Julio Montero is a Cuban-born dance instructor who has an in-depth knowledge of Cuban salsa, which is actually called “casino” in his native island. He was born into a family that is completely obsessed with music and dance. He grew up in the historic city of Santiago de Cuba, motherland to the very roots of Cuba’s most distinctive musical exports, and lived in neighbourhoods renowned for their strong traditions of conga, son, and Afro-Haitian rhythms.
Upon arriving in Canada, he continued to pursue post-secondary studies, eventually obtaining a double major from the University of British Columbia. Julio Montero does not have formal dance training in Cuban salsa, because that doesn’t really exist: “In Cuba, you don’t go to dance school to learn how to dance salsa. I dance like every other empirical Cuban dancer, and that’s the best role model I could be for anyone who wants to move their body like ordinary Cubans do”.
That being said, in his methodology, Julio Montero incorporates the skills acquired during four years at the Frank País Teachers’ University of Santiago de Cuba, where he studied to become an English teacher. His main goal is to pass onto his students the rhythmic legacy he has inherited, as well as the positive cultural values associated with Afro-Latin Caribbean culture.