Indianapolis embraces the beauty of Latin dance.

People dance in front of a mirror for a Latin dance class

Photo courtesy of Latin Expressions

Everyone knows that sports can bring people together. It’s a universal experience that transcends cultures, languages, and socioeconomic divides. But you know one sport we often forget? Dancing! Just like other sports, dancing is an excellent workout. It requires some physical skill and strength. And best of all, it’s a fun way to share our unique cultures with one another!

I came to Indianapolis from Puerto Rico three years ago, and I was really surprised by the growing Latino and Hispanic community here. The first place I lived was downtown Indianapolis, and I fell in love with the restaurants, the events, and the city’s culture. Then, I discovered the Latin Expressions Dance Company—and for the first time, Indy felt like home!

Now, I’ve been volunteering as a Salsa instructor at Latin Expressions for years, and I love the community around our studio. I didn’t expect to find a place like this, a welcoming environment for people to experience the art of Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, Cumbia, and more. But the Latin Expressions community quickly became my first family here in Indianapolis. 

Latin Expressions is Indy’s top home for Latin dance.

Latin dance is a term that refers to dance styles with historical roots in Latin America. But these dances actually combine three distinct cultural influences: the native influence, the European influence, and the African influence. As a result, most Latin songs use a mixture of instruments from different regions and cultures from around the world. And Latin dances incorporate African movements and European styles!

At Latin Expressions, anyone can learn these traditional dances! The Owner and Founder of Latin Expressions, Kyle Culmann, discovered his passion for Latin dance when he was 18 years old. Now, he has taught, performed, and competed across the nation and even abroad in Nicaragua and Thailand.

Three years ago, I had the pleasure to meet Kyle—and now, I’m a true believer in his studio’s mission. Latin Expression is committed to elevating dance in Indianapolis, approaching every class with the deepest love for the art. After all, dance is more than a hobby! It’s a passion empowered by the relationships we build on and off the dance floor. 

So many people at Latin Expressions have different backgrounds, languages, and experiences—all united through the language of dance. This studio builds a community around the dances, connecting people with one another. Our students come from all over the world, including places like Dubai, Spain, Germany, China, Latin America, Romania, and India. And through dancing, they’ve met business partners, best friends, and even future spouses!

Latin Expressions is made for social dancing, but it’s also become a beautiful mosaic of cultural diversity. Whether you’re a seasoned dancer looking to fine-tune your skills or just a beginner trying something new, you’ll find a home at Latin Expressions—and a community of new friends. 

Pairs of people dance in a Latin dance class

Photo courtesy of Latin Expressions

A dance instructor teaches during a Latin dance class

Photo courtesy of Latin Expressions

The Latin Expressions community goes beyond dancing.

Hobbies are a great way to connect with people in your community. But sometimes, those relationships never go beyond your hobby. Luckily, that’s not true at Latin Expressions! Our students truly care about one another and share a passion for Latin culture—a passion that connects us together. 

After all, during the pandemic, it was hard to continue our classes. However, our local community still came together to create something special. Latin Expressions is like a home for most students, so they collaborated to organize a fundraiser to support our studio.

Our students were also eager to come back to Latin Expressions as soon as it was safe. They missed having a social space to enjoy life and distract themselves from work and stress! So, Latin Expressions worked hard to pivot the business and take the correct safety precautions with PPE and social distancing. Even though things looked a little different, we were still able to enjoy the beauty of Latin dance together! 

By fostering these collaborations, Latin Expressions continues to build a strong community of dancers today. The studio faced many challenges over the past year, but Latin Expressions officially celebrated its 10th Anniversary in 2021. And we’re already looking forward to another decade of dance!

Latin Expressions hosts amazing events to grow our community.

While the Latin Expression family is proud of our 10-year journey, Kyle is not satisfied yet! He’s been part of the Indianapolis Salsa scene for over 16 years, and he takes pride in our growing community. That means Latin Expressions is always looking to teach new dancers and introduce more people to Latin culture. The studio offers student and military discounts, as well as regular Groupon deals for first-time students.

One of the biggest events that Latin Expressions hosts is their annual Anniversary celebration. Each year, Kyle invites Salsa and Bachata World Champions to attend. So, you can meet World Champion dancers from Peru, Miami, the Dominican Republic, and more—right here in Indy! This event also introduces talented dancers to our city, showing them the variety of cultures that make Indianapolis home.

Latin Expressions also partners with various venues and festivals across the Indy region. Our studio has partnered with the Indianapolis Zoo, the NCAA, the Jazz Kitchen, and even the Indy 500 to bring Latin dance to people across the region. And if you’re interested in hosting an event at Latin Expressions, you’re in luck! With about 3,500 square feet of space, the studio is perfect for receptions, celebrations, and—of course—dance parties.

People dancing in front of a mirror in a Latin dance class

Photo courtesy of Latin Expressions

Latin dance is good for the soul.

While all dancing is fun, social dancing requires a certain level of commitment in terms of time and training. Every dance move requires knowledge and practice. And you have to learn how to move with your dance partners in one fluid pattern.

But over the years, I’ve learned that life is better when you dance! You get to practice a skill, working out your body while enjoying the music. You can also make life-long bonds with your dance partners and become part of a welcoming community. 

Best of all, Latin dance is a way for me to embrace my culture, even in the heart of the Midwest. Because of Latin Expressions, I’ve been able to share my culture with others, while also learning about diverse cultures from around the world. It’s one of my favorite places here in Indianapolis—and one of the many reasons that Indy feels like home.