Who We Are
Our Goal is Two Part:
1. We want to bring world-renowned international dance companies and artists to Coastal Virginia to share their culture in accessible events including performances, workshops, lectures, and social dances with live music.
2. We aim to cultivate a relationship with the diverse international communities that exist in Hampton Roads by providing a platform for sharing their culture through dance.
Board of Directors
Mila Carr, Founder & President
Mila Carr relocated to Norfolk from Washington, DC five years ago. The move came as an unintended homecoming due to having local familial roots. Her maternal grandfather is from Norfolk. As a child, she developed a strong passion for international culture and dance when she was introduced to West African dance styles. She trained and performed with Kankouran dance company until she graduated high school. Her interest in world cultures further developed when she studied and later received her Bachelors in International Affairs with a concentration on Lesser Developed Countries (LDCs) from Trinity College, DC. During this period, she studied abroad in Morocco, London and Brussels.
Ann Mazzocca, Vice President
Ann Mazzoccca is an Assistant Professor of dance at Christopher Newport University. Ann relocated to Hampton Roads in 2011 after completing her MFA in Experimental Choreography from the University of California, Riverside — and dancing professionally with Haitian and Afro-Cuban folkloric companies for several years based in New York City. She performs and presents her choreography based in Afro-Caribbean folkloric themes and contemporary postmodern approaches to composition on the local to international levels, most recently at multiple venues in New York City, the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, PFAC in Newport News, and in Port au Prince, Haiti. She has a book chapter published in the edited volume, Vodou in the Haitian Experience: A Black Atlantic Perspective, multiple co-authored essays in The Geography Teacher, a forthcoming co-authored chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Shakespeare and Dance, and a co-authored essay forthcoming in Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. She is a member of Congress on Research in Dance, Society for Dance History Scholars, KOSANBA, and co-founder of ArtPile, an experimental performance collective in Hampton Roads. (M.A. UCLA, B.A. Amherst College)
Olga Torres, Board Member
Olga Torres, born and raised in Puerto Rico until the age of 13, resides in Virginia Beach, and is a Senior Marketing Consultant at La Selecta Radio 103.3 FM / WVXX 1050 AM, Hampton Roads Hispanic music stations. Ms. Torres has worked in the interpreting and translation field for the past eleven years. She is a business partner at Dragonfly Latina Productions, promoting events and causes for Latina women. An active Partner with Dragonfly Latina Productions since 2015, she was Co-Director of the Miss Virginia Latina and Miss Teen Virginia Latina state pageants. The mission of these pageants is to empower young Latinas who are proud of their heritage and have a desire for achievement, recognition, and the betterment of themselves, their families and their communities. Because of her previous work and community involvement, she was recognized as Business Woman of the Year by the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in 2005.
Her volunteer work continues today. She served as President of the Hampton Roads Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HRHCC) for 5 years and is preparing to step into the supporting role of immediate past president. Under her leadership since August 2012, the Chamber experienced positive growth, visibility, and recognition in the community. In February 2014 Ms. Torres was recognized by the Urban League of Hampton Roads Young Professionals with a Silver Star of Diversity Award for her volunteer work with HRHCC. In the fall of 2015 she was welcomed as a member of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Leadership Forum (HLF), whose Mission is to “focus on development of leaders within the Hispanic community through education, the arts, and cultural engagement”. Some of her other volunteer experience include the Virginia Beach Small Business Subcommittee, Hampton Roads Diversity & Inclusion Consortium, ERT Community Roundtable, AARP Virginia, and since 2012, her vision has been instrumental in establishing the Circle of Latinas of Hampton Roads, which serves as a resource to mainly Spanish speaking Latinas and their families.
Chae Danielle, Board Member
Chae Danielle believes in the ability of dance to transform lives and ignite a sense of inner awareness and power. Originally trained in Rueda de Casino (Cuban salsa) by Christopher Rogicki of Fuákata NYC, she has also studied other Cuban dance styles under many acclaimed instructors, including Afro-Cuban folkloric dance, rumba, and son. Once introduced to these dance forms, she was enamored by their sense of community and freedom. She hopes to foster that sense of community in her students. In addition to Cuban dance, she is also trained in modern, Caribbean and African styles. She is currently an instructor at the Mambo Room in Norfolk. She hopes to pursue two master’s degrees in social work and dance/movement therapy (DMT) in the near future.
Sandra Gutierrez Wilson, Board Member
Sandra Gutierrez Wilson has a BA & MA in Latin American Literature from State University of New York at Albany. A native of El Salvador, Sandra relocated to the New York at the age of 18. She moved to Norfolk in 1988 as a result of her husband being offered an attorney position in a law firm. She worked as a Latin American Literature Professor at Old Dominion University then Hampton University until deciding to stay at home to raise her children. She currently works as a multi-cultural transformational life coach.
Deborah “Dede” Anderson, Board Member
A native of New York City, Deborah “DeDe” Anderson discovered Salsa Dance in her junior years of school and it became a newfound love that progressed into her adult years. During this period, she was approached to join and tour abroad with The LaRocque Bey Dance Theater African Dance troupe at age 14. She later won contests at the Stardust Ballroom, The Roxy, Copacabana and local social parties by pairing with a partner creating Salsa routines for Latin Dance events. She also has provided private instruction for couples and groups.
She attained a RYT-200 Yoga Instructor Certification locally through Zenya Yoga Academy. A resident of Newport News, Dede created a yoga style which incorporates Latin dance with Vinyasa Yoga sequences loosely titled “Yoga Dance.” She has taught at Garden of Zen, Zenya, and major corporations as part of their Wellness Program.
Dede loves to share her passion and love for Salsa, especially with beginners, showing how you can express yourself, have fun, get great exercise and share something with a community of others in Newport News, the Peninsula and anywhere!