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Casino de Cuba is a love story transformed into a passionate dance community.
Our mission is to help you connect with the joyful and rich Cuban music by teaching the essence of the Cuban dance traditions.
Yohan was born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He was introduced to the dance world when his neighbour asked him to join a show team that supported a group of musicians. Living in the Caribbean capital of dance and music, it makes sense that he got into dancing in such a casual way.
Yohan loved doing his first performance and joined several companies in order to cultivate his skills. In 2015, he worked at La Cofradía de la Tradición as a dancer, supporting the famous ‘Son’ band: Septeto Nacional de Ignacio Piñeiro.
From 2016 to 2020, Yohan formed part of the company Proyecto Rueda de Casino and met Elaine during one of his shows in December 2016.
Yohan is passionate about Afro-Cuban dances, some of which are practised in the Yoruba religion. In August 2017, his dream came true when he was hired as a professional dancer at El Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, the leading company responsible for preserving and cultivating the country’s folk music and dances for more than 50 years.
Elaine grew up in Volendam, Netherlands. From the age of 11, she spent hours learning choreographies of video clips like 'Dirrty' from Christina Aguilera and performed these for her friends.
She was hired as a professional dancer for Dutch musicians using various styles like Street dance and Hip-hop since she was 16. In 2015, she decided to explore the world and expand her spiritual practices in India where she did a Yoga Teacher Training and earned her certification.
After the trip, Elaine fell in love with Salsa at her first Latin party in Amsterdam. In 2016, she decided to follow her heart to Cuba to learn and master the dance. She stayed for 2 months in Havana where she met Yohan.
In 2018, she landed her dream job when she joined the company Proyecto Rueda de Casino as a professional dancer. Elaine received private training from Lazara Nápoles, one of the leading teachers of El Conjunto Folklórico Nacional de Cuba, to learn the Afro-Cuban dance styles from their roots.
During our time at Proyecto Rueda de Casino, we performed several times per week and worked with Cuba’s best artists; Elito Revé y su Charangón, El Niño y La Verdad, and Alexander Abreu & Havana D’Primera. We danced in their music videos, concerts, and TV shows such as Los Premios Lucas (2018 & 2019) and Cubadisco (2018).
You can find us in below music videos recorded in Havana:
• Cuba baila Casino – Elito Revé y su Charangón (Video below)
• Un pastel – Aisar y el Expresso de Cuba
• La vida es una – Roberto Antonio (Venezuelan artist)
• Como mi tierra no hay – Osmel Silva
We worked closely with the founders of the Rueda de Casino, as we are part of Proyecto Rueda de Casino, owned by Juanito Gomez “el Abuelo” (the grandfather). Juanito is the biggest defender of 'el Casino' in Cuba and creator of the most popular salsa hotspot in Havana: Club Jardines 1830.
The founders of the Rueda de Casino are amazing people who may be in their 80s, but still going strong and enjoying the dance they created in their youth. A real inspiration!
The butterfly symbolizes freedom, transformation and joy. Transformation happens when you realize you’re free and step out of your comfort zone.
The way butterflies seem to dance around, remind us to get up and move towards our next phase of being.
Dance allows you to play and experience joy while connecting with people from all over the world.