The Alma Latina Dance Company is the result of Gabriela Equiz’ desire to create a performing arts school in Tijuana similar to the one she enjoyed as a child in Mexico City. She launched the school in 2005 and quickly added Sergio Jasso as a partner.
Equiz and Jasso began teaching in San Diego in 2008. Later, they began teaching in Los Angeles as well.
The school focuses on musicality, training dancers to switch between On1 and On2, depending on what the music calls for. Their choreographies typically incorporate ballet, ballroom, modern dance, flamenco, hip hop or tap.
Though Gaby (as she is nicknamed) and Sergio teach all ages, their kids dance troupe has become especially well known. In an October 2009 interview with Ritmo Bello, Gaby said the school’s Mission statement “is to connect kids to culture using Latin music and dance to promote discipline, pride, health, and the history of Latin culture all while having fun.”
Alma Latina has performed at all the big West Coast salsa congresses and also travels regularly to “the Acapulco Congress, the Mexico National Championships in Mexico City, and the World Salsa Championships.” They hope to visit Europe in 2010.
In 2009, the company claimed six first places and six second places in national and international competitions.
But it isn’t all about competition. San Diego students have commented on the warmth of their Tijuana studio culture, where they all kiss hello and goodbye. Neighborhood parties, socials and nearby taco stands round out the social experience.
See a video of some Alma Latina students competing at the 2007 LA Salsa Congress.