Dancing has been a part of Louvelle’s life, heart and soul from a very young age. Born and raised just outside of Toronto, Ontario in Canada, she started jazz classes at the age of 4, and then joined the renowned Siony’s Dance Company at age 7, specializing in Hawaiian, Tahitian, Jazz and Filipino Folk Dancing. For the next 20 years, “Lou” devoted much time, energy and passion to her dance classes and in performances on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.
After graduating with degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Teaching, and Special Education, Lou left Canada to become an International School Teacher. Over the next 10 years, her career took her to Switzerland, Australia and Singapore. To keep her need for dancing alive, she enrolled in Salsa dance classes… and her love of Latin Dancing took hold.
Lou became a dedicated student of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Brazilian Samba and Zouk, and spent most nights and weekends on the dance floor and in the studio practicing her skills and increasing her passion for Latin dance.
She eventually started performing on stage and learning how to instruct beginner classes with Sydney’s Salsa Republic Dance Studio. In 2007, she was given the award for Best Lady Style by world-renowned Latin Dance Australia.
In 2009, Lou relocated to Singapore, joined the Two Left Feet Dance Studio, and met the man who eventually became her husband. One evening while out dancing, Lou left early feeling under the weather. What she thought was a flu turned out to be an unexpected surprise: she was pregnant with her first child. Lou moved back to Canada to pursue immigration to the U.S., where her husband Mark is from. Just when she thought it was time to hang up her dance shoes, she learned about the Toronto based company Salsa Babies: Latin dancing with your baby in a carrier! Lou and her new baby Kai started classes when he was just 6 weeks old. Soon after, Lou became a certified Salsa Babies Instructor.
In late 2012, Lou and her family moved to beautiful Durango, Colorado. In the pursuit of satisfying her passion for Latin dancing, she immediately sought out dancers in her new community and became an apprentice for Erin White Sinberg’s Black Belt Salsa classes in 2013. With the dream of combining her passions of teaching, dancing, and her new one of parenthood, Lou enrolled in business courses, and launched Salsa Babies Durango in 2014.Through Erin’s Black Belt Salsa program (which ended in 2014), Lou met the amazing salsero Noah Chutz. The two immediately clicked, and danced together every chance they could get. In 2015, Noah and Lou were invited to teach salsa workshops in Crested Butte and then attended the Moab Salsa and Bachata Festival. This event inspired Noah and Lou to create something similar in Durango. Lou transitioned out of Salsa Babies Inc., and Salsa Dance Durango was born.
The first night of SDD classes in January 2016 opened to a full house at the Balcony Bar & Grill-Backstage, and the momentum has continued to grow ever since. As Noah moved away to pursue his studies, Lou continued to develop Salsa Dance Durango as the premier weekly Latin Dance event in the Four Corners region, with the help of locally renowned instructors Wendy Graham and Suzy DiSanto.
In 2017, Lou was introduced to world-renowned Edie “the salsa FREAK” Williams. A veteran Salsa dancer, performer and instructor who has danced and collaborated with the biggest names in the Latin Dance world, Edie is the founder and creator of Black Belt Salsa Inc., a system based on her world-class experience and over 20 years of expertise in the industry. Lou decided to follow in Erin’s footsteps and enroll in the Black Belt Salsa Instructor Certification Program. In the summer of 2017, she became certified in Dance Business Management (DBM), and trained intensively with Sensei Edie to become certified as Blue Belt (primary) instructor and an official BBS School Sensei.
The launch of the Winter 2018 session of Salsa Dance Durango under the umbrella of Black Belt Salsa Inc. is now underway! Apprentice instructors are currently in a year long training program for Black Belt Salsa Certification–message Lou if you are interested in this! Lou is also teaching private lessons and hosting Latin dance demos at various local events. Group classes will resume in January 2018 at the VFW Hall Durango. Stay tuned!!