Guest Instructors

We have numerous talented guest instructors teaching at our studio! Please check our current class schedules to see who is teaching currently!

Brett Schaffner

Brett Schaffner teaches group classes for linear salsa as well as private lessons

Brett boasts an international journey in the world of salsa that began in 2013 while studying abroad in Costa Rica. Upon returning to the States, he formally honed his skills in Salsa On1 in Reno, Nevada, where he danced under the acclaimed Alma Latina and Island Touch franchises, working with dancers and organizers of the renowned Reno Latin Dance Fest, BB & Kiki.

Brett’s passion for salsa took him to Quito, Ecuador, where he continued to refine his craft with Tropical Dance Studio and Mambuco Dance Corp. His dedication led him to join the Mambu Gold Team in 2018, where he performed and competed extensively throughout Quito.

In late 2019, Brett ascended to new heights with his participation in the Latin Dance Project by Mambuco Dance Corp. He proudly represented Ecuador at the 2020 World Salsa Summit, where his team triumphed with first prize in both the Amateur Large Teams Salsa On 1 category and the Large Teams Same-Gender Salsa On 1 category, and claimed second place in the ProAm Large Teams Salsa On 1 category.

Since 2021, Brett has called Anchorage, Alaska, home. Under the mentorship of Ciro and Liz Anaya, he continues to expand his dance repertoire, focusing on Cuban dance rhythms and styles. With his rich, global experience and his deep love for salsa, Brett is excited to guide you on your salsa journey!

Makala Cruz

Makala teaches salsa lady style

Makala was introduced to the Latin dance world when she was just 16 years old. Ten years later, she has become renowned for her passion of dance and inspires many. She has gained her experience and knowledge over the years from incredible leaders in our community, and around the world.

Alain Mata and DeAnna Mercado

Alain and DeAnna teach sensual bachata

Alain has dedicated numerous years to the art of Latin dance, specifically Salsa and Bachata. His background as a musician has played an undeniable role in shaping his dancing abilities.
Teaching with him is his partner DeAnna who fell in love with Latin dancing 6 years ago. More recently, DeAnna has elevated her Sensual Bachata styling by pursuing other dance training in hip hop, contemporary, and more.
Alain and DeAnna’s endeavors have been fueled by their shared enthusiasm and love for travel, exploration, and all things Salsa and Bachata. Both have journeyed worldwide to engage in numerous congresses and social dance events, refining their dancing abilities and adopting the most up-to-date trends & techniques from dance professionals around the world. They are both excited to bring forth their knowledge and passion to enrich the dance scene in the community!

Kazmere Devore

Kazmere teaches private lessons for Ballroom (DanceSport) genres

Kazmere has been teaching ballroom dance for 6 years, but both of her parents are/were ballroom instructors, and so she has been immersed in it since birth!

She offers private lessons for Ballroom (DanceSport) mambo, cha-cha, samba, rumba, paso doble, swing, tango, foxtrot, Viennese waltz, waltz, sway style, polka, and country/western (bronze level), as well as foxtrot and waltz (silver level).

Kazmere’s teaching experience with Anaya Latin Dance includes creation group choreographies, most notable for waltz.

Edgar Aldana and Sheri Back

Edgar and Sheri teach kizomba

Edgar has had a passion for dancing since he was a young child, beginning with merengue. As he grew older, he began to explore other Latin style dances such as salsa and bachata. As his passion continued to grow, he took it upon himself to teach others in the community who wanted to learn and increase their skills on the dance floor. It wasn’t until 2016 that Edgar was introduced to kizomba. In 2017, Edgar began to hold classes and teach students this new and exciting dance style in order to support its dissemenation in Alaska. It was in one of his classes that he met his partner, Sheri, in 2018. Sheri’s background with dance was in choreography that she began as a teenager. Sheri wanted to expand her dancing world and stumbled across kizomba. Sheri is new to the teaching realm and is continuing to learn how to help others in a class setting. Edgar and Sheri both attend international kizomba festivals to continue growing as dancers and to bring back the latest trends, tricks, and tips to their students.

Kristal Perez Aviles

Kristal teaches Puerto Rican dances

Kristal is a native of Puerto Rico who also calls Alaska home. She has a diverse dance background in hip-hop, jazz, modern dance, contemporary dance, tap, ballet, Puerto Rican cultural dances, Colombian dances, and more. Kristal previously taught dance to elementary and middle school children at the Escuela Maria Auxiliadora in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and she’s also been involved as a performer and choreographer at the University of Alaska Anchorage and in many esteemed local dance companies.