Welcome to Lumina Dance Academy! The three-time winner of Pasadena Weekly’s Best Dance Studio has been serving the Pasadena community since 2007. It is home to Lumina Academy’s salsa performance team and Queer Latin Dance LA, led by Arlene the Salsa Queen as well as the competitive dance troupe, Fatima and the Butterflies, winner of the 2019 Belly Dancers of the Universe International Competition.
Who We Are
Lumina Academy of dance is a Dance Studio Owned and directed by Fatima Mendoza and Arlene Santos with the distinct mission of being a culturally inclusive, safe, comfortable and welcoming space where people of all ages, body types and backgrounds can come together and free themselves in the art of dance. Over the years Lumina has become one of the most popular dance studios in the area, winning Best studio in the Pasadena weekly for several years in a row. It has truly become a center where local community members forge friendships and connections that go much deeper than just dance. Our dance community is a family. We have students who have met on our dance floor and are now married couples with children. We have groups of students who travel together with our instructors to dance in places like New York, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Switzerland, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica and Guatemala. We go to marches together, organize food drives, pass out burritos on skid row, have toy drives and support each other in times of need. Our weekly operations consist of daily dance classes in Belly Dance, Salsa, Bachata and fitness classes as well as an array of other cultural dances. We host monthly dance parties, offer private lessons in mny different styles of dance.
Our resident Latin And Belly dance companies perform at charity events, schools and festivals all over California and are comprised of professional dancers who dance along amateur students to showcase that everyone has talent. We have company members ranging in age from 10 to 70 years old and we are proud to show that people of all body types have talent, skill and the ability to express joy through dance.Lumina also hosts Queer Latin Dance LA who hold weekly classes and a monthly dance in our space. If we can sum up Lumina in one word its Home.
We have created a home for so many people and the reality of Lumina is so much bigger than our original dream.Classes are open to adults, teens and children of all experience levels. Come join the Lumina Dance Academy Family! Sign-up today!
Dance Instructor and Co-Owner
Fátima Mendoza is a dance teacher, choreographer, and co-owner of Lumina Academy of Dance in Pasadena, California. Born and raised in Argentina, she arrived to the United States of America at the age of 25. Since then, she has been working with the community of Pasadena teaching a variety of cultural dances from around the world to children and adults. She is a former dance teacher for the City of Pasadena’s Children Ballet and World Dance programs and also the coach for the award winning middle Eastern dance company “The Butterflies”. In 2007 she co-founded Lumina Academy of Dance, an institution with the distinct mission of being culturaly inclusive. Where people from different backgrounds find a space to share their culture through dance. Over the years, Lumina has not only become one of the most popular dance studios in the area, winning the Best Dance Studio Award from Pasadena Weekly for four consecutive years, but has truly become a center where local community members forge friendships and connections that go beyond just dance.
Dance Instructor and Co-Owner
For over 15 years, Arlene the Salsa Queen has shared her passion and love for Salsa and Latin Dance with the community as a skilled teacher, performer, choreographer, and coach. She is the co-owner of Lumina Academy of Dance, a charming community dance studio in Pasadena and co-founder of Queer Latin Dance LA, one of the only queer Latin dance spaces and dance companies in LA County. While teaching technique, dance etiquette, and lead-and-follow concepts, Arlene emphasizes and focuses on the main rules in learning to dance: smile, be joyful, be yourself, and have fun! Let Arlene the Salsa Queen guide you in your dance journey and let magic of dance take over.