Anaya Latin Dance is a husband-wife duo and was founded in 2018 in Alaska. We teach dance for all ages at our own studio and outside, we organize and host events, and we make and perform dance choreography. We are a licensed and insured business. More about us:
Ciro Anaya is from Santiago de Cuba, the birthplace of Cuban son. He earned a bachelor’s in art education and a teaching license through Cuba’s national art instructor’s college, where he also danced in the university dance group. Before moving to Alaska, he danced full-time in the internationally-recognized professional dance company directed by Yanek Revilla, Sabor DKY, performing Cuban popular dances and teaching groups of students from all around the world. Ciro brings infectious positive energy, embodied knowledge, and authentic Cuban style to this partnership. He also substitute teaches in the Anchorage School District.
Liz Anaya is from Alaska. She holds a bachelor’s in French and Social Sciences and earned a master’s in dance anthropology thanks to a full scholarship, writing a thesis on Cuban dance in a globalized world. She is a published scholar of dance and has also participated in performance groups in both Europe and the US. In 2016, she served as a judge at Salsanor’s “Rueda Congress”. Liz brings historical, comparative, and technical knowledge to this duo. She also teaches anthropology, world music, and languages at the University of Alaska.
About our art:
Through the mediums of teaching, social dance, improvised animations and demonstrations, and choreographic performance, we bring casino, salsa, son and other Cuban dances to Alaska. We focus on the cultural heritage of these popular dances for all Alaskans to enjoy as participants and as audience.
For Ciro Anaya, the work of Anaya Latin Dance is an authentic expression of his own culture and identity – not a distant memory or a role to play, but heritage that is living and embodied in each instance of dance. It represents a connection to his family and friends in Cuba and to his roots as a Cuban of both European and African descent.
For Liz Anaya, Anaya Latin Dance represents an opportunity to share with her home state the music and dances she was enjoyed while living “outside” during her education. These expressions have more than just aesthetic value – they offer a chance to build bridges, tolerance, and greater understanding among Alaskans while invigorating the community with joy and feeling.
Cuban music and dance is infectious for good reason – it is, at its essence, participatory, interactive, and improvisational. While choreography is important to any dancer, within these genres, art is made in each manifestation of dance. The popular dances we teach require dancers in playful communication with each other and in this way, they encourage positive social connections. Afro-Cuban folkloric dances enhance popular dance practice and also provide a means for a deeper cultural connection.
We strive to break down not only cultural and social barriers, but also the walls between artist and audience. Our process is circular, one in which the audience is not only affected but fully immersed in the richness of these expressions, ideally inspired to participate or become educated in some form. In this way, we as dancers are not only art makers, but cultural transmitters and social facilitators. And lastly, we are also students – always looking to the homeland, the older maestros, and to those who came before for both permission and guidance.
Ciro Anaya – 2021 Connie Boochever Fellowship
You can request our combined artist resume by contacting us.
Check out the spotlight on Ciro’s story below, from Martí Noticias:
Some of our experiences leading up to Anaya Latin Dance: