Regan & Candice Christmas (Paradiso Academy, South Africa)

Regan "el Tumbao" Christmas - founder, director, choreographer

Durban born Regan found his musical ability at the age of 13 when he opted for cadet/marching band instead of sports. Within a year he was teaching trumpet and within two years, the drums, receiving provincial school colours at age 15. After school Regan played in a few rock bands while also developing his love of music as a DJ in Durban nightclubs.

Regan also trained in martial arts for five years, and his most memorable teaching post was junior karate classes to children affected by ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder).

In 2003 after his move to Cape Town, Regan started teaching Ballroom/Latin dance styles for an international social dancing school. From 2005 he first learned Salsa locally in Cape Town, and then continued his training in Europe from 2006. On his return to South Africa in 2007, he opened his own Afro-Latin dance school called The Salsa Studio.

In 2015 husband-and-wife team Regan and Candice Christmas opened Paradiso Academy, Cape Town's only full-time studio and club created by dancers, for dancers. Paradiso Academy teaches Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba, and the many derivatives of these umbrella styles.

Labelled a “genius” by his business coach and mentor for his “knowing of the body; the music; and empathy for his students” Regan displays a unique pedagogy that must be experienced. His passion for artistry and mastery of self through the arts keep him motivated to change the world for the better through music and dance.

Candice Christmas - founder, director, choreographer

“Candi” is the other founder, principle dancer, performer and teacher of Paradiso Academy. Known for her fun demeanour in classes as well as her beautifully feminine and sensual dancing on the stage and on the social floor, there is no doubt that she loves music and dance.

Candi brings her years of experience in club and street dancing and melds it with her technical training in Flamenco, Tango and Afro-Latin styles.

Born and raised in Cape Town and dancing formally since 2000, she also brings her own brand of African rhythmic movement effortlessly to every dance. Candi started her formal training in Afro-Latin dance styles in 2009 and quickly rose to fame for her enduring work ethic and passion for dance and community.

Candi shares Regan’s vision of changing the world through dance, and she does so daily through her pedagogy and astute business savvy.