How It Started
In Lak'ech Dance Academy in Oakland, CA is the direct result of the passion directors Angelica Media & Jahaira Fajardo share for Latin Dance and for their community. In 2014, Angelica and Jahaira met and fell in love on the dance floor. They soon after decided to grow as dance partners while training for competitions. In December 2015, they placed 1st in the Latin Ladies Same Gender Division at the World Latin Dance Cup (WLDC). Jahaira also made history as the first Bachata female leader to become a World Champion. In 2018, they returned to the WLDC and placed first in the Bachata Couple Pro Cabaret Division. In 2017, Jahaira and Angelica participated and completed the Alex and Desiree Bachata Instructor Certification Course. They also had the honor to Direct The AnD WW ~Team SF Season One.
In 2018, In Lak’ech Dance Academy was proud to produce the FIRST EVER Queer Latin Dance Festival,
to center the experiences, joys, and talents of queer and trans latin dancers worldwide.
This event continues on an annual basis.
About Our Directors
Angelica Medina is a queer chicanx from Los Angeles, CA. Dance has always been a big part of her life. In 2012, she moved to San Francisco to pursue her graduate studies in Drama Therapy.
She began to train with the prestigious salsa dance Company, Salsamania. During her time with Salsamania, Angelica placed 2nd in 2014 and 3rd in 2015 under the Amateur Salsa Team division at the World Latin Dance Cup. She also competed under the Amateur Salsa Solo division and placed top 3.
In 2015, Angelica began her Bachata training with Inessence Dance Company. Since then Angelica has continued to perform in various dance festivals and congresses in San Francisco, Reno, L.A. New York, D.C., Paris, Mexico, India, and Miami.
Jahaira was born to Dominican parents in Washington Heights, New York. Bachata, Bolero, Merengue, and Salsa are a huge part of her social makeup. These genres were a constant musical element in her youth.
In 2000, she moved to San Francisco, CA to pursuit graduate studies in Psychology and Public Health. Always looking for ways to connect to her Dominican culture, in 2013 Jahaira joined the prominent and highly regarded Inessence Dance Company.
Jahaira learned how to dance Bachata in the Leader position. Soon after she began to perform at local events, festivals, and international competitions. Jahaira made history in 2015, when she became the first amateur female leader world champion. She then returned to competition in 2018 and won first place in the Same Gender, Bachata Couple Pro Cabaret.
The mission of In Lak'ech Dance Academy is to co-create a community of queer, trans, and ally dancers in order to celebrate our resilience, nature our collective strength, and heal from oppression. Through our visibility and artistic expression, we are redefining the Afro Latin Dance community as a safe and affirming space for all gender identities and sexualities.