Circle of Life East Hartford

Arts for All


Dance Instructors at Circle of Life, Arts for All in East Hartford


Angelique Early, Dance Instructor, West Coast Swing Tuesday Evenings at COL

Known for her dynamic style and musicality, Angelique has won numerous West Coast Swing competitions. She has been partner dancing for over 15 years, and has taught in the Greater Springfield/ Hartford area for over 12 years. A special education high school teacher by day; Angelique knows how to break down concepts to reach all ability levels and learning styles. Having taught students of all age levels over the past 20 years, Angelique has a unique perspective on the pacing of the lesson required to match the needs of her students. This knowledge, combined with her winning personality, makes her classes fun as well as educational.

Chinue V. Govan, Dance Instructor

Chinue V. Govan began dancing and performing at the age of two at the Artists Collective in Hartford, Connecticut.  She turned professional at the age of fifteen by becoming an apprentice, substitute and teacher for the dance program.

Since college, Chinue has continued to evolve as a dancer and teacher.  She has taught and trained students from ages two and beyond in a wide genre of dance.  She has worked for several studios and programs and choreographed for plays, recitals, solos, competitions, pageants, and weddings.  Chinue continues to teach dancers of all ages and levels, from amateur, recreational and professional.  She teaches jazz, tap, hip hop, ballroom, Latin and African/cultural dance.  She also still choreographs for a variety of venues.  She is a company member of Elemental Motions and works throughout New England.

Chinue has been with Circle of Life since 2010.

Kathy Labella

Kathy Labella, Vintage Dance Instructor

Kathy LaBella studied and taught social dance in the forms of folk, contra, round and square dance for 17 years before developing an interest in Vintage dance.  She took lessons from Mary Ann Herman, Ralph Page, Karen Gottier, David Henry, David Vinski, the Hebert, and Nelda Drury among others.  She and her partner, Ken Jones, became involved with Vintage dance, taking workshops with Richard Powers, known for his research of Victorian and Ragtime dance.  Ken and Kathy were members of the performance group, Prim But Not Too Proper Victorian and Ragtime Dancers.  They continue to perform as the Canal Street Vintage Dance Team.

Kathy currently enjoys working with the Senior Vintage Dancers, a performing group associated with Circle of Life.  She continues to teach vintage, folk, contra, round and square dancing.

Fred Rosado

Mr. Freddy - Hip-Hop Instructor

New class on Sundays & Friday as of May 2018! At the young age of 13 Fred Rosado started dancing at the East Hartford culture center learning Ballroom Dance. Soon his older brother Franklin introduced him to the style of Hip-hop. Signing up for numerous local dance workshops, master classes, and local parks & rec activities. Fred decided to take his skills and audition for the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts where he won a 4 year scholarship. Taking many classes like ballet, modern, contemporary and other styles to help improve his skills. He also learned the history of dance and where different genres of dances originated from. His hard work soon paid off. At the age of 15 he was honored to dance on the famous Apollo theater stage in New York City where we held the first place title for 2 shows. Currently now at the age of 24 he teaches classes at numerous dance schools in Vernon and Manchester. Fred is currently dancing as a background dancer for Michael Jackson impersonator "Joby Rogers" where he toured in many different states and Cities such as Washington State, New Orleans, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Rhode Island. All while still finding time to coordinate his local dance competitions CT King Pin of the Dance Floor. Fred's goal is to give back to his community by giving the gift of dance to the children all while making it affordable and flexible for the parents/guardians. "Growing up i did not have money to take classes, so in my eyes I try to give that opportunity to any child I can." Class Goals: Creating a no judgement zone where students can grow in skill, confidence, and make everlasting experiences!


Shalimar (Robin Kelsey), Dance Instructor   Currently teaching belly dance at COL on Wednesdays.

Shalimar has been involved in Middle Eastern dance since 1974 as an accomplished performer, choreographer and teacher. She has taught Middle Eastern dance since 1978. Her particular speciality is the traditional style of dance incorporating the extensive use of finger cymbals, strong abdominal work, isolations, and combinations. She currently teaches in the Hartford/East Hartford CT areas.

A versatile performer, Shalimar can be seen performing at a variety of functions throughout New England and has even performed in events as far away as Salt Lake City. Shalimar is the director of the well known "Troupe Little Egypt" and she is also the owner and webmaster of one of the premier Connecticut belly dancing sites: - and runs "The Belly Dance Connection" at a local restaurant featuring dancers of all skills.

Baila Peru


Nancy is a new teacher at COL, currently teaching Peruvian Dance. Baila Peru is a non-profit organization founded by Elvis and Nancy Carranza in 2009 in New Haven, Connecticut. Our clear objective is to develop and share the Peruvian culture in the United States. Our mission is to foster the Peruvian culture, with regards to the dance and music of Andean Origin. We are an inclusive group that offers opportunities to individuals who wish to join us and to commit to the realization of personal and artistic potential, and to cultivate an environment that engenders cooperation, creativity, self-discipline, and, above all, an earnest respect for all human being. Nancy Carranza Director Elvis Carranza Co-Director

Fred and Reggie

Fred Charles, Dance Instructor

Fred started his dance career as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray’s Dance Studio.  He was promoted to the role of Director, assuming responsibility for the Studio’s operation.  In 1963 Fred earned 2nd place in Arthur Murray’s New England Top Teacher Competition.

Fred has taught at the Continental Dance Studio in West Hartford and has taught at the New Britain Adult Education program.  In 1973, Fred opened his own studio, Charles Dance Academy in New Britain, Connecticut.  With the studio’s success, Fred opened a second studio in Meriden, Connecticut.

He has been with Circle of Life since 2005.

Michael Santiago, Salsa and Latin Instructor

Michael Santiago started his dance career as a dance instructor at Circle of Life: Arts for All, Inc.  After two years he founded his dance company called Foot Work’s Studios.  He teaches authentic Salsa based on a Puerto Rican rich heritage of love for Cuban rhythms.

Michael believes his students should be able to dance with any partner in a social setting, such as a Latin club atmosphere.  He specializes in beginner basics and builds on certain patterns and techniques to lead his students to advanced Salsa dancing.

Michael is well known in Latin dance circles and has performed extensively at such venues as the Latin Exposition and recently at the town wide shows at Circle of Life:Arts for All, Inc.  He has been with the studio since 2005.

Matt Murray

Matt Murray, Ballroom Instructor

Matt Murray became an avid student of dance in 1985 and decided that he would become a certified dance instructor.  He passed his exams and became a member of NDTA National Dance Teacher Association of America.  In 2002 Matt began his career teaching ballroom in Rocky Hill.  In 2012 Matt decided to branch out and concentrate his career efforts teaching all genres of dance.  His goal is to grow the Greater Hartford\ dance community and to pass on to others his experience both as a student and professional instructor. Matt has kept up with the times as new dances become popular and competition rules change.

Matt has always had an interest in the work of non-profit dance studies.  Matt has embraced the Mission of COLAFA and decided to become an independent contract dance instructor at the Center.  He now teaches group classes on Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday. His passion is teaching technique and clean foot work.  Matt believes that training and practice is a life long journey for instructors.  His favorite coach is David Ronzinski.