Bailemos offers salsa and bachata lessons for the Ithaca and Cornell community using world-class curriculums designed by internationally recognized artists. We also organize dance socials and workshops to support and build the local dance community.
Amy Zhao is a devoted social dancer and got her start here in Ithaca in 2013. Since then, she has polished her dance skills by traveling to dance congresses in the U.S. and Canada to take workshops and private lessons with world-class salsa and bachata artists.
Not only a passionate dancer, Amy is also a vocalist and pianist, starting formal musical instruction at 8 and earning her Grade 8 ABRSM certification in piano at age 17. Her extensive knowledge about musicality, phrasing, and artistic expression contributes to her dancing and provides her with a strong musical foundation she shares with her students.
Outside of dancing, Amy earned her B.S. in Animal Science at Cornell in 2014 and is now a Ph.D student at Cornell. Her teaching experience dates back more than a decade, including undergraduate courses in biology on campus. Her extensive teaching experience allows her to clearly articulate and highlight the most important points to help her students accelerate their learning.
A PhD student at Cornell, Penelope has searched out salsa wherever she travels since she started dancing salsa and bachata in 2012 at the University of Chicago. After taking LA style and New York style salsa as well as modern and sensual bachata classes in Chicago, Paris and Madrid, she believes everyone should be able to learn new dancing skills everywhere they go: for this reason, she wants to share her passion and experience with the Cornell and Ithaca community.
Penelope has also been playing the flute for 15 years, which has greatly helped her dancing. While playing in the salsa band Griot Rumbero in Ithaca, Penelope learned about the many different styles and instruments of salsa. This experience allows her to teach musicality as well, a fundamental aspect of salsa dancing.
Penelope’s experience as a language instructor has given her the pedagogical skills necessary to communicate new ideas and techniques. She believes that teaching salsa is not only demonstrating steps, but also breaking down individual aspects of movement and footwork in a clear and engaging manner.
Eric is a PhD student at Cornell and has extensive experience in ballroom and social dances including West Coast Swing, Blues, and salsa. Collegiate Champion in American Smooth, Eric was the Varsity Team Captain for the Claremont Colleges’ undergraduate Ballroom Dance team.