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About Us

Our mission is to share the joy and passion that Latin Dance brings to life overall and to create a very unique community of Salseros, Bachateros, Bachatangueros that have a true passion for the art of dance. We want to unite dancers of all levels, expose them to world class training and allow them to experience the camaraderie that comes with being a part of the Baila con Pasión family.

Baila con Pasión, established in 2007, is a specialized Latin Dance company originally based in Charlotte, NC, with other locations in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, Florida and now our new home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We offer group classes, private lessons and specialized workshops in Salsa, Bachata, Bachatango, and Cha Cha in addition to many opportunities to dance socially and put what you learn in class to use on the dance floor! Whether you are brand new to Salsa, Bachata, Bachatango or are an experienced dancer looking to sharpen your skills and find your own style, we have a class for you.

Cass and Jasper.jpg

Under the direction of owner and artistic director, Cassandra de Mercedes and her Manager and husband, Pedro Mercedes and due to our devoted Salsa and Bachata communities , Baila con Pasión was the premier Latin Dance company in Charlotte,NC, in Bavaro, Dominican Republic, the treasure Coast of Florida and now Minneapolis, MN.  Baila con Pasión is now quickly becoming the premier Latin Dance Company in Minneapolis MN as well as the entire Twin Cities. We provide world class instruction that has a strong focus on technicality, musicality and styling and we offer classes that range from very beginning level classes all the way up to our student performing teams, Semi Pro and Pro teams, Salsa con Pasión™,  Bachata con Pasión™ and Las Bellas de Baila con Pasión™.

Baila con Pasión is an International  World Mastery Academy and our Director, Cassandra de Mercedes is also a World Mastery Ambassador.  We are also one of less than 40 Black Belt Salsa™ schools in the entire world and our curriculum is partially based on the martial arts progressive teaching system. Our curriculum breaks steps down into families of steps making it easier to recognize and execute patterns and moves that can be combined easily based on partner skill level, partner height, and speed of song.  Our curriculum is a combination of various World Class programs and we have take the best of the best to create our own Baila con Pasión curriculum.  Our director is also certified in the multi time World Champions'  Adrian & Anita Salsa Syllabus as well as the Fernando Sosa Syllabus featuring SOSA Style Salsa, which is all part of our BCP Program.

 Our curriculum, partially based on the Black Belt Salsa program by founded by Edie the Salsa Freak,  by Multi Time World Salsa Champions Adrian and Anita and by Fernando Sosa helps our students to learn and organize moves from basic to advanced in an organized, structured manner that makes it easier to remember in class and on the dance floor and allows them to see the way that the moves connect making it easier to come up with new patterns and allows them the freedom to create their own style in each dance.

Baila con Pasión’s artistic Director, Cassandra de Mercedes was also on the development team for the Black Belt Bachata™ curriculum making Baila con Pasión one of the first and only Black Belt Bachata™ schools in the world.


Academia de Baila con Pasión is also part of the elite World Team Project & World Mastery Programs and our Director, Cassandra de Mercedes, is one of the few International World Mastery Ambassadors. Her personal training and her method of teaching, which combines the Black Belt Salsa™ curriculum and the World Mastery Salsa curriculum of multiple time World Champions, Adrian and Anita, of Spain, making her teaching method one of the best in the world.  ​Cassandra is also featured in the Best of Salsa worldwide! 

We strive to bring the joy and passion of Latin dance to anyone who wants to learn!   We invite you to 'Baila con Pasión' with us!!

Cassandra also offers choreography services for special events and she and her partner are also available for performances and teaching specialized workshops at Festivals, Corporate Events and Salsa and Bachata Congresses internationally. 

"I came into this thinking, I would just take a basic class and take my moves to the dance floor. Once I got that first lesson, I was hooked and now I can't put it down. Cassandra is an excellent teacher with yrs of experience. Her technical teaching has helped me understand the difference in why a move is made. Her patience has helped my confidence on the dance floor and I have come to appreciate her teaching style. I am work in progress and did not give a rating of five because Cassandra told me that you never stop learning and improving in dance and while I am still perfecting my skills she will always have work to do..."
T. Fitzgerald


"I have been doing Latin dance for about 3 months now and have taken classes from instructors all around charlotte. I must say though that cassandra is my personal favorite. With her warm personality, contagious smile, and unihibited energy she lights up the room wherever she goes. I started out with two left feet but after two short months of salsa, bachata, and cha cha classes Its safe to say I am confident on the dance floor, and never do I worry about looking foolish. Cassandra is without a doubt the best at what she does."
B. Childers

"I absolutely love working with Cassandra. She's patient, fun, exciting, and very sincere. The vibe she brings to her passion is incredible and I recommend anyone that think they want to learn to dance meet her first. Once the hour is up, you will know you wan to dance!!!! I am extremely pleased to have met Cassandra and every chance I get I praise her for many reason. This woman is remarkable and I'm very thankful I was blessed with the opportunity to have met her.... Keep it up Cassandra!!!!"
O. Cunningham


"Cassandra is warm, encouraging, talented, and makes each lesson FUN! She really puts the time in to make you feel comfortable. She not only teaches you the steps, but also explains why you are doing certain movements in a way that makes the whole process that much easier - and more enjoyable! Her passion for dance and teaching is infectious; you will not only learn how to dance like a true pro but also have a great time doing it!"
M. Dotson

Whether you are brand new to Salsa, Bachata, Bachatango or are an experienced dancer looking to sharpen your skills and find your own style, we have a class for you.

NO Parnter necessary!


"I love Cassandra's classes in so many ways that I'm sure I'll leave something out, but here are the reasons that come to mind immediately:

1) My husband and I spent several hundred dollars on a "Ballroom introductory package" at an unnamed Charlotte  studio in 2009. The instructors were good, but the environment was so formal that it was hard to actually enjoy myself, and I quickly lost interest for that reason. NOT so with Cassandra and her classes. She keeps it casual, fun, and she has seemingly endless patience with those of us who are struggling with new steps.
2) Confession: I'm not a fan of exercise (especially cardio), but I love her classes. Who knew exercise and fun could occur simultaneously?! I'm not a ZX Fitness member, but if I ever decide to join a gym, it'll be ZX. The staff is great and they treat us wonderfully, regardless of our membership status.

3) I've met some truly wonderful people because of her classes.

3) Even my 17-year old daughter has developed an interest in Latin ballroom dancing since meeting Cassandra, and the classes are affordable enough that we can actually go on a regular basis. Admission- $5 per person; Wardrobe- $? (just dress comfortably); Quality time with your loved ones? Priceless.

  S. Gleaves

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