Salsa-Tropical Director - Maria Palmieri


Maria Palmieri is the Director of Salsa-Tropical Ltd Company providing Salsa Classes and Parties in London. She is Latina, originally from Brazil with an Italian father and a Latin American mother. She trained as a professional dancer at Alvin Ailey’s School in New York and London Contemporary Dance School and has a Master in Choreography from the Laban Center London.

She started studying ballet in a dance studio in a professional dance school where she performed shows since 9 years old. At 10 years old, she had piano lessons, learning how to read music, which was one of her passions. Acting classes were also part of her training at 12 years old.

Maria has graduated and has a B. A. in dance from PUC University in Brazil and graduated in a Year Special Course at The London Contemporary Dance School, The Place, from where she gained a scholarship for Alvin Ailey Dance School in New York City.

Culminating in a MA in Movement Dance Studies from Laban Centre, London. Her ballet training was pervasive, with an emphasis on technique and expression. It taught her discipline and control, but she gained sharpness, style, and slick qualities through Jazz. Contemporary dance was her main focus for a while, expanding her knowledge in dance through various styles: Martha Graham, Limon, Cunningham, Release, and from there Contact improvisation and Choreography.

She has been teaching dance since 1994, including 3 years teaching at BTEC – Performing Arts, Croydon College, at The City Lit and several other Adult Education in Brazil, New York and London.
In 2015, Salsa-Tropical School was invited to participate in the popular TV Program: Strictly Come Dancing on BBC London!

Salsa Training

She has studied Cuban Salsa with professional teachers from Teatro Nacional de Havana. She learned Son Cubano, Rumba, Afro dance and the African influence in Salsa, where she experienced its roots. And started to teach Salsa at Bishopsgate Institute in the Heart of London in 1999.

Then she has since dedicated her time to train in different styles of Salsa: La Rueda de Casino, L A, New York and Puertorican/Mambo; participating in several International Salsa Congresses: LA, UK, New York, Paris, Rome and Zurich, where she was inspired and taught by world-famous teachers and where she developed her dancing and teaching skills.

She travelled internationally to observe these Master’s teachers describing/teaching movements and dance with great precision and well-experienced methods and found them highly inspiring.

“Teaching is a very separate skill to performing especially dealing with a different culture than mine own. The most important element in teaching is communicating it well, which I learned from my professional training as a Dance teacher and NLP. Now I apply this Knowledge to Salsa and Latin American Dance. 

As a trained dancer learning the woman steps was very easy, and therefore I started to learn the man steps, so then I was able to lead and give feedback to my male students on how it feels from the follower’s point of view.

For me, music interpretation and dance are about feeling. The technique should be a vehicle to express your feelings.” – Maria Palmieri.

Salsa Teaching

“I just got the opportunity to teach Salsa while I was still teaching in a Performing Arts School in London, and gradually I realized how much I enjoyed it. So I dedicate more time perfecting it all!!! I confess: I am a perfectionist who aims to do my best!”

In London, where she lived since 1991, except from 1994-1997, she lived in New York. Then she was offered the opportunity to run her own classes in London and consequently in other places.

She has been teaching Salsa since 1999 at Bishopsgate Institute and several other locations as a guest or running and promoting her own Club, classes, Corporate Events, Weddings, Private lessons. She teaches Cuban Salsa, L.A., La Rueda de Casino, Son Cubano, Mambo, Cha cha, Merengue, New York style, Bachata and Samba.

Besides teaching group lessons, for many years, she has also taught several private lessons: having taught, choreographed and performed extensively for corporate clients such as HSBC, UBS Warburg, Theodore Goddard’s etc.

She has taught internationally in London, Greece, Switzerland, and Australia. In 2002 she was invited to teach Ladies Style in Switzerland-Basel and Lucerne and also in London. She emphasized details and precision with enthusiasm, encouragement, motivation and focused on a style. She brings her strong dance foundation to her specialization in salsa and draws upon her experience of teaching and performing internationally.

Her approach to Salsa emphasizes self-expression, style, connection with your partner through music, and a flowing style. She really pays attention to technique, but her aim as a teacher or choreographer, either for a show, a wedding or providing a salsa event for a company, fosters the connection between people through dance.

Performance and Choreography

Maria had been the choreographer of Miss England 2021 Rehema Muthamia, for her Miss World 2021 talent competition in Puerto Rico.

Performance has been part of her life since she was 9 years old and continued through her life.

She performed Rueda de Casino and partner dance shows for different events in London and also in Switzerland. She performed at numerous venues in London such as The Rocket, Bar Latino. She has been requested to choreograph and perform for Corporate Events including a salsa celebration for Theodore Goddard’s Law firm.

In the past years, choreography has been her main focus in dance. She has studied Choreography and Visual Design for her Master in Dance at the Laban Centre. Her final dissertation was a film. The creative field of dance and film has been her present inspiration in which she aspires to integrate.

Maria has worked as a choreographer, designer and stylist for The Whole Hog Company (