Fascinated by stories and images of ballerinas as a young girl, Katariina started dancing at 5 years old and this beautiful art form has been a passion ever since. Classically trained in ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical, and other dance styles, she began teaching at the age of 15 and continued training & teaching until moving to Greenville, NC to complete her major in Hispanic Studies at ECU. It was here where her passion for Latin dancing was fueled by attending regular salsa socials off campus and integrating into the local community of dancers and instructors. She continued taking Latin dance classes and dancing socially during her final college semester in a study abroad program in Costa Rica. Upon graduating in 2006, she returned home to Wilmington, NC to begin her career and also returned to teaching classical dance styles. Since her passion for Latin culture, language and dance was full-fledged at this point, Katariina began making regular trips to Raleigh to visit her best friend from college Jamila Bridges, who had begun training with Mambo Dinamico Dance Co. Despite her homebase being Wilmington, Katariina was inspired by the talented dancers and rhythmic feel of the On2 salsa community in the Triangle and made the trek up I-40 every month. She quickly fell in love with salsa On2 and in 2009 was invited to join Mambo Dinamico's performing company and later their ladies styling team Las Sirenas as well. She has had the privilege of training & performing at various events and congresses such as the NY International Salsa Congress, Aventura Salsa Cruise, Orlando Salsa Congress and several others. While traveling and performing long-distance, Katariina was simultaneously working with the fledgling salsa community in Wilmington. She was asked to choreograph routines for two Dancing with the Wilmington Stars charity events, began teaching NY salsa On2 classes in 2011, and collaborated with good friend Summer McPherson to host the first annual Port City Salsa Splash in 2012. The PCSS event was a bigger success than either of them could have imagined and has continued to grow in popularity each year. Katariina and her partner Alfredo Brown, who has also trained & performed with the Cobo Brothers Dance Co. and Mambo Dinamico Dance Co., are very excited to join the Wilmington Latin Dance team to continue spreading their passion for dance and to be an integral part of this growing community. They have a 1-year old son who also loves music and shaking his groove thing, naturally! :)
Every time I dance, I become a better version of me.
Dance is the hidden language of the soul of the body. - Martha Graham