I’m the Founder & creative Director of El Ritmo South American Dance Academy. I am a Australian leader in Latin Dance. 

I was brought up dancing Street Latin styles and further developed my passion in Ballroom Dance.

I now bring a unique dance program designed to encourage children to understand and comprehend the different dance styles taught in South America while acquiring knowledge of the countries and traditions through learning how to dance. In 2019, I was the Award winner Latin Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Council of Australian Latin American Relationship, representing the outstanding work within promoting diversity and inclusion across children and the education sector.

El Ritmo South American Dance Academy offers more than dance classes, alongside we help children to engage in learning of a culture and working with talented teachers and dedicated professionals to motivate, inspire and guide children through the arts.

// Why did you decide to go into business?

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the age of 10 years old when I’ve arrived to Adelaide with my family and began school here, I did not only experience being bullied (or picked on) by my accent but also I’ve felt a sense of disengagement to be proud of my own culture due to the bullying. To the point I’ve felt very scared to speak Spanish with my relatives which led me to stop speaking Spanish for a few years altogether.

That feeling I experienced a long time ago turned out to be the most valuable lesson in my life, which is “life is about embracing our own authenticity”.

During high school, I began to notice how important it is to have the ability to speak another language fluently and the unique value it brings into someone’s life.

This is why in 2017 I’ve opened a dance school to help children embrace their own culture without feeling ashamed, scared or bullied.

Introducing children to Latin American culture through music and dance in a fun and playful way.

My dedication, passion and drive for showing how inclusion can be done in a safe and healthy environment and being a leader of changing how children perceive the use of the word “migrant” to “embrace”. Turning my bullying experience when I was young into changing the lives of many children.

// What has been your biggest inspiration?

My students. Seeing them grow and feeling inspired by the work that we do as a team. My ongoing positive message I deliver to kids from teaching students dance moves, to writing my own songs and being an inspirational entrepreneur for many “Latinos” across Adelaide.

// What are you most proud of?

In 2019, I was awarded Latin Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Council of Australian Latin American Relationship in recognition for my outstanding performing art program I deliver to children and the Latin community.

// Let’s talk South Australia, What do you love most about doing business here?

The community. Not only by serving the particular needs to your own community, but the people who you meet and share your passion with to help you grow. I love the business community we have in SA, the support, network and advice you can get.

// What advice would you give other women wanting to start a business

Perseverance, not giving up in achieving something despite the difficulties.

Get in touch with Valeria:

Facebook:  El Ritmo

Instagram: @el_ritmo_official

LinkedIn: Valeria Alonso

Website: www.elritmo.com.au