The Albuquerque Latin Dance festival is produced by Guanábana Productions and overseen by members of the board that, along with you, help make the Festival a reality.
James is in his second year of directing the ABQ Latin Dance Festival. In 2002 he discovered his love of salsa and Latin social dancing while living in Santa Fe. He has been a devoted dance student and enthusiast ever since. At its very best, James regards dance as the creative expression & celebration of mind, body & spirit…embodied. He loves how Latin dance brings people together to share in the diverse, fun and vibrant community of dancers, friends & socialites. James resides in the city of Albuquerque in Nob Hill, conveniently located just blocks from several neighborhood dance studios and clubs. By day, he works on NM film and television productions. He’s been a member of the Teamsters Local Union, Film Division for the past decade–hurray for “Tamalewood!” By night…you can find him on the dance floor! (If not, he’s at home doing festival homework).
Shawn Claude has been a part of Albuquerque local dance scene for numerous years beginning with country and western dancing. He discovered a love for West Coast Swing. Exhibiting a fast and exciting talent for this style of dance. However, his interest quickly turned to Latin dance and its numerous variations and styles. He is an independent instructor specializing in Salsa, Bachata, Cha Cha and other Latin dance styles. He is currently the Associate Director of the Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival and is an active supporter of the Latin dance community.
John E. Mancini
Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a Major Accounting
Minor Economics January 1974 Robert Morris College, Pittsburgh, PA.
Masters Degree & PhD candidate in Church History from Trinity Southwest Theological Seminary now Trinity Southwest University.
Enrolled at UNM in Masters Degree Program in Philosophy.
Board Association and Certifications:
Member New Mexico Certified Public Accountants, Member of New Mexico Society of CPA’s, Member Arizona Certified Public Accountants, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Founder and Board Member of The Lamb Foundation for Research and Religious Studies a New Mexico Non-Profit Organization, a Private Operation Foundation certified with the IRS as a 501 (C) 3 organization , Board Member of Trinity Southwest University, Board Member and President of the Museum of Archaeology and Biblical History a Public non profit certified as a 501 (c) 3, Board Member and Treasurer of Guanabana Productions, Inc. DBA Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival a New Mexico Non Profit Organization.
Companies Owned and Operated: Duke City Fueling, Trek Leasing, Inc, DFC,LLC, DCF,LLC, The Lamb Foundation & The Museum of Archaeology and Biblical History.
Music and Arts have been a part of Mr. Mancini’s life since a young age, Performing in Musicals such as The Sound of Music as Maximilian Detweiler, Bubble Trouble, and in Camelot with the Albuquerque Civic Light Opera now Musical Theater Southwest. Mr. Mancini has participated in choral singing again since his youth, from elementary school through high school and college and was a member of the New Mexi-cords, the Barbershop Chorus . He also studied professional voice with David Majoros professional Baritone from New York City. Within the past 3 yrs Mr. Mancini began to study dance at the Arthur Murry Dance Studio in ABQ, including smooth and rhythm forms. Mr. Mancini was introduced to Latin club dancing about 3 yrs ago and has become an avid enthusiast. As a result of this he became actively involved with the formation and operation of Guanábana Productions, Inc. DBA the Albuquerque Latin Dance Festival.
Mr. Mancini is the proud father of four wonderful children and proud grandfather of 11 soon to be 12 beautiful grandchildren.
Julie began dancing as a child but did not discover Latin dance until her freshman year of college. After her first salsa class, she knew she was hooked. Julie moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to start a doctoral program in clinical psychology at the University of New Mexico and immediately sought out the dance community. Her work with the ABQ Latin Dance Festival started in 2010 when she volunteered to run the registration table and she has been increasingly involved ever since.
Kari began with various forms of dance at the age of four. This love of dance led to teaching in Chicago and Minnesota. While teaching dance, she discovered her interest in Latin dance. Kari moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to start the clinical psychology doctoral program at the University of New Mexico. She has enjoyed the fact that the Latin dance community is so much broader in Albuquerque than in the Midwest. Her work with the ABQ Latin Dance Festival started in 2010 when she volunteered to help monitor classes and her involvement has increased each year since.
Board member photography by Valerie Santagto