RakaTa, Melbourne | Cuban Salsa, Rueda de Casino & Reggaeton Dance Classes & Performances

Who We Are

RakaTa is a dance school in their hometown of Melbourne, that embraces Cuban dance and culture, specialising in Reggaeton, Cuban Salsa and Rueda de Casino.

The talent, energy and passion that Gene Segura and Tania De Silva have for Cuban dance is evident from the moment you first meet them. They bring that expertise, dedication and excitement to all they do, from classes, to workshop to every performance. They came together to teach, choreograph and perform together in 2008, where they were already teaching and performing as Christina Monneron’s two senior teachers at Cuban Dance Academy, as well as leading her professional performance team. Since then, their experience and passion has lead them to forming their own dance school RakaTa in January 2012.

Their committment to ongoing learning of authentic Cuban Dance and culture has seen them train closely and consistently over the years with Cuban dance masters Christina Monneron, Adrian Medina, Aloy Junco, Rafael Navarro Gomez, Alejandro Espinosa, Israel Ortiz Castellanos and Greydis Montero Liranza. Most recently, they have added to their learning with training at Casa Del Son in Havana, Cuba and with Sandunga Dance School and the Rueda All Stars, both in Santiago de Cuba. 

Tania graduated in 1995 with a Graduate Diploma in Educational Studies after completing her Bachelor of Teaching. She has been teaching since 1996, with experience in both Primary and Secondary schools. Her roles have included classroom teacher and a specialist in both Visual and Performing Arts. With full time and ongoing employment with the Education Department over the last 23 years, Tania has honed her teaching skills to be able to adapt to many varied learning styles, ensuring an inclusive class where all students are comfortable, learning and having fun, no matter what their age or experience.

Gene has become a well-known instructor and performer in the Melbourne Latin dance scene due to his respect and passion for Reggaeton and Cuban music and its dances over the past years. He has sharpened his technical, expressive and performance skills since starting his Cuban dance journey and is now proud to have his mentors as friends, continuing to learn and be inspired by their work.

Gene and Tania have taught partnered Reggaeton and Cuban Salsa workshops, and with RakaTa Crew, performed Reggaeton and Cuban Salsa -

Locally at  *Johnston St Hispanic Festival *Portsea Summer Latin Festival *Melbourne Latin Festival *Dancing Ground Festival *Spanish Language Festival *Fawkner Festa *Wild Moves African Diaspora  

Interstate at *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship *Adelaide Salsa Festival *Caribe Festival Adelaide *Sydney Cuban Salsa Congress

And overseas at *Aotearoa Cuban Festival *New Zealand Cuban Festival *New Zealand Pacific Salsa Congress.

Tania also teaches women's classes and workshops and has been a workshop presenter at Seven Sisters Festival (2015) in Victoria, Australia.

RakaTa provides weekly Latin Dance classes for the community of Melbourne in the styles of Cuban Salsa and Reggaeton. In addition to running their own dance school, they are also actively involved in teaching dance in local Secondary Schools. Gene has taught  at the Northern College of Arts and Technology as the Latin Dance teacher bringing Cuban Salsa and Reggaeton to Year 10, 11 and 12 students studying VET Dance. Tania currently teaches Dance to Year 7,8 and 9 students at St Albans Secondary College.

As RakaTa continues to grow, Gene and Tania strengthen their ties to Cuban tradition through training with their mentors, while using their creativity, innovation and passion to bring Cuban dance to a wider audience.

Together, Gene and Tania are also very proud to recognise the achievements they have been awarded with including

2016 *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Judges for both freestyle & choreography heats *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Special Recognition for Great Support to RakaTa

2015 *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Professional Rueda Team 2nd Place *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Cuban Open Competition 1st Place *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Special Recognition for Great Support to RakaTa *Australian Rueda de Casino Festival & Championship Most Enthusiastic Dancer to Gene Segura

2009 *Australian Salsa Classics Youth Division Choreography for their teens who placed 3rd *Australian Rueda Championships Cubamemucho 2nd Place

2008 *Victorian Salsa State Titles Teams Division Rueda de Casino 1st Place (Gene Segura)

RakaTa on YouTube