Tracy Holland Gramajo,
Owner & Founder
Tracy graduated from ODU and permanently moved to Norfolk. Once there, she attended a few dance classes and was bitten by the salsa bug. She travelled to New York and DC taking classes but owes most of her Salsa eduction to instructor Chris Harris. Once immersed in the Salsa scene and Hispanic culture, Tracy used her marketing experience to help her friends promote Salsa classes and parties that were attended by dancers from all over the east coast. Together they created a community of Salseros and opening a studio was simply the next step. Tracy says, “the Mambo Room brings everyone together from all nations and cultures. We can all share in the communication of dance and the music that finds it’s way into your bones.” Her favorite part of the studio has been learning how to run a successful business and empowering others to help develop the studio.
Leroy has been dancing Salsa for over nine years and teaching for more than seven. He is Hampton Roads’ first “home-grown” salsero. In addition to being the Mambo Room’s head Salsa instructor, he is also the director of the Mambo Room Professional Dance Team. He is a member of Psyonmauricio’s Mezzlocutis Professional Dance Team based in Washington DC, as well as the assistant director of the YemaShun Professional Dance Team also based in DC. He is a fun, energetic, and passionate salsa instructor who focuses on the fundamentals yet challenges his students to strive for excellence. His personal philosophy is: “if you can walk, you can dance salsa. Once you know your left foot from your right foot, you’re halfway there.”
Afro-Cuban & Rumba Instructor
Graceful as a goddess and peaceful as a cloud, Ife Michelle Milligan Martinez, or “Ota Nigue,” began her dance training in NYC in 1997 with master teachers Richard Gonzalez, Ricardo Colon, Xiomara, Pupy, and later studied with Oscar Rousseaux in DC. She has performed both in NYC and with Ache-Moyubba Folkloric Ensemble in the District of Columbia. Ife truly practices what she teaches. She says, “I love Afro Cuban dance because of the rich spiritual and cultural tradition that is a part of it. The folkloric dance celebrates the manifestations of nature and the role nature plays enriching our lives. I love teaching at the Mambo Room because of its recognition of Latin dance and dance in all forms. The diversity in instructors and the family atmosphere is priceless, and the students are also awesome.”
Zumba & MixxedFit Instructor
Two years ago Madelyn Waddell fell in love with zumba. In August 2010 she attended an instructor convention and was hooked for life. As a Puerto Rican, she loves that she can mix her culture into the dance, as well as lose weight while having fun. Like all of our instructors at the studio, Mady is passionate about what she teaches. She gets high off of the happiness which comes from teaching zumba, and she wants to share that same feeling with her students. According to Mady, the Mambo Room is “very family oriented. Every class feels like a party!”
Owner, Instructor, Head Latin DJ
Originally from Guatemala, Dorian has lived in Chicago and Hampton Roads for most of his life. He has been dancing for over ten years and is currently a DJ on Selecta 1050, the Hispanic radio station as well as head DJ and owner of the Mambo Room. Dorian says, “I use to prefer dancing over spinning music, but then salseros started to call and request me, and that just made me feel good. I love it when the entire room is full of salseros, bachateros,… all of them dancing and enjoying my music.” According to Dorian, “the Mambo Room has, is, and will keep changing people’s lives. Everyone is humble like a big family, and we all support each other to become great dancers. My biggest satisfaction is when I see someone new taking the beginner’s class, and then a few months later you see them dancing and doing what they’ve learned and having a lot of fun. Thanks to the Mambo Room, I’ve met hundreds of wonderful people. Dancing is by far one of the best things that has happened in my life.”
Salsa & Zumba Instructor
Sherry was a high school cheerleader, and brings her uplifting spirit into her classes while motivating students to sweat while having fun. This ray of sunshine loves what she does and it radiates through her smile. “Teaching makes me feel good,” she says. “The people that are enjoying this Zumba party are really making a difference in my life, and I can only hope that I am making a difference in their lives”. With a steady following, Sherrie has been instructing Zumba at the studio since it opened. According to Sherrie, “I love the intimacy that I share at the studio.” To her the studio is a place where she can have fun, play around, but most of all a place to come to visit with friends.
Tanya “KiandaT” Fiske is a dynamic and unique instructor, who’s love of dance has taken her all over the world to study and teach! She has been dancing since the age of six. Regardless of where she’s traveled or lived, including Asia, Europe, and South America; she’s always been able to find her natural rhythm in various cultures’ music. At eighteen, she traveled to New York City to become a member of a professional hip-hop company. Tanya continued to dance hip-hop while pursuing her Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice and Psychology at Rutgers University. In 1996 Tanya discovered Salsa while at Rugters. After relocating to Baltimore in 2000, she began to take every Salsa class she could, including with Manuel Martinez, Psyon Maurico, and Shaka Brown. She eventually apprenticed with Psyon Mauricio as an assistant teacher and choreographer. She went on to train under a number of acclaimed dancers, including Frankie Martinez, Johnny Matos, Gordon Neil, and Leon Rose. After co-directing Mezzlocutis dance company with Psyon Mauricio Scott, and a founding the all-female dance company YemaShun, Tanya moved to Norfolk, Virginia where she calls Mambo Room home.
Ana Marie Criss
Zumba & Mixxedfit Instructor
Swing, Rueda & Ballroom Instructor