Nery Garcia and Giana Montoya (Fort Myers, FL) Nery Garcia and Giana Montoya are the directors of Elegant Rumba Dance Company. They are two of the most sought after instructors, performers, and choreographers who have headlined salsa events around the world and performed for some of the biggest names in latin music including Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, and Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz.
Between the two, they have been featured on MTV’s MADE, Season 4 of “So You Think You Can Dance,” NIKE’s Rockstar campaign, and choreography showcases around the country. They are known as salsa’s most diverse couple, drawing and fusing their extensive background in theatre, jazz, Afro-Carribean dance, and yoga/acroyoga into their shows. Nery and Giana combine classic and always exciting LA-style salsa with an unapologetic flair for romance, artistry, and virtuoso story-telling. The result is a truly unique experience that is every bit as flamboyant as it is intimate.
Julissa Cruz has been training, teaching coaching and performing dance for over 20 years. As a child, she would spend hours dancing to videos in front of the tv until her Mother enrolled her in dance classes at the age of 9. She would go on to train in jazz, ballet, tap, hip hop and the Latin dance arts.
At the age of 15, she began to combine her passion for dance with a new found love of teaching at Leggz Dance Academy, first as an assistant teacher and later developing her own youth hip hop program there. In addition, Julissa also served as director of the Salsa Heat professional dance company, teaching with them for 4 years before venturing out on her own as a solo artist. Since then, she has performed and taught throughout the U.S. and beyond on her own, while collaborating with other world-renowned performers such as Andy Cruz, Gordon Neil, Ana Masacote, Benjamin Cartagena and Liz Becerra.
In 2009, Julissa married and relocated to Richmond, VA where she founded Latin Vintage, and has become the proud mother of three. She is passionate about the creation and development of dancers, as well as creating enthusiasts of the art and culture. Julissa continues to be inspired by the integrity of movement, and hopes to share this with others for years to come.