Meet Our Faculty
Jorday Rivera - Founder and Director of Mambo’s Finest
Phone: (718)-275-4386 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jorday Rivera has a clean, energetic style of dancing. She concentrates on various styling techniques from other forms of dancing and combines them into one, which is apparent in her dancing and teaching style.
As a teacher, she pays close attention to detail. She drills her students on a number of different steps, paying close attention to execution and technique. If a student is struggling, she gives thatr student additional help during breaks or after class. Jorday loves teaching and her goal is to have all of her students walking away feeling good about themselves.
In her styling class, women learn the techniques on how to execute various steps. Each styling technique is broken down into eight counts with each step. Jorday emphasizes the importance of styling in her class because the first thing people see when you are dancing is your “styling.”
Overall, Jorday has proven herself with her many years experience to be an excellent dancer and instructor. In efforts to share all of her experiences with her students, she displays a number of photographs from different events that she has participated in on what she likes to call her “Wall of Fame.” She takes pride in what she does and passes that attitude onto her students.
Tiffany Rivera - Creative Director of Youth and Adult Programs
Tiffany Rivera is Director and Founder of Mambo’s Finest Take 2, a not-for-profit children’s dance company born February 2003. Her mission as founder is focused on enhancing cultural awareness through dance, establishing positive and supportive life-long peer relationships as well as empowering children with the necessary shills to understand and appreciate the importance of education.
Having studied numerous forms of dance, Tiffany is flexible, has excellent speed, and the ability to grasp material quickly and execute it flawlessly. She is often complimented as a “Natural.” She swiftly accelerated in dance class, becoming a member of several well-known dance teams and became an instructor, a choreographer and, ultimately, a director of her own dance company. Tiffany has performed with numerous famous artists such as the late and great Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, in a variety of venues, including Madison Square Garden. Tiffany has also participated in various Congresso’s de la Salsa all over the world.
She has spent the last five years as an instructor in Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio, a well-known dance studio, owned and operated by older sister Jorday Rivera. She has developed a reputation as a disciplined instructor with a “Can-Do” attitude. The success of the two sisters as dance instructors has lead to the creation of a professional adult dance team appropriately named “Mambo’s Finest”.
Tiffany passion for dance, love of children, and background as a peer counselor at a local community house fueled her desire to give back to the community. This led to the creation of “Mambo’s Finest Take 2”, her first solo endeavor.
Daziann Rivera - Youth Salsa/Mambo and Hip Hop Instructor.
Becoming a Dancer and Instructor was never my intention but Dancing was a part of me before I even realized I wanted to dance. I always admired my sisters Jorday and Tiffany because they had unbelievable skills and lit up the dance floor. They never knew but I would imagine in my mind being on that stage with them. Hesitantly I began dancing at the age of 10 years old. I was gifted because I had the ability to watch something once and retain it. I quickly devolved skill and by year 2001 I was teaching at Jorday Rivera’s Dance Studio.
As an instructor I am firmly believe in tough love. I always make a promise to my students that they will become the best dancers they can possible be if they follow my instructions. I will give them absolutely all I have. All I ask in return is dedication, trust, and loyalty. I take proud in my classes and ensure they will always be progressive and fun. Dancers aren't made of their technique, but their passion.
I am currently dancing for Fusion’s Finest Dance Co. as a primary dancer. We are a mixed group of individuals who specialize in Salsa, Mambo, Hip hop, Modern, Cha cha, and Funk. We are a motivated and loving family and give as much time as effort needed to perfect our skills. We will see you on the dance floor.
Why do I dance? ...Why do I breathe?
Rafael Ortiz - Mambo Instructor
Kazja - Belly Dancer Instructor
Kazja is a professional bellydance artist performing and teaching in the tri-state area. She has studied this beautiful ancient art form since "2000" and has had many accomplishments over the years. In 2002-2004 she was featured in Jehan's Off-Broadway show "Goddessdance." In 2005-2007 she produced, managed and choreographed for her own troupe "Bellyessence" and from 2007-2009 she choreographed for three well known theatrical productions under "Venus Uprising." Kazja's choreography and performances can be seen on 4 Fantasy Bellydance and Fitness DVD's produced by World Dance NY. Her most recent and ongoing accomplishment has been collaborating with her dance partner Tava since 2008 and forming "Bellydance Duo."
As a performer Kazja is mesmerizing to her audience and captures the pure essence of the dance. She possesses the talent of using finger cymbals, veil, cane, sword and the beautiful Wings of Isis but is predominately known for her breathtaking candle tray balancing and dynamic drum solo's. Kazja is a sought out performer, choreographer and instructor. She presently performs at numerous middle eastern restaurants, lounges, night clubs and private events.
Her passion for this enchanting dance goes beyond performing. She presently teaches 10 classes and is still expanding. Kazja is an instructor of beginner through advanced performance levels with opportunities for her students to perform at restaurants. In her classes her students are closely evaluated and receive individual attention to correct form and posture building the strong foundation required of this dance. Along with her technique and performance classes Kazja lets off steam with her bellydance fitness classes. This class allows the students to get more exposure to fast travel steps and build up the stamina needed for a full bellydance performance along with hard core isolations to tone the body. Workshops are given throughout the year to concentrate on specific topics such as shimmy, veil, choreography, improvisation, candle tray/sword balancing and much more. Kazja presently teaches in Forest Hills, Queens at "Jorday Rivera's dance studio"
Marcos Polonia Salsa Instructor
Marcos Polonia has been an on2 salsa dancer for about 11 years.
His first steps were learned at the Jorday Rivera dance studio, which adds an element of authenticity and continuity to Jorday's studio that most studios today lack.
After taking a small break to focus on a career in music as well as exploring other styles of dance & self-expression such as Capoeira & Samba, Marcos has returned to share his passion and expertise with our beginner level students.
"A strong basic will set you apart from what has become a world of cookie cutter salsa dancers", says Marcos.
Jorge Suren Hip Hop/Salsa Instructor
Zavivah - Belly Dancer & Mini Belly Dance Instuctor
Zavivah began studies in Middle Eastern Dance, also known as Belly dance, five years ago. Since the age of four, dance has always been a part of her life. On a whim when looking for an avenue for fitness, Zavivah decided to try a belly dance class. That one class sparked a love for the dance and a deep desire and passion to learn more. Zavivah continued taking lessons while researching all she could about the dance. She has taken her knowledge and zeal for this art and transformed it into a stage presence that illustrates dynamic self-expression and unique interpretation. She revels in telling her story, while making a piece of music come alive through movement.
Driven by the freedom of expression and freedom of spirit that dancing can manifest, Zavivah has dedicated herself to the study of the Middle Eastern Dance art form through studying with notable teachers and Master instructors such as Kazja, Tava, Nourhan Sharif, and Layla Mary. She continues to study and attend workshops in order to foster personal growth in the dance, and to offer her students the best of her knowledge and skill.
Well versed in established dance show formats, Zavivah can deliver eloquent performances using an array of props which include candle tray, sword, veil, fan veils, and zills.
Eddie Pino - Salsa & Mambo Instructor
A personal goal is to encourage a creative approach to teaching traditional salsa dancing. As an instructor and/or personal coach he always works to stress the importance of body movement in connection with a good spirit. This will ultimately enhance the learning technique. The aim is for the student to be able to absorb, relate to, and then consider which area of salsa dancing they enjoy the most (partner work, shines, freestyle, teamwork, performance). Dancing is about connecting: with a partner, with a group, with your emotions and the music.
Mr. Pino’s mission is to spread this Latin traditional dance to ultimately draw everyone into an active theater experience, to excite their minds and to tickle their imagination.
As an independent artist and performer highlights include performing in: HBO’s Showtime salsa production, recording artist/arranger Chayanne’s music video “Dance with Me” with Vanessa Williams, a season of dancing in the soap opera “All My Children” and numerous performances in the New York Copa Cabana Nightclub. Mr. Pino’s dance experience included the following companies: Eddie Torres Dancers, Razz M Tazz Dance Company as well as Abakua Latin Dance Company. As a dancer in these companies he was fortunate to perform with many musicians and bands on tour, in Madison Square Garden and in congresses. Bands like Eddie Palmieri, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, the late Tito Puente, the late Celia Cruz, the late Pete El Conde, Johnny Pacheco, Los Adolescente, Gilberto Santarosa, Tito Nieves, El Gran Combo, Millie Quesada, Orchestra de La Luz, Marc Anthony, Oscar De Leon and many more. Under the direction of Eddie Torres he assisted in master classes, workshops and lecture demonstration for different events. Performances to highlight include: Tito Puente’s 100th Album Celebration, Concerto Del Amor, Roseland with the Nicholas Brothers and a Mambo extravaganza opening for the World Ballroom Championship. Current projects consist of collaborations with members of the New York salsa community and private coaching.
Zuri - Belly Dance & Mini Belly Dance Instructor
Zuri has been involved in the creative and performing arts since childhood, but came to dance as an adult, beginning with the Latin dances. She has found a home in belly dance .
As music is her profession, Zuri incorporates her solid knowledge of timing and musical interpretation into her performances. Her show formats can range from traditional to a fusion with Caribbean and/or Latin flavor depending on client venue and preference.
When teaching, her knowledge of group dynamics, body mechanics, and different learning styles helps each student to reach their fullest potential. Zuri also has training as a pre/post-natal health and fitness group instructor, and welcomes the opportunity to work with women who want to stay fit during their pregnancy.
Zuri is also the owner of Cocoabelly Dance Services, LLC. Cocoabelly offers custom, handmade costumes for dancers of all shapes and sizes, make up services for dancers, and performers and props for your special event.
Kelly Bonilla - Ballet, Jazz, Tap, & Salsa Instructor
Kelly Bonilla started her dance career at the young age of just 3 years old at a small dance studio in Richmond Hill, NY. As a young adult, she graduated from Benjamin Cardozo HS, studying and excelling in their Dance Program for all four years. She currently attends Hunter College, pursuing a minor in dance and a major in liberal arts studies. Over the years, she has studied various forms of dance, including Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Modern, Hip Hop and Salsa. She has recently begun teaching beginner and intermediate classes for Ballet, Tap, Jazz and Salsa and hopes to continue to teach and encourage other aspiring dancers.
Jiggz Starr - Break Dancer Instructor
Ramon Silverio Jr., also known as “Jiggz Starr” is a bboy well respected for his competitive spirit on the dance floor, and for his traditional New York style which was originated in the South Bronx in the 1970’s. Jiggz was born in the lower east side of Manhattan and raised mostly in Corona, Queens where he resides till present day. He is a prime example of what we now call an 80’s baby. Since childhood Jiggz was very intrigued by hip hop culture and was eventually introduced to the art of bboying in the late 1990’s. Within a few years this dance went from being a hobby to a lifestyle for him. Jiggz would later become a co-founder of one of NYC’s elite bboy crews called Supreme Beingz. Jiggz has been a model for Yellow Rat Bastard, The Source Magazine, and various independent clothing companies. He was also featured in an international advertisement campaign for Ecko Unlimited and twice for the famous silhouette ipod ads for Apple. He appeared in commercials for Triple 5 Soul, Ecko Unlimited, MTV, and television shows on BET. Jiggz has competed from the east to west in the US and travelled overseas numerous times to battle in dance competitions. He has also performed for the New York Liberty and the New York Knicks during the time out shows at Madison Square Garden. His talent has lead him to partake in opening acts for Brooklyn’s finest conscious rappers such as Q- Unique, Non-Phixion, and Talib Kweli. Jiggz has done tours all over the states and a US military tour in the middle-east with pioneer rapper Kurtis Blow. Music and bboying has helped Jiggz deal with his stuggles and showed him how to express himself in a non-violent creative fashion. Being known as a classic style bboy Jiggz has been influenced by many different styles like popping, locking, tap, and house dancing as well. Aside from competing, performing, judging, and hosting bboy events he is in charge of the dance program at the Queens Community House which provides a safe facility for young adults to learn and practice. One of his main goals is to pass down his knowledge and understanding of the dance to the next generation of bboys in New York and around the world. He feels really passionate about keeping the foundation and the essence of the dance alive while bboying continues to evolve throughout the years. Jiggz humbly declares he is still a student of the dance on a quest to become a grand master of his craft.
Michael Garcia - Salsa Instructor
Michael Garcia began dancing at the age of 12 at La Salsa De Hoy in Brooklyn, NY. Within a years time, he became a team member for Tropical Image dance company directed by Arelis Beato, and later joined Revelation dance company directed by Cecilia Williams. He began traveling both nationally and internationally gaining more experience as a performer.
By age 14 michael joined the Addie Tude dance company directed by world renowned dancer choreographer and instructor Addie Diaz. With Addie, Michael has furthered his travels and has performed with various artist such as: El Canario, Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, and Frankie Vasquez. Michael has also done television and movies. within an 11 years, he has become one of Addie-tude's choreographers and instructors. His styles include hip hop, step, modern jazz, Afro Cuban, cha cha, bachata, merengue, and salsa.
With the blessings and guidance of his mentor Addie Diaz, Michael is now the director of Movimiento Dance Company which he has started in 2011.
Priscilla Velazquez - Ballet, Jazz, Salsa
At the age of three Priscilla Velazquez was already shaking and moving at a local dance studio in her hometown of Woodside, NY. There she studied ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop, and lyrical. By the age of seven, Priscilla was one of the youngest dancer in the salsa dance company Mambo’s Finest Take 2, directed and founded by Tiffany Rivera. Priscilla danced throughout her teens at various dance studios and with her high school dance team. After much consideration she decided that college would not be a time to lose dance, but instead increase her training. In August 2010 Priscilla began training in pre-professional ballet and modern dance at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY with dance faculty Giada Ferrone, Rachel List, Jason Melms, Robin Becker, Stormy Brandenberger, Dyane Harvey-Salaam, Amy Marshall, and Maxine Steinman. Here Ms. Velazquez worked with renowned choreographers and dancers including Nathan Trice, Fritzlyn Hector, and Darrah Carr during Spring and Fall Dance Concerts. Realizing that her passion went beyond dancing itself Priscilla declared her major in Dance Education. This program not only allows her to train as a fulltime dance major but also allows Priscilla to learn various teaching techniques. In 2012 Priscilla interned with Heidi Latsky Dance, a modern dance company and worked at Aaron School in Manhattan all increasing her dance and teaching experience. Priscilla is also the President of T’DAA, Teaching Dance As Art, a student chapter of NDEO and dance education organization at Hofstra University. As President, Priscilla attended the National Dance Educators Conference 2012 in Los Angeles, California and will be attending the National Dance Educators Conference 2013 in Miami, FL. In May of 2014, Ms. Velazquez will graduate with a B.S. in Dance Education with a double minor in Psychology and Disability Studies. By May 2014, after several state exams, Ms. Velazquez will be certified by the state of New York to teach dance in public schools. Her passions for both dance and teaching allow Priscilla to work with energy and experience. As an instructor and future educator Priscilla instills a strong foundation in technique for students of all ages. She challenges her students while allowing them to build confidence in their technique and more importantly in themselves.
Jaydien Soto - Contemporary, Modern, Hip Hop
Giovanny A. Rincon - Salsa Instructor
Giovanny A. Rincon got his first taste of salsa dancing at the turn of the millennium. He attended La Salsa de Hoy Dance Studio in Brooklyn, New York at the age of 12. His first instructor, in which he credits his core training to, was Ray Colon. Although young in age, Gio was determined to advance quickly and become a powerful dancer. He dreamed of being one of the many faces of elite dancers in pictures on the wall at his home studio. With this dream in his sights,Gio knew nothing could stop him
After a year of intense training, Gio began to attend dance socials held at his studio and was a regular at New York's longest running social, Jimmy Anton's. Introduced to infections personalities and meeting new friends on the scene, Giovanny began craving more. He then took his training and experience to Director Mike Rodriguez and joined Latin Reflections Dance Company. As a member of Latin reflections, Gio learned various choreographies and performed in the New York Tri-State area. He trained and remained under the tutelage of Mike Rodriguez for 3 years.
Taking a short break from dance, Giovanny joined the U.S. army and proudly served his country in the war against Iraq. He has spent hard days and long nights including a near brush with death, protecting our home shores. After 4 years in the Army which included a year and four months overseas, Gio finally made his return stateside and his break from dance soon ended.
Upon his return to the U.S. Gio was eager to get back to doing what he loved. Gio joined Dance Atlantic Dance Studio in his home town of Brooklyn, NY. Dance Atlantic, under the direction of Melody Andino, welcomed Gio home with an offer to be and instructor for the company. Fresh out of the military, his new orders included several dance classes a week, teaching children as well as adults. Melanie noticed his passion for dance and soon promoted Giovanny to head instructor of the studio and choreographer for their performance teams.
Ecstatic about his promotion, Gio was looking for something more. He wanted to grow and extend his training as an instructor and performer. While Gio was searching for performance opportunities, he received a call from Mike Garcia. A director of a young fresh and powerful dance company who was looking for dancers. Giovanny gladly accepted the offer and became a member of the Movimiento Dance Company in 2012.
His training continues under the direction of Mike Garcia and the Movimiento Dance Company. With the company, Giovanny strives to grow as a performer and choreographer exploring new styles and genres of dance. Now performing as a professional dancer, Gio takes on the roll of assistant choreographer and instructor for movimiento dance company.
Throughout his journey, Gio discovered his purpose in this world. the love and desire educate others, while being a perfect example for the youth. Gio is currently enrolled in BMCC as an undergraduate with a major in Education. As a performer,instructor,choreographer and more importantly a student, Gio encourages all to live with passion and dance through it all.
Melodee Rodriguez - Instructor
Joel Feliciano - Instructor
Shoshana - Instructor
Shoshana started her love for dance at the age of five. Staring with Martha Graham technique, classical ballet, tap, jazz, African dance, Haitian dance and Flamenco. She found her life’s passion when she discovered the rich Middle Eastern rhythm’s on her visits to Israel/Palestine. With little children drumming in the streets, she fell in love. Shoshana saw her first belly dancer in 1979 at the famed Grecian Cave in NYC. What was to come next was Shoshana’s dream come true.
She has had the honor of Studying with masters such as Serena Wilson, Ibrahim Farah, Elena Lentini, Yousry Sharif and Valarie Camille. Her career has followed an exciting path performing at the famed Club Ibis, Club Darwish, Egyptian Gardens, Rockefeller Center, Town Hall, Cami Hall, Cedars of Lebanon. She has performed for Sigourney Weaver, Kate Winslet, James Conn, Gloria Gainer, and the Royal family of Saudi Arabia. She has traveled to perform and teach in Egypt, Israel, Panama and all over the US. She teaches from the heart with purpose and passion!