Cassandra de Mercedes is the Owner and Artistic Director of Baila con Pasión, the premier Latin dance company in Minneapolis, MN and in the Twin Cities area, previously in Stuart, FL, Charlotte, NC and Bavaro Dominican Republic. She is the choreographer & artistic director of Salsa con Pasión, Bachata con Pasión and Las Bellas de Baila con Pasión, her student & professional performing teams as well as the trainer for her World Team Project Minneapolis Teams. She is extremely proud to be one of the prestigious World Mastery Academies worldwide and is certified in the full curriculum of Multi Time World Champions, Adrian and Anita as well as Fernando Sosa’s curriculum, SOSA Style Salsa. We also incorporate the Black Belt Salsa program and she was part of the development team for Black Belt Bachat as well as a World Team Project Team Trainer, World Mastery Instructor and a World Mastery Ambassador!!
Cassandra began dancing professionally at the age of 13 and has spent nearly 3 decades in the entertainment industry working as both a professional dancer and a professional singer. She is classically trained in ballet, ballroom and Latin dance but upon discovering her love and passion for Latin dance specifically Salsa, Bachata, Bachatango and Cha-Cha, they became her sole career focus. After having a school in the Dominican Republic and enjoying the opportunity to train with various famous Bachateros, Cassandra and her husband who is from Santo Domingo, bring Bachata to wherever they are teaching, directly from the home of Bachata.
Cassandra has taught thousands of students from Minneapolis, MN to Washington DC to Charlotte, NC to the Dominican Republic and back again (and also everywhere in between) and has been a featured instructor at the largest and most prestigious Bachata Congress in the world, The Washington DC Bachata Congress. She is also one of the few International Instructors that has been invited to teach Bachata, in the very home and birthplace of Bachata. In demand to teach at Salsa and Bachata Congresses all over the world, she and her partner were one of few select couples from all over South, Central and North Americas that were invited to compete in the Americas Bachata Masters competition for an opportunity to represent the USA at the finals in Spain in February of 2013.
A skilled dancer, performer and choreographer, Cassandra brings a rare joy and insatiable passion to the dance floor along with her elegant and graceful style in Salsa and Bachata. As an instructor, Cassandra has a very strong technical emphasis in her teaching, which ensures that her students become extremely well rounded dancers. Her passion for life in general along with her passion for Salsa and Bachata is truly contagious!
She continues her own training with regular private instruction from World Champion salsa coaches such as Adrian and Anita, Fernando Sosa, Karen and Ricardo, Abel Pena and Zulmara Torres, Cristian Oviedo, Liz Lira and Edie the Salsa Freak so that she can bring all of that training back to her students and she trains weekly with multi time World Champion Anita Santo Rubin. She was coached for upcoming competitions with World Champion trainers Sonia Rivera and Ezgi Zaman.