Yessenia Dickinson was born in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. At 3 months old, her family relocated to Texas to be with the rest of their family.
Growing up in a very large Puerto Rican family there were always gatherings going on which usually consisted of salsa music playing and people dancing. Because of this, Yessenia’s mom decided to enroll her in Encore Dance Studio at the age of 3 where she learned ballet, jazz, pointe, hip hop, tap and much more. She competed in many competitions and performed in the yearly recitals. Although she loved performing, the environment she was in during the competitions and performances wasn’t the kind she wanted to be in. Because of her love of dance she continued with them until she was 12 years old.
When she was 6 years old, her mom also enrolled her in the Mambo Jam Plus Children’s Program. There she learned how to dance salsa and mambo but she also learned many life lessons. Being at MJP was like being with family. Everybody cared about one another and their growth as both a dancer and a person. Eventually, MJP’s mission evolved and changed its name to become Sandunga Dance Company in 2004.
In 2015, when Sandunga Dance Company’s founder relocated to New York City, Yessenia wanted to remain an extension of the brand in Texas. As parents, Yessenia and her wife hope that their son and daughter can learn about one of their cultures through salsa dancing in a similar environment - an environment that accepts people as they are with open arms; an environment that a person can go to for a hug, shoulder to cry on or laughs.
It is with great joy that she is now able to continue Sandunga’s vision of promoting a safe place to learn how to dance while promoting community in Texas. Sandunga is much more than "just a dance school or company" - it is the spirit of community, family and most of all: love. She is excited to help each and every one of her students build memories with Sandunga in the DFW metroplex! Most of all, she looks forward to continuing the legacy that started with Agustin "Augie" Guzman.