Simon's amazingly smooth style stems back to his background in Ballroom and Latin dancing. Since his first dance steps, aged six, Simon has found a niche in Salsa, where he has gained a deservedly fantastic reputation as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. He has performed in London’s most prestigious venues. As well as supporting people through the heats of Graham Norton’s ‘Dance Fever’ in 2006, in 2008 Simon performed in London’s prestigious 'West End Live' on Leicester Square. He has made a number of TV and Film appearances since, including 'Cuban Fury' with Nick Frost in 2014 and 'Strictly Come Dancing' in 2016.

Along with his likeable personality, Simon is known for his excellent teaching abilities. With his extensive knowledge of and ability in both leading and following skills, he emphasises timing and smoothness in his teaching. His amazing, smooth, relaxed, fast and fun lead also makes him a sought-after partner on the dance floor, and his freestyle dance captures everyone’s attention.

Simon developed his stage presence performing with the Salsateca Dance team in 2007. In 2009 he joined one of London’s longest running and most established salsa / mambo groups, Manhattan Mambo. In 2011 he teamed up with his partner Becky and together they have been teaching and performing Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha Cha and West Coast Swing ever since. When he is not making guest appearances you can find Simon teaching various styles of dance in the south of France at Lou Casteau or at the world renowned SOS (Salsa On Sundays) club in London where he is a resident instructor.

Guest Dance Instructor

I was born in Sao Tome and moved to Portugal when I was 8 years old.

Before I started my dance career, I used to play 3rd league for the Portuguese football team.  

In 2000, I found what took my mind to a different dimension all together.

At a young age, I started dancing Hip hop and RnB at my local school. 

I later developed different styles of dance such as Breakdance, House, Afro-beats, Contemporary and Kuduro. 

It was at the tender age of 19 when I found Kizomba and I fell in love. It gave me a feeling of peace, love, excitement, 

sentiment and made my soul ooze with such a passion it was the point that when I danced, 

it spoke many different languages that connected me to beautiful music and other people.

It took me 5 years to learn how to dance Kizomba and my style is all thanks to my master: Avelino Chantre.


I moved to the UK in 2014 and decided to challenge my style and show my skill with my dance partner Sonny Varela. 

We were thrilled to come 1st place in the UK and 3rd international with Africa Dancar 2015. 


Kizomba has developed me in many ways and I can honestly say I am in love with every aspect of it.

Guest Kizomba Instructor

With nearly 20 years combined dancing experience, Alan and Ella are passionate about making latin dancing accessible and FUN for everyone!

Their classes are a relaxed environment and focused on developing a solid technique and moves perfect for social dancing!

Come along and have some fun - you’re guaranteed to have a giggle and learn something you can practice on the dance floor right away!

Bachata Instuctors


Sarabanda is a 5-6 piece collective who play Cuban son and vibrant salsa with a serious groove.  Pianist Sara McGuinness sought out musicians with a passion for Cuban music to form a collective and the result is a powerful sextet with a big sound.

The collective’s obvious love of the music they play is evident in the passionate and exuberant arrangements of both original material and Cuban classics. It also features a host of wonderful musicians steeped in Cuban music and salsa including  bassist Jimmy Martinez and percussionists Emeris Solis, Bill Bland and Alejandro Martinez.

When we can add a horn section we add the amazing Shanti Jayasinha on trumpet and Landy Diaz on trombone.

The band have a large repertoire of Cuban and Latin styles and are flexible to fit your party needs. Usually a six piece band, we are happy to vary the size to suit the occasion. We are based in London but can easily travel anywhere.

The band play a range of Cuban music including son from the 40s and 50s, as popularised by Buena Vista Social Club, through to modern day hot timba and salsa.  Perfect music for a summer’s day, don’t forget your dancing shoes.

Sarabanda have been surviving Covid-19 lockdown by writing and recording some great new material. We can’t wait to share it with you all.

Sarabanda play regularly Upstairs at Ronnie Scott, at the Viva Latina Friday nights. Sarabanda regularly host Cuban ‘descarga’ jam sessions on a Sunday night in Hootananny Brixton.  These are a great meeting ground for musicians, dancers and music lovers. We are also currently looking for a North London venue.

Band Members

  • Elpidio Caicedo – Vocals
  • Jimmy Martinez – Bass
  • Sara McGuinness – Piano
  • Alejandro Martinez – Bongos/Timbales
  • Emeris Solis/Bill Bland – Congas
  • Shanti Jayasinha – Trumpet
  • Landy Diaz – Trombone
Cuban Salsa Band

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