Gustavo was born and raised in Oxnard, California. Growing up, Gustavo spent a majority part of his childhood visiting friends and family in the beautiful rural town of Uruapan, Michaocan, Mexico. Gustavo was exposed to Banda, Rancheras, and Cumbia, many of which have Cha-Cha-Cha beats (curiously, it was not until being exposed to salsa dancing that he figured out it was so!). Before being exposed to salsa, Gustavo’s dancing experience included several Mexican folk dance styles of such as Zapateado and Banda.
Gustavo was first introduced to salsa dancing while studying Mechanical Engineering at the California Maritime Academy in January 2004. While at the academy, he enrolled in a Salsa on 2 classes taught and directed by JC Labio.
“There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.”
In January 2007, Gustavo joined the Afinkao Dance Company Family as a member of Con-Afinke. Currently, he assists Afinkao Director Jaycifil Labio with the Afinkao Dance Project Team, Performs with Con-Afinke Semi-Professional Team, and is now an understudy for the Professional Team Afinkao.
Outside of salsa dancing, Gustavo works for a small Mechanical Engineering firm based out of Napa designing new environmentally friendly and energy efficient building systems. In his free time, he likes to read, write poetry, and workout. Gustavo is extremely grateful for the opportunity of being able to express himself through the art of dance. He hopes that through dance he can inspire others to do the same.
“To watch us dance is to hear our hearts speak.”
~Hopi Indian Saying