March 2014

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Originally the assistant to one of the world’s most famous metal rock bands (Slipknot), Mickela quit her job to start a journey around the world, taking her camera with her to follow dance in the lives of everyday people wherever she went.  She is the host and producer of Bare Feet™ , a travel/dance web series where she ‘experiences the world, one dance at a time.’  She is a classically trained dancer as well as a trained musician and is very much inspired by folk dances from around the globe.  Mickela and the Bare Feet™ web series have been featured in The New York Times, Dance Magazine, Yahoo! Travel, Travel + Escape, American Express, AFAR Media, Matador, Expedia, Travelocity and more! She has performed on various television shows including Sesame Street, The Doctor Oz Show, TBS’s Movie and a Makeover, and she has performed in prestigious venues such as Central Park’s Summer Stage and the Kaufmann Concert Hall.


See Mickela’s:

  1. VIDEO on Puerto RIco 

  2. ARTICLE “Discovering the Riches of Puerto Rico

  3. WEBSITE TravelBareFeet.com

Alex (“Alejandro” in Puerto Rico) is the founder and President of Open Sky Expeditions. A Harvard graduate who speaks six languages and has traveled to over 70 countries, Alex has extensive in-depth knowledge of the high-end travel business. Prior to founding Open Sky, for over eight years Alex directed dozens of international programs for one of the world’s top operators of high-caliber educational programs aboard small ships. Among his unique experiences, he has conducted reconnaissance missions to over fifteen countries in Africa alone.

Alex also has a personal connection to Puerto Rico. Born to Cuban parents whose families took exile there, he spent his first years of life on the island and returns for annual visits. A musician, he is particularly passionate about this trip’s theme. He plays piano, guitar, sings, and in college co-founded a Latin band.

  YOUR HOSTS ON THE TOUR:

Juan Carlos Vega is one of the most qualified music experts from Puerto Rico, with a Ph.D. in Musical Arts in Music Education from Boston University and degrees from Berklee College of Music, the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, and Cambridge College. He’s authored the 2001 A Brief History of Music in Puerto Rico (translation from Spanish) and numerous publications, plus in 2005 produced the album Popssical: Classical goes Latin. Aside from teaching, he currently serves as pianist, guest conductor, singer, and arranger for the concert band of the prestigious Institute of Puerto Rican Culture.


Juan Carlos will be joining us on a number of excursions, adding special touches and commentary various Puerto Rican musical genres during the tour.

PARTICIPATING LOCAL MUSIC & DANCE EXPERTS IN PUERTO RICO:

Mickela Mallozzi

Bare Feet™

Juan Carlos Vega, DMA

Rafa Cancel founded Cambio en Clave to give salsa lessons to his friends for fun.  It grew into a dance movement that today allows hundreds of people from all walks of life to come together weekly to meet, dance, and have fun.  Rafa had a degree in environmental science and a masters’ degree in urban geography when he decided to become a salsa instructor. So, he studied with no less than seven international instructors.  He is a true renaissance man, involved in an array of activities that include scuba diving, martial arts, speleology, and more.


Rafa will be giving us a private salsa lesson on Day 2 of the program. 

Rafa Cancel,

Cambio en Clave

Tata Cepeda is a cultural icon In Puerto Rico and founder/director of the dance school “Escuela de bomba y plena.”  Having danced “bomba” for 35 years, her mastery of this unique dance form cannot be surpassed. The queen mother of the renowned Cepeda family of dancers, Tata has time and history behind her. She transmits to her students learning of the purest form.


Tata will be giving us a private presentation and lesson on Bomba on Day 3 of the program. 

Tata Cepeda

Escuela de Bomba y Plena