flamenco dancing

Various, including 917 3rd Street
Hire: For performance, or for private or group dance, fitness or yoga instruction
Varies. Contact Larani.
(530) 753-2154
Larani Denise
June 1, 2005
Payment Methods
Visa, Mastercard, Discover, Cash etc...


Larani is a dance teacher, performer, group exercise leader, yoga instructor, wellness and fitness coach, teacher of English/Spanish as a second language, and the Owner/Director of Fiesta DanceN' Fitness in downtown Davis.

LaRani has studied international dance for over 20 years and lived in Latin America for 21 years. In addition to growing up around Latin American music and dance, her international dance background includes Flamenco, Belly Dance, Bharatanatyam (classical South Indian), Bollywood, Polynesian, West African and various forms of Social Dance. LaRani toured with the professional modern Flamenco dance company, Estudio Gitano (Guatemala), and she currently performs with the Davis-based dance troupes Elegua (Salsa/Bachata), Kanz Al Sahara (Belly Dance), Davis Flamenco, Fenix Drum & Dance (West African & Brazilian Samba), Davis Capoeira (Brazilian martial art), and she created, directs, choreographs and dances with Fiesta Afrolatina (Afro-latin). Furthermore, LaRani has a background in martial arts, boxing, fencing, yoga, Pilates and group exercise. LaRani draws from her experience in 10 different martial arts, over 20 years of experience in fitness, her love of dance and her commitment to promoting health and fitness, to lead classes that are challenging, effective, fun and safe.

FITNESS CERTIFICATIONS: Zumba®, Zumbatomic®, Macumba™, QiDance™, Turbo Kick®, PiYo™, Foundational Yoga™ and Yoga-Alliance-approved Vinyasa Yoga. Teaching dance and fitness gives her the opportunity to share her passions for dance, music, culture and fitness.

LaRani’s guiding philosophy can be summed up in the Latin phrase Mens sana in corpore sano. LaRani believes that a healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. She has a strong commitment to social change toward a healthier community. She has a B.S. in Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology from UCLA and a M.S. in Neuroscience from UC Davis. Denise uses her backgrounds in Physiology and Psychobiology to promote “overall well-being through fun exercise,” highlighting in her classes the benefits of exercise in the development of not just physical health, but mental and emotional balance as well.

SPANISH IMMERSION CLASSES FOR CHILDREN Denise has been teaching children since 1996. She is trained as a teacher of English and Spanish as a second language, and worked for various years as an ESL teacher at elementary schools, high schools and language academies in Guatemala. Her background in Developmental Biology and her graduate work in “The Neurobiological Effects of Early Experiences on Social Behavior”, as well as her personal experience growing up bilingual and bi-cultural from the age 5, have influenced her unique and creative approach to teaching children in the context of a multicultural arts program. Denise has designed a unique format that makes learning a second language FUN and effective!


FLAMENCO / Basics & Sevillanas: This class will introduce you to the world of flamenco, from Spain. Learn flamenco posture and movement, flores (graceful hand gestures), palmas (rhythmic clapping), and basic zapateado (footwork) technique. This class will feature the traditional social Spanish dance, Sevillanas—a genre of Flamenco to be danced with a partner. No partner needed! Performance opportunities available!

KIZOMBA: This sensual social dance is based strongly on principles of a clear “lead” and willing “follow”, encompassing all the components of a true partner dance. Kizomba dance and music originated in Angola, and is a very sensual mix between traditional semba, merengue and reggae—a romantic, smooth ballad with African rhythms. It is danced in close embrace, as in Argentine Tango, and can include sensuous lower body undulations for the female/follower. It has been popular across Europe for over a decade, and is now hitting Salsa clubs around the world, including The Grad, in Davis. No partner required.

FIESTA AFROLATINA: This high-energy, fun-filled class will introduce you to the music and dance styles of the Americas, emphasizing those that share West African roots. Explore music of the Caribbean islands and Central America, featuring reggae, cha-cha, reguetón, salsa, bachata, merengue, punta,; as well as music from South America such as Afro-Peruvian festejo, Colombian cumbias, and Brazilian samba, axé and lambada. The objective of the class is to expose students to these Afro-latin beats in a natural and relaxed party atmosphere, in an environment of cultural immersion complete with linguistic, historical and cultural input, just as one would learn if living in Latin America, all the while getting the benefits of a cardiovascular workout. Performance opportunities available! This is a NON-PARTNERED class!

LATIN CLUB SOCIAL (Salsa & more): This is a partner dance class designed to introduce the beginning dancer to the Latin rhythms to which they would be exposed in a contemporary Latin club. These include Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Cha-Cha, and Cumbia. There will be a focus on partnering and being able to distinguish between the different styles. We will also work on Latin body movement and break down Afro-cuban motion, so come to explore or improve your latin dance styling, and get ready to impress and inspire the next time you hit the dance floor at any Salsa club. Different Salsa styles will be covered: Linear/International salsa, Cuban salsa for Rueda de Casino, and Colombian (Cali) salsa. This course is appropriate for beginners to advanced beginners. No partner required.

BRAZILIAN SAMBA: Learn various styles of Brazilian dance in this dynamic, high-energy, fun class. The focus will be on samba no pé, which is the type of samba performed in Brazilian parades in Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival as well as in Brazilian parades across the globe, covering both the traditional Rio and Bahia styles, as well as samba reggae, which mixes in reggae beats with samba drumming, and is thus slower in nature with a distinct bass beat. You will also practice your samba moves in the context of samba de roda, a style of samba traditionally danced after a Candomblé religious ceremony, and now at Capoeira rodas (dance circles). Additionally, you will learn some popular routines for samba axé—the line dance version of samba, which combines elements of samba no pé with aerobics and other dances. Lastly, you will learn some basic moves for funk carioca—a modern/pop Brazilian dance that is not related to samba, but which actually is influenced by Miami Bass. Brazilian funk features electronic beats and includes a lot of sampled melodies, and the lyrics are raps of social issues and sexuality, which is represented in the simple yet often sexually-explicit dance moves.

HIPS 'ROUND THE WORLD: Humans have always imitated nature in our movements in dance. Join me, as we copy the undulations of ocean waves and the circular movements of heavenly bodies, as we learn to move our hips and torsos to rhythms from across the globe. In this class, we will cover basics of Polynesian, Middle Eastern, Latin and African dance. We will also apply these movements to pop world music, such as Bollywood, Caribbean, and more. You will additionally learn simple routines; performance opportunities are available.


DISNEY WORLD DANCE: Taking a lead from their favorite Disney princesses and animated movie friends, through familiar Disney tunes, children will experience a journey across the globe as they explore various genres of dance that include but are not limited to Latin genres such as Salsa and Samba, Bollywood from India; Mexican folkloric, Flamenco from Spain, Hawaiian hula, and African. This class is an energetic glimpse into today's multicultural society, and children will have an opportunity to learn about the parts of the world associated with each genre, along with cultural background and even some native words.

Pre-K FIESTA LATINA (Spanish Immersion): In this class, children will be introduced to various music and dance genres from Latin America and Spain, including Salsa, Merengue, Mexican Folk dances, Brazilian and other Afro-Latin rhythms, as well as Flamenco. In addition to music and dance, they will learn and practice Spanish, basic Math, social studies, and more, as they act and sing in Spanish. At the end of the camp, they can, if they wish to, participate in a recital for friends and family. The class can be considered a preparatory class for Pre-K children going into Spanish Immersion Kindergarten programs or extra practice for Kindergartners. They will be spoken to mostly in Spanish, but they need not already speak it before joining the class.

FLAMENCO: This class will introduce your child to the world of flamenco in the context of its rich history and the diversity of the people and cultures that amalgamated during its development and continual evolution. Children will develop good posture as they work on their flamenco frame, they will develop coordination as they learn choreography which involves footwork, graceful arm movements and flores (hand gestures), and they will also develop musicality as they learn palmas (rhythmic clapping), and zapateado (foot stomping). They will learn one traditional dance, and the Sevillanas social dance, as well as a contemporary Rumba Flamenca. They will also learn and practice some Spanish!

FIESTA LATINA: This high-energy, fun-filled class will introduce your child to many of the music and dance styles of the Americas, emphasizing those that share West African roots. They will explore the music of the Caribbean islands and Central America (e.g., reggae dancehall, reguetón, salsa, bachata, merengue, punta, calypso, soca, and merengue/hip-hop); as well as music from South America such as Peruvian festejo, Colombian cumbias and vallenato, and Brazilian samba and axé. The objective of the class is to expose students to these Afrolatin beats in a natural and relaxed party atmosphere, in an environment of cultural immersion complete with linguistic, historical and cultural input, just as one would learn if living in Latin America, all the while getting cardiovascular benefits. They will also learn and practice some Spanish!

GYPSY ROUTES (Flamenco, Belly Dance & Bollywood): This class will introduce young girls to the rhythms of the East, through Belly Dance and Bollywood, as well as to Flamenco from Spain. They will also learn about the countries and cultures in which these dances are learned from a very young age by everyone in community celebrations. Your Princess Jasmine will learn muscle isolation and hip control through traditional belly dance, and she will rock out to the fun beats of Bollywood. In Flamenco, girls will develop good posture and grace through beautiful arm and hand movements, and they will learn to make music with their hands (palmas) and feet (zapateado). In addition to physical exercise benefits, this class will build motor coordination, body awareness and self-esteem in a fun environment. They will learn choreographed dances, and they will have an opportunity to perform.

GLOBE TOUR 1: World Dance: Children will experience a journey across the globe as they explore various genres of world dance that include Latin genres such as, Salsa, Samba, and other Afro-Latin dances, Bollywood from India; Belly Dance and other Middle Eastern dances; Irish, Mexican folkloric, Flamenco from Spain, Hawaiian hula, and African. This class is an energetic glimpse into today's multicultural society, and children will have an opportunity to learn about the parts of the world associated with each genre, along with cultural background and even some native words.

AMERICAN DANCE ERAS: Kids will take a journey though time across the United States, practicing dance moves and learning about the music that shaped American pop culture across the eras. They will learn dance routines to some of the most popular songs of the times! Genres will include Charleston and Swing, good old rock and roll, country-line dancing, disco, break-dancing, 60s through Disco, funk, 80s/90s pop & hip hop. We will also learn many of the most popular dance crazes and fad dances, from the “Mashed potatoes” and “the Bump” to the “Macarena” and “Gangnam Style.” They will perform to a dance medley time capsule at the end of the one-week intensive.


TURBO KICK®: Kick away stress! Punch away pounds! Burn 1000 calories or more per workout. This class is incredibly fun, exciting, powerful, but most importantly, effective! Turbo Kick® is “the ultimate cardio party”—an addictive workout that combines mixed martial arts, shadow boxing, kickboxing, sports drills, dancing, pilates, and a whole lot of hip hop flavor. It’s an interval-based class for all levels of fitness, complete with a sport-specific warm-up, bouts of intense intervals, easy to follow combinations, martial arts specific strength/endurance training and a Tai-Chi like cool-down, in a party atmosphere. It’s a full body workout guaranteed to make you burn fat and develop toned lean muscles, yet you’ll have so much fun that you won’t even notice how hard you’re working. You’ll feel powerful, sexy and happier. [Look up “turbo kick” on youtube to see sample classes.] Warning: It is addictive! This is an ongoing class.

MMA BOOTCAMP: A full body workout that combines mixed martial arts, shadow boxing, plyometric training and sport drills, including many exercises developed for UFC/WEC fighters. This circuit-based class is the ultimate cardio challenge for all levels of fitness. No choreography! It's the non-dancy alternative to Tae Bo and Turbo Kick. Through intense drills inspired by martial arts, you will learn or improve your kicks and punches and develop strength and endurance as you create lean muscle mass. Kick and punch away anxiety, stress, negative emotions AND fat!

ZUMBA®: Zumba® is the "feel-happy" workout! It is a dynamic, fun and effective fitness system that combines Latin and International body-sculpting dance moves with high-energy, motivating music into easy-to-follow routines that utilize the principles of interval training and resistance training to maximize caloric output, fat burning and total body toning. Exercise should be enjoyable and simple, in order to achieve long-term wellbeing, and Zumba® succeeds at both, making it not only great for the body, but also beneficial for the mind and spirit.

ZUMBATOMIC® & YOGA PLAY for kids: Zumbatomic® classes are high-energy dance parties that offer an opportunity to explore the world through dance as kids learn easy-to-follow, fun routines. These classes help increase focus and self-confidence, boost metabolism and improve coordination. The non-stop fitness party is topped off with Yoga Play time, during which we cool down, stretch, and relax body and mind as we act out a story through yoga poses, culminating with Savasana (‘corpse pose’ relaxation).

PiYo™: PiYo™ is an athletic fusion-style strength & flexibility mat class which blends Pilates, Yoga, dance conditioning, strength training and dynamic balance into an up-tempo “flow”. It combines energetic, powerful moves into a fluid, challenging and safe workout that is appropriate for the group exercise setting and for all levels of fitness. We will target our core to develop defined abdominal muscles; strong, flexible, healthy backs; centered bodies; proper posture and overall balance. You may take any PiYo class, including PiYo FoYo Back, PiYo Balance, PiYo Stretch, and Restorative PiYo.

VINYASA YOGA POWER FLOW: Vinyasa is Sanskrit for "connection." In vinyasa yoga, you transition smoothly, fluidly and dynamically from one yoga asana (pose) to another, like a dance. In this class, learn to synchronize asanas (yoga poses) to the breath for an invigorating experience of “moving meditation”. This is a vigorous, exhilarating, full-body workout and mind-body experience that promotes strength, endurance, flexibility, balance and overall wellbeing.

VIN YIN YOGA: This class combines a flowy and invigorating “moving meditation” that will warm up, tone and strengthen muscles (the VINyasa part of class), which is followed by a series of deep longer-held poses that lengthen, stretch and open up the body (the Yin Yoga). Every session includes a motivational and inspirational theme that is discussed and meditated upon in class, to help reduce stress and anxiety and to promote living life mindfully, for a happier, healthier existence.

PRACTICAL YOGA AND LIFE SKILLS: This 90-minute class is an accessible (all-level), integrative blend of different styles of yoga designed to tone, strengthen & stretch the whole body; to improve flexibility for injury prevention; to massage internal organs; to relieve stress; and to develop body awareness and a deeper mind-body connection. We will practice basic asanas (bodily postures) with a focus on proper alignment; and we will learn to incorporate deep relaxation techniques, pranayama (breathing) and meditation for a rejuvenating experience of well-being on and off the mat. The class will also include motivational short stories and teachings from across the globe to inspire you to achieve your fullest life potential, happiness and peace.

YOGA FOR RELAXATION AND RESTORATION: This gentle form of yoga is a delightful, therapeutic combination of an easier and slower flow of various forms of yoga along with passive poses created to relieve stress; to promote relaxation; to induce deep muscle release through longer held stretches; and to rejuvenate and restore vitality, promoting over-all health. This class is accessible and beneficial for everyone!


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2014-09-24 22:22:25   Amazing instructor!! Highly recommended! —FelipeBecerra

2014-10-01 20:48:47   I thoroughly enjoy taking yoga from Denise at Davis Swim and Fitness every Friday morning at 9. I've had many different yoga teachers, and she is one of my favorites. Her routine includes Vinyasa and Yin Yoga and it is a perfect way to start a weekend. She has a gentle approach and the movements just flow and are easy to follow. I highly recommend her as a yoga teacher, and am amazed and impressed with the breadth of her other dance and fitness skills. —Lnel

2014-10-10 08:44:16   Denise has a very mindful, gentle yet powerful expression of vinyasa yoga that she shares with her students. I take her yoga class on Friday mornings at Davis Swim and Fitness, and highly recommend it. She also teaches a really great zumba class on Mondays there- very good workout, playful and fun. She is a talented dancer and very good instructor. —SachaLaurin

2014-10-10 10:18:47   I've been an occasional participant in Denise's 9AM Friday yoga class at Davis Swim and Fitness. I'm not very experienced at yoga, so I couldn't tell you exactly what variety is being presented. I'm not very flexible, and I'm not so young any more. I appreciate how Denise makes it easy for someone like me to participate, with a gentle approach and with options for those of us who can't come close to full expression of the poses. —Chachi639

2014-10-10 22:27:41   Denise is extremely capable to teach yoga. She is knowledgeable of all yoga poses and knows how to present them to the class with clarity and serenity. Her voice is soothing and encouraging. The hour of yoga seems to fly by, but at the end of class I feel relaxed and invigorated. I appreciate how she offers various levels of a pose to accommodate students of all levels of ability. She has a gracious and accepting manner. She's an awesome teacher! SusanDahl


2014-10-18 00:02:49   Denise's Zumba classes rock! With her tremendous dance background Denise choreographs a wide variety of routines. Her classes never get old. They're so fun I can't help but work my tail off and that's why I'm there. At her studio,Fiesta Dance N Fitness, the Zumba class has a dance party vibe with LED disco lights. Love it! I go to her classes at Get Fit Davis, too, they're always full. Have a blast, get a great work out, what else can you ask for? —LauraAverett

2014-10-19 15:55:04   Highly recommended! I am going to Denise' Zumba class every week and every time I fully enjoy it. She is an extraordinary instructor, since she can transfer her own passion to the class and thus you are not dancing alone but with the group. As with every Zumba teacher one will learn the steps after going to the class a few times. However, it is not at all difficult to learn. She has a very good mix of songs and so the workout does not become dull. If I have to evaluate her I would give her the highest number of points. —JoachimSchnier

2017-06-16 17:12:45   Denise has been substituting for three yoga teachers this month of June at Get Fit Davis. I am a regular and have enjoyed her classes. She seems very experienced in yoga, pleasant, and responsive to those in class. I give her an A+.Ann —annprivat