Luz Mercier (nee Rodriguez) was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico and moved often around the world as a child during her mother’s military career. She has trained in folkloric bomba, jazz, modern and hip hop dance. Wanting to reconnect with her Puerto Rican roots, Luz turned to Latin music and dance after college. She discovered salsa at a Latin night club and was immediately hooked. Luz began taking classes and was soon performing on local dance teams in her then-hometown of Atlanta. In 2006 she moved to Washington, DC to pursue a professional dance career. As a former principal dancer and instructor of the ClaveKazi Dance Company, she competed and performed at global events in over 35 cities in Europe, Asia, Caribbean and the Americas. Winner of the 2008 DC Salsa Open, Luz represented her adopted city at the Puerto Rico Salsa Open. In 2009, she spent 8 months teaching and choreographing at the EDSAE dance school in Lisbon, Portugal, as well as teaching and performing throughout Europe with Shaka Brown.Luz and Jimmy Yoon met at a salsa night in 2009, and went on to travel and teach all over the US as well as in Korea, Thailand and Singapore. In 2012, Luz and Jimmy co-founded DC Style Salsa Academy with the goal of codifying, preserving and promoting the unique On2 style born on the DC dance scene. Now a veteran performer and instructor (and a mom!) Luz is enjoying teaching salsa to the DC community, and traveling overseas to social dance and connect with fellow dancers when possible.
Jimmy Yoon is a professional salsa dance teacher who has served the Washington, DC salsa dance community for over 10 years. Jimmy grew up in his native Oakland, California, but spent most of his adult life living in Washington, DC.Jimmy has studied, trained under, and worked with some of the greatest salsa dance figures to have ever graced humanity, such as Chris Harris, Shaka Brown, Irene Holtzman, Tommy “Mr. Mambo” Smith, Luz Rodriguez, Tanya Smith, Adrian Valdivia, and others. Jimmy currently studies Afro-Cuban folkloric dance under Master Oscar Rousseaux Pons.Jimmy received his novice dance teacher training under Shaka Brown and Irene Holtzman in 2008 at Washington, DC’s landmark Clavekazi Dance Studio. It is there that he was professionalized as a salsa dance teacher. He was also the resident salsa “On 2” instructor at the legendary Mr. Mambo’s Social for several years.Having danced salsa since 2004, Jimmy has danced and taught in cities all across North America, Europe, and Asia. Jimmy is a well-known salsa dance teacher, recognized in salsa communities all around the world as a reputable and trusted source of knowledge. His scholarly approach to salsa dance has won him recognition, voted as the best salsa dance instructor in Washington, DC for many years. He has thousands of live teaching hours under his belt, hundreds of dance tutorials on youtube, is requested to dance and teach at events all over the world, and has personally professionalized a number of other salsa dance teachers, ensuring the continuity of knowledge.Jimmy is the co-founder of the DC Style Salsa Academy, Washington, DC’s largest salsa dance school, and organizes Mambo Friday’s, the hottest weekly mambo party in the heart of the capital of the United States.