GRAND OPENING: San Diego’s Newest Friday Night Salsa Venue Opens January 7, 2011

Sunday, December 19, 2010

San Diego’s ever expanding salsa dance scene is gaining a new salsa dance club beginning Friday, January 7, 2011.  Presented by David & Jennifer Stein  of Majesty in Motion and Angel & Tulane of A Time to Dance Studio, the new salsa spot finds it new home at the Citrus Restaurant located inside the Four Points Sheraton Resort.

The new salsa dance venue boasts a huge dance floor, full bar, dinner/drink specials and free parking around the hotel every Friday night.  The San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup group along with Ritmo Bello will be there to start the new year off right with some great salsa dancing.

See you all on Friday, January 7, 2010!

John ;-)


Ritmo Bello Interview with Angel and Tulane Rivera of A Time To Dance Studio

Friday, May 22, 2009

San Diego is known in the salsa world as a place where the dance is really expanding and constantly growing. Much of this expansion is due in large part because of the efforts of a local dance studio, A Time To Dance Studio.  The owners of A Time To Dance Studio, Angel and Tulane, have been hard at work bringing great events like the San Diego Salsa Jam and the annual San Diego Salsa Festival here to San Diego.  I had a great opportunity to talk with Angel and Tulane about their efforts to spread salsa dancing both locally and worldwide.  I hope you all enjoy the interview!


Ritmo Bello:   Angel and Tulane Rivera thank you both for taking time out of your schedules to address the Ritmo Bello audience.  San Diego is a unique place for salsa dancing as seen by the different types of dance companies here locally.  What makes A Time To Dance Studio unique in the San Diego salsa dance scene?

A Time To Dance Studio:  Thanks for taking the time to interview us and to your audience for their support and dedication to Latin music and dance. Lets see… What makes us different?… We actually never really thought about what makes us different from other studios and or companies. We make it a point to keep our focus geared on what we have to do and never look to see what others are doing or not doing. We think of new ideas, classes, and programs and if they work and make sense we implement them. We also have a combined 20 + years of experience and are the only studio that we know of in San Diego with 2 locations. We love what we do and our goal is to continue to offer the best instruction and service in San Diego. We go one day at a time and take great pride in customer service and training our instructors to the best of our ability. We try our best to ensure our classes are fun, exciting, and technique orientated.  We also offer drop in courses as well as 6 week progressive courses in salsa to increase learning curves and consistency for students (The salsa courses have been amazing success for us). We also host studio parties, promote salsa clubs and special events to give our students a place to practice and socially interact with others in the salsa scene. Beyond salsa we offer Belly Dance, Burlesque Jazz, Samba, Afro-Cuban, and Fitness based classes taught by other highly trained dance instructors. Our studio is a friendly, relaxed, cozy but professional family atmosphere that can easily be felt the moment you walk in. We have great plans for the future and God willing we’ll be able to see them through… whether or not it’s in dance is up to HIM…

A Time to Dance Studio San Diego


Ritmo Bello:   I always like to learn how people first find and become involved in salsa dancing.  Can you tell me each a little about how you each began dancing salsa? 

A Time To Dance Studio: I began dancing salsa in 2001 (I was 20 at the time with absolutely no dance experience) and Tulane started dancing at the early age of 7 (She trained in International Ballroom) in London England. I started dancing to actually meet new people since I was new to San Diego (Navy for 4 years). Tulane started dancing as a creative outlet and to stay out of trouble : ) . She left London at 15 and I left Chicago when I was 18. At 20 I decided to take private dance lessons at a downtown dance studio, then named Dance With Me Academy (This is probably the place where everyone that’s a veteran now started – Good times). Thats when I met Tulane… She was assigned as my dance instructor… I wanted to learn salsa but somehow got temporarily converted to ballroom for about 3 months. Although it was great training we started to focus on Salsa more as time went on. Through the months I got better (Tulane has always been a phenomenal dancer and choreographer) and before I knew it we formed Salsa Suave Dance Company, then San Diego’s 2nd dance company. We danced together socially and I began to get approached by students asking me if I taught. I decided to drop out of an officer program through the navy to pursue a new life… Thats pretty much how we both started in a nutshell. 2 people from 2 different countries that left home at an early age seeking something new. Salsa dance brought us together and we haven’t stopped since : ) 

Ritmo Bello: That is a great story!  What motivated you to create A Time To Dance Studio?

A Time To Dance Studio: As we got busier and busier we had to move from studio to studio to accommodate the demand of students. It was a headache at times… moving always meant losing clients no matter how good you were… That was one of the determining factors of why we started our own studio. However our main motivation came out of a dance ministry that Tulane started at our church. It was a fun hip hop / salsa youth ministry called “A Time To Dance. The name was inspired from the Bible… Ecclesiastes 3:4… our pastor had always encouraged us and instilled the vision that we would one day own our own studio. Long story short… an opportunity arose to open a dance studio and we followed our faith and dreams to what we have today. We decided to keep A Time To Dance since it was originally inspired through our ministry and our Faith. Owning a dance studio has always been one of Tulane’s goals & dreams… I’m grateful that I was able to be a part of it… I never really thought I’d be dancing, teaching, and an owner of dance studios, ( I always wanted to fly Fighter Jets ) but its been great! Owning studios has taught us so much… Great sacrifice, huge responsibilities and a lot of character building trials and tribulations… Well worth it.

Ritmo Bello:  I understand that you have 15 professional dancers, choreographers, and teachers that work with you at A Time to Dance Studios? Do they all focus on salsa dance?

A Time To Dance Studio: Not all… We hire instructors that are professionals at their genre of dance. We try to focus on what we are good at and offer classes that help inspire health, fitness & a good time. We do however train our in house dancers in salsa, cha cha, and ballroom for our different array of clients and invite guest instructors/coaches to give their expertise and advice on specific dances at times. We are also a certified ISTD dance studio and assist our instructors to certify once a year as well. We offer hip hop, belly dance, afro cuban, samba, and fitness class such as Zumba, Dance Fitness, and some pilates classes. We do our best to offer great, energetic, & fun classes throughout the week and offer competitive prices to keep people coming back for more… We also started our own student salsa dance team… Doing very well… They should be ready to perform again in a couple of months. 

Ritmo Bello:  I’ve heard from your students that you employ a unique teaching method called “inter-related system” instruction.  What is that all about and how does this impact your student’s learning of the dance?

A Time To Dance Studio: It allows our students to learn dances that relate to one another. Our goal is to interchangeably relate dances which in turn allows the student to remember the mechanics easier. This system has allowed our students to advance much quicker, learn various dances faster, and retain the material more effectively. It’s a style that we have incorporated over the years that has worked wonders when applied. We’re still working on some other teaching methods and will be instituted once we decide to open more studios in the future.

Ritmo Bello: As Assistant Organizers of the San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup Group I know that you help organize many great events here in San Diego such as your studio parties and the San Diego Salsa Jam.  What do these events offer to somebody brand new to salsa dancing?

A Time To Dance Studio: Ya… Our desire to organize events started to happen after 2005. This was the year Tulane and I traveled to 4 different countries performing, teaching, and choreographing. Although it was fun traveling, teaching abroad, and seeing different countries, it really didn’t stick with us. We didn’t really see the benefit of traveling all the time and from a business standpoint at the time it didn’t make sense for us. Tulane and I like business… Running, creating, and being behind the scenes. My analogy is like an actor becoming a director… Why act forever when you can direct… A lot harder work, more sacrifice, extremely high risk both financially and physically but the benefits are far greater in the long run. It’s not for everyone but it was for us… Being in the drivers seat allows us to offer events, workshops, and festivals with our vision in mind. Our goal is to continue to offer excellent events for the new dancer and the veteran alike… Many venues come and go so we’re always on the look out… Our goal with events that we produce is to offer fun, exciting, and professional atmospheres with the best latin music and dancing around…  Local clubs and events also give new dancers a chance to see what they potentially can obtain… Gives them a visual goal and motivates students to get better. Check us out online… –  to join us at our next class and or event.

Ritmo Bello: The San Diego Salsa Festival is coming up again in September of this year and I know that you are hard at work preparing for this great event with Albert Torres.  Can you explain who Albert Torres is and what the San Diego Salsa Festival is all about to those new to salsa dancing?

A Time To Dance Studio: Albert Torres is the world’s most successful and foremost recognized promoter of Latin Music and Dance. He also promotes and produces the WORLD SALSA CONGRESS in Los Angeles, coming up in May. The San Diego Salsa Festival/Congress is an event that brings talent from across the country and abroad to San Diego, Ca. The goal is to give the San Diego community a taste of the talented instructors and performers outside of the San Diego salsa community. Its now in its 3rd year and getting better. This year’s event is going to showcase great dancers and Live Music ( Something we’ve been trying to emphasize at our Salsa Jams) like never before. The event will consist of Workshops all day Saturday and Sunday, Live Professional Dance Shows each night, and social dancing Thursday thru Sunday til 3-4 in the morning. Pretty much a salsa dancer and latin music lovers dream. We’ll have vendors selling shoes, and dance apparel as well as live music on Friday and Saturday night. Check us out online – you can purchase your tickets and make hotel reservations online today!

Ritmo Bello: In your opinions, what makes salsa dancing such a great activity to pursue?

A Time To Dance Studio: It’s the only form of dance in our experience that we’ve found in every city and country we’ve visited. It’s a great way to meet new people, get into shape, and has no cultural or racial barriers. Everyone dances salsa even if they can’t understand the words… The music just pulsates through the dancers and moves us… It’s a great way to pursue a healthy social life and have fun. Who knows… You may even find your life partner as I did : ) …. Maybe not… 

Ritmo Bello: The San Diego salsa scene has seen many changes over the years.  What trends do you see taking hold for the future of salsa dancing in San Diego?

A Time To Dance Studio: Like anything else… it takes many years to cultivate the ground for longevity… San Diego has come a long way and is still growing… Still has a lot of room to grow and develop which is great & exciting. Our last Salsa Jam is an example of that growth… Not a lot of veteran dancers or instructors out… but wow… There were a lot of new faces that I have never seen before… So many newbies to the salsa scene that love salsa and especially live music. This is what we see as being the next trend… A new wave of dancers and live music. Live music is something that has room for tremendous growth… I’m talking about live concerts with big names – Cheo Feliciano, Spanish Harlem, El Gran Combo, etc… I just hope San Diego and the scene can support these events no matter who promotes them… Without the music and supporting the musicians we wouldn’t have the music we love today!

Ritmo Bello: Is there anything else you’d like to share with dance community? 

A Time To Dance Studio: Try to support as many venues as possible… Whoever promotes them… It’s hard work and high risk promoting live events, clubs, and festivals. Keep dancing and always have fun doing it… 

Ritmo Bello: The Ritmo Bello audience may want to contact you regarding some of the topics discussed here.  How can members reach you for further information?

A Time To Dance Studio: You can reach us at any of the following websites: – 619-297-6401 –  –

Ritmo Bello:  Angel and Tulane, on behalf of Ritmo Bello and the San Diego salsa community thank you for all you do to promote salsa here in San Diego and around the world.

A Time To Dance Studio: It was our pleasure… And thank you for interviewing us… You do an outstanding job keeping the latin music and dance scene informed and going strong…

Conjunto Costazul Playing Live at the San Diego Salsa Jam!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


 Conjunto CostaAzul

A great event is coming up soon here in April with a unique offering.  Live in concert at the San Diego Salsa Jam will be Conjunto Costazul, a combination of some of the best salsa musicians alive today.  Some well known names playing in this band include:

Oscar Hernandez – Leader of Spanish Harlem Orchestra 
Freddie Crespo – Director of Conjunto Costazul 
Johnny Crespo – Salsa Legend along with Freddie Crespo 
Eddie Resto – Best Bass Musician In The West Coast 
Leo Perez – Nephew of The Late Salsa Legend Celia Cruz 
Victor Baez – Amazing conga musician 
Dennis Jiron – Leader of Rumbankete 
Francisco Torres – Played with Poncho Sanchez & Top 5 Trombone Player 
Arturo Velasco – One of the best Horn players around! 
 and Humberto Ruiz

The San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup Group will be going to this event and you can find out more information about it on the special RSVP page (click here to be taken there).

Come out and support these salsa artists here in San Diego!

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

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