EveryBody Dances with Kati Hernandez of CONTRA-TIEMPO ¡azúcar!

6.25.24 | 11am–12:30pm
June 25, 2024 | 11am–12:30pm |
Dance Studio


The Dance Studio is located on the lower level of Yale Schwarzman Center, 168 Grove Street, New Haven, CT 06511.

Doors open at 10:30am.

Free and open to the public. 


Smiling with full curly hair in blue top.

Kati Hernandez

EveryBody Dances @ Yale Schwarzman Center brings local and visiting dance artists to our Dance Studio to teach masterclasses in jazz, hip hop, salsa, modern, contemporary, precision dance and more! All community members are welcome.

Dive into the vibrant streets of Santiago de Cuba and Havana during Carnival with our Conga and Comparsa dance class. Inspired by the eastern side of Cuba, this high-energy class brings the spirit of Carnival alive, rooted in Afro-Cuban Congolese and Franco-Haitian traditions. Join us for a celebration of Cuban culture and self-expression through rhythmic movements.

This class will be led by Kati Hernandez - Cuban dance educator, movement coach, collaborator and guest artist of CONTRA-TIEMPO’s ¡azúcar!

Presented by Yale Schwarzman Center in partnership with the International Festival of Arts & Ideas.

A native of Cuba, Kati Hernández grew up surrounded by the sounds of the drum and Afro-Cuban dance traditions. Her dance studies included Afro-Cuban and international folklore, popular, modern, ballet, choreography, composition, and staging. These shaped her into the electrifying choreographer, educator, and dancer of today. Her knowledge of dance and choreography reveals her intricate and versatile style, making her a highly sought-after performer nationally and internationally. She launched her international career at an early age, touring throughout Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas with renowned Cuban productions, musicians, and visual artists.

In her hometown of Los Angeles, Kati is a central figure in a large dance community. She was recently presented with a Community Leader of Excellence 2023 award honoring her artistry, work, and leadership. She is dedicated to spreading the treasures of her Afro-Cuban roots in the US. Her nationally acclaimed signature program Oricha Dance Therapy, which she is currently touring with, is a language of expression through movements and rhythms of the rich Afro-Cuban Dance diaspora. Hernández is founder of a pioneering online dance, and music program that preserves and promotes Cuban culture worldwide to create vibrant cross-cultural communities. She is also founder and artistic director of Kimbambula Cuban Dance and Music Ensemble, and co-founder of nKimbambula Productions. The latter serves as a platform to promote Cuban culture in LA where she produces annual events such as Essence of Cuba a paramount reunion of Afro-Cuban masters, Kati’s Cuban Ganga, and The Cuban Social.

Kati has led successful Afro-Cuban Jam Sessions at both Grand Park and the Ford Theater, where she served as lead choreographer for several of their programs and has also co-hosted dance workshops with the acclaimed Afro-Cuban rock band, Síntesis. More recently, Kati was artistic director for the joint production Cuba Antes y Ahora, at Grand Park and the Getty Museum, as well as the choreographer and cultural advisor of Tentacion a new production at the Walt Disney Concert Hall for LA Philharmonic’s Pan-American Youth Initiative. She has choreographed and performed in music videos including Un Poquito de Amor Every Day with world renowned Colin Hay and San Miguel Perez, and Iris Sandra Cepeda’s Vete Por Donde Vinistes.

She was featured in Spotify’s Latinx Heritage Month 2021 campaign “Aquí Siempre - Retratos de una comunidad en movimiento” spotlighted in Times Square, and is currently part of the American Heart Association’s worldwide P.S.A. “Get Down with your Blood Pressure” featured in the NY Times, national American and Spanish tv, and multiple print ad campaigns. She just finished shooting as one of the actors for short film 72 which centers around a search to belong, and the ways in which immigrants find sanctuary in community, breaking away from the pervasive limited narratives about Cubans, Latinx folks, and immigrants in general.

Kati also flows between public and academic venues, teaching dance classes, intensives and lectures at colleges, dance studios, and congresses around the country. She has worked with dance and music departments like CalArts, UC Irvine, University of Oregon, Pomona College, and is a yearly guest instructor at the top Cuban dance festivals in the nation. Kati’s work is a true illustration of her heritage and an endless celebration of Cuban Culture. 

READ Why Don't We Dance More, in The New York Times!