“Our Mission is to enhance, share, and connect our cultures and community through dance. Our students also learn about leadership, self-esteem, discipline, and teamwork. These are necessary skills for their future.”

Yaya Rodríguez, 
Founder, CEO, Artistic Director

Culture and Dance


Salsa music and dance have a number of influences, including African drumbeats, Spanish guitar music, and dances from Cuba and Puerto Rico. Dance and music came together in the 1970s in New York, when Cuban and Puerto Rican immigrants, led by Dominican Johnny Pachecó, combined the dance and music of their countries of origin with disco fashion.


It is a style of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic at the end of the 19th century. Originally, the Merengue was played with guitars. Years later, the guitars were replaced by the accordion, complying with the gourd and the drum, the typical instrumental ensemble structure of the Merengue. This ensemble, with three instruments, represents the synthesis of three cultures that shaped the idiosyncrasies of Dominican culture. The European influence is represented by the accordion, the African drum (two-headed drum), and the native Tainos or by the gourd.


Ballet, as we know it today, began during the Renaissance, around the 15th century in Italy. In fact, the terms "ballet" and "dance", as in masked ball, come from the Italian ballare, "dance". When Catalina de Medici of Italy seized the French King Henry II, she introduced the first styles of dance to court life in France.

About us

CLDA was formed in 2011, when our founder/director, Yaya, with years of experience as a dancer/choreographer was invited to create a few folkloric dances for community organizations, churches, & nonprofit organizations. This experience and the necessity in her community motivated her, with the assistance of her board of directors, to fund what today is Cultura Latina Dance Academy Incorporated.


Rated 5.0 out of 5
November 17, 2023


Nathaly Dejesus
Rated 5.0 out of 5
November 17, 2023

We love it at Cultura Latina Dance Academy! For the past 6 years and a half my now almost 9 year old daughter has been part of this amazing Dance Family and I wouldn’t trade it for the world! She was just 2 years old she she started Mami and Me and is now an amazing almost 9 year old with gained Cultural knowledge and love for her Latina heritage! She is always so proud to say she is a dancer from CLDA and honestly so are we! Best decision ever 👏!

Yuri Sanchez-Rijo Israel Rijo
Rated 5.0 out of 5
November 10, 2023

Generally an amazing place with reasonable space to practice and or choreograph dances. Yaya the main dance instructor was very kind and helpful, always made time for us as we neared my sweet 16/ quincenera and did not ever disappoint. There is nothing I would change about this place and highly recommend for any sort of fast and easy choreography. A well deserved 5 stars.

Rosalinda Olivero
Rated 5.0 out of 5
August 4, 2022

Socially conscious, locally owned and operated, community-based dance learning at its very best everyone! Whether you’re a parent and have kids who want to dance, or you want to take some lessons yourself, this is the place for Latin Social dancing in the North Shore. Classes are ridiculously cheap and the laid-back atmosphere is a lot of fun!

Justin P.
Rated 5.0 out of 5
May 11, 2022

Great performance!!! Everyone loved the show! My daughter’s friends say: “the best party ever” 🥇👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼😍😍

Laila Pietri
Rated 5.0 out of 5
November 4, 2021

Yaya was amazing! My now wife and I can’t thank her enough for the amazing choreography she came up with for our first dance. After the dance our family and friends and even the DJ came up to us during the night and all told us “best first dance EVER!” We can’t thank Yaya enough!

Albert Marquez
Rated 5.0 out of 5
November 10, 2018

I hired CLDA to choreograph my daughter’s quince (sweet 15). Yaya the school director did an amazing job!!! I can’t thank her enough for working with my daughter to choreograph her quince dance. She brought a lot of style and flair. The songs they were choreographing were earth wind and fire (September) cha cha, just the way you are (karlos rose) bachata and aguanile (Marc Anthony ) salsa. Each song that they preformed yaya made sure to add a unique flair. After they performed their routine on the day of the quince, my guest were mesmerized and impress with their ability to dance and how well they performed in terms of coordination. It definitely made the event go from 0 to 10 in a matter of seconds. I highly recommend you hiring Yaya if you are considering a dance routing for your event.

Marleny Ramos


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