Click here to read about Salsa with Silvia owner, Silvia Alexiev.
NATASHA CZARNIEWY – acro, ballet, hip hop
Natasha Therese Czarniewy, originally from Washington DC, began her training as a gymnast with GMS and the Arlington Aerials in VA. She than ventured into the world of dance, studying at the Washington School of Ballet, Joy of Motion, and Dance Place and was a member of Carla & Company’s 2000-2001 season. She performed at the Warner Theater, Kennedy Center, and Verizon Center as a Mystic Mayhem cheerleader with the WNBA.
She began her teaching career in WDC in 2001 at Dance Place and Ballet Petit. Ms. Czarniewy graduated from Hofstra University with a BA in dance and began her career in NYC as a principle dancer with the Amy Marshall Dance Co. She toured nationally and internationally performing and teaching in Macau, Poland, and Mexico. She was a member of KDNY dance, the Dance Theater Company, and a guest artist in residency with the Olga Dunn Dance Co. in MA.
Ms. Czarniewy continued her teaching throughout the NYC area at New York Dancers Studio and Stamford Performing Arts Center as well as universities, studios, schools, and numerous outreach programs along the East coast.
She has been a featured dance model for Lois Greenfield and has appeared in numerous calendars and her new book “Lois Greenfield: Moving Still.”
Ms. Czarniewy has spent the last 6 years performing as a dancer and aerialist with POET Theatricals on Celebrity Cruise Lines elite ships, performing Broadway, Pop, and Cirque style shows around the world. She was the cast Dance Captain, Aerial Captain, and ballroom instructor. While on the ship Ms. Czarniewy choreographed numbers for various shows, was an atmospheric performer and magician’s assistant for Martin Brock’s guest entertainer’s show. Natasha is excited to be back in DC with her husband Brian Delker and daughter Lily, where her love of dance began and to share this love of movement with you!
MARIO CERVANTES – camp educator/Latin, jazz, contemporary
Born in Monterrey, Mexico, Mario began dancing jazz and Mexican folk dance at academies and dance companies in his hometown at a very young age. Dance continued to be an important part of his life as he grew up, and he has trained with instructors from around the World in a variety of disciplines, including classical ballet, jazz, contemporary, Mexican folk dance, and Latin rhythms.
At the age of 15, Mario began teaching Latin rhythm dance classes in his local neighborhood, and used the money to pay for continued, formal dance training that allowed him to become a recognized professional dancer in Monterrey. He has danced for governments institutions and in the city’s top dance companies, and represented Mexico in international folk dance competitions in Italy, Russia and the United States. He has staged choreographies for amusement parks, private events, cultural and governmental institutions, and for television, including Televisa Monterrey, which regularly gave him air time to transmit live classes in a variety of styles of dance and perform choreographies with the channel crew and visiting artists.
Currently, Mario has dedicated himself to continued study of Latin rhythm dance, including salsa, bachata, cumbia and merengue, in which he carries more than 10 years of experience teaching classes and workshops in his hometown. He has taught groups of children, adolescents, adults and senior citizens in a wide variety of disciplines in academies, competitive dance groups, and private lessons.
He gives each class with the ultimate purpose to help others enjoy the musical rhythms and learn to express themselves through dance. Mario joined the Salsa With Silvia instructors team in 2017. Mario teaches adult group and private lessons in variety of styles as well as children dance camps and classes.
AMBER DAVIS – camp educator/ballet, modern, tap teacher
Amber Davis is a Washington, D.C. native, and approaching her senior year as a dance performance major, theater minor at Towson University. Amber began her dance training with The Dance Theater of Harlem through their D.C. partnership with the Kennedy Center. She continued her formal training at Spirit Wings Dance Company & CityDance Conservatory. Through middle and high school, Amber was able to perform nationally and internationally for various conferences, workshops, and intensives. She was selected to dance for outstanding artists such as Matthew Rushing (Alvin Ailey) and Ronald K. Brown (Evidence). Amber’s professional experience began with the Beauty For Ashes Project under the artistic leadership of Chandani Darby. She is a Dean’s List scholar, and just returned from a study abroad experience at York University in Toronto, Canada. Ms. Davis is also a Killam Fellowship Scholar under Fulbright Canada. Amber is grateful for the gift of dance and theater, and the wonderful opportunities she’s been blessed with in her life.
DAVID NAVARRO – camp educator/Spanish, Latin dance teacher
David Navarro is a Bolivian-American dancer based in Washington, D.C. He teaches Bachata, Kizomba, Zouk, Salsa, Merengue and Bolivian Folklore. Dance has always been a part of his life, but he took a more serious approach when he began taking salsa lessons with Salsa Heat Dance Company, based in Orlando, Florida, in 2012. When David moved to the DMV in December 2013, he delved into many other types of Latin dance. He joined Ferocity Dance Company in 2015, where he performed as part of the Daniel & Desiree World Team Project. David has performed at the world-renowned DC Bachata Congress, the DC Bachata Masters and the Sunday Latin Party at Lucky Strike. David also works as an English and Computer teacher at the Spanish Education Development (SED) Center, which is located just a few blocks from the Salsa with Silvia studio in Petworth.
LISSETTE SAAD – camp educator/modern, ballet, Latin dance teacher
Lissette Saad, is a Cuban dancer, who graduated from the National School of Dance in Havana in 2008. After graduation, Lissette joined Codanza Dance Company of Hoguin, Cuba, where she performed and traveled nationally and internationally, including Switzerland, Corsica and Venezuela. She has won three Awards, Best Female Interpretation in Hoguin in 2014, Best Coreography Award in Havana in 2016 and a scholarship in a contest sponsored by Vladimir Malakhov’s International Festival in 2016. She has participated in three Salsa contests and won two of them in 2015 and 2016. At the Salsa With Silvia dance studio, Lissette teaches modern, ballet, contemporary and Latin dance as well as Spanish during camps.
AMANDA WILSON – ballet, tap, yoga
Amanda has been dancing and twirling since she could walk. Trained by a former rockette, Amanda has practiced ballet, tap, and jazz since age 3. She spent many of her adolescent and teenage years in dance competitions up and down the East Coast. While attending the University of Pittsburgh, Amanda performed with Pitt Dance Ensemble and Pitt Ballet Club. She has always used movement as a way to find balance and strength both inside the studio and out in the world. Amanda has worked with youth in the dance studio, on the yoga mat, at summer camp, and in schools. She currently works at Thurgood Marshall Academy PCHS and is a certified yoga instructor for both children and adults. Teaching dance allows her to combine two things she loves – movement and youth! Dance has played an immensely important role in Amanda’s life, teaching her so much about creativity, self expression, passion, and discipline – and she is excited to share that with the young dancers at Silvia’s.
QUANTINA WHITE – camp educator/ballet, jazz, Latin, modern, tap, hip hop
Quantina was born and raised in Memphis, TN. She began dancing at the age 7 with a local cheerleading team which competed statewide. She later joined the step team and performed at various functions throughout the city of Memphis. While dancing with Memphis Dance Xtreme (MDX), she competed nationally and won nationals. She also became a dance member of MTown Image dance crew and performed as a backup dancer for up and coming music artists. MTown Image also performed and hosted various charity functions and block parties. Quantina concentrated in dance while studying at Guilford College. There she performed under the direction of Christa Wellhausen for the entire university on numerous occasions. Quantina has studied Ballet, Jazz, Modern, Step, Hip-Hop, Lyrical, Contemporary, and Swing. She is also up to date on the latest line dances. Quantina truly enjoys teaching dance to both children and adults because it fosters confidence, discipline, and openness within her students. She believes dance can open doors to new and exciting experiences, and can help one learn more about one’s self. The art of dance is where body, mind, and soul unite to create and promote a healthy, more meaningful, and fun lifestyle!
CHIVONNIE GIUS – ballet, Latin, modern
An enthusiastic truth-seeker who loves chocolate & the sea. Passionate about exploring the healing & therapeutic side-effects of dance; her life’s work is to cultivate safe space for self-discovery. Dedicated to evolving the group dance experience to celebrate individuality of movement & the joy of bodies united in motion Chivonnie inspires her students to seek bliss within the simplicity of every breath. As a Cultural Anthropologist she understands artistic expression is a phenomenal tool for social change & is committed to sharing the power of ecstatic movement to motivate individual potential for optimal health, transformation, personal empowerment & community development.
Chivonnie is a diverse dancer, performer and an incredibly patient teacher. She teaches ballet, modern, jazz, salsa, bachata, merengue, cha-cha and let your yoga dance. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and dance has always been the number one passion in her life. Chivonnie joined the Salsa With Silvia team of instructors in summer of 2016 as a summer dance camp instructor. She is currently teaching kids ballet and modern dance classes as well as adult group and private lessons on site as well as on location. Chivonnie is also the Salsa With Silvia resident performer who represents the studio at off site teaching and performing gigs.
NATALIE WAGNER – ballet, Latin sub dance instructor
Natalie Wagner is a life-long dance and fitness enthusiast with a drive to help others live a healthy lifestyle. She started dancing at five years old and hasn’t stopped. She danced ballet, tap, and jazz through highschool. In college she began studying, performing, and teaching ballroom dances and developed a particular interest in Latin dances. Her passion for salsa prompted her to join Salsa with Silvia’s Amika Dance Company performance in 2013.
Natalie’s diverse fitness background reflects her philosophy that exercise can always be fun if you’re willing to try new things. She has regularly attended group fitness classes since high school and loves yoga and long-distance running. In 2012 she co-founded a non-profit dedicated in teaching youth about healthy living through which she designed and taught cooking and fitness classes for kids’ summer camps and after-school programs. In 2015 she began weight training and competes in bodybuilding competitions. Natalie is passionate about helping others achieve their wellness goals and provides personalized fitness programs and wellness coaching.
JASON POTELL – camp educator/Spanish, music, Latin, Bollywood & ballroom dance teacher
Jason took his first dance steps in an east coast swing class during his freshman year of college. However, it was an Argentine tango class that truly started his addiction to social dancing, leading him to spend a summer in Buenos Aires focused on tango and Spanish. After college he moved to New York, where he joined Stepping Out Studios’ salsa company, while continuing to study a wide variety of dances with the studio. Since moving to DC in 2010, Jason has continued to expand his dance repetoire, particularly with bachata and Cuban salsa, the latter for which he was fortunate enough to travel to Cuba for 2 weeks in 2012 for a salsa intensive. When not burning the midnight oil as an emerging markets business consultant, Jason can be found on a different dance floor nearly every night of the week. While his heart remains with tango, salsa and bachata, he also enjoyes dancing kizomba, blues, east/west coast swing, zouk, waltz, contra, square, line, two-step and an excellent macarena. He believes that when you have a good partner, a strong connection, and can let the music dissolve two people into one, there’s really no other feeling like it – and he is excited to share his experience with Silvia’s studio through tango and bachata!
BIANCA VILLATORO – ballet assistant instructor
Bianca was born and raised in Washington, DC, but is originally from El Salvador. She began her dance experience at age 8 with the Dance Institute of Washington’s Outreach Program. There, Bianca learned ballet and jazz and performed many times around Washington, DC. Bianca has trained at Sitar Arts Center, Joy of Motion Dance Center, The Dance Institute of Washington, Columbia Heights Educational Campus, and Princess Mhoon Dance Institute. She has studied Ballet, Modern, Jazz, Hip-Hop, Contemporary, Lyrical, Tap, West-African, Contemporary African, Afro-Jazz, Step, Bollywood, Salsa, and Samba. Bianca is currently a freshmen at Montgomery College, and in addition to teaching kids dance classes at the Salsa With Silvia studio, she is currently also working as an assistant dance instructor for Tippi Toes Dance Company. Bianca absolutely loves working with kids and enjoys sharing her love and passion for dance with her students. Bianca strongly believes that the beautiful and powerful art form of dance has the potential to be life changing by helping others learn more about themselves and about life in general. Bianca’s dream and goal is to share the art of dance to everyone, in hopes of fostering a healthy and happy life-style for everyone!
JAZMYN SNELSON – ballet, tap, modern sub instructor
Jazmyn first began dancing at the age 5 at a small studio in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. It wasn’t long before she fell in love with all forms of dance. She has a number of years of experience in ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, and contemporary dance, as well as some years in gymnastics. Having a strong passion for dance, Jazmyn took on as many opportunities as possible, which included being a Radio Disney dancer for three years performing at various Radio Disney events across the Midwest. She also joined another dance studio to advance her tap and hip hop skills, in addition to some acting classes that the studio offered. Jazmyn progressed in her abilities very quickly and began dancing competitively by the age of 9. She also has experience choreographing solos and small lines dances. Currently, Jazmyn is a student at Howard University studying International Business and is excited to be apart of the Salsa with Silvia team where she can continue to grow in her craft and share her love of dance with others.