Havana People

about OUr company

About Mariano and Rhian Salsa and Bachata Classes - Havana People

Havana People Salsa Wales are a growing company based in Cardiff and South Glamorgan, teaching Latin social dances of Cuban Salsa and Bachata. They are committed to providing education and authenticity to each of these cultural dances to their customers, not only teaching the “moves” but also the history, passion and musical understanding behind ‘steps’.

Our Goals

The Havana People team are extremely proud of their unique and fun teaching methods, and their structured courses are setting the company apart in the Latin social dancing scene in the UK, introducing many new dancers into the scene to stay. We believe in creating a safe and supportive place for all backgrounds and age groups to connect and join our Havana People dance family. Havana People Salsa Wales events are gathering renown for their vibrant and fresh atmosphere often with live Cuban band.

Our History

This company is comprised of just two dancers, Mariano De Simone (Italian) who moved to Cardiff to start his dance company dream in 2015, and later joined his dance partner Rhian Saunders (Australian/Welsh) in 2018. Together they own and run the company, including all media marketing, as well as teach all their group and private Salsa and Bachata classes, organise and host their events, perform, present student showcases, and continue to spread the joy of dance.

About the Teachers

Salsa Classes and Bachata Classes in Cardiff Wales

Mariano De Simone ("Mariano Hombre")

Latin Dance Teacher

Mariano De Simone grew up in a humble part of Naples, Italy, he was lucky enough to discover a passion for Cuban salsa in 2007 when persuaded to accompany a friend to class, since that day De Simone has devoted his life to the perusal of dance and teaching.
Since taking classes in 2007 in Cuban salsa, bachata and merengue (Academy de Cuba), he achieved a Diploma in Latin-American Dances, as well as studying cultural dance traditions, Latin leading techniques and license to teach.

Over the years he attended many masterclasses with some very famous dancers and teachers such as Maykel Fonts, dance group Dominican Power, Alberto Valdes, Seo Fernandez, and many others. His training also included ballet preparation with Manuela Carrino. His focus turned to Cuban salsa and Afro-Rumba with the master Maykel Fonts and perfected later with Maestro Giuseppe Sabatino.

In 2015 De Simone moved to Wales to start his Latin dance company dream “Havana People Salsa Wales” from scratch, and to spread the knowledge and style of Cuban salsa and bachata in the UK. 

Today he is particularly known for his passion for technique and leading skills which make his classes well sort after. De Simone has committed himself to understanding and exhibiting the true culture and musical interpretation behind Cuban salsa, including Son, Rumba and Guaguanco, this extra layer to his dancing sets him apart from other dancers and teachers in the UK and Europe.

Salsa Classes and Bachata Classes in Cardiff Wales

Rhian Saunders ("havana Rhi")

Latin Dance Teacher

Rhian Saunders has always had a love for music and dance, she started her journey as a trained opera singer with a Bachelor of Music in her hometown of Sydney, Australia. It was also during this time that she found her passion for dance through group and private Ballroom classes at Inspirations Dance Centre. 

 

In 2015 Rhian travelled to Wales to attain a Masters in Advanced Vocal studies at the Welsh International Academy of Voice, over this time in Cardiff she discovered a love for Argentine Tango with maestro Eduardo Bozzo, and found her way to Cuban salsa in 2017 with classes held by De Simone.

 

In 2018 she began intensive training in Cuban salsa with De Simone, working as teachers assistant, and later became co-owner of the company Havana People Salsa Wales with De Simone as business and dance partner, she has also been lucky enough to attend masterclasses with teachers such as Maykel Fonts and Sylvia Chapelli, Yanet Fuentes, Guiseppe Sabatino, Ezgi Zaman, and Brenda Liew, currently she is continuing to work on her dance knowledge and skills and build her dance career as a performing artist in the UK and Europe.

  • positive review  Went to my first class in January 2020, In Newport. Really made to feel welcome and have enjoyed Tuesday evenings ever since. Always looking forward to the evening. Great, lovely people (learners and instructors), plenty of laughter amongst the seriousness of getting the steps right, funny quips made to relax you and encourage improvement in your technique and some good exercise as well.

    Ceri Hillier Avatar Ceri Hillier
    March 17, 2020

    positive review  muy buenos profesores, me encantan sus clases!!

    Juan Mauricio Avatar Juan Mauricio
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! I cant say enough. I love these classes, im such a shy person and dancing is something iv always want to dot but hate people watching me. it has by far exceeded expectations, iv learnt so much, made great friends and built confidence, in just a few weeks. its my fav night of the week, you wont want to miss out. if I can do it anyone can, they are so kind and patient, sweetest couple ever!! come join us x

    Suzi Short Avatar Suzi Short
    March 12, 2020

    positive review  I've always loved to dance but for the last couple of years I've had a lot of ill health. Despite this I've tried to go to classes, simply because Rhian and Mariano always lift my spirits and brighten my mood. I can't wait to return to these wonderful classes.

    Sejal Mehta Avatar Sejal Mehta
    March 13, 2020
  • positive review  FANTAMAZING <3 <3 Mariano Hombre and Rhian Elizabeth Saunders 🔝🔝

    Roberto Liucci Avatar Roberto Liucci
    July 1, 2020

    positive review  Very good dancers and teachers! Professionalism and competente!!! Havana people on the Top!!!❤️

    Francesca Iodice Avatar Francesca Iodice
    July 1, 2020

    positive review  Excellent and well prepared teaching by people who really care about theirs pupils and Cuban Salsa. If they can get me dancing, they can get you dancing too!

    Andrew Scott Avatar Andrew Scott
    March 12, 2020

    positive review  After deliberating about starting classes I bravely went on my own last Wed for my first beginners class, and again nearly bottled it when I realised the classes were held in sight of the bar and diners! However my chosen free cocktail of a delicious Mojito gave me some courage and I joined the other newbies on the dance floor. At the hour went on, I chatted and danced with lovely, friendly and welcoming men and woman and I stayed to watch the advanced class straight after. Got to say- Wednesdays are going to be my favourite night from now on! Thank you Havana People 😘

    Julie Evans Avatar Julie Evans
    March 6, 2020
  • positive review  Great teachers, classes are fun and the atmosphere is amazing. Highly recommended!

    Rosario RJ Avatar Rosario RJ
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  They are perhaps the perfect people to introduce you into the salsa world! 100% recommend it!

    Alexandros Nicolaou Peletie Avatar Alexandros Nicolaou Peletie
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  i would highly recommend to any dance lover, mariano and rhian's indepth knowledge, talent and friendliness bring an amazing class experience to all abilities.

    Elizabeth E T Jones Avatar Elizabeth E T Jones
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  Mariano is a great teacher who will always put a smile on your face. He is passionate about his craft and will entertain you with stories about the history behind the dance moves. He is very patient, doesn't take things too seriously and allows things to evolve naturally. I highly recommend his classes! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Lorenzo Giacci Avatar Lorenzo Giacci
    July 5, 2020
  • positive review  Fun, laughs, great way to meet new people !

    Sarah Daltrey Avatar Sarah Daltrey
    September 27, 2019

    positive review  Great class! The instructors make you feel really welcome and break down the techniques well. Recommended to all levels!

    Chris Muscat Avatar Chris Muscat
    March 13, 2020

    positive review  Best Salsa teacher in UK, the only one that has a proper method. Definitely worth as you will actually learn how to dance even if you have two left feet!

    Vito Costanza Avatar Vito Costanza
    July 7, 2020

    positive review  Mariano and Rhian are two wonderful people! Usually when I start new classes it takes time to adapt with the teachers and people, but with them it was straightforward. They are both great dancers who I admire and highly recommend! Thank you both for the lovely time!

    Slavcho Sirakov Avatar Slavcho Sirakov
    July 2, 2020
  • positive review  Great first experience, apprehensive at first as it was my first try with my partner Aimee however would highly recommend. Great people, excellent leaders/coaches and fun too!

    Luke Hanlon Avatar Luke Hanlon
    December 4, 2018

    positive review  Lovely people and amazing atmosphere. Mariano and Rhian were very accommodating and talented. I would recommend this to anyone, beginner or professional.

    Jeanina Nita Avatar Jeanina Nita
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  At first I was too nervous to even talk to people or even dance with anyone apart from my friends but going to the classes and getting to know everything about dance it made me overcome the fears of what I built up in my head but I would definitely and highly recommend Rhian and Mariano 😊 Thank you Guys

    Gabby Thomas Avatar Gabby Thomas
    July 2, 2020

    positive review  Brilliant salsa classes led by the awesome Mariano and Rhian who are great instructors! 😀 Highly recommended if you want to make new friends or just improve your dancing skills.

    Tom Hanratty Avatar Tom Hanratty
    September 20, 2019
  • positive review  Super amazing classes, Rhi and Mariano are such fantastic teachers! in 4 months we have achieved such a good bachata level, we love their routines and are now able to dance in public (which is a huge thing for us) 🙂

    Cristina Negoescu Avatar Cristina Negoescu
    March 12, 2020

    positive review  Mariano and Rhian are eccellente teachers, beautiful people and great dancers! I love their salsa classes, recommended to everybody!!!

    Michele Cirella Avatar Michele Cirella
    July 1, 2020

    positive review  a wonderfully talented couple that teach salsa with ease and patience..a great class to be part of. enjoy it so much and can't wait to get back to our lessons.♥️

    Terese Eeles Avatar Terese Eeles
    July 7, 2020

    positive review  Wonderful teachers and great dancing environment, would really recommend especially if you are interested in Cuban Salsa. I would also highly recommend the private lessons with Mariano who helped me tremendously on how to establish good fundamentals and musicality for my Cuban salsa as well as Afro-Rumba.

    Roman Mikhaylov Avatar Roman Mikhaylov
    July 4, 2020
  • positive review  had a great first time last night , right out my comfort zone but mariano and rhian made me feel very comfortable and turns out i had a wicked laugh and loved every minute . great tuition and i cant wait for the next class and to take the wife . highly recomend it

    Wayne Arandjelović Avatar Wayne Arandjelović
    October 23, 2019

    positive review  Mariano and Rhian are two wonderful teachers passionate about salsa dance. They can involve your students into salsa, even the ones without any dance experience. I highly recommend it.

    Ivo Jorge Avatar Ivo Jorge
    July 6, 2020

    positive review  What a fun session, great teachers and a really supportive group of dancers. Totally exceeded my expectations <3 #Delighted

    Clare Legge Avatar Clare Legge
    July 2, 2019

    positive review  Great teachers! Highly recommend!

    Ivan Gerov Avatar Ivan Gerov
    April 16, 2020
  • positive review  Amazing teachers. They took me to zero to dancer 🕺🏽🕺🏽. If you have to opportunity don’t hesitate to take a class with them, you won’t regret it 💪🏽💪🏽

    Carlos Santillán Avatar Carlos Santillán
    July 3, 2020

    positive review  Amazing Salsa and Bachata Teachers and wonderful people! 🤩💃

    Adam Cariad Avatar Adam Cariad
    July 5, 2020
  • positive review  Excellent and well prepared teaching by people who really care about theirs pupils and Cuban Salsa. If they can get me dancing, they can get you dancing too!

    Andrew Scott Avatar Andrew Scott
    March 12, 2020
  • positive review  Amazing Salsa and Bachata Teachers and wonderful people! 🤩💃

    Adam Cariad Avatar Adam Cariad
    July 5, 2020
  • positive review  Mariano is a great teacher who will always put a smile on your face. He is passionate about his craft and will entertain you with stories about the history behind the dance moves. He is very patient, doesn't take things too seriously and allows things to evolve naturally. I highly recommend his classes! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

    Lorenzo Giacci Avatar Lorenzo Giacci
    July 5, 2020
  • positive review  a wonderfully talented couple that teach salsa with ease and patience..a great class to be part of. enjoy it so much and can't wait to get back to our lessons.♥️

    Terese Eeles Avatar Terese Eeles
    July 7, 2020
  • positive review  Great class! The instructors make you feel really welcome and break down the techniques well. Recommended to all levels!

    Chris Muscat Avatar Chris Muscat
    March 13, 2020
  • positive review  Mariano and Rhian are two wonderful people! Usually when I start new classes it takes time to adapt with the teachers and people, but with them it was straightforward. They are both great dancers who I admire and highly recommend! Thank you both for the lovely time!

    Slavcho Sirakov Avatar Slavcho Sirakov
    July 2, 2020
  • positive review  Wonderful teachers and great dancing environment, would really recommend especially if you are interested in Cuban Salsa. I would also highly recommend the private lessons with Mariano who helped me tremendously on how to establish good fundamentals and musicality for my Cuban salsa as well as Afro-Rumba.

    Roman Mikhaylov Avatar Roman Mikhaylov
    July 4, 2020
  • positive review  What a fun session, great teachers and a really supportive group of dancers. Totally exceeded my expectations <3 #Delighted

    Clare Legge Avatar Clare Legge
    July 2, 2019
  • positive review  Best Salsa teacher in UK, the only one that has a proper method. Definitely worth as you will actually learn how to dance even if you have two left feet!

    Vito Costanza Avatar Vito Costanza
    July 7, 2020
  • positive review  Very good dancers and teachers! Professionalism and competente!!! Havana people on the Top!!!❤️

    Francesca Iodice Avatar Francesca Iodice
    July 1, 2020