We think our Santa Fe-based dance teachers are the best in New Mexico! Whether you’re looking for dance classes or more intensive private lessons, our teachers specialize in every popular style, from the classic ballroom and Latin dances to the sensual Argentine tango to the nightclub-friendly styles of swing, Country-Western, salsa, and more. Read more about our instructors below.
To schedule a $40 introductory lesson with any of these teachers, fill out this contact form or call us at (505) 989-9788. Remember, you never need a partner to take a dance class or private lesson! Need some helpful tips on what to expect and how to dress for a dance lesson? Check out our FAQ page. To see what dance classes we’re currently offering, visit our online calendar, or our dance class page. We look forward to seeing you on the dance floor!
Lawrence is the owner and manager of Dance Station. He has been dancing, teaching, competing, and performing ballroom dance for more than 25 years. He trains student at all levels, from competitive ballroom dancers and casual social dancers to couples preparing for their wedding day.
Lawrence also dances pro-am competitions with his students and show pieces with his professional partner, Mary Miller. The pair also compete in Professional Smooth competitions.
Lawrence is more than a dance teacher. He believes in focusing on the fundamentals of dance — posture, core activity, flexibility, and strength. As a ”dance technician,” he loves to delve into the details that help his students develop foundational principles. He also loves the freedom and musicality of developing special choreography for himself and his students.
A native New Mexican, Lawrence discovered ballroom dance while attending St. John’s College in Santa Fe, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts.
Mary Miller’s love of dance began at her local YMCA at the age of three. Dance has given Mary so much joy, and now, as a dance teacher, Mary shares her experience and delight with others.
“I enjoy the process of teaching, and believe anyone can dance. I love to see the look on my students faces when they ‘get it.’ My students always leave the studio with a smile,” she says.
Mary’s 30-plus years of dance experience includes an extensive background in ballet, tap, jazz, and drill team dancing. She started teaching partner dancing in 2006 when she moved to Santa Fe from San Diego, Calif.
At Dance Station, Mary teaches ballroom, Latin, swing, Country-Western, Argentine tango, children’s dance classes, and center combinations drawn from ballet and jazz dance. Whether you seek to walk onto the dance floor with confidence, be a well-rounded social dancer, or become a showcase and competitive dancer, Mary will help you reach your goals and leave you with a smile.
It don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got Mike Garcia’s swing. A professional dancer since 1996, Mike realized early on that swing dancing was his calling.
As a member of the local dance company High Altitude Swing, Mike taught and performed all over New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona. He’s also worked with other local groups including the Santa Fe Social Club and Tango U.S.A., and has been a member of the Moving People dance company since 2000.
An evangelist of swing, Mike has taught swing dance at St. John’s College, the College of Santa Fe, the World College in Las Vegas, N.M., and for a year was a mentor at the Monte Del Sol middle school.
Mike’s quest to learn from the best teachers and dancers in the world has taken him as far as Sweden. Among his coaches was Frankie Manning, the “Ambassador of Lindy Hop.”
Elli enjoys sharing her love of swing dance, music and performance with everyone!
She was first exposed to swing dancing at Warehouse 21, a space that hosted classes and other creative outlets for young Santa Feans. Soon, she was helping teach swing classes and hosting dances all over Santa Fe.
Since her start in the late 90s, swing dancing has taken Elli to many places including Los Angeles, New York and Sweden.
Santa Fe native Cheryl Noonan has been dancing socially and competitively for 15 years. Dancing is Cheryl’s go-to activity for happiness and stress relief.
“When you are on the dance floor with other dancers, there is such a sense of joy and relaxation,” she says. “It is a real mood booster and it makes it easy to forget what is going on outside of the studio, like a mini-vacation.”
Cheryl teaches all styles of partner dancing, from swing, Country Western, and salsa to ballroom, Latin and tango. She helps students improve, whether they want to be better social dancers or shoot for a dance competition. She also enjoys helping couples prepare for their first wedding dance. Whatever their goals, Cheryl puts students at ease with a patient, relaxed environment.
Her personal dance focus has shifted to the world of West Coast Swing. Cheryl hosts dances and workshops to raise awareness in Santa Fe of this fun, versatile dance.
With her understanding of body mechanics and her ability to explain movement, Cheryl can help students “get it.” Instead of just teaching steps, she helps students become better dancers by sharing her love and knowledge of dance.
After 50 years as a dancer, Michael Walker could teach just about any style of dance he wanted. He chose to specialize in Argentine tango — and has become one of the most sought-after teachers and performers in the Southwest.
“Thirty years ago, I saw ‘Tango Argentino.’ At that moment I fell in love!” Michael says. “I was teaching modern ballet and jazz, and tango changed the direction of my dance.”
His career has taken him in many fascinating directions. As a teenager, he was a ballroom and Latin champion. Later, he trained under visionary choreographer Martha Graham.
Michael has performed on television and on stage in major Las Vegas productions. On the Johnny Carson show, he was one of Bette Midler’s “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boys.” On Tom Jones’ TV show, he danced with Janis Joplin and her band, Big Brother and the Holding Company. With the Nevada Ballet Theatre, he backed up Liberace in Las Vegas.
Today, Michael works to instill the passion and the intensity of Argentine tango in his students. “Tango,” he says, “continues to thrill me.”
To schedule a lesson with Michael, call him at (505) 479-8257.
Kathy Roybal • Office Manager
The first person visitors to Dance Station often meet is Kathy Roybal, the office manager.
Kathy joined the Dance Station staff in 2011, after she retired from a 36-year career at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. She helps students and instructors schedule their lessons and oversees the many other essential, behind-the-scenes activities that keep Dance Station humming.
Kathy is also an experienced dancer who has taken lessons since 2004. She has performed in many studio showcases, competed in regional dance competitions with her teacher, Lawrence Black, and participated in other events such as the Santa Fe Fiestas and Mono Mondo. Many students turn to her for advice on dance costumes, makeup and jewelry.