About Me

Rodolfo Navarrete

Rodolfo learned to dance as a boy growing up in Chile at the regular Sunday family get-togethers at

the house of his maternal grandfather, a native of Peru with an extensive knowledge of Latin music

and dance. Rhythms such as bolero, son, danzon and cumbia were the staple of Rodolfo’s childhood.

In his teens Rodolfo devoted himself to hapkido, a Korean martial art, but at the end of the ‘90s, as

the salsa craze was sweeping South America, he realized he could turn his childhood passion into a

profession and found his true vocation as a dancer, performer and choreographer.

In Chile at that time, salsa was danced to with steps and moves adopted from rock ‘n roll and other

dance forms. Together with a few friends, Rodolfo started travelling back and forth to neighboring

Argentina, where the salsa scene was more advanced. In the wake of Eli Irizarri’s groundbreaking

1997 Puerto Rican salsa congress, congresses were being organized in Argentina featuring salsa

greats such as the Vasquez brothers from LA and Eddie Torres from NY. In Chile Rodolfo started his

own dance school, introducing mambo or ‘on2’ and cross-body style salsa to Chile. In 2003 he was

involved as a volunteer in organizing Chile’s 1st International Salsa Congress. In 2005 he teamed up

with a prodigy of the unique Argentinean dance company 2×4 Mambo, teenage salsa star and later

salsa world champion Karen Forcano. They performed throughout South America together and even

appeared on television several times. In 2009 Karen formed a couple with a student of Rodolfo’s, her

current partner Ricardo Vega.

In 2008 Rodolfo was invited to come to Poland to help cope with the ever-growing demand for salsa

instructors there. Excited about the opportunity to expand his frontiers, Rodolfo was soon giving

classes at various schools in Poland. He enjoyed the environment and was happy to be able to work

on his English skills, which he needed to improve quickly in order to give classes. He found a dance

partner in Evelina Kucko, with whom he started teaching and performing throughout Poland and at

salsa congresses all over Europe. It was a very instructive and inspiring period for Rodolfo, as it gave

him a chance to associate with and learn from some of the best dancers around. In 2009 he won the

first prize as a solo dancer at the Mambo Weekend in Wuppertal.

Evelina and Rodolfo ended up in Amsterdam, where Rodolfo felt very much at home. He decided to

stay and started teaching classes for Extremos and later on for other schools in Amsterdam, Swing

Latino and LA Salsa, as well as for Salsamotion in Haarlem and SalsaAntigua in Amersfoort. Evelina

had decided to return to Poland. At the beginning of 2014 Rodolfo finally opened his own school in

Amsterdam, SalsaAmsterdam, together with his current partner Janneke Bexkens, where he offers

classes in salsa, mambo, cha-cha, pachanga and Afro-Cuban, all in his unique style, forged through a

lifetime of dancing and learning.