Natives of Jefferson City, MO, and Lawton, OK respectively, Steve and Renate have been the Lead Instructor duo of SALSAtlanta since 2009 and co-directs the SALSAtlanta Performance Group. Steve was introduced to Salsa and Renate, now fiancée, 16 years ago while serving in the U.S. Army. Both were was instantly drawn to the dance, music and Latin culture and the two of them began to acquire their skills informally at dance venues, congresses and social events.
Renate’s full-time employer transferred her to Atlanta in 2004 when she met Julian Mejia, SALSAtlanta and the world of Casino and Afro-Cuban dancing. Steve later joined Renate in Atlanta in 2005 after fulfilling his military obligations. Under Julian’s tutelage, they became versed in the history and music of Cuban popular and Afro-Cuban dancing. Their talents in these genres were further strengthened by undergoing intensive training in Cuba with Sabor DKY, Conjunto Folklorico Nacional de Cuba, Cutumba Ballet Folklorico, and Ballet Folklorico Babul. Steve has refined and continues to refine his skills and knowledge thru mentorship and training with professional Master instructors and dancers including the late Felix (Pupy) Insua, Roberto Borrell, duane Wrenn, Kati Hernandez, Luis Gonzales of Clave y Son, Michael "Michelito" Herrera, and Ricardo Hayes. Renate has done the same through Kati Hernandez, Ana Llorente, Neri Torres, the late Felix (Pupy) Insua, Roberto Borrell, Michael "Michelito" Herrera, and Ricardo Hayes.