About Us
The Salsa Matei Dance School was founded in 2008 by Matei in order to bring a unique style of instruction to Boston dancers. While many studios teach mainly patterns, we focus on all four fundamentals of salsa in our classes: steps -- where you put your feet, rhythm -- keeping time with the music, style -- body isolation and improvisation, and partnering -- feeling your partner without having to see them. We teach you what to do with your body and arms, show you how to do it, and explain why you do it. By varying the focus throughout the class, we keep it fun and interesting while providing you with the tools to become a great dancer.
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Our Instructors
Matei(pronounced 'mah-tay')
Matei started dancing ballroom in 2000 in Los Angeles with the Clarement Colleges Ballroom Dance Company. Competing in International Latin events around the country, he and his partner won the Collegiate Open Paso Doble Championship, and with the tour team, the Collegiate Formation Team Championship in 2003. Inspired by the salsa scene, he spent many evenings learning and dancing in the Los Angeles area clubs. Since 2004, he has been teaching salsa, cha-cha, bachata, and merengue, starting in Los Angeles, then Atlanta, and now Boston. In 2006, he co-founded the Salsa Club at Georgia Tech and, together with a stellar group of dedicated volunteers, built a thriving campus organization, complete with weekly classes, salsa socials with live music, and a performance group, for which he helped choreograph a 6-couple salsa routine. Over the years, he has taught many new dancers not only dance steps, but to move with rhythm and style that grabs attention on the dance floor. Matei's genuine interest in the improvement of his students' skills has contributed greatly the evolution of his own skills as a dancer, performer, and teacher.
Hirlley (pronounced 'ear-lay')
Born and raised in the Amazon, Brazil, Hirlley started dancing at the age of twelve at the Academia Plena Forma (Community Dance School Center), where she studied jazz, modern and national folkloric dance. In the year 2003, Hirlley joined the Brazilian Cultural Center of New England, located in Boston, USA, where she works both as a performer and choreographer. Later, Hirlley also joined Afro Brazil group, where she has taught and performed Brazilian national folkloric dances. In 2008, she founded the Samba Braza Dance Group, a company that disseminates Brazilian folkloric and contemporary dances. After moving to Boston Hirlley has learned Salsa on 1 and on 2 and continues to perfect her dance skills by taking salsa classes in Minneapolis and New York City. Hirlley teaches salsa, L.A. style, and is one of the principal dancers for Samba Tremeterra from Boston. Hirlley's creative choreographic approach for teaching includes a mixture of modern latin, traditional samba, contemporary samba from Rio and Bahia, salsa, bachata and merengue. As co-Director, Hirlley helped to propel SMDC from a small dance school into a dance company serving hundreds of students per month.
Eva Luo
Eva started dancing Ballroom and Latin in 2008, training, performing, and competing with her professional partner for almost 2 years. Salsa became big part of her dancing journey in 2010, both in NH and in Boston. Over the years, her passion for music and dancing have grown into a desire to share the fun, excitement, and energy of dance with others. Eva joined SMDC in 2012 as a dancer and instructor. In Eva's classes, it's not just about how many of the steps we know, but how we take what we know and make it our own. She encourages you to be your own artist and to use that shared passion to connect with others in a meaningful way.
Instructor Alumni
Here are some very talented dancers who trained as instructors and taught with SMDC. Thanks to Angie, G, Sam, Angela, and Namibia for lending us your passion, dedication, and spirit. We wish you success!
(c) JClements Photography
(c) JClements Photography
(c) JRDN Photo