Melanie Torres & Gabriel Perez, Dance On 2, New York
Melanie Torres was born and raised in Spanish Harlem. As her mother’s only child, she was encouraged to pursue a career in law or medicine. While she always excelled in school, Melanie’s passion for dance could not be ignored. All throughout high school and college she constantly took dance classes, but she did not discover her true passion, Salsa, until she was a freshman in college. It was an instant connection and I quickly fell in love with this beautiful music and dance”. While pursuing her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Melanie performed with such Latin legends as Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, El Gran Combo, Ruben Blades and many other noted artists.
After passing and being admitted to the New York State Bar Association Melanie practiced law for a little over four years. This was not enough for her. In the Summer of 2002 Melanie opened up her own dance studio, Dance On 2. There she teaches weekly Salsa lessons including Open Shine, Turn Pattern, and her very unique Ladies’ Styling classes. “I never thought that I could affect so many people in a positive way doing something that brings me so much joy”.
Gabriel Perez was born and raised in the Washington Heights section of New York City. Gabriel was introduced to Salsa classes at the tender age of 14 by his cousin. “I found the idea of dance classes to be funny because I didn’t know you had to take a class to learn how to dance Salsa.” After seeing how smooth Mambo was Gabriel decided to immerse himself in this dance culture and began his training.
Over the past 19 years Gabriel has performed at such prestigious venues as Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center just to name a few. He was also one of the original Copa Dancers at the legendary Copacabana Night Club in New York City. Gabriel gives weekly classes at Dance On 2 Studio and has become one of the premiere teachers in New York City. “Dance like no one is watching you.”