MEET THE ORGANIZERS
BRENT A. JACKSON ESQ.
Brent A. Jackson, Esq. has been an enthusiast of the Latin Dance community for 11 years. His addiction to Salsa and Bachata dance has compelled him to attend four (4) Congresses within the last decade: the New York Congress (twice); the Washington D.C. Congress: and the Capital Congress. At each event, he has learned different styles or dance and the culture behind each dance, thereby allowing him to understand the essentials or the dance community.
The RVA Salsa Bachata Congress is Brent's brainchild. In attending Congresses, he would note that there were always people from Richmond in attendance. Yet, Richmond had never hosted a Salsa Congress. As such, the seed was planted and with the assistance of his co-organizers, Richmond will have its first Congress at the Richmond Marriott on September 7-8, 2018.
Brent was born in Frankfurt, West Germany and lived in Europe most of his formative years. He came back to t he United States in December of his senior year in high school and graduated from Huguenot High School in Richmond after six months. He subsequently attended the College of William and Mary and graduated in two-and-a-half years. He then went on to Washington and Lee University School of Law at the age of 19. At the age of 21, Brent was practicing law in the City of Richmond under the mentorship of Lawrence Douglas Wilder and Leonard Lambert.
Brent has been practicing law for over 30 years and during his term has represented celebrities. politicians. corporations and organizations in landmark cases. His practice has allowed him to travel the United States, and he has made multiple appearances before the 4111 Circuit Court of Appeals and the Virginia Supreme Court. His practice has also allowed him time to publish articles on new trends of law and how they effect a change with in the community. Also, his experience and advocacy skills allowed him to lecture and speak before various national and local organizations.
Brent has served the community in multiple ways. He has served as a past Board Member or the Richmond Community High School; member or the the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education (Seminary); past member of the Richmond Neighborhood Housing Association; participant in Salvation Army and Goodwill events which help feed and clothe the homeless; Big Brother for over a decade; and has created many non-profit agencies to enhance the community by use of local resources. He currently feeds the disenchanted with an organization of churches every first Saturday of the month. His volunteerism has been further supplemented by his willingness to go into the Richmond School System to talk to and teach "at risk" students whose only knowledge of life involves a recognition or violence.
Brent considers the creation of the RVA Salsa Bachata Congress one of his finest achievements. He believes that this event will benefit the community for many years to come.
Anita Fung-Wu is a Latin dance aficionado who has lived in Richmond, VA for three years. Anita is of Chinese descent and was born and raised in Venezuela. Her involvement in Richmond's Latin dance community is one of the reasons she loves this city. Dancing reminds her of home!
Anita moved with her sister to the United States at the age of 17, and she established herself in New York City. In college she studied Latin American literature and Latino Studies and received her 8.A. and M.A. from Montclair State University. She then pursued doctoral studies at Pennsylvania State University.
Anita's activity in the Latin dance community is extensive. In addition to dancing several times a week and learning Argentine tango, she co-hosts three weekly Latin dance events with her partner Boris Karabashev. These activities have given her a broad-based knowledge of the city's vibrant Latin dance community and its participants.
Participation in the planning and execution of the RVA Salsa Bachata Congress provides an excellent opportunity for Anita's increased involvement in Richmond's Latin dance community, and she appreciates the potential this event will provide for the community's continued growth and exposure. She is excited and honored to be a part of this great journey.
THADDEUS OMAR BOGNEY
Thaddeus Omar Bogney was born in Houston, Texas. He is a former United States Army Non-Commission Officer (Staff Sergeant E-6) who has been involved with the Latin Dance community for 20 years. He is a Promoter, Event Organizer, Dance Instructor, Choreographer, Performer and DJ. His association with the Armed Forces has afforded him the opportunity to travel to many destinations around the globe, and he has been affiliated with Latin Dance communities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
After leaving the military, Thaddeus was offered a position as a Department of Defense Contractor with a title and grade of Site Manager, GS-13. In this position, he directed and managed the operation of a Defense Reutilization an d Marketing Office, while exercising direct supervision over 44 key personnel. In addition, he generated site revenue in excess of S7M through effective marketing strategies. Thaddeus later took on the role of Program Manager. In this position, he led the development and application of decision aids that support Department of Defense and Commercial programs, served as new business catalyst with government and commercial clients, matured client relationships, initiated and developed new client relationships, all while understanding warfighter priorities and how they align with economic pressures faced by clients involved in complex defense systems. Thaddeus since has gone on to engage in multiple projects with private organization s as a consultant.
Thaddeus has always had the ability to organize and bring people together in a festive manner. He has collaborated with many local dance studios and businesses to host Latin events. He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina, where, as Co-Director al Soul of a Dancer Mambo, he and his partner teach weekly Salsa dance classes and host social dance events.
In recent years, Thaddeus has taught Salsa and Bachata workshops at the Columbia Salsa Summit 2015, 2016, 2017: Charlotte Salsa Invitational 2017; and Charlotte Bachata Salsa Festival 2015. In 2015, Thaddeus Choreographed Salsa segments for the World Champion Kids Hip Hop team from Fuzion Force Entertainment Academy, Charlotte, NC to implement Into their routine for the televised Thanksgiving Day Parade. Other Choreographies include Quinceaneras, Student and Semi-Pro performance teams. He also serves as DJ Liaison and Logistics Manager at the Queen City Kizomba Festival in Charlotte.
Thaddeus is no stranger to the big stage; performing at 8.1.G. Salsa Festival, Houston Salsa Congress, Texas Salsa Congress and fundraising events throughout the region. He has also had the privilege to perform in tributes to Latin Jazz and Mambo legend Tito Puente as a dancer interpreting the music. He was also an on-stage dancer for international salsa recording artists El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico, a salsa band and brand from Puerto Rico that has been making salsa music for 55 years.
Thaddeus has always been committed to music and dance education within the Latin Dance community, and he considers it a great honor to be one of the co-organizers of the first RVA Salsa Bachata Congress.
Boris Karabashev is a Latin dance performer. choreographer, and instructor who currently resides in Richmond, VA. He has competed and performed internationally and has contributed significantly to the growth of the city's Latin dance community by hosting weekly dance gatherings three nights each week and by serving as a Latin dance instructor, both in groups and in private sessions.
He also holds weekly instructional sessions in kizomba, an Angolan dance that has become increasingly popular in the Latin dance community.
Boris was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, and moved to Russia with his family when he was two years old. He began ballroom dance instruction in Russia with his sister at the age of seven.
His interest in dancing continued when his family moved back to Bulgaria in 1991. At that time, he was almost 10 years old. Boris and his sister participated in their first competition in 1992, and they won the competition in a field of more than 60 couples in their category.
Although Boris discontinued his involvement in ballroom dancing in 1996, his interest in dancing was again piqued when he was invited to a salsa party. He began taking salsa lessons intermittently and began his training in earnest when he was invited by European salsa champion Alfredo Torres to join his team at the Alfredo style Dance School in Bulgaria.
Boris and his sister performed and competed extensively with the company, appearing in numerous concerts and showcases. Under Torres' tutelage, he competed from 2004 until he moved to the United States in 2009, becoming European salsa champion in the team division in 2007 in Bournemouth, UK.
Since moving to the U.S., Boris has honed his skills in a broad range of dance forms, including salsa, bachata, merengue, salsa rueda, kizomba, hip hop, popping, and international ballroom and Latin dances.
Dancing is Boris' passion, and his enthusiasm for the art of dance has been infectious. Through his dance-related activities, he continues to be a driving force in the continued development and growth of Richmond's dance scene.
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