About Us


For native dancers, dance is a way of life. We feel music, express ourselves rhythmically and heal through movement. At Salsa Marin Academy, our Mission is simple: We want to share our culture and the way we dance with you!

We teach a unique blend of Cuban and ballroom style Salsa, which makes it elegant yet distinctive, with a traditional Caribbean flavor.


Salsa Marin Dance Academy is a great place to learn to dance salsa and other Latin rhythms! Our comfortable dance studio is based in San Rafael, California and has a staff of professional instructors ready to teach you to dance! Our easy to follow format will walk you through a series of moves creating a deeper understanding of the movement, while having fun, getting in shape and meeting new people!


Whether you are a complete beginner, intermediate dancer or advanced, Salsa Marin Academy can customize a program to suit your needs and give you practical instruction that will quickly make you feel confident on the dance floor! We teach all ages, including kids. Choose from the lessons below or give us a call and get started on your dance journey today!

About Our Instructors

Mark Ellis

Mark is the founder of Salsa Marin Dance Academy. He has been a part of the Salsa scene since its inception. For over 10 years he has committed himself to helping students reach their personal dance goals and is constantly reworking his teaching methods to accommodate the way his students learn best. His clever analogies, friendly disposition and good-natured humor keep his private and group classes lively and enjoyable!

“For me, life is enjoyed through music and movement and I try to share that joy with my students. I see Salsa as a form of life. We live to dance and dance to live. Salsa is more than just steps; it is an opportunity for individual expression, as well as a way of connecting with the world. I teach my students to listen to the music, allow it to move them, connect, and become one with the music. My goal is to encourage dancers to “feel” and not just to become step dancers.”

–Mark Ellis

Our Instructors

Pablo “Dinámico”

Pablo is our Cuban dance instructor that brings the authentic look and feel to our curriculum and dance floor. He is a high-energy teacher who is kind and fun to dance with. He teaches Salsa Rueda de Casino, Bachata Dominicana, and Reggaetón for those looking to dance to the ultimate workout. We invite you to look at our schedule to see what date and times he teaches and come join the fun.

Lucie Ebnerova

Lucie has been dancing with Salsa Marin for eleven years.  She assists in teaching group lessons and specializes in showing followers how to look good on the dance floor.  Her valuable feedback helps expedite the learning process.  Contact us to request Lucie as an additional instructor for your private lesson(s).

carem love

Carem Love is our client manager and Bellydance Instructor. She honed her skills and artistry through a Bachelor’s degree in Dance from UDLAP (Universidad de las Américas Puebla) and 3 years of intensive training at the Professional School of Bellydance in Puebla. With over 5 years of experience, Carem has been sharing her love for dance with students of all ages. Her teaching style is characterized by creativity, patience, and a deep commitment to nurturing her students’ passion for dance. Join Carem’s classes to discover the joy and artistry of bellydance in a supportive and inspiring environment.


Sydney Shelton Ferrario Instructor Tap Teacher, performer, student, educator, and choreographer. Sydney’s love of this truly original American art form is matched by her passion for sharing its rich history. Her style emphasizes the importance of solid technique, practice, musicality, and music theory as it relates to the diversity of historical tap stylings.  Growing up in San Jose California, Sydney watched Hollywood musicals and was soon tap dancing with her mom on in the kitchen floor. This love took her all the way to the stage performing in many musicals including Oliver! Anything Goes, and Guys and Dolls, just to name a few. Sydney studied Ballet, Tap & Jazz at the esteemed Marie Stinnett Academy, the Benny Smith Academy and went on to De Anza Community College Performing Arts Department, with an emphasis on Choreography. Sydney has taught tap for all ages at many studios creating recital and performance pieces for groups and solos; and went on to choreograph “Anything Goes” for Director Steven Kline at Del Bar High School teaching the majority of the 50+ cast members how to tap dance in just 4 weeks.