Raquel Paez

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Founder, Director and Choreographer

Raquel is the founder of Salsabor, and co-Directs the company with her sister, Andrea. She founded Salsabor in 2004, and has proudly grown it to a thriving community of over 400 students a week and 24 instructors, in multiple locations around Canberra.

Raquel’s believes it is her passion for dance and her amazing Salsabor family that has made Salsabor what it is today. She is very proud of having such a fantastic team of instructors who show her their dedication and love of what they do every day.

Raquel was born in Ecuador, and although she is an Aussie, her Latin American roots have always played an important role in her life, as does her family. She grew up speaking Spanish at home and listening to traditional Andean and Latin American music.

She began her official dance training in Los Angeles in 2003, and has since furthered her training in New York, South America, London and Europe. She believes that to ensure her dancing and teaching remains fresh and up to date, she must continue to learn and gain influence from around the world.

Until 2007, Raquel worked full time in the IT industry in Australia and then in London. She also taught salsa in London for the Latin Dance Collective Team, one of Europe’s biggest salsa promotion companies, until she moved back to Australia and began working on Salsabor full time.

Raquel’s passion for salsa has also given her the inspiration to create beautiful salsa performance choreographies. This has led to Salsabor representing Australia at the 2010 New York Salsa Congress, and at the 2006 Los Angeles West Coast Salsa Congress, along with many national events to name a few.

Raquel’s favourite dance style is Salsa/Mambo and Cha Cha On2, which she believes makes you bilingual on the dance floor. Since 2008, she has taught On2 and hopes that more people will catch on to this great dance style. Raquel looks up to dancers and groups such as Eddie Torres (NY), Santo Rico (NY), Salsa Mania (San Francisco), and Juan Matos’ Fogarate Dance Project.

The highlights’ of Raquel’s dance achievements include:

  • Awarded Outstanding Contribution to the Development of the Australia’s Latin Dance Industry – 2012
  • Salsa Brava Productions’ Salsa Teachers Training Qualification (USA)
  • Diploma in Marketing and Product Development
  • Organiser of the Canberra Latin Dance Festival
  • Choreographer/performer at many international events – Los Angeles West Coast Salsa Congress, New York Salsa Congress
  • Choreographer/performer at interstate events – Sydney Latin Festival, Adelaide Salsa Festival, Darwin Festival
  • Organiser of one of the largest Latin Dance events in Canberra – Sabor, held bi-annually.
  • Organiser of one of the biggest Latin nights in Canberra, Salsa Mondays at MonkeyBar