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Ruben Dario Mejia

Andean Dances

Maestro Ruben Dario Mejia was born in the town of Anserma Caldas. He is a Colombian folklorist dedicated to spreading Colombian dance, emphasizing the Andean region. He studied dance in Colombia with masters Julian Bueno Rodrigues and Octavio Marulanda Morales, graduating with a degree in Colombian dance. In 1982, he founded the music and dance company “Aires de Colombia” in Manizales. He is a researcher of traditional dances of their region and has won several national awards for dance. In 1994,1997 and 2002, he won the national prize for research on the “Pasillo Colombiano”, in Aguadas, Caldas, Colombia. Ruben lives in New York with his dance partner and wife Paola and founded “Los Viajeros de la Danza”, a Colombian dance company.

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Nestor Gomez

Caribbean and Pacific coast rhythms
Nestor Gomez is a virtuoso percussionist born in Barranquilla, Colombia. A master of Atlantic coastal drumming, Nestor has played with numerous groups that showcase traditional Colombian music since the early age of 8. Since moving to New York City he has been part of distinguished groups such as Los Macondos de Colombia, Grupo Chonta and Diego Obregon, Folklore Urbano, and Alejandro Zuleta’s Vallenato Collective. He has performed with artists including Arturo Farril, Carlos Vives, Maria Mulata, and Colombian vallenato legends Alfredo Gutierrez and Anibal Velasquez. In addition, he participates in various educational projects that seek to teach both children and adults about traditional Colombian music. He currently leads his own band, “Parada Vallenata,” which is part of the Music Under New York program sponsored by the NYC MTA, and his latest project includes experimenting with traditional music and new beats with “Los Cumpleanos.”


Karla Florez

Tambora Rhythm and Dance
Karla Florez is an artist, dancer, choreographer, writer, and educator born in Barranquilla Colombia. KFSD @karlaflorezsd (Karla Florez School Of Dance) is her personal family project where she works with dance and interdisciplinary processes that involve acting, music, and contemporary dance techniques as well as oral narration to recreate the folklore of the Colombian Caribbean in New York City. Her goal is to transmit the cultural heritage to the community, especially the new Hispanic generations in the USA. She encourages health care and well-being through the practice of dance. Recipient of NYFA immigrant mentoring program 2005. Selected as a grantee from CityArtistsCorps NY 2021 to perform Rueda de Cumbia and NYSCA 2023 grantee to create The Green Inchworm dance project.


Jorge Arévalo Mateus Ph.D.

Program Director

Joshua Poveda


Vielka Rosario Ebadan

Media, Marketing, and Communications Coordinator

Man Playing Drum
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Children Playing Bongo Drums
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