Fernando Zapata Zapatissimo Berlin

Fernando Zapata

Dance teacher

Winning numerous dance trophies in different rhythms and categories led him to share the stage with artists such as Madona, Glolria Stephan or Ute Lemper, Gilberto Santa Rosa Grupo Niche and Sexteto Milonguero, among others. He has been invited by world champions in dance to give workshops at various festivals. Its advantage is that it adapts to the abilities of his students and accompanies them in their development, whether they have never danced before or are dance professionals.

Fernando Zapata as dance teacher

One of the main pillars of his activity is training for professional dancers and dance teachers.

So in 2006 Fernando still organized various workshops in Colombia. In this context, he was a guest teacher for the six-time Salsa World Champions, the group Swing Latino and for the World Champions in Stage Tango, Carlos Paredes and Diana Giraldo, among others.

In 1997 he went to the USA, where a new stage began for him with his life and work as a dance teacher, and through the experience gained in New York, New Jersey and Belmont, he was able to develop internationally as a dance teacher and choreographer.

In August 2008 he was to represent Germany in the Tango Argentino World Championship in Buenos Aires. Together with his dance partner Erica Rist, he managed to achieve great success. After competing against 600 professional couples from all over the world, he reached the semi-finals. Because of this success, Fernando and Erica were allowed to participate in major television shows in Buenos Aires, such as the Show de Susana.

Show dance and choreography work

When Fernando came to Germany in 1998, he immediately attracted attention with his professionalism in teaching dance, creating choreographies and the quality of his dance shows.

Already in December of the same year he arranged a performance in Bonn together with the Latin World Champions Ralph Müller and Olga Omeltchenko. From 2000-2003 he worked as a dance instructor for Salsa and Tango Argentino at the Keller Dance School in Berlin and the Creadance Dance School. Furthermore, he performed at Salsa festivals alongside world famous Salsa stars Louis Váskes, Jobby Váskes, Susanna Montero, Leon Rose, Tropical Gem.

In 2005 Fernando worked as principal dancer and trainer of the famous Modern Dance Companies Toula Limaios and Rubato and with the Opera Latinoamericana (Astor Piazola - María de Buenos Aires) and also the Humboldt University of Berlin.

In the same year he participated in the Tango Project Berlin of the Academy of Arts as a show dancer and choreographic assistant. Fernando also participated as a dancer and choreographer in the program of the Summer Variety at the Ufa-Fabrik Berlin: Aren't We All a Little Tango? (2006), also in the Berlin Philharmonic Hall, the Volksbühne (Green Salon), in the Tippi Tent and at the ADAC (2009), in the Adlon and Maritim hotels and at various trade fairs and fashion shows.

In 2006 he was chosen from many competitors from all over the world as the best tango dancer for a show alongside singer Ute Lemper and other stars of the successful musical Cabaret.

On the closing night of the World Cup, he was allowed to appear before the FIFA Presidium and international delegates at the German Historical Museum.

In 2007 years he had already founded his own professional show group, the Latinodance-Company-Berlin. This performed and still performs at big events, galas, performances and fashion shows with dances like tango, salsa, samba, reggae, hip hop and bachata - a new focus of Fernando. The contact with the Dominican Republic and the experience with South American and Caribbean dances in general have contributed to Fernando becoming one of the most important choreographers in the field of Bachata. He was invited not only to the First Bachata Festival of Berlin in November 2010 as well as to the - even bigger - First Bachata Festival of Hamburg in April 2011.

In The Cold of the North, Fernando Zapata choreographed and danced for a cruise line headed for Tallinn, Riga and Stockholm.

Internationally, Fernando is still active with his shows and as a dance instructor for workshops. Invitations to the most diverse Salsa festivals, alongside artists such as Super Mario, Luis Vázquez, Melisa Fernández and other stars of Latin dance, continue to take him around the world:

  • Salsacamp Italy (May 2011)
  • Salsafestival Fürth (June 2011)
  • Bachata Festival Berlin (November 2011)
  • World Salsa Festival, Feria de Cali (Colombia - Dec. 2011)
  • Latinofestival Corsica (September 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Salsa Festival Petersburg (November 2011, 2012)
  • Copenhagen Salsa Festival (May 2012)
  • Opening of the Long Night of Museums Berlin (Klaus Wowereit Kultur Forum Berlin 2012)
  • Swering Castle Garden Night. Aug. 2013
  • Long Night of the Museums Aug. 31 2013 (Iberoamerican Institute Berlin)
Participation in World Championship 2008

In August 2008 he was to represent Germany in the Tango Argentino World Championship in Buenos Aires. Together with his dance partner Erica Rist he managed to achieve very great success. After competing against 600 professional couples from all over the world, he reached the semi-finals. As a result, Fernando and Erica were allowed to participate in major television shows in Buenos Aires, such as the Show de Susana.

Film and television

His experience as a dancer at the largest state television station in Colombia, Caracol Televisión, in the program Baila de Rumba made it easy for Fernando Zapata to work for television (ARD, RTL RBB, MDR) and cinema in Germany as well.

After going to New York in 1997, he was able to participate in one of his most interesting projects: Collaboration as a dancer in the feature film Evita with world star Madonna.

In the film Tango in the Snow, with Ursula Moon, Fernando created the choreographies, trained the actors and took on a role as dance instructor himself.

For the film he trained dancers and actors, he taught international superstars of pop music in the specialties of dance and choreography, as a specialist in training technique for actors, men's and women's technique, social dancing and stage dance.

In the documentary film Caruca - Leben ist Tanz (Cuba-Germany, directed by Kerstin Störl and Cornelius Griep) about the Cuban dancer Caridad Rodríguez Riverón, he designed the choreographies for the dance show, performed as a dancer himself, and participated in the panel discussion at the premiere (Nov. 26, 2010).

In another panel discussion, Latin Music Talk, organized by the Latin America Forum, Fernando will talk about the development of the music style Salsa and about current developments in the Berlin scene, reporting on local and global influences.

In France, Holland, Spain, Denmark, Switzerland, Greece, Poland, Italy and other European countries, as well as in South America and the Caribbean, he appeared in documentaries and commercials, for which he also developed the necessary choreography.

a scientific-cultural event organized by Prof. Dr. Kerstin Störl(Technische Universität Berlin) as part of the Latin America Forum's series of events "Famous Women in Latin America" and in cooperation with the Ibero-American Institute,

Dance as a social component (children, youth, deaf)

Currently, Fernando Zapata is carrying out a project with young people and children from the English language school Cosmopolitan School in Berlin.

He introduced Latin American dances there as a choreographer so that students could balance their youthful recklessness with appropriate social behavior via the movement and musicality of salsa and tango - along with their dance students who came from other cultures.

A current project started by Fernando Zapata in cooperation at the Technical University of Berlin: Diversity and Hybridity in the Context of Culture, Language and Communication (directed by Dr. Prof. Kerstin Stöhrl). It refers to communication problems of physically limited people, especially deaf people, to whom Fernando shows a new perspective through the possibility of dance and body language.

All Sessions by Fernando Zapata

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