“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.


Whether you are curious about our classes and services, we are here to answer any questions.

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