Mahiri Fainke

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Ase’ Dance: West African & Afro-Cuban Dance
Email Mahiri Fainke for more information about classes or call, (505) 545-4719

Originally from Philadelphia, PA, Mahiri grew up learning African and Afro-Cuban dancing and drumming. At about 2 years of age Mahiri had his first performance. Mahiri has studied with master dancers like Mouminatou Camara , Djenaba Sako, Youssouf Koumbassa, and Yalani Bangoura. He also has experience with ballet, tap, jazz, and Afro-Contemporary.

At 13 years of age, Mahiri is Maple Street’s youngest and most ambitious teacher, and will be starting 9th grade at PAPA, Albuquerque’s Public Academy for Performing Arts, in the fall of 2019. In reference to his new class, he says, “This class is for all levels. I want people to come support and have a good time and learn something new. Come out and help this kid get somewhere!”

…I couldn’t agree more!


Pilar Leto

Afro-Cuban Folkloric & Last Monday of the Month: SAMBA!
Email Pilar Leto for information about classes or call (505) 889-LETO (5386)  

Afro-Cuban & Brazilian Dance. Pilar was born and raised in San Francisco, where she was influenced and immersed in not only her Filipino cultural dances, but also the dances of Brazil, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Becoming a member of Batucaje (one of the founding groups of San Francisco's CARNAVAL over twenty years ago) was the catalyst that inspired Pilar's performance desires. Pilar has toured Japan twice performing with her group, The Caribbean Festival Dancers. She has traveled to Cuba three times to further her knowledge of Afro-Cuban folkloric dances. While in Cuba, Pilar studied at the Escuela Nacional de Arte with members of Conjunto Folklorico National and Raices Profundas.

Pilar sums up her endeavors as this: "The dance I perform and teach is a collective contribution to the evolution of an ancient, expressive, and timeless African-based cultural art form. As is customary in this great evolution, the dance and music reflect my concerns, my aspirations, and the passionate celebration of life".