Fernando Zapata Zapatissimo Berlin

Fernando Zapata

Dance teacher

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

Fernando Zapata as a dance teacher

One of the most important pillars of his work is the training of professional dancers and dance teachers.

In 2006, Fernando organized various workshops in Colombia. In this context, he was a guest teacher for the six-time salsa world champions, the Swing Latino group and for the world champions in stage tango, Carlos Paredes and Diana Giraldo.

In 1997 he moved to the USA, where he began a new phase in his life and work as a dance teacher and was able to develop internationally as a dance teacher and choreographer thanks to the experience he gained in New York, New Jersey and Belmont.

In August 2008, he represented Germany in the Tango Argentino World Championships 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. This success allowed Fernando and Erica to take part 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 was immediately noticed for his professionalism in teaching dance, creating choreographies and the quality of his dance shows.

In December of the same year, he gave a performance in Bonn together with the Latin world champions Ralph Müller and Olga Omeltchenko. From 2000-2003 he worked as a dance teacher for Salsa and Tango Argentino at the Keller dance school in Berlin and the Creadance dance school. He has also 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 for the well-known modern dance companies Toula Limaios and Rubato and with the Opera Latinoamericana (Astor Piazola - María de Buenos Aires) and also with the Humboldt University in Berlin.

In the same year, he took part in the Akademie der Künste's Tango Project Berlin as a show dancer and choreographic assistant. Fernando also worked as a dancer and choreographer in the program of the summer variety show at the Ufa-Fabrik Berlin: "Aren't we all a little bit tango? (2006), at the Berlin Philharmonie, the Volksbühne (Grüner Salon), in the Tippi Zelt 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 final evening of the World Cup, he was invited to appear before the FIFA Executive Committee and the international delegates at the German Historical Museum.

In 2007, he had already founded his own professional show group, the Latinodance-Company-Berlin. This group performed and still performs at major events, galas, performances and fashion shows with dances such as tango, salsa, samba, reggae, hip hop and bachata - a new focus for Fernando. His contact with the Dominican Republic and his 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 not only invited to Berlin's First Bachata Festival in November 2010, but also to the - even bigger - First Hamburg Bachata Festival in April 2011.

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

Fernando is still internationally active today with his shows and as a dance teacher for workshops. Invitations to various salsa festivals, alongside artists such as Super Mario, Luis Vázquez, Melisa Fernández and other stars of Latin American dance, continue to take him around the world:

  • Salsacamp Italy (May 2011)
  • Salsa Festival Fürth (June 2011)
  • Bachata Festival Berlin (November 2011)
  • World Salsa Festival, Feria de Cali (Colombia - Dec. 2011)
  • Latinofestival Corsica (September 2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Petersburg Salsa Festival (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 Museums Aug. 31, 2013 (Ibero-American Institute Berlin)
Participation in the 2008 World Championship

In August 2008, he represented Germany in the Tango Argentino World Championships in Buenos Aires. Together with his dance partner Erica Rist, he achieved great success. After competing against 600 professional couples from all over the world, he reached the semi-finals. Fernando and Erica were then allowed to take part in major television shows in Buenos Aires, such as the Show de Susana.

Film and television

His experience as a dancer at Colombia's largest state television station 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.

After moving to New York in 1997, he was able to take part in one of his most interesting projects: Working 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 a dance teacher himself.

He has trained dancers and actors for film and taught international pop music superstars in the fields of dance and choreography, specializing in training technique for actors, men's and women's technique, social dancing and stage dance.

In the documentary Caruca - Life is Dance (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 took part in the panel discussion at the premiere (26.11.2010).

In another panel discussion, the Latin Music Talk organized by the Latin America Forum, Fernando will talk about the development of the salsa music style and current developments on the Berlin scene, and report 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 has appeared in documentaries and commercials, for which he also developed the necessary choreography.

a scientific and cultural event organized by Prof. Dr. Kerstin Störl (Technical University of 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, young people, deaf people)

Fernando Zapata is currently running a project with young people and children at the Cosmopolitan English Language School in Berlin.

As a choreographer, he introduced Latin American dances there so that the students could use the movement and musicality of salsa and tango to harmonize their youthful recklessness with appropriate social behavior - together with their dance students from other cultures.

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

All Sessions by Fernando Zapata

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