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Candy Mena

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Candy Mena

Candy Mena

Email: jai@jaicandy.com

Instructor/Performer/Choreographer
Candy was born on November 12, 1979 in Santo Domingo DR, but raised in Jersey City New Jersey. Her given name is Candida Mena, but her friends call her Candy for short. Since she was a little girl, Candy always displayed a talent for understanding her physical capabilities. She was raised on Gymnastics, Jazz, and her many years of relentless hours of cheerleading. It wasn’t until she was out of school that she realized her talent for salsa.

In September of 1998 she attended a fund-raiser at the local boys club. This is where she first saw Ismael Otero. After seeing him dance, she took his information and put it in her purse. On October 26, 1998, Candy took her very first steps to becoming a salsera.

After taking class for 3 weeks, Ismael realized that he had found a natural. She picked up the moves so quickly that he asked her to join his dance group Carribean Soul. On April 11, 1999, after only 6 months of dancing, Ismael took her to the Eddie Torres Monthly social where she had a dance with Jai Catalano. This dance would soon prove to change her life forever.

By July of 1999 Candy amicably parted ways with Carribean Soul. The following month she started dancing with Jai Catalano in the Eddie Torres troupe. After a year and a half of dancing with a new dance team, she opened Jai & Candy Salsa Dance Studio, now called Estilo Clasico. Today, they continue to dance both nationally and internationally as a duet.