René Thompson

Dance Performer
Dance Choreographer
Dance Teacher

Born: Havana, Cuba
Current: Minneapolis, MN

"Dance is not just about moving your feet. The music has a question. Your body has an answer."

About René

René Dennis Thompson has been a professional Latin dancer for 37 years, 30 of those years as an instructor and choreographer. He began his career in Cuba in 1973 with a small role as an actor in the popular theater company "4 de Abil" under the direction of Tito Junco. Many other amateur theaters and dance companies helped him develop his artistic vocation. In the early 1980s talent hunters discovered Rene's versatility and soon he became a great Afro-Cuban dancer, performing with several well-known choreographers, directors, and dance companies, further developing his unique style.

1986 brought him into the world of night shows at the most prestigious clubs in Cuba, such as the Tropicana. His energetic and charismatic dance got the attention of many famous choreographers and directors from all over the world. René has performed traditional Afro-Cuban and popular Latin dance all over the world and in many music videos and movies with popular U.S. and international artists, including Will Smith, John Leguizamo, Gloria Estefan, and the Miami Sound Machine.

Born and trained in Cuba, René brings a wealth of knowledge of music and dance and its cultural context to his audience. He teaches the uniquely Cuban steps of Salsa, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba, Mambo, and other traditional Cuban rhythms. He always includes the heart of the Cuban style, which has its foundation in Africa and Spain, as well as his homeland of Cuba.

René has been honored by the Federal Executive Board, USDA, Harrington Foundation, and Minneapolis Community College for his informative and insightly talks and demonstrations about the rich history of his Afro-Cuban roots.

René danced with Gloria Estefan for a number of years. In the following video you can see René - he's in a lavender shirt and tan pants.

Rene Thompson, Latin Dance in Minneapolis