What We Do
Masha is the co-founder and director of Latinissimo. Since 2005 Masha has been the backbone of Latinissimo by upholding its quality it has become known for.
Masha has been an instructor since 1998, teaching thousands of students to dance over the years in 4 different continents. She has also mentored other instructors who are now successful professionals.
Bachelor of Dance
Masha studied a Bachelor of Dance degree at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) in New Zealand. She is an accomplished choreographer and dancer.
Int'l Competitor & Performer
Spanding over a decade, Masha has competed and performed at festivals, congresses and TV events across 4 continents and become a multiple international Salsa champion and an experienced performer.
2016 1st place World Salsa Championships
2016 3rd runner up World Salsa Summit
2014 2nd runner up World Salsa Summit
2013 3rd runner up World Dance Sport Games
2013 1st runner up US Salsa Open Championships
2012 1st place New Zealand Latin Showcase Team Champion
2012 1st runner up World Team Salsa Championships
2012 1st runner up World Salsa Championships Professional
2011 1st place Australian Salsa Open Champion Professional
2011 1st place Swedish Professional Salsa Champion
2011 1st place New Zealand Team Salsa Champion
2011 1st place New Zealand Professional Salsa Champion
2010 1st place New Zealand Professional Salsa Champion
2009 1st place New Zealand Professional Salsa Champion
2006 1st place Asia-Pacific Professional Salsa Champion
2003 1st place NZ Latin-American Dancesport Champion
2001 1st place Australian Salsa Champion
Masha is 2016 World Salsa Champion. She has spent a total of 20 years in Australia/New Zealand, 11 of those as director of Latinissimo Dance. Together with Giancarlo, they have been featured as NZ's leading salsa dance professionals on TVNZ's Good Morning Show, been guest choreographers for Salsa and Mambo on the New Zealand version of TV3's "So You Think You Can Dance", sole New Zealand representatives at the World DanceSport Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, placed in the top 30 semi-finalists on TVONE's "New Zealand's Got Talent" 2012 and finalist and multiple champion of various prestigious international salsa championships. 2016 Masha & Giancarlo were one of the 6 couples in world to get invited to compete in the Salsa "on1" category at the prestigious Fania World Salsa Championships held in Atlanta, Georgia. 2017 saw all their accomplishments culminate in being one of 3% in the world to be approved for a permanent "Extraordinary Talent" visa (EB1A) to the USA by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Masha represented her native country of Slovenia as an elite rhythmic gymnast before relocating to New Zealand. Since the age of 4, Masha has been dancing ballet, jazz, Latin-American Dance Sport and contemporary dance. In return she now has over 20+ years of disciplined dance training with immaculate dance and gymnastic techniques. Masha & Giancarlo were the first salsa instructors in New Zealand to introduce syllabus based salsa courses that would extend to any level of salsa dancing. The idea of the syllabus was to spread it to all of New Zealand in order for the schools to be able to teach the same basis and as result students would have a "universal" way of learning and competing. Today the syllabus structure has been adapted by the majority of salsa dance schools, which in return has raised and continues to raise the level of salsa dancing in New Zealand.
Masha is an incredibly passionate dancer, performer and instructor. In fact so passionate that she took her dancing to an academic level. She studied Physiology, Nutrition and Anatomy as part of the Bachelor of Dance degree at Auckland University of Technology in 2001.
Masha is highly respected in the salsa dance industry for her clear, precise and technical instruction. Masha & Giancarlo also had the honor of being the first couple ever to be invited by the New Zealand Federation of Dance Teachers (NZFDT) to do a salsa demonstration at the Opening Ceremony of the New Zealand Ballroom & Latin-American Dancesport Championships, been featured on a full page in the New Zealand Herald's "Photos Of The Year 2007", featured and interviewed in DANZ magazine by Francesca Horsley as "...New Zealand's Best!" and were main characters and dancers in the music video "Insane" by The Sagittarian, to mention a few.
Giancarlo & Masha dance with style, energy, professionalism and precision. Together they have performed and taught in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Seoul, Bangalore, Miami, Los Angeles, Hamburg, Gold Coast and more. They are the choreographers, instructors and directors of New Zealand's most popular and successful student salsa dance team - TEAM Latinissimo. They were also coaches for the World Amateur Salsa Champions, Asia-Pacific Amateur Salsa Champions and the undefeated New Zealand Amateur Salsa Champions. Latinissimo won the NZ Salsa People's Choice Award in 3 out of 4 categories at the NZ Salsa Nationals.