tatoJuan Tato Paredes

Native of the Dominican Republic, Juan “Ta-To” Paredes began his dancing career in the Tampa Bay area over 14 years ago. Raised in Spanish Harlem New York City, Juan has always embraced his Caribbean culture, especially the music. His love and passion for dance has always been a part of his life from a young age. Juan’s most rewarding joy is to cultivate, grow, and teach the dance community around him, and to see others find joy in dancing.

As one of the pioneers of the On1 Salsa style and On2 Mambo New York style in Tampa Florida, his exciting dance journey has landed him in many major international, national, and local concerts and events. In 2005, Juan was cast in a dancing role in the movie “The Punisher”. Later in 2007, he released his first Bachata Instructional DVD “Sabor Dominicano”. He has also shared the stage dancing for Bachata artist Alexa Velez. In February 2007, Juan opened the doors to Latin Groove Dance Company, which provided weekly group classes, club classes, workshops, corporate events, and social events in the Tampa Bay area.

In 2010, Juan took a small detour and moved to the city of Chicago IL, where he stayed heavily involved in the dance scene teaching regular group, private, club, and workshop classes. He also served as a judge for several local Salsa and Bachata competitions. In March 2014, Juan, along with his family, relocated back home to Tampa where he and his wife started their new dance company TATOSALSA.

Due to his fun energy and dynamic style of teaching, Juan has been invited to teach and perform at major Salsa events and Congresses. His travel includes: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Curacao, Aruba, Panama, and all over the U.S


Cristina Paredes

Cristina Paredes (Zavala) has had Salsa/Mambo in her heart for as long as she can remember. Growing up to mimicking dance videos and Chicago house dancing with her older sister, it was 13 years ago that she began to take her development as a dancer more seriously when she accepted an open invitation from Sekou McMiller. Cristina was one of the founding members of the Descarga Caribe Dance Company in Chicago IL. Through the complex and inventive choreographies that the group became known for, Cristina developed into one of the principle female dancers in the company and eventually became the traveling partner of the Director, Sekou McMiller (2003-2008).

While a relocation forced their successful partnership to come to an end, she started a new partnership with Rodrigo Cortazar from Veracruz, Mexico from August 2008 – 2009. Rodrigo and Cristina won the hearts of many with their animated choreographies and style.

Her last dance partner was Chicago native, Adrian Tenorio. Adrian and Cristina met while dancing with Descarga Caribe Dance Company. They have won several dance competitions together and have represented Chicago in many major events.

Cristina was a seasoned instructor and performer in the Chicago Salsa scene and one of the truly recognizable homegrown stars to emerge from Chicago. She recently relocated to Tampa, FL. and she and her husband, Juan “TaTo” Paredes are excited to start teaching Salsa/Mambo in the Bay area. Her travels include: Italy, Belgium, Korea, China, London, Venezuela, Curacao, Canada, Japan, and all over the U.S.A.

Jeremy Perez

Born in the Windy City, Chicago, IL, to Puerto Rican Parents, culture, soul and passion were instilled at a very young age. Raised in beautiful Tampa, FL, Jeremy has always had a love for the creative and it kickstarted when he joined a hip hop dance company called Eternal Rhythm. Training for hours at a time and performing across the state, the seed for a lifetime of dance was planted.

In 2004, he walked into a Salsa studio, where he would spend the next 3.5 years mastering his craft and focusing on the Cuban style of Casino Salsa. Training four nights a week in the studio and attending countless Salsa events in the area, it was no surprise that within two years he went from a beginner student to the lead Salsa instructor.
Fast forward to 2008, Jeremy relocated to Phoenix, AZ where he soon began teaching at the largest weekly Salsa social in the Valley, “The Sunday Social”. It was there in Arizona where he expanded his Salsa repertoire to include L.A. Style on 1 and New York style on 2.  Joining the Salvaje dance company under the direction of Shawn Sallee, the team performed at the LA Salsa Congress, the AZ Salsa Festival and a host of events across the Southwest. Jeremy was also a featured Instructor at the Mexicali Salsa Congress where he shared the stage with the likes of Sergio and Gabi of Alma Latina. In a span of 6 years while residing in Phoenix, he taught thousands of students, some of who have gone on to form their own studios and compete at the Salsa World Championships.
Jeremy moved back to Tampa in 2013, and you can now find him teaching at Tato Salsa where he demonstrates his love for dance by engaging and inspiring his students every week.

mayMay Golez

May Golez is one of the most dedicated and warm hearted individuals you will ever meet in a lifetime. Born in the Philippines, May and her family moved to Orange County, CA right after college. In 1993 May decided to give Florida a try and she found herself moving to the Tampa Bay area. In 1999 She started taking dance classes with Simone and Carlos and in 2004 she joined Juan TaTo and Erika Occhipinti assisting at Salsa Caliente Dance Studio. She quickly learned the leading and following techniques in Salsa and became instrumental in the growth of others at the studio.

In 2007, Juan TaTo Paredes branched out and started Latin Groove Dance Company and May was asked to come on board as an Assistant Instructor. When Juan left to Chicago for 3+ years, May continued to assist Latin Groove in Tampa. Now that Juan TaTo is back, she has reunited with him and his wife Cristina Paredes to be a part of TaToSalsa in Tampa, FL. May has performed in several Salsa Congresses and socials across Florida and in Washington D.C. You can find her happy spirit and energy on the dance floor.

In addition to Salsa and Mambo, May belongs to a Filipino Folkloric Dance Company here in the Bay area. She also performs at various cultural events throughout Florida. May also has a passion and love for tennis which began at an early age in her life. She was part of the tennis team in college and has competed in various adult tennis leagues in Tampa.

Shani Lizardi

Shani grew up with music and dance all around her. From a Dominican mom and a Puerto Rican father culture, language and history were a huge part of her upbringing. A natural dancer all her life she decided to take salsa classes at TatoSalsa when she moved to Tampa back in 2015. This opened a passion and focus within her to train and learn history in different genres such as Kizomba and Bachata. It wasn’t too long before she started assisting at TatoSalsa’s Bachata classes and getting serious about Kizomba training. She went off to teach Kizomba for a few years and established herself as one of the top Kizomba instructors in Florida. Is now back at TatoSalsa teaching Bachata and learning more and more about the genre. Her classes are challenging yet fun and energetic since she believes that the way you learn is the way you practice is the way you will dance! She likes to focus on connection, body movement and awareness as well as proper technique and flow. She says she loves social dancing because you get to dance with everyone and that is the best way to improve and level up.

Daniel Garber

Bio coming soon!

Melinda Perez

Melinda has been passionate about dancing her entire life. Born in the Bronx, NY, but raised in Tampa, FL, she started dancing at the age of 5; ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop. Whether it was performing on stage, dancing at family gatherings, or at home, music and dance have always been an important part of her life. After taking a break for several years from instructional dance during high school and college, she found her way back to the stage in 2005, with hip hop, taking classes and performing at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Tampa. And while she had never taken a formal class in any style of Latin dance, as many of us growing up in a Latin family will know, everything from family gatherings to household cleaning involved some form of Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata. 

It was in 2015, however, when as she would describe it, her life took an incredible turn. The itch to return to dance once again hit several years after having her beautiful daughter and realizing that “life” had taken over. She re-ignited her passion, this time with Salsa, while also discovering her greatest love and dance partner, your fellow Tato Salsa instructor, Jeremy Perez. Jeremy introduced her to the “scene”, and soon after, she began taking classes at Tato Salsa in August 2016. Melinda continues to learn and better herself as a dancer; gaining confidence on the dance floor every day. She enjoys sharing her journey with fellow students every week and is excited to be a part of the Tato Salsa team; ready to assist anyone who wants to learn and share her love of dance.


Ashley Minaya

Descendent from Dominican and Puerto Rican parents, Ashley was born in New Jersey and raised in Puerto Rico.

At the tender age of 5 she was introduced to Bachata and Salsa dancing by her grandmother. She absolutely fell in love with dancing. Growing up she would perform with her cousins at house parties in front of her family and friends. Ashley also started performing at her elementary school with the school dance team.

In 2016 Ashley moved to the Tampa bay area and in 2017 she began taking classes at TaTo Salsa Dance Studio. For a year and a half she concentrated in learning her basics and fundamentals in Salsa On1 and then moved on to also learn Salsa On2 (Mambo). In 2019 Ashley was asked by director Juan Paredes to join the TaToSalsa staff and play a roll as an assistant and front door staff. Ashley is also a part of TaToSalsa D’pasion ladies dance team in which have entered their second season. In 2019 she had the opportunity to perform with D’pasion at local events and also at the 2019 West Palm Beach Salsa and Bachata Congress as well as the 2019 Tampa Salsa and Bachata Festival.

She says; “Dance has given me amazing moments and has led me to meet amazing people and for that, I am grateful”. Her goals is to continue her growth as a social dancer and performer and to one day be able to share the knowledge she has acquired over the years.

Luke Moody

Bio coming soon!

Elizabeth Rojas

Bio coming soon!

Ammie Sardinas

Ammie Sardinas is a born and raised Tampa girl with strong family roots in the Historic Ybor City area. She will always meet you with a smile, cheerful energy, and a constant willingness to help you grow. Growing up she went to performing arts school and was constantly on stage performing musical theater while continuously taking classes for any form of art offered. She always loved dancing and the way her heart connected with the music, but it wasn’t until 2013 that her best friend convinced her to start taking Salsa classes.

After a year of classes on 1 she wanted to branch out into mambo/on 2 and lucky for her, Tato Salsa opened in Tampa just in time. She signed up for the first classes and hasn’t left since. There was even a point, in the very beginning, where she was the only girl in the on 2 classes (who was not an instructor/assistant) and this worked to her advantage as it enabled her to grow quicker with the extra attention and help. During this time she also grew close with the owners and staff and showed them she would help in any way when it came to behind the scenes situations and needs. Because of this she became a part of our staff as our Marketing/Social Media Director where her quick thinking and constant ideas keeps us all on our toes. She is always helping to find new ways to bring in students, keep things running smoothly, and creating innovative ideas to make our company’s brand grow beyond just a dance studio – but a family that others want to be connected to.

While she loves being behind the scenes, it does not overpower her love and passion for dancing. Social dancing will always be her favorite as it is improvised, what you feel, and how you connect – but she also has performed on Cristina Paredes’ ladies team, D’Pasion, for every season. When she is not dancing she can be found working with children, in a high intensity spin class, rooting on her favorite college/NFL football teams, or volunteering with her families Gasparilla krewe, Krewe of Semper Fi. Whether it be working, dancing, or anything else, one thing is for sure – you can always count on her to smile big and make sure you find a little joy and laughter in each moment.

Contact Us

Reviews Greatly Appreciated!

Did you enjoy our classes? If yes, would you be so kind to leave a good review? Doing so helps us show the world our great service.
Contact Us