Rachel Cassandra's Bio

Who is Rachel?

keener headshot
Rachel Cassandra is a teacher and dancer originally from Port Jefferson, New York. Her true loves are dancing, teaching, and travel – and she’s pursued these extensively since she started dancing in 2005. She has a varied dance background and extensive teaching expertise. See for yourself on her YouTube channel!

Rachel has taught in cities around Europe and across the United States. While she periodically bases herself in one city for a time (most recently New York City, London, and Dublin), she is more often living the nomadic teaching lifestyle. Rachel finds particular joy in helping new scenes improve, which has inspired her latest teaching tour. Although she’s not currently running any weekly classes, you can contact her about workshop possibilities.

Kizomba is Rachel’s primary dance. She also provides instruction in semba and has been known to give tips on social tarraxinha.

While she loves following, Rachel is an advocate of gender equality in kizomba. Not only does she teach leaders’ steps and technique, she also leads on the social floor. She encourages everyone to try styling classes and loves to see people exploring both sides of her favorite dance.

In addition, you’ll still find Rachel out doing lindy and blues, and she’s determined to learn West Coast Swing and Zouk-Lambada eventually.

History

Rachel focused primarily on American vernacular jazz dances in her first years of dancing. She has been involved in blues and lindy hop events across the United States, often spending months traveling from event to event with no fixed residence (as she is doing now).

A job-related move to Morocco in 2010 brought Rachel to salsa dancing. After intensive work, she was named national champion at the Morocco Salsa Contest of 2011.

553962_387073161312316_174726332547001_1407121_838094886_n

555663_10100898548877777_1997451341_n

SAM_0215

Rachel took an introductory workshop for kizomba while in Casablanca from Doumb and Ingrid. She was very taken with kizomba, but was limited in her pursuit of this new dance by geography. Later that year at the Carthago Festival in Tunisia, she further kindled her passion for kizomba in classes with Nelson Campos. She moved to the UK in 2012 to continue her training and to teach kizomba and semba with him. Rachel worked with Nelson to create an organized and adaptive curriculum for multiple levels for use at weekly venues in the UK. In addition, she taught and performed at numerous European festivals. She has worked continuously with a variety of teachers to expand her style. Now she is excited to be helping promote kizomba and semba in the United States.

I lead

liege dip edited

kfbd train laugh

Awards

11b trophy photo

kizomba
Third Place, Jack and Jill, 4th International Got Kizomba Festival 2014, San Francisco, CA
->as a leader

Audience’s Choice, Strictly Kizomba, Kizomba Invasion (Mar 2014), Providence, RI

salsa
First Place “National Champion”, Morocco Salsa Contest 2011, Casablanca, Morocco

blues
First Place, Jack and Jill, Feelin’ Blues Festival 2013, Tel Aviv, Israel

Second Place, Strictly Jookin’, Holy City Blues Festival 2013, Charleston, SC

Second Place, Jack and Jill, Holy City Blues Festival 2013, Charleston, SC

Second Place, Novice Jack and Jill, Lindy Focus 2007, Asheville, NC

Where Rachel Has Taught

leading class kiel

November 11, 2014: Kizomba Master Class, Lausanne, Switzerland

September 12-14, 2014: Kielzomba, Kiel, Germany

August 15-17, 2014: DC Bachata Congress, Washington, D.C.
(with Florian Tep)

August 11, 2014: Kizomba Workshop and Social Clinic, Philadelphia, PA

August 9, 2014: Kizomba Workshop, Media, PA

August 2-3, 2014: Kizomba Beach Invasion, Virginia Beach, VA

July 11-13, 2014: Take Off: A Kizomba Workshop Weekend, Minneapolis, MN

July 8, 2014: Special kizomba workshops, Cleveland, OH

July 6, 2014: Kizomba Independence for Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

June 29, 2014: Intro to Kizomba, Durham, NC

June 25, 2014: Ladies’ Styling Taster, Nashville, TN

June 22, 2014: Special Kizomba Workshop, Nashville, TN

June 18, 2014: Special Kizomba Workshop, New Orleans, LA

June 12-13, 2014: Intro to Kizomba, Orlando, FL

June 5, 2014: Intro to Kizomba, Philadelphia, PA

June 1, 2014: Kizomba Fusion, NYC
(with Florian Tep)

May 21, 2014: Kizomba Fusion Taster, Philadelphia, PA

May 18, 2014: Intro to Kizomba, Pittsburgh, PA

May 13-14, 2014: Kizomba Workshops, Minneapolis, MN

May 4, 2014: Kizomba Fusion, Norfolk, VA
(with Florian Tep)

Mar. 28, 2014: Intro to Kizomba, Denver, CO

Mar. 25, 2014: Discover Kizomba, Boulder, CO

Mar. 23, 2014: Kizomba and Fusion, Portland, OR

Feb. 10, 2014: Kizomba for Blues Dancers, Norfolk, VA

Dec. 15, 2013: Kizomba Taster at the Winter Blues, Greenville, SC

Dec. 6, 2013: Kizomba for Blues Dancers, Washington, DC

Oct. 31, 2013: Intro to Kizomba for Blues Dancers, Denver, CO

Oct. 6, 2013: Kizomba for Blues Dancers, Washington, DC

Aug. 21, 2013: Kizomba for Blues Dancers, London, UK

Aug. 10-11, 2013: KIelZOMBA Festival, Kiel, Germany*

July 5-7, 2013: Summer Salsa Weekender by Salsa Feel the Heat, Wigan, UK*

June 14-16, 2013: Liege International Salsa Congress, Liege, Belgium*
kfbd demo one on one

June 1-2, 2013: Bolingo Festival, London, UK*

May 18, 2013: Kizomba Master Class, Limerick, Ireland*

April 26-28, 2013: Teesside Latin Dance Festival, Teesside, UK*

April 24, 2013: Kizomba and Semba Night, Dublin, Ireland

April 6, 2013: Sabazouki Night, Dublin, Ireland

March 30: Cambridge Kizombachata Fusion, Cambridge, UK*

March 14-16, 2013: Antwerp Afro Latin Dance Congress*

Feb. 23-25, 2013: Latinfest Salsa Weekender, Torquay, UK*

Feb. 16, 2013: Cambridge Kizombachata Fusion, Cambridge, UK*

Feb. 8-9, 2013, Wigan Salsa All-Dayer, Wigan, UK*

Feb. 1, 2013: Kizomba and Salsa Gala Night, Kings’ Hill, UK*

February-March, 2013: Thursday Kizomba Intensive Series, Cambridge, UK*

February-April, 2013: Tuesday Kizomba and Salsa Nights, Maidstone, UK*
kiel teaching feedback

Jan. 18, 2013: Kizomba Taster for Blues Dancers, Washington, D.C.

Jan. 18, 2013: Kizomba Taster for Blues Dancers, Baltimore, MD

Dec. 8, 2013: Charity Ball, Kings Hill, UK*

Nov. 24, 2013: Cambridge Sensual Infusion, Cambridge, UK*

Nov. 9-10, 2013: Kizomba Bootcamp, Budapest, Hungary*

Nov. 3-4, 2013: Salsa and Kizomba Intensive Workshops, Zurich, Switzerland*

Oct. 12-14, 2013: Kizomba-Semba Dance Festival, Waterford, Ireland*

October-December Thursday Kizomba at Caso do Semba, London, UK*

October-December Friday Salsa and Kizomba, Kings Hill, UK*

September-December Tuesday Salsa and Kizomba, Folkestone, UK*

*with Nelson Campos

Where Rachel Has Performed

kfbd sweet lead tory

Social demos
Apr. 6, 2014: The Melting Pot by Fusion NYC, New York City
with Florian Tep

Jan. 25, 2014: Private event, Brooklyn, NY
with Florian Tep

Oct. 6, 2013: Kizomba for Blues Dancers, Washington, DC
with Tory G

Performances with Nelson Campos

Full show, jointly choreographed

Torquay performance
June 14-16, 2013: Liege International Salsa Congress, Liege, Belgium

March 14-16, 2013: Antwerp Afro Latin Dance Congress

Feb. 8-9, 2013, Wigan Salsa All-Dayer, Wigan, UK

Hired demos

Aug. 10-11, 2013: KIelZOMBA Festival, Kiel, Germany

July 5-7, 2013: Summer Salsa Weekender by Salsa Feel the Heat, Wigan, UK

March 30: Cambridge Kizombachata Fusion, Cambridge, UK

Feb. 23-25, 2013: Latinfest Salsa Weekender, Torquay, UK

Feb. 16, 2013: Cambridge Kizombachata Fusion, Cambridge, UK

Nov. 9-10, 2013: Kizomba Bootcamp, Budapest, Hungary

Oct. 12-14, 2013: Kizomba-Semba Dance Festival, Waterford, Ireland

liege lean edited large