About Us

Why ?

In Miami, any guy could be called “Papi.” Your dad is “papi”, your son is “papito”, and the new acquaintance whose name you can’t remember…? “Oye, papi!

Just like any guy in Miami might be called “papi,” we believe any person, regardless of their age, gender, culture, etc., can learn how to dance.

About the Owner

Raul Cabrera was born and raised in Miami, and has over ten years of experience as a latin dance instructor. He has trained at dance academies including Salsa Pura in Colombia; Los Salseros de Stanford in San Francisco; and Salsa Lovers® in Miami.

After being introduced to salsa dancing by his Cuban family, Raul started taking salsa lessons in Miami in 2010. Two years later, he founded the salsa dancing club at his high school, Doral Academy. Next, he joined his university’s latin dance team as a performer, dance instructor, and event organizer. He organized over a dozen, alcohol-free latin dance parties on the Stanford campus featuring live bands, local performers, multiple instructors, photographers, and two party rooms: salsa and bachata.

From 2016 – 2019, Raul was a singer for Stanford’s latin jazz band. Under the direction of Grammy-nominated Murray Low, Raul performed songs by artists such as El Gran Combo, Celia Cruz, and Marc Anthony.

After graduating with a Master’s Degree in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University and working for the local water utility for two years, Raul traded in his construction boots for an extra pair of dance shoes, establishing Salsa Papi Dance Company in Miami in October 2021.

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Raul Cabrera, Owner & Lead Instructor
Social Dancing at a Stanford Event. Photo Credit: Dickson Thian.

After being introduced to salsa dancing by his Cuban family, Raul started taking lessons at Salsa Lovers in 2010. Two years later, he founded the salsa dancing club at his high school, Doral Academy, and began teaching other students how to dance. He went on to join his university’s salsa dancing team, Los Salseros de Stanford. After a year of learning choreographies and performing at various campus events, he turned in his performance costume and became the team’s event coordinator. He organized over a dozen alcohol-free latin dance parties on the Stanford campus featuring live bands, local performers, multiple instructors, and two party rooms (salsa and bachata).

From 2016 – 2019, Raul further deepened his appreciation for latin music by joining Stanford’s Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble (SALJE) as a vocalist. Under the direction of Grammy-nominated Murray Low, Raul performed songs by artists such as El Gran Combo, Celia Cruz, Jose Alberto “El Canario”, Tony Vega, and Spanish Harlem Orchestra.

After working for a few years as an engineer for a water utility, Raul traded in his construction boots for (an extra pair of!) dance shoes, establishing Salsa Papi Dance Company in December 2021.

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Improvised Performance to Live Band, Photo Credit: Stuart Nafey
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Performance with Ray Vega & SALJE. Photo Credit: Tom Ehrlich.