Angélica Magaña

I began dancing salsa in 2005 during my high school lunch breaks. Each week, my coach, Mike Soohoo, converted his classroom into a dance room and would invite students to learn new turn patterns. Given how popular the weekly dance lessons became, I founded Redondo Union High School’s first salsa dance team, Sabor de Salsa. For the remainder of my senior year, I choreographed and led the team through various performances. 

In the summer of 2006, I went on to compete in California’s Oxnard Salsa Festival, placing second only after world champion, Cristian Oviedo. Then, in 2007, I competed in a Jack-and-Jill, or free-style dance competition, at one of Los Angeles’ most popular night clubs, Hacienda, where I placed first. 

While completing my undergraduate education, I worked for a local YMCA and from 2008 to 2010, I shared my love for salsa with kindergarderners, culminating in a performance showcase.  

Throughout my career as a middle and elementary school teacher at Our Lady of Guadalupe School in California, I choreographed salsa routines for my students that were performed during the annual Christmas programs. 

I remained active in the salsa scene, taking on many other dancing opportunities including teaching for after school programs, and competing at local night clubs. 

Fernando Magaña

As a freshman in college, I joined the Swing and Ballroom Dance Club at the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006. Being a timid young man, I was convinced that participating in a dance club was the perfect way to socialize and, ultimately, meet girls. I attended my first salsa workshop and immediately became enamored with this style of dance. 

Within the same year, I sought out every possible opportunity to dance salsa, and eventually, joined UniCo SuBito and Salsa Barbara, two local performance teams. Over the next year, I performed with both teams at local bars, night clubs, and stage productions. In the Spring of 2007, I took the stage with my teams in the city’s annual B.A.S.S.H. (Ballroom, Argentine Tango, Swing, Salsa, and Hip-Hop) theater dance production. Later that summer, I competed in a Jack-and-Jill at the Palm Springs Salsa Extravaganza, where I placed second. 


In my junior year in college, I co-founded Salsalogy, UCSB’s first salsa dance team and took on an artistic director role. I choreographed, performed, and competed at various school events, city programs, and night clubs. I was also a featured performer and choreographer for the Los Olivos Dance Gallery and showcased at their annual dance extravaganza theater production in Solvang, California. After graduating college, I began teaching salsa classes for the city of Santa Ana’s Park & Recreation department in California. In 2011, I joined the multiple world champion, Alma Latina Dance Company, based out of Los Angeles, and performed with their semi-professional dance team. 

Our Story

We met in 2011 at the Los Angeles Salsa Congress, which is one of the most renowned Latin dance events in the world. Each year, these congresses attract thousands of salsa aficionados from every part of the globe. The 4-day long congress is filled with workshops, pool parties, performances, live music, and dancing to DJ music until four in the morning.  

While I was roaming around the dance floor in search of my next dance opportunity, I was tapped on the shoulder from behind and was asked a pivotal question:

“Would you like to dance?”

These were the first five words spoken in our relationship. I turned around to see who had tapped my right shoulder and to my surprise, a beautiful young woman stood in front of me, amidst a ballroom filled with thousands of dancers from all over the world. Without hesitation, I blissfully smiled and accepted her request. 

Since our first dance, together we have shared our passion for salsa and other Latin dance styles, everywhere life has taken us. In 2012, we directed, choreographed, and toured Brazil with the Sabor de Salsa dance team. We performed in Rio de Janeiro, Nova Petropolis, and showcased multiple choreographies at Brazil’s annual “Mundo em Dança” Folkore Festival in Porto Alegre. 

Many years later, our married life has been as magical as our first dance. We continue to seek opportunities to teach people from all ages this incredible art form.

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