Senior Instructor, Choreographer, & Web Master
Half Panamanian, Ally grew up in a household where Latin music was always playing in the background & a party just wasn't a party without Salsa. While she always enjoyed Latin music & dancing, it wasn't until 2008 that she took her first official salsa class & became hopelessly addicted.
Dancing broke Ally free of her shyness & helped get her through the hard times. She fell in love with not only the dances, but also the dance community that immediately welcomed her in. She considers herself immensely fortunate to find former DSJ directors Isaiah Meders & Chris Bady, instructors with superb understanding of technique & attention to detail. A fast learner & dedicated student who practiced non-stop, she was asked to join the DSJ staff just months later & began teaching in early 2010.
Ally has since trained with many highly respected instructors at numerous congresses, performed across the country, & danced on stage with famous salsa singer Frankie Negron. In 2012 she took up Ballet to expand her horizons as a dancer. Subsequently, she was asked by The Cruxshadows to join their band as a dancer and backup vocalist, & has since ventured on several world tours with them. (Check out their latest CD ^_^) Later that same year, she accepted the role of Director of Dance Salsa Jax, sad to see her mentors retire but excited to take DSJ to new heights.
As an instructor & director, Ally strives to pay it forward by maintaining the sense of community, spreading the positive energy, & continuously raising the bar for quality dance instruction in Jacksonville. Outside of dance, Ally practices Taekwondo, while working on her bachelors in Mathematics, & most recently attempting to learn Japanese.
Instructor & Choreographer
Dwarakesh "Ravi" Ravichandran first met salsa at an event downtown in October 2010. We snatched this shy unsuspecting onlooker from the crowd, got him hooked on dancing, and just one year later he was performing with us at that very same location! Ravi has continued his training with DSJ over the years and has also traveled with us to countless congresses where he has trained with many world renown salseros. Now all the girls love dancing with him!
Our happy-go-lucky Ravi is also a full time IT for CSX
Joseph Gioello is one of Ally's most dedicated protégés. An Italian-American gringo from New Jersey, he danced the very first step of his life in 2011. He immediately fell in love, and after just one short year full of practice and determination, was welcomed onto the staff. Joe is a very valued member of our team. A true perfectionist, he has very quickly become one of North Florida's best lead dancers, as well as living proof that anyone can learn how to dance!
Joe also serves in the United States Coast Guard and is the proud
Part-time Instructor & Choreographer
Founder & Former Director
Crunkmaster Chris has extensive experience in many styles of dance. He first fell in love with Hip Hop in 2001. Five years later, he took up ballet, ballroom,
Chris joined the professional salsa company DSX under the direction of Isaiah Meders, & spent five years performing throughout the southeast of the United States. During this time, he also began teaching group & private lessons in both salsa & hip hop.
Our beautiful, bubbly Kristina has always had a passion for people, culture, and the performing arts. In 2007, she was invited to a DSJ party & instantly fell in love on the dance floor.
Kristina has since attended multiple congresses, taken numerous workshops, & trained with some of the industry's top instructors. Kristina believes dance is a combination of true self expression & applied technique.
In 2010, Isaiah passed DSJ down to Chris & Kristina's talented hands! Together they took DSJ student & pro performance teams to congresses from Reno to DC & also performed on stage with famous salsa singer Frankie Negron! Chris & Kristina also became well known for their phenomenal salsa & hip-hop fusion workshops. In late 2012, however, the future husband and wife team stepped down to pursue other life goals.