching skill places her in high demand and has taken her around the world to places like Japan, Singapore, Europe, Canada and Puerto Rico. She believes that her students should keep an open mind and encourages them to be versatile by learning different styles of salsa.  Laura is not only one of the pioneers of the "L.A. salsa style" but is also well versed in other styles of mambo ie: "classic 2" and "NY 2" (aka dancing "on clave," her favorite way of dancing salsa.)  However, the majority of her classes she teaches on "1" beginning on the downbeat of the music which, at present, is still the most popular way of dancing in Los Angeles. She still insists, "I'm always going to give you a dancer's perspective:  don't be so rigid with your thinking, there's never just one way, remember - dance is an artistic expression & subject to each individual's interpretation."  Laura, like her friend and first dance partner, Albert Torres says "we need to create unity through salsa by appreciating the differences in the styles!"  

Several years ago Laura was invited to join the eclectic salsa performance group, Salsa ConFunkshon, but soon after assumed the role of artistic director and choreographer for the group.  They were best known for their unique blend of theater, comedy and originality while experimenting and

incorporating various rhythms and dance styles in their theme-based performances.  They performed every year at the West Coast Salsa Congress in Los Angeles from 1998 - 2005 and never failed to keep their audiences well entertained.   Also an excellent seamstress, Laura designed and made all of the costumes for the group!  No small feat, considering the size of her group varied between 10-16 people. Although she decided to retire the group in 2005, she continues to travel and perform with various partners while keeping up with her busy teaching schedule at local colleges, studios and clubs in Los Angeles.  Laura has been an adjunct faculty member at Santa Monica College since 1999 & has also taught courses at Loyola Marymount University and Cal State University Los Angeles.  She currently teaches in Los Angeles at By Your Side Dance Studio and Downtown Dance & Movement.

Faith In Carlos Gomez by Samantha Dunn available on Amazon.com

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