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Namaala

Namaala Lieben­thal

With a rich and diverse back­ground in dance rang­ing from bal­let, tap and jazz to samba, salsa and house, Zoca founder and lead chore­o­g­ra­pher Namaala Lieben­thal brings both a wealth of expe­ri­ence and dynamic chore­og­ra­phy to the team, not to men­tion a whole lot of spunk.

Ilona Kankam-​Boadu

Hap­pily embrac­ing the rich mix of cul­tures ZOCA rep­re­sents, Ilona made it from the back row to lead­ing a class in just over a year. Hav­ing tried many dif­fer­ent fit­ness classes before, she found her first ZOCA expe­ri­ence a total rev­e­la­tion and has been hooked ever since. This north­ern light has def­i­nitely got some moves, so be pre­pared to shake dat in her class.

Namaala

Patri­cia Mwamutanda

Another faith­ful class-​goer orig­i­nally, Patri­cia fell for Zoca for the confi­dence it inspired in her and the women around her. Warm, fuzzy and goofy — her class is an absolute roar, and don’t even com­pete with her on a night­club dancefloor — she’ll outdo you by hours.

Namaala

Ghada Man­tache

Tiny but unbe­liev­ably tough, Ghada is our res­i­dent fire­cracker and “spark” fanatic. Adding to our chore­og­ra­phy the hip-​sways of bel­ly­dancers and the rhum­ba­li­cious rhythms of the Congo, Ghada takes Zoca to a whole other level. It’s no won­der she prac­ti­cally has disciples.

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Han­ifa Hussein

Once a faith­ful aer­o­bics fanatic, Han­ifa all-​too-​quickly dropped that when she learned you could work out, dance and let your hair down all at the same time. She now leads every­one else in let­ting their hair down, and you can hear her doing it from a mile away.

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Namaala

SJ

In Zoca, I find my world,” S.J. says…in a way that she never once man­aged to do on a tread­mill or between dumb­ells. Fit as a fid­dle, take her class and you’re bound to find your world too.

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Fay Sow­den

Fay Has been involved with ZOCA for a few years now. Fay loves all the musi­cal influ­ences that ZOCA incor­po­rates but has a par­tic­u­lar pref­er­ence SOCA, dance­hall, due to her Caribbean roots. Fay is very pas­sion­ate about what she does and strives to encour­age and empower Zocanista’s to find their own level and to lis­ten to the lan­guage of their own bod­ies, minds and spirit. Fay ensures every­one who takes her class has a lot of fun while you ‘wuk it up’ too.

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Maxwell Kanyanga

Maxwell Kanyanga began danc­ing when he started walk­ing, but he offi­cially started his dance jour­ney in the year 2003, when he first chore­o­graphed a dance­hall rou­tine. In 2004 he founded the Spir­i­tual Assets Dance Crew and he still per­forms with them. His chore­og­ra­phy and per­for­mance styles range from hip hop to Afri-​hop (Azonto, Kwaito, Rhumba) to mod­ern expres­sive and dance poetry. Max loves ZOCA and became a cer­ti­fied ZOCA instruc­tor in 2015. He cur­rently teaches ZOCA in Kitwe and brings fun, fun and more fun to every class.

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Jophael Banda

Grow­ing up in a low– income shanty com­pound in Lusaka called Chipata, Jophael Banda absorbed tra­di­tional Zam­bian dance from his fam­ily, friends and sur­round­ings and picked up Amer­i­can styles from a black & white tele­vi­sion at home. He took his first salsa class at the age of 22 and quickly rose to become a teacher, even­tu­ally being crowned the King of Salsa in Zam­bia in 2011. Now he is a found­ing mem­ber, chore­o­g­ra­pher and the artis­tic direc­tor of Sal­sAfrica Dance, the first pro­fes­sional Latin dance group in Zam­bia. Jophael has taught Latin and African dance in Fin­land, Swe­den and Esto­nia, and he was the first to rep­re­sent Zam­bia in the 2013 Mzanzi SALSA con­gress in Cape Town and in the 2014 World’s biggest SWING fes­ti­val in Swe­den. Jophael was a chore­o­g­ra­pher for the 2015 Zam­bia Music Awards and joined the ZOCA move­ment in 2015.

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Chilombo Nakazwe

Chilombo, has had a pas­sion for danc­ing since she was lit­tle girl. She started her danc­ing when she went to Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town where she attended Angolan Kizomba classes and after 1 year she became a Kizomba dance teacher. Mov­ing back to Zam­bia after uni­ver­sity — she started attend­ing ZOCA classes and fell in love with the cur­rent and dif­fer­ent styles of dance which spoke to her soul and soon she wanted to teach ZOCA. She became an ZOCA instruc­tor in 2015.

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Alissa Steyl

Owner of Five6seven8 Dance Stu­dio — Rand­burg. Start­ing off at a social dance stu­dio while fin­ish­ing off her stud­ies was the ideal part time job, never know­ing how the danc­ing bug would take hold. Start­ing Five6seven8 Dance Stu­dio with Kraig as free­lance instruc­tors a few years ago allowed them­selves to cre­ate the foun­da­tions of their dance stu­dio today and has expanded fur­ther than what they ever could hope for. The plea­sure of teach­ing indi­vid­u­als and cou­ples how to dance is inde­scrib­able, espe­cially that moment when they realise they know how to dance… The past few years Alissa has become quiet pop­u­lar in help­ing cou­ples with their first wed­ding dance, know­ing the do’s and dont’s and the lit­tle things that makes the some­times dreaded moment as mem­o­rable as pos­si­ble. Now for 2016 adding Zoca to her reper­toire, things are going to be “Shak­ing Up

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Enize Wil­son

Assis­tant Man­ager of Five6seven8 Dance Stu­dio — Rand­burg. Enize has worked at Five6seven8 Dance stu­dio for 2 years and has enjoyed every moment of it. Enize is a pro­fes­sional Latin and Ball­room Dance instruc­tor and cre­ates her own chore­og­ra­phy for wed­ding cou­ples. She has a diploma in event man­age­ment. She is patient and under­stand­ing as danc­ing takes time to per­fect. Enize with her part­ner Lois holds the title of Bronze Rhythm and Smooth, SA Champs. Now for 2016 adding Zoca to her reper­toire, things can going to be “Shak­ing Up: “Every time I Dance, I turn into a Bet­ter Ver­sion of Me”

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Tanya Nuchols

Tanya is an expe­ri­enced dance fit­ness instruc­tor from Wash­ing­ton D.C., cur­rently teach­ing a vari­ety of chore­og­ra­phy work­outs based on bal­let, hip hop and Afro-​Latin styles. Trained from an early age in clas­si­cal and Spanish-​Filipino styles and grow­ing up in the cul­tural mul­ti­tude of the city danc­ing the night away at dance­hall clubs, her focus turned to Latin, African, Brazil­ian and Ara­bic styles. Cer­ti­fied in Barre Body, Hip Hop Barre, Piyo, Pound, Zumba and Group Fit­ness, Tanya was instantly hooked on ZOCA and now offers it at Joy of Motion, one of D.C.‘s old­est dance stu­dios.
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Kris­ten Briscoe

Kris­ten started danc­ing when she was four and began chore­o­graph­ing in ele­men­tary school. She was a com­pany mem­ber of a youth dance ensem­ble from 4th to 12th grade where she stud­ied Bal­let, Jazz, Mod­ern, Hip Hop, African, Tap, and tra­di­tional Latin dances. She cur­rently teaches Zumba and Zoca in Vir­gina, as well as per­forms with sev­eral pro­fes­sional dance com­pa­nies in the Wash­ing­ton, DC area. She prides her­self on being able to do many dif­fer­ent dance forms well and has learned, through move­ment, we are all con­nected. Her energy is con­ta­gious, catch it.

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Ghita Von Bonsdorff

Ghita started danc­ing in Fin­land, doing salsa and reg­gae­ton. She took part in sev­eral per­for­mances with a dance group from a salsa school. She tried Zumba for the first time upon mov­ing to DC in 2008 (Zumba with Tanya) and Tanya inspired her to get cer­ti­fied. Ghita is now teach­ing Zumba in dif­fer­ent loca­tions in DC/​MD and hop­ing to open her own Zoca class soooooon! When Tanya intro­duced Zoca, she was hooked from the first minute! There’s no other moves in this world that make her so happy as the Zoca shakes! Ghita says “I’m a teacher and soon to be men­tal health coun­sel­lor and I will def­i­nitely include Zoca in my ther­apy” hahha!


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Joy Din­gle

Joy grew up in a house immersed in the arts and started danc­ing to an early age. She has stud­ied bal­let, West African, Afro Brazil­ian, Afro Cuban, and mod­ern dance. When she started ZOCA, she couldn’t get the rhythms and sounds out of her mind and knew she wanted oth­ers to join the party! What she loved most about teach­ing is cre­at­ing a space where stu­dents can let go of their busy days and feel them­selves at one with music and move­ment. In her free time, you will find Joy keep­ing her skills sharp at Joy of Motion Dance Center.



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Norma Tou­s­saint Green

Born in Miami, Florida to Hait­ian par­ents, Norma Tou­s­saint Green grew up danc­ing to and falling in love with the addict­ing sounds of the Caribbean. When she moved to DC, she stud­ied West African dance with a num­ber of DC based com­pa­nies for 2 year. She started tak­ing Zumba classes in 2009 and con­tin­ues to do so. When she par­tic­i­pated in a ZOCA demo class in Jan­u­ary 2015, she felt right at home — finally, she found a work­out that fuses her two loves — Caribbean car­ni­val music and African pop. Besides danc­ing, Norma loves to travel. She hopes to help spread ZOCA wher­ever her jour­neys take her.


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Mimi Tishima Cuff

Mimi Tishima Cuff was born in Wash­ing­ton, DC and raised in Oxon Hill, Mary­land. Mimi Stud­ied Dance at the Uni­ver­sity of Mary­land Col­lege Park. . Mimi’s style is a hodge­podge of mod­ern, bal­let, cheer and pro-​cheer dance mak­ing her style adapt­able, very clean focus­ing on lines. The aspects of dance that Mimi enjoys the most are the dis­ci­pline, the cre­ativ­ity and just being able to move your body as you please. Her goal in dance is to be able to dance when she can, whether it is teach­ing or per­form­ing, uti­liz­ing that tal­ent to travel the world and being suc­cess­ful at what­ever she does. The arts are the gate­way to your inner most yearn­ings and wants, do not deny them…embrace them.


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Melody Spencer

A self-​taught dancer with over five years of expe­ri­ence in Latin and Caribbean dance. She has taught many fit­ness dance classes and chore­o­graphed sev­eral cul­tural pieces. Her inspi­ra­tion for move­ment is “in every­thing and every­where.” As a mem­ber of the mod­ern West African Dance Com­pany, Afro­Moda , she has the oppor­tu­nity to share her gift of motion and her desire to speak vol­umes and tell sto­ries through dance to audi­ences of all ages. Melody’s love for African inspired rhythm and move­ment was grow­ing to unsur­mount­able heights. She had to share her pas­sion before she exploded! Zoca Dance, LLC, would be the answer to Melody’s desire to express this love of cre­ation and healthy exer­cise all in one step. With eight years as a group fit­ness instruc­tor (Zumba) ‚ Melody was ready to take her abil­ity to teach dance fit­ness and inspire oth­ers to stay in shape to the next plat­form.


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Stephanie Joyce

Stephanie has lived in the Wash­ing­ton, DC area for twenty years. She danced her way through law school, and then found Zumba® and Barre-​based group exer­cise as the per­fect way to con­tinue feed­ing and shar­ing her pas­sion.Stephanie holds licenses in Zumba® I, II, Ton­ing, Zumbini, and Sen­tao. She is cer­ti­fied by the Aer­o­bics and Fit­ness Asso­ca­tion of Amer­ica, Barre Body ™, Les Mills BodyFlow ™, and Peak Pilates (Basic Mat). She attends Zumba® Jams and fit­ness con­fer­ences when­ever she can to add tech­niques and style to her teach­ing reper­toire. Stephanie is proud to be a new ZOCA instruc­tor.“Dance is for every­one, and every­one can dance,” is Stephanie’s core belief. “I find that work­outs grounded in cre­ative move­ment com­bine all that is best in exer­cise: strength, grace, and joy.”


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Dean­nys Conde

Dean­nys Conde is a pro­fes­sional dancer. She was the first to bring Zumba to Fin­land and has 5 years expe­ri­ence from the Cuban cabaret show in San­ti­ago of Chile, Chile. She worked on var­i­ous tele­vi­sion chan­nels in Chile. She is also a chore­o­g­ra­pher and feels enor­mous joy and free­dom when she dances. She is very happy that Ghita intro­duced her to ZOCA which she feels is refresh­ing and full of rhythm style!


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Priyanka Desai

Priyanka is our tough lit­tle cookie who at the age of 8 had the pas­sion and gump­tion to start her own dance troupe in her lit­tle home town and some­how get them aired on TV! With the same spirit she now joins us every week to give her fol­low­ers gru­elling work­outs and the occa­sional gig­gle or two.

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Amanda Kruger

After just one class, Amanda was caught by ZOCA and has been attend­ing and doing ZOCA ever since. With the fun music, moves and feel­ing of ZOCA, it drew her to go as many times as she could in a week. With her Pas­sion towards this dance fit­ness and her car­ing heart, she then ven­tured into teach­ing ZOCA kids and has never looked back.

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Mil­dred Mwape

Mil­dred has always had a keen inter­est towards dance. Hav­ing done salsa, kizomba, chacha and merenge for about 4yrs now, as soon as she expe­ri­enced a ZOCA class she felt like it was her place to be. From the mix of both African and Caribbean music along with the dance moves it blew her away. Hav­ing taught salsa to chil­dren in the past, she took her ZOCA love fur­ther and started teach­ing children.

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