The Heritage School- Latin Dance Master Class

This year, students in the Latin Dance class at the Heritage School are studying the way salsa music and dance emerged in the 1970s in the Bronx, and comparing and contrasting its emergence to the popularity of Bachata music and dancing today.   They are researching what conditions existed in the Bronx in the 1970s and how different cultures influenced the dance and music at that time.  Through deconstructing and comparing dance styles used in both salsa and hip hop, students are answering the questions, ‘How did culture, environment and history influence salsa and hip hop in the 1970’s?’ and ‘How do those same influences affect Bachata in NYC today?’

In the Master Class on Monday, March 8th, students will get a chance to work with Rodney Lopez.  This is the second year Rodney has worked with this class.  He will review steps he taught to these students last year, as well as incorporate new movements into this historical conversation about salsa in the 1970s and today’s Bachata.


Rodney López is an accomplished Latin dance instructor and choreographer in the New York Salsa scene. He is Director of the Salsa Program at Dance Manhattan, teaches Latin music history and dance for the Manhattan Center for Science and Mathematics in East Harlem and has led workshops and performed around the world. He has appeared on Good Morning America’s “Dancing With The Moms” Competition, the WB11 Morning News, Fox’s Good Day New York, The Queen Latifah Show and the Maury Povich Show and in the Off-Broadway smash, Latin Madness. In addition to serving as a Team Captain of the Addie-Tude Dance Company, he competes with New York-area West Coast Swing and Carolina Shag teams. Rodney’s work has been featured in documentaries, news articles and other media including “Mad Hot Ballroom.”