About the Studio
LDLA has been the most popular dance studio in LA since 1988. While our teachers may look like ordinary dance instructors they have some serious credentials. Over the years we have had a who's who of Ballroom, Latin, Swing, and Salsa superstars teach and perform for us. Allow us to toot our horn because we're proud of what we accomplished and the impact on all the students whose lives we have touched.
Enio Cordoba opened the studio in 1988 after a 13 year competitive career. He started folkloric dancing in 1972 as a way to meet girls. By the time he was 17, he was sneaking in to the famous Virginia's Salsa club on 7th St in Downtown LA. When he started at USC a girlfriend introduced him to social ballroom dancing. To his good fortune, the instructor was Ron Montez, soon to become the 7 time US Professional Latin Champion. In his first competition the USC Collegiate Invitational Open, Enio was shocked to win the USC Invitational Latin Competition while getting knocked out in the first round of the Ballroom Competition. Soon after, with his first partner he was working hard to move up the amateur ranks. It would be two years before he won his second competition. Once he started winning he won every competiton until he reached the US Amateur Championships in 1979. At that event he placed 2nd and was invited to compete at the World Amateur Championships in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Click here for more.
Losing the US Championship lit a fire in him and he joined forces with young Natalie Mavor who at 14 was already showing the the skill that would make her one of America's best dancers. Within 6 weeks they won the US Championship even though they were living 1500 miles apart. At the Worlds that year in Stuttgardt, Germany they placed 17th against couples who had been together for years.
Turning pro that summer Enio immediately won the California and Texas Rising Star Professional Championships and went through 4 partners in 6 months. With Kate Cordoba he went on a cruise ship for 1 year where they could train and perform daily. Within that year they incredibly made the 24 of the British Open Pro and just missed the final of the US Open. During that time Enio had the great fortune to train with the best coaches in the world- Nina Hunt, Walter Laird, Mic Stylianos, Peter Maxwell, Alan Fletcher, and Liz Romaine. At home Enio had trained in jazz with the legendary Roland DuPree before he retired and subsequently Joe Tremaine, Joe Bennett, and many of the legends of the Jazz/Ballet scene in LA.
After a couple of years off while his partner had two children, Enio returned with his 3rd long distance partnership-this time with Karen Lee from Denver. Within one year they won the Florida Rising Star Championship and then 4 weeks later the US Rising Star Championship. By this time Enio had three sons and decided to focus on opening a studio to create a more stable income. And so in 1988 LDLA was born. Over the next 10 years he had many achievements including the US ProAm Championship with student Janet Kvasnak. He also started competing in the Swing world.
At the World Swing Championships, he and partner Terryl Jones won the Cabaret Division in one of their only 5 competitions together before retiring for good.
In the 90's Enio was invited to work with Ice Skaters at Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Over the next 18 years he choreographed for 9 couples who competed in the Olympics. World & Olympian legend Dick Button called Enio the hottest choreographer in skating today on ESPN. Some of his couples included US Champs, Roca & Sur, Punsalan & Swallow, Sargent & Weatherby, Gregory & Petukov and couples representing Japan & Azerbajian In 1993 & 1994 Enio was honored with three Feather Awards as the Hottest Mambo Dancer and Top Teacher. As the Salsa world was starting to heat up Enio decided to focus on Salsa or Mambo as it was then called.
Working with Mambo legends Bob Medeiros and Joe Cassini, Enio began to go back to his roots and the roots of latin dancing. Over the next few years LDLA became known for both Salsa and Swing as brother Robert Cordoba was becoming the 7 time US Champion in Swing.
In the 1997 Enio was invited to work on the movie Dance With Me and over the next six months spent much time training the actors and assisting with choreography both in the ballroom and Salsa scenes. Since then Enio and Terryl have performed in over 26 countries teaching the world to Salsa. Among those perfomances they have taught the the Blackpool Dance Congress, the German Teachers Congress in Frankfurt, and Congresses in Sweden, Norway, London, Amsterdam, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Slovakia, Latvia, Turkey, Austria, and Canada. Enio judged the World Salsa Championships for ESPN, the LA Salsa Congress, and the Country Western World Championships. At the end of 2008 Enio and Natalie reunited for a six week transAtlantic/Caribbean/Panama Canal cruise aboard the Crystal Serenity.
Phase Three of his life started when he purchased the old Polo Club in Alhambra in 1992 and renamed it the Granada. Over the next five years the Granada became the most popular Salsa club in LA. Not the biggest but the dancers' favorite because of the beautiful venue and incredible floor. In the 9 years that they owned the building they won have won three Pasadena Weekly Best Salsa Club awards plus Best DJ, twice, Best Place to Dance, Best Spanish Restaurant and runner up in the Best Live Venue. They won so many times that they were declared ineligible for future years! In 2007 they also were finalists in MyFoxLA's Best of LA nightclubs coming in 3rd and tops among Salsa clubs.
An Air Force brat growing up allover the world Terryl Jones returned to the USA from the Phillipines and got a job parking private jets at a private airport in Little Rock, Arkansas. Wanting to do something girly she signed up for a ballroom dance teachers training course at a relatively late age of 18. Training at the local Fred Astaire dance studio in Little Rock, she grew to love the sport and soon won the Fred Astaire national Rising Star Ballroom Championship. Over the next few years she migrated from Arkansas to Tennessee, to Louisiana and finally Texas where she entered the world of competitive dancing. Preferiing the balloorm dances she chose to train in International Standard. She got a British partner and soon won the Florida State Rising Star Championship at the Breakers. Click here for more.
Moving to Los Angeles she taught at many studios in Orange County and San Diego. Through her friendship with 15 time undefeated World Latin Champion Gaynor Fairweather she became friends with Enio and they soon teamed up. When he broke his foot a few months later they began to tandem teach and a partnership was born.
With Enio having retired from competing, Terryl thought her competition days were over. Not long afte,r they were invited to perform aboard the Stella Solaris cruise ship in the Adriatic circuit from Athens to Istanbul.
Upon returning they entered the World Swing Championships as a lark and won the Cabaret Division. Over the next two years they placed in the finals of several Swing championships and performed all over the United States.
Through Enio's friendship with 7 time US Latin Champion Liz Curtis, they were invited to work on the feature film Dance With Me teaching the director Randa Haines and many of the stars including Chayanne, Vanessa Williams, Kris Kristofferson, and Joan Plowright. Once the training was complete they also performed in many of the latin scenes, the club scenes of the after party and much of the behind-the-camera work in the ballroom scenes.
Their work on the movie Dance With Me got them invited to lecture at the British Dance Congress in Blackpool, the German Teachers Congress in Frankfurt and perform at Salsa events in all across Europe,Turkey and Beijing, China.
At the age of 40, Terryl returned to the world of competition. Within 3 weeks of commencing with former British Junior Champion Nigel Clarke as a partner, they were in the finals of several major competions and were quarter finalists at the prestigious Ohio Star Ball. Retiring once again from competing, Terryl helped Enio open their restaurant/club/studio in Alhambra where she now resides.
In addition to her fabulous ballroom training Terryl returned to training with master instructor Marie Josee and did over 600 hours of training in Pilates and movement analysis.
Enio and Terryl: Two of the World's Finest Master InstructorsBy Edie, The Salsa FREAK (creator of Salsaweb- the world's #1 Salsa site)
The caliber of instruction by Enio Cordoba and his wife, Terryl Jones, is unparalleled. Both teach at Let's Dance in Alhambra (now South Pasadena) California, and have a student base numbering the thousands. Holding classes virtually seven days a week (now 4.5 days), the Let's Dance studio has some of the largest dance classes in Southern California. It's a rarity to catch them outside of their busy studio for a non-interrupted conversation, but I had that opportunity just a few weeks ago. They are both very down to earth, and genuinely nice people, who deeply care about the business and their students. Click here for more.
Enio and Terryl have a dance and training background that is to die for. Both have taught
and trained with some of the top names in the industry. Enio and Terryl have become
household names with dancers and instructors from all over the world, eager to take their
popular techniques classes, and instructor-training courses.
I have known Enio and Terryl for quite some time, and have had the opportunity not only dancing with Enio, but also performing on stage with their dance company. Having been in the Salsa community now for a number of years, and continued my own education from some of the finest instructors in the world, I can often guess who has trained whom. I can always tell an Enio / Terryl-trained student. Whenever I run across one, it's always a treat dancing with them. Each has a sharp, exciting, and refined lead, with a taste of ballroom, and a mouthful of Latin flavor.
Enio and Terryl's specialty is dancing to the music, which is an entirely different level of education, very difficult to find. Their methods take dance to an entirely different level. This highly professional way of leading can be tricky to follow if you're always trying to force your basic count and step on the leader. I've tried it, and it doesn't work. What works is hesitating just a bit, and waiting for him. What works is listening to the music. What works is NOT THINKING, letting go, and just enjoying the ride! It's passionate and fiery, soothing and crystal. Trust me, it will ROCK YOUR WORLD!!
Click here to read the rest of the interview on Edie's website.