About Me

Rodolfo Navarrete 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 staples 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 neighbouring Argentina, where the salsa scene was more advanced. In the wake of Eli Irizarri’s groundbreaking 1997 Puerto Rican salsa congress, congresses were being organised 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 organising 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 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. nowadays with his current partner Janneke Bexkens, 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.