Neph was born and raised in San Francisco, California, and now resides in Seattle, Washington.
He has enjoyed international music and culture since his youth and began traveling around the world during his college years.
Neph studied American Ethnic Studies and Business in college.
After falling in love with partner-dance in 2009 and discovering Kizomba music and dance in 2013, Neph quickly obtained instructor training from some of the most prestigious and well-loved Kizomba master-instructors, Mestre Petchu and Vanessa Pura Ginga from Lisbon, Portugal by way of Angola.
Neph was fortunate to have spent six months traveling and exploring on an educational trip throughout six different countries in southern Africa several years back.
This trip gave Neph his first in-person encounter with the traditional African rhythms at the core of Kizomba.
More recently, Neph spent six months in South America where he started a Kizomba dance community from the ground up.
Immediately following this trip, Neph endeavored to expand his dance vocabulary further by traveling extensively throughout Europe, with training stops in Portugal, France and Spain and now has over 150 hours of dance instructor training.
Neph offers personal and group dance instruction, specializing in musicality and creative Afrocentric dances and movements (including Kizomba, Urban Kiz, Semba, Afro House and Salsa).
Neph's Teaching Style & Approach
Neph’s favorite part of teaching is allowing students to explore the beauty of a strong connection to both the music and to their partner on the social dance floor.
Students get a course outline as well as objectives for each class.
Neph loves to be clear regarding his intent for individual classes as well as the overall learning experience.
Open and honest communication as well as trust and rapport set the tone for each class and the full course objective.
The classroom must exist as a safe and open place where individuals and learn and grow.
If someone has behavior that might take away from the learning process, that is not accepted.
The emphasis is always on having fun, challenging yourself and experiencing the fullness of what partner dance has the offer.