Tropical Gem (Italy)
Today Tropical Gem is known for a unique blend of different styles, breathtaking choreographies and is said to have defined the modern interpretation of salsa shows. They set the stages on fire all over the world and have proven to surprise the audience with each new choreography.
When they danced for the first time at the World Salsa Congress Puerto Rico, their choreography 'Tumbando Caña' was top-rated and had the highest scores of all performances. The milestone of choreography was 'Extravagancia' in which they gave up fixed positions for couples, swapped partners and blended styles resulting in a new dynamic of stage performances.
The secret of their success is their down-to-earth attitude that inspiration can be found everywhere and - no matter what level you are - there are always new styles to be learned.
Fernando Sosa (Uruquay)
Fernando Sosa, one of the two founders of the group, was born in Uruguay in 1977. In his early childhood he learned artistic gymnastics. Soon after his arrival in Italy at the age of fifteen, he met his dance teacher Alberto Valdes who introduced him to Afro-Cuban dances. After several trips to Cuba Fernando Sosa moved to Bologna and joined his first performance group with dancers of the famous Tropicana (Cuba).
In 1998, Alberto Valdes asked Fernando Sosa to become a member of a dance group called 'Orte Idea'. At this occasion Fernando Sosa and Rafael Gonzalez met for the first time. Two years later, in May 2000, the two young dancers founded Tropical Gem and were soon joined by Sandy Ramos and Alyra Lennox.
In 2017 the film 'The Latin Dream' was released including Fernando Sosa as protagonist and choreographer along with Tito Petronio, the artist director of the famous Camana Club. The cast features Tropical Gem, Dominican Power, Flamboyan, Latin Hypnotic, etc.
Sandy Ramos (USA/Italy)
She was a member of the famous group ‘Salsa Kids’, a group of children between the ages of 12 and 18. They participated in numerous TV shows with well-known artists such as Goldie Hawn, Robbie Williams, Michelle Pfeifer, Andy Garcia etc.
At the age of 18, she accepted the offer to be part of 'Salsa Brava' and started to travel the world performing in Puerto Rico, India, Hong Kong, New York, etc. After one year the group performed in Italy where she joined the newborn group of Tropical Gem.
Lisa & Samuel (Germany)
They are rising stars in the European salsa scene. Based in Freiburg (Germany) they have become known internationally for their creativity as well as for their unique and passionate way of dancing.
They quickly gained a lot of knowledge training with artists like Adolfo Indacochea, Anichi Perez, Eddie Torres Jr., Yoyo and are able to dance On1, Son, NY On2, Cuban, Mambo, Rumba, Afro, Contemporary and many more styles. This commitment to learning has resulted in being recognized as excellent social dancers who are always dancing until sunrise.
Together they have won various championships and they are the German Salsa Champions 2017. As instructors they are booked at major festivals like Berlin Salsa Congress, Vienna Salsa Congress, Amsterdam International Salsa Festival, Fujairah Festival, etc. Remember their names, because you will see them a lot more in the coming future.
Rafael González (Cuba)
Born on Cuba he started his career at the legendary ’Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte’ and was a student of the choreograph Narciso Medina at Teatro Nacional de Cuba. At the same time he started to dance ballet, modern dance and cuban traditional dances. At the age of 17 he finished his education in Cuba. He was discovered by Tony Menendez, a well-known choreograph and actor.
The company danced on TV and could be seen on video clips of Carlos Manuel, Los Dan Den, etc. In 1995 he toured Italy and decided to stay in Genua where he founded the show group 'Otra Idea' with Alberto Valdés, Fernando Sosa and others.
In May 2000, Fernando Sosa and Rafael González founded Tropical Gem. In 2008 Rafael González opened his own dance school in Milano. Two years later he moved to his new base in Basel (CH) and started the Fusion Caribe project.
Luis & Kristin
Born in Havanna de Cuba, Luis dances to the manner born. He started teaching in the dance Company "Via Danza" in Cuba in 2005. Two years later he started to study in Freiburg und became teacher at Timbalaye Dance School. Within the last ten years he has specialized in Cuban Dances. In 2017 and 2018 he certified as Bachata Sensual teacher by Korke & Judith.
Kristin Lang is a professional dancer for Jazz and Modern Dance, but her roots can be found in Hip Hop. In 2008 she toured with DJ Bobo and danced in several TV and video productions. During her time as a sport student at university, she started to take salsa lessons. In 2018 he became certified instructor for Bachata Sensual by Korke & Judith.
Their different roots can be seen in their choreographies and their workshops inspire the participants.
Flavio Alborino (Germany)
Flavio is well-known for his quote "There exist no mistakes in dance, just variations." He was trained by several teachers in Cuba, New York and Los Angeles. In 2001, he was invited to the ADTV INTAKO (the biggest dance instructors meeting). From 2003 to 2010, he run the legendary salsa club Palladium in Freiburg city. The club was well-known and revival parties still attract many people on an international basis. Since 2014, he is official instructor of 'Dancing Superstars'.
Markus Schöffl (Germany)
Markus Schöffl is ADTV instructor, dance coach for standard and latin in the DTV and runs his own dance school in Limburg an der Lahn. He won the „International Dance of the Year“ award in Blackpool in 2017. In Germany he is well-known as choreograph for the ZDF and jury member in the German „Let’s Dance!“ TV show. Furthermore he has worked with super stars such as Loona, Lionel Richie, David Garrett and Black Eyed Peas. His dance DVDs „GET THE DANCE“ are very popular and he is considered to be one of the best choreographs in Germany.