Meet Our Teachers
With her MEd in Child Development and over 18 years of experience, Rachel has worked with children of all ages, cultures, and languages. Through organizing service projects within schools and experience traveling within a variety of cultures, Rachel realizes the importance of kindness, community, and teaching children about the rest of the world. With her background in dance, she found a powerful way to bring culture and connection to children through music and dance in the outdoors. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with a specialization in children.
Lamine Bangoura is a master drummer and musician from Guinea, West Africa. He is a djembe fola, an expert in African percussion, and has been lead percussionist and musical director for African ballets across Western Africa and the San Francisco Bay Area. He moved to the United States in April 2011 and has been teaching and directing classes and events since. Lamine carries the true spirit of Africa in his appreciation of the drum as a tool for human connection and language.
Mestre Recruta, Chris Montiel, began Capoeira at the age of 19. In 2005, he graduated as a “Formado” by the United Capoeira Association (UCA), an internationally recognized capoeira school. In 2016, in recognition of his work, Recruta earned the title of “Mestre,”. In 2009, he realize his dream of opening his own academy in Hayward. Since 2000, he has had the privilege of being a part of the teaching collective at UCA, where he continues to regularly teach classes. In addition, he has worked throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in a variety of public and private schools, and regularly teaches workshops for Capoeira schools around the US and abroad.
Antwan Davis is a multi-percussionist that co-founded the performance arts company Molodi, performed with the Las Vegas and North American production of Stomp, and toured nationally with Step Afrika. He has been engaging audiences for 14 years with body percussion and stepping. As a teacher, he is enthused by creating community through body music, giving people a different outlet of expression. He actively performs and teaches workshops and residencies in the U.S and internationally.
Denmis Bain Savigne
From Santiago, Cuba, Denmis Bain Savigne is an accomplished dancer, choreographer, singer, and performer with experience in AfroCuban dance, folklore, ballet, jazz, modern, contemporary, tap, and hip hop. Among many other performances, he performed around the world with Havana Nightclub and choreographed such works as the Latin Grammys, Emilio Estefan, Kenny Ortega, Siegfried & Roy, and Cirque du Soleil. Denmis has taught in a variety of venues including festivals, schools, and studios both nationally and internationally. Denmis is currently the owner of Cuban Rhythm and Rumba Dance Studio located in Vallejo, California.
West African Dance
With the nickname, “Sweet Feet” because of the speed, yet quiet of his feet while dancing, Alseny truly puts a unique spin on traditional dance from Guinea, West Africa. Founder of the Lahydi Dance Collective and Annual Dance Festival, Alseny has taught dance and performed for many years including with the dance companies Les Merveilles D'Afrique and Le Ballet Du Guinea. Written up in SF Gate for his dance talent and productions of African performances, he is known to be exciting, creative, and dedicated to sharing and preserving the rich culture of his native home, Guinea.