Michael John Saltus
Dance Champion Michael John Saltus, a navy brat, realized as a child how to adapt to each new environment his family moved into. This helped create his outgoing personality.
At a young age he learned discipline and the value of hard work in the farm country, where breaking horses taught him the balance he later used in sports and dance. However, hitting the gym proved even as valuable. The hard work and long hours there gave him a healthier lifestyle and kept him injury-free, allowing him to play three sports in high school and two in college.
The skills he learned on sports teams also turned out to be an asset years later in the development of his own dance company.
At the end of high school Michael began learning the Western jitterbug--which he continued in college--introducing him to tricks and lifts.
As a Grizzlies football player at the University of Montana, Michael started taking jazz for flexibility and balance. Along with earning a BA in psychology, he discovered another passion: acting.
After relocating to San Diego, he began performing with the Pacific Repertoire Jazz and Ballet Company, where he learned the art of pas de deux (ballet partnering).
Michael's acting and modeling career also began to pick up, and over time he was represented by several agencies and appeared in numerous student films, commercials and pilots.
He has the honor of being a part of the first salsa couple on the long running tv show Soul Train.
By 2000, Michael had experimented with many dance genres, including ballroom, but it was salsa that matched his high energy and passion.
After meeting his partner in 2001, Camille Yannantuono, the pair began competing and started Positive Energy Dance Company. Since becoming a salsa devotee, Michael has danced with Rumba Rica-1 year 2002, Majesty in Motion-1 year 2003 and Son y Pasos-6 months 2004.
After dissatisfaction with only a few performances per year, Michael and Camille founded their own group performance team in 2005.
Since 2001 Michael has become San Diego's most popular club dance instructor. He's been teaching weekly at the Queen Bees Salsa/Bachata club for over 20-years and substituting at many other venues. He has also performed at a Tango Dinner show for over 15-years at Pampas Argentine Restaurant. Before they closed just before Covid hit they had performed there 1000th dinner show! That puts him at well over 2,500 different performances in just over 25-years! Many were benefits or fundraisers of which he is most proud of.
He also teaches various workshops both locally in San Diego and on the road at many Dance Festivals & Congresses. The workshops are focused on traditional dance styles & fusion dances such as Bachatango, Salsatango, Zoukchata & Kizango in addition to Salsa, Cha-Cha, Tango, Swing, Kizomba & Bachata.