Sonya Elmore is the Artistic Director of La Luna Dance Studio and the Founder of Luna Negra Dance Company whose unquenchable thirst for dance has touched the lives of students and spectators everywhere. Sonya has traveled all over the world teaching, competing, and judging in Salsa and International Latin while developing a strong international reputation as one of the most talented and passionate dancers in the US.
Sonya has been a featured instructor at such national events as the World Hustle Dance Championships, the Edmonton Salsa Congress, the Puerto Rico Salsa Congress, the Philadelphia Salsa Congress, and was a lead choreographer for the Salsa routine that broke two records in the Guinness Book of World Records. She was also a finalist in several national dance competitions including the Club Mayan World Salsa Competition, the Vaseline Intensive Care Smooth Moves Competition, the International Hustle & Salsa Competition, and the United State's largest ballroom dancing competition The Ohio Star Ball Championships.
Sonya has been featured on several television programs including NBC 10 Philadelphia News, FOX29 Good Day Philadelphia, and "The Dating Story" on TLC, in addition to producing her own instructional video on Ladies Styling in Salsa. Her notoriety and acclaim has helped to bring Salsa and Latin dance into the mainstream community of Philadelphia where she has founded and solidified numerous relationships to perform with local organizations like Cuba Libre Restaurants, Brasil's Night Club, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Bensalem School District, and the Alzheimer's Association of the Delaware Valley.
Fleeing religious persecution in Moscow, Russia, Sonya immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 14 where soon began training in competitive International Ballroom Dance. She found solace in her ability to express herself fully through dancing and gained confidence and strength in her natural ability. Sonya excelled in the Latin dances and through dedicated training and generous sponsorships appreciated a marvelous amateur career. In 1999, after years of successful competition, Sonya decided to move on from ballroom dancing to explore her new found passion, Salsa.
It wasn't long after her first lessons with Josie Neglia in Los Angeles that Sonya created her own feminine, sophisticated style of Salsa and embarked upon a tour to teach and perform all over Europe. While living in Paris, Sonya soon became one of the most popular dancers in the City of Lights. It is there that Sonya found her love of teaching and in 2002 returned to continue her career in Philadelphia. Just one year after returning to the US, Sonya founded La Luna Dance Studio and began teaching others to fall in love with Salsa like she did.
Sonya has created Philadelphia's most comprehensive dance program for all ages including American Ballroom, Argentine Tango, Swing, Salsa & Street Latin, Hip Hop, Belly Dancing, ZUMBA and children's program in Classic Performing Arts.
Sonya's latest accomplishment includes placing 5th in ESPN World Salsa Championships (Cabaret division) in December 2006 and organizing a very successful Annual Philadelphia SALSAFEST in October.