Baila Society


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Get to Know Baila

Ahtoy is the Artistic Co-Director of BAILA Society (BASo). Her early professional dance training began with the Houston and San Francisco Ballet Companies. She has held lead roles in musical and dance theater and became a top international Latin Ballroom competitor in the collegiate circuit while attending Columbia University. Ahtoy was one of the principal dancers and instructors of Santo Rico Dance Company, and has since traveled the globe to perform, teach, and judge international dance competitions while directing BASo's repertory company. Daniel speaks seven languages and received his Master of Arts degree in Germany. After a decade of working in Europe and Asia, he moved to New York City in 2000 on an O-Visa as a "person with extraordinary abilities". He studied jazz and music theory, and as a professional tennis player, martial artist and part-time model, Daniel used his athletic abilities to study many different dance forms including ballet, jazz, Dunham, African, and ballroom, before founding BAILA Society with Ahtoy WonPat Borja Joseph Rivera, to focus on Latin Dance and Salsa. As Artistic Co-Director, dancer, choreographer, judge, and advisor and board member of various companies, Daniel is involved in a multitude of ongoing activities, including overseeing the training for BAILA Society's repertory company, being a judge for the World Latin Dance Cup and various national championships in Europe, Asia, the US and Latin America, creating company works and guest choreography, being on the board of the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company, and performing and teaching masterclasses and workshops around the world. BAILA Society produces original research on the culture, history, music and dance theory to educate the general public on the sophistication and history of NY Salsa. BASo in New York partners with Peridance, one of the premier ballet and modern dance companies to bring NY Salsa to the classical dance world and codify its techniques to certify dance schools around the world in the BASo Salsa teaching methodology.