Although she always had Salsa and Bachata music playing in the background in the Portuguese household she was raised in, Vanessa was only first introduced to Latin dance as an extracurricular activity in high school. Having previously trained in ballet, tap, flamenco, and modern dance, she quickly fell in love and began to learn salsa and bachata choreographies from YouTube in her free time. After attending the New York International Salsa Congress in 2012, she went on to train with many world renowned Latin dancers and perform across US and international stages. In 2016 she was proud to win first place in Bachata Team Open with La Fuerza Dance Company at World Salsa Summit and returned in 2017 to defend their title as champions. 

Since 2015, Vanessa’s passion for teaching has only grown watching the students of Salsa Salsa’s multiple performance teams grow under her and Jose Rivera’s direction. She hopes to continue to motivate budding and experienced dancers to grow with her high energy teaching style, emphasis on technique, in depth body movement breakdowns, and quirky humor.