Athletics & Dance Building, Riverside, CA 92521
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UC RIVERSIDE Department of Dance presents

Latin Dance Social Workshop Series!

A series of Latin Dance movement classes honoring Latin and Afro Diasporic roots and histories in Afro-Cuban, Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha Chá, Cumbia, and House dance.

Please join the Latin American Social Dance classes for this year’s Latin Dance Social Workshop Series! With special guest teaching artists Kati Hernandez, Lyrik Cruz, and Isis Avalos-Perez, this series is an invitation to connect to our bodies, music, and roots of the Latin and Afro Diaspora. Open level classes and All bodies welcomed! Come move, support, and be in collective comunidad (community).

Thank you! ¡Gracias!


  • FREE admission
  • Open to the public


Event Schedule

  • Thursday, May 11
    • 10:30 - 11:50 a.m.
    • 12:00 - 1:20 p.m.


  • Tuesday, May 16
    • 10:30 - 11:50 a.m.
    • 12:00 - 1:20 p.m.


  • Thursday, May 18
    • 10:30 - 11:50 a.m.
    • 12:00 - 1:20 p.m.




Class Descriptions & Titles

Kati Hernandez

Class Title: Oricha Therapy (Afro-Cuban dance) as a Way of Knowing

Oricha Therapy goes beyond physical movement, fusing Afro-Cuban traditional dances, Afro-Cuban dance technique, and somatic exercises with healing modalities including voice, dramaturgical expression and chromotherapy tied to the symbolic colors of the Orishas and their attributes. We will be merging the dances, songs and rhythms from some of the main ethnic groups of the Afro-Cuban tradition, from the Yoruba pantheon, to Arará tradition from the Dahomey land, to the Palo tradition from the Bantú people. The intention is to receive a holistic understanding of the ways history, culture and values live in the mind, body and spirit, and to simultaneously show how the dances from the African diaspora in Cuba have nourished as well guided people through challenging social circumstances like those of today. Accompanied by live percussion! 


Lyrik Cruz

Class Title: Latin Fusion

Latin Fusion is an intermediate/ advanced choreography class with a base of Latin dance. It’s a blend of Salsa, Mambo, Cha Cha, Jazz, Hip-Hop, and House. This class focuses on execution and performance quality with a touch of Latin spice.


Isis Avalos-Perez

Class Title: Frontera sin Fronteras

Physical borders don't stop the body from understanding the duality of existing in two-places at once. This class will explore Cumbia dance & intersecting Latine-rooted rhythms as an exploration in the way our moving bodies already carry a binding language of history x migration through movement.


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Artists Bios

Kati Hernandez Bio

A native of Cuba, Kati Hernández grew up surrounded by the sounds of the drum and Afro-Cuban dance traditions. Her dance studies included Afro-Cuban and international folklore, popular, modern, ballet, choreography, composition, and staging. These shaped her into the electrifying choreographer, educator, and dancer of today. Her knowledge of dance and choreography reveals her intricate and versatile style, making her a highly sought-after performer nationally and internationally. She launched her international career at an early age, touring throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas with renowned Cuban productions, musicians, and visual artists.

In Los Angeles she is a central figure in the dance community: founder and artistic director of Kimbambula Cuban Dance & Music Ensemble, and co-founder of Kimbambula Productions, through which she’s produced annual events such as “Essence of Cuba” a paramount reunion of Afro-Cuban masters, Kati’s Cuban Ganga, and The Cuban Social. Hernandez is also the creator of pioneering online dance and music programs preserving and promoting Cuban culture worldwide. Her nationally acclaimed signature program, Oricha Dance Therapy, is a language of expression through movements and rhythms of the rich Afro-Cuban dance diaspora.

Kati has led successful Afro-Cuban “Jam Sessions” at both Grand Park and the Ford Theater, where she served as lead choreographer for several of their programs. More recently, she was artistic director for “Cuba Antes y Ahora,” at Grand Park and the Getty Museum, as well as the choreographer and cultural advisor of “Tentacion” a new production at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for LA Philharmonic’s Pan-American Youth Initiative. She has choreographed and performed in music videos including “Un Poquito de Amor Every Day” with world renowned Colin Hay and San Miguel Perez, and Iris Sandra Cepeda’s “Vete Por Donde Vinistes.” 


Lyrik Cruz Bio

Lyrik Cruz of Puerto Rican descent from Chicago has become a highly acclaimed world renowned choreographer and master instructor who has danced in just about every corner of the world, including Canada, West Africa, South America, Europe, Asia, Singapore, India, Sweden, Italy, France, the Caribbean, and Canary Islands. In addition to choreographing for shows at Madison Square Garden, Hammerstein Ballroom and major music venues throughout the east coast, for the past 8 years Lyrik has served as a principal choreographer on creative team of legendary choreographer and TV director Debbie Allen, showcased pieces at the Wallis Annenberg Theatre for Nigel Lithgoe, appeared on the CW's hit comedy "Jane the Virgin" as a featured dancer, choreographed for international recording artists J Balvin (Capitol Latino) and Becky G (RCA), Spike TV's "Lip Sync Battle'', The ELLEN Show, Greys Anatomy and the finale of American Idol "The Farewell Season" on FOX. His choreography work can be seen In the feature film "SHINE" Which was released in theaters nationwide in Oct. 2018. 

Cruz' is also part of the creative team for Norman Lear’s IMAGEN AWARDS where he serves as the creative director and choreographer.

Most recently Cruz garnered nominations for the CHITA RIVERA AWARD in NYC and the World Choreography Awards in LA for his work on the movie “SHINE” for outstanding choreography. He is also a featured dancer in movies like  “In The Heights” and “Spirited” on Apple Plus. Cruz adds a unique flair and vibrant energy to every project he is involved in. Cruz is on a mission to share his passion with the world and bring his Latin fusion to the forefront of TV/film.

Notable Credits:

Lizzo , J Balvin , Becky G, The Ellen Show, 

American Idol, Lip Sync Battle, Jane The Virgin, 

Greys Anatomy, The Late Late Show w/ James Corden, Young Sheldon, Penny Dreadful “ City of Angels”, 

Fab Fit Fun Commercial, Debbie Allen, Gina Rodriguez , SHINE The Movie,  

Chita Rivera Award Nominee, 

World Choreography Awards Nominee, 

In The Heights The Movie

Spirited The Movie 


Isis Avalos-Perez

Isis Avalos-Perez is a Mother, Bordercrosser, Teaching/Performing Dance Artist from South Texas, based in Los Angeles. Avalos received her Bachelor's in Fine Arts from the University of North Texas. She has more than 7 years experience touring Nationally and Internationally as a Teaching/ Performing Dance Artist. With her focus on identity politics, her activism through dance-making derives from her lived experience as an undocumented child from Mexico, growing up on the South Texas Borderland. Her movement is representative of her Mexican Heritage as well as Modern Release, House Dance and Cumbia rhythms that explore the intersections of what it means to live in the ‘in-between’. Existing in the ‘in-between’ is a foundational driving force of movement exploration for Isis and continues to fuel her work as an Artist and Cultural Worker.



Parking will be FREE for event attendees. To reserve your parking permit, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Click on this link.
  • Step 2: Enter your license plate in the “License Plate Number”
  • Step 3: If the plate is non-California, select the appropriate state for the plate.
  • Step 4: Press ‘Park’
  • on the day of the event, go straight to your designated lot and color to park.


For more information email: - Latin American Social Dance Faculty and Host

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