Ana Karen recently won the Pro-Am Canadian Championships in Toronto as well, placing 1st at the Pro-Am World Salsa Championships in Miami, Florida. She then competed for the very first time in the Professional category in Toronto for the WLDC qualifiers placing 1st. She also participated and placed 2nd at the Canadian Championships in Toronto and World Latin Dance Cup in Miami, Florida in Bachata.
For many years, Ana Karen has excelled in dance in Manitoba, both nationally and internationally. She is a three-time Manitoba Dance Festival Ballet Scholarship recipient, and was the featured ballet soloist at a Manitoba Dance Festival Gala Showcase.
Ana Karen made it to the “top twelve” out of 100+dancers, placing 6st at the prestigious international ballet competition, the Youth American Grand Prix (Y.A.G.P.), in Chicago, USA for both her Contemporary solo and Pointe solo. Ana also won the highest overall score for all senior solos at the Canadian National Dance Championships, for another pointe solo, which was to be the very first time the highest overall score was awarded to a ballet number in Winnipeg.
Her primary efforts over the past several years have been focused on creating a salsa kids dance program. She began Salsa Explosion Kids with a curriculum focused on the fundamentals of salsa, teaching teenagers up to 17 all the way down to first time dancers as young as 2 years old. The school has over 50 kids and continues to grow! Salsa Explosion Kids have won gold medals in solos, couple, and team competitions in 2019 & 2020 at the Canada Salsa & Bachata Congress.
Winnipeg recognizes Salsa Sunday’s as one of the summer’s “Must Do’s” in the city. Held at The Forks, this is a full evening of entertainment filled with performances followed by hundreds of people gathered to dance to live salsa and bachata music. Originating in 2005, this is still run by Ana Karen and her father, Leo Lopez, and we are eager to be back one day!
The Winnipeg International Salsa Congress is a highly regarded Canadian congress with pros from all over the world. Ana and her father started this event and have now been running it for over the past 5 years. The congress attracts some of the top talent in the world, including the likes of Jorge y Maria and Karen y Ricardo. There is a reason so many of these incredible performers return!
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