After losing a parent at a young age, the arts and yoga were a way for Erica to express herself and to remember that health, joy and life are a blessing. As a youth, she was lucky to have studied with amazing artists from Russia, China/Taiwan, the U.S., and Cuba, who instilled in her a lifelong respect and love for the arts/culture, their history and the importance of treating the body as a gift. Erica's life has allowed her to nurture these beliefs through a rewarding journey as a business owner, professional artist/director, arts administrator, Ayurvedic/massage therapist, yoga instructor, and one who always remembers to look for the gold in life.
As professional artist/choreographer, Erica has performed in various genres including dance, live theater, Off-Broadway/Broadway, video and television. Some of her credits include: Rennie Harris' 'Facing Mekka', NBCU at Radio City, Luis Fonsi/Demi Lovato, Rod Rodgers Dance, Sergio Mendes/Carlinhos Brown, Maria Torres' 'Pasione',Earl Mosley (guest artist), Diavolo 2, Viver Brasil, Raiz Brazil, Musa with G.R.E.S. Renascer de Jacarepagua, Assokere Cuban Dance Co., Gabrielle Lansner's 'River Deep', Law and Order, Roc Nation's 'Christmas Love' and more.
Erica has also choreographed for Dancespora Ballet, Habana en Movimiento, SambaSalsa, Tropicana Revue (New York), Brooklyn Philharmonic Youth Concert Series, Law and Order, and Ritmos at The Adrienne Theater. Additionally, she has taught or guest lectured at University of Pennsylvania , Boricua College, Santa Monica College, Temple University, George Mason University, Long Island University Hospital and LA County High School of the Arts.
After receiving her Bachelor of Science in Wellness/Nutrition, Erica continued her studies of how to be healthy and happy, throughout one's life. She completed her 2,000 hour yoga teacher's certification with the College of Purna Yoga(Aadil Palkhivala, Savitri), Thai Yoga/massage certification and extensive study of Acupressure, Reflexology and Eastern nutrition. Because of this she was able to work and learn from the famed Ayurvedic doctor, Pratima Raichur and the Pratima Spa. Erica was also asked to provide Thai Yoga massage for feature films and actors including, Bill Murray, Jeffrey Wright and Sharon Stone.
Her goal whenever you take a class or receive a session, is that you experience the joy and power of the amazing being you are and receive sincere knowledge about the rich contributions of the arts and wellness from around the world.
Cookie was born in Los Angeles where she grew up dancing hip-hop, step and salsa in inner-city public schools.
After high school, she spent a summer taking Lindy Hop dance lessons before embarking on a solo trip traveling the train through Europe, staying in hostels.
She returned to LA to go to Junior College at SMC where she studied dance and anthropology, performing in dance recitals, and spending a summer doing archaeology in Belize.
She transferred to UC Berkeley as an anthropology major.
While at Berkeley, she spent her summers living with a family in Brazil, and doing non-profit work in the favelas there.
During her time living and working in Salvador da Bahia, she was exposed to the music and dances of Bahia: Forro,
Samba-Reggae, Axe, and Samba.
After college at Berkeley, she returned to LA where she was invited to dance with Los Rumberos, LA's premiere Salsa dance company. She performed and competed in Salsa for two years before going into business with a friend running a Salsa dance studio.
While running the studio, she started taking Samba lessons with one of the instructors, and after a year of training, began performing Samba no Pe.
In 2010 she moved to NYC where she performed Salsa with Descarga Latina for one year and Yamulee Dance Company for three years.
She now teaches dance classes in schools, dance studios, and fitness centers all over NYC.
Cookie believes in the African proverb: "If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing." She wants everyone to experience the joy and liberation that comes from dancing.
Bio Coming Soon
Bio Coming Soon