Congratulations to our King & Queen Competition winners, Queen Tiombe Valone and King Antoine Hunter.

Photo courtesy of Marco Sanchez






Armando Ibarra (King)
Fogo Na Roupa

Armando was born and raised in the Mission. He began training in martial arts at the age of 4. Armando enrolled in a Capoeira enrichment class at Everett Middle School and shortly thereafter performed in his first Carnaval parade. He never looked back. He has since paraded with both Fogo Na Roupa and Omulu Capoeria.

Daktari Shari Hicks (Queen)
Diaspora Mas Band

Daktari Shari believes she “samba-ed” in her mama’s womb. She has an extensive background in Afro-Diasporic dances, including West African, Haitian, Cuban, Brazilian Folkloric, Hip Hop, Lindy Hop, Jazz, and more!

Ezra Bristow (King)

Motivated by a love of Hip Hop and R&B, Ezra began dancing by watching Michael Jackson and Usher music videos on YouTube. He continued studying dances from the African Diaspora, including traveling to Trinidad and Tobago to learn about Carnaval. He created Elemental Movement Dance Team and Trinity College in 2011 and has been a member of SambaFunk! since 215.

Jessica Recinos (Queen)
Partner: Manolo Davila

Jessica has dedicated her life to the love of dance since she was small. As an adult she continues to inspire her students and community through dance. She has studied with Tania Santiago, Susana Arenas, Shefali Shah, Rashad Pridgen, and her dance father, Allan Frias. She uses dance to resist and fight oppression.

Manolo Davila (King)
Partner: Jessica Recinos

Manolo has participated in Carnaval San Francisco for over 25 years and the fire burns in his blood. He is one of the bright stars that makes up the constellation, Soltron and uses his art to nourish, inform, heal, and resist in these times when modes of expression and art are actively being threatened.

Shawna Adkins (Queen)

Shawna was introduced to Brazilian Samba and Carnaval when she began taking classes with SambaFunk at the Malonga Arts Center in Oakland. Since then she has paraded in Carnaval with SambaFunk, Haninah Abdullah and Energia do Samba, Julia and Julio Remelexo, and with Karibbean Vibrations. She has performed with SambaFunk, The Bahia in Oakland Collective (Isaura Oliveira), and Black Gold (Shari Hicks).

Andreina Maldonado (Queen)

Mujer Venezolana proud to call San Francisco her home. Natural enthusiast, nature lover, community organizer empowering Latino workers to fight for their rights. Thanks to her father, Andreina has been dancing for 20 years, and professionally for 6 years.

Acacia Gonsalves (Queen)
Bomba de Corazon

Acacia has competed several times in the Carnaval San Francisco King and Queen competition and has paraded in Carnaval for several years and performed with Rick Pruett. She is excited to dance with Temistocles Betancourt’s contingent this year.

Lilla Pittman (Queen)

Lilla started dancing at 5 years old and studied West African. She later began to train in Hip hop, Ballet, and Jazz. As an adult she became a cheer/dance coach and later started her own dance company. She has performed with African Queens and at the Ethnic Dance Festival.

Stephanie Tomasulo (Queen)
Loco Bloco

Stephanie is a San Francisco native who has grown up watching the Carnaval parade and first participated in the parade as a student at Buena Vista Elementary. She has since paraded with both Latin Dance Grooves and Loco Bloco. She has loved being an audience member for the King and Queen competition and is excited to finally take the stage herself!

Rufina Barrow (Queen)

Rufina has been performing professionally since the age of 8. She started with her mother, Sweetwyne Barrow, the first queen of Carnaval San Francisco, and her group, Sweetwyne and a Taste of Wine, a Zulu band.  She has participated in Carnaval SF for the past 27 years with Mas bands such as Fogo Na Ropa, Islands of Fire, and Karibbean Vibrationz.

Antoine Hunter (King)

Antoine hunter was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is an African American Deaf professional dance artist who performs with numbers of Bay Area companies, as well as internationally. He believes that dance is a way to  express oneself, and also a way to bring love, laughter, power, wisdom and healing to ourselves. Anyone can reach their dreams - no matter what disability or background they have. He is also the founder and director of the  Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival.

Ayikwei Scott (King)

Ayikwei loves to drum, dance, act, and engage in other acts of expression. His strives to inspire his audience to DANCE (Developing Anyone’s Natural Cultural Experience) and MOVE (Motivating Originality Vibrating Energetically). He has participated in Carnaval San Francisco and Oakland’s Carijama with Fogo Na Ropa and SambaFunk!, and has also participated in Brazil Day San Rafael, Santa Cruz, L.A. and San Diego. He is a skiled musician and plays drum kit, Latin and Brazilian percussion, alto saxophone, flute, clarinet, piano/keyboard, guitar, and bass, to name a few.

Diana Fabiola Camacho (Queen)

Diana was born and raised in La Paz Bolivia. She has lived half of her  life in La Paz and the other half here in the Bay Area. She has participated in Carnaval SF with "KANTUTA Ballet Folklorico de Bolivia" in 2013 and with "Bolivia Corazon De America", years 2005-2007. Music and dance are her two loves and passions in life.

Emmanuel DeJesus (King)

Ever since he could crawl, Emmanuel has been moving to whichever music has been playing in the background. He  began taking dance classes in middle school (Ballet and Modern) and continued to perform with various dance groups throughout college. He is a certified Zumba instructor, and for the last 7 years has been teaching in NYC, Jacksonville Florida, and Puerto Rico. He loves dance and loves sharing what he does with those around him as dance brings people together and give people a way to express themselves!

Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste (Queen)

Jazz-Ylaine Baptiste is a native of Oakland and has over 30 years of dance training and experience including: classical ballet, jazz dance, salsa and latin dance, ballroom, Samba, Afro Brazilian, belly dance, West African and modern dance. She has been specializing in Brazilian samba dance for 14 years, of which 2 of those years she lived in Bahia, Brasil and participated in Carnaval parades in both Rio and Salvador. Jazz-Ylaine is the Executive Director and Founder of Samba Queens Academy established in May 2015 with academies in: Oakland, San Francisco, San Diego, Atlanta, New York City, with more academy locations opening this year! She is the Co-owner of Aum (pronounced Oh-mm) Golden Health: birth support and holistic wellness service, where she is a DANCING DOULA helping families flow into the sacred life space of birth. She also supports her community as a whole through holistic wellness services of: massage, Reiki, womb healing, yoga, meditation, life and wellness coaching and dance therapy. Jazz-Ylaine is honored and grateful to share her passion and heART with you all!

Monica Ascencio (Queen)

Monica had the heart and soul as a dancer since a young age but has only been dancing for 5 years. In those five years she has danced with various contingents in Carnaval SF including Sambaxe, Rueda con Ritmo and is now preparing to parade in  2017  with Grupo Tania Santiago.  Monica is the Assistant Front Desk Manager at ODC and Rhythm & Motion. She considers ODC to be her home for global dance community and is passionate about creating a welcoming atmosphere for dancers of all ages, races, and genders. In this challenging current political and economic climate, Monica would like the privilege of  representing the Carnaval Queen as a positive image of Old San Francisco.

Quintin Starks (King)

Quintin is an independent Michael Jackson dancer and is celebrated for being one of the best in California. He performs with  Bay Area Flash mob and leads the dance team, The 3 Generations.

Tiombe Valone (Queen)

Tiombe started dancing when her mother saw her dance and recognized her talent and enrolled her in classes. Even when she is not dancing she is thinking about dancing and costume making. Tiombe danced in Carnaval in Bahia, Brasil and is a member of Aguas Dance Company and Almazônica Dance Ensemble. She performed wtih Urban Jazz Dance at the Bay Area International Deaf Dance Festival in 2016. Tiombe loves the freedom of dance, as there is no correct/incorrect way to dance. It is an expression that is relative to the individual.  Tiombe currently works in Public Health.

Tanilee Amor (Queen)

Founder of Amor do Samba Entertainment, an Afro-Latin dance company dedicated to sharing the love and light of samba. Amor do Samba has performed for diplomats representing 20 countries, provided a Brazilian half-time show at Stanford Stadium in 2014, and curated an evening of performance for Google.Tanilee loves to Sambe, hence the name of her dance company, “love of Samba.” She studied dance at UCLA and teaches regularly in the SF Bay Area and Mexico.





SambaFunk! is a community of professional and volunteer performing artists based in Oakland / San Francisco Bay Area. Founded by Artistic Director Theo Aytchan Williams, the organization showcases the cultural connections between Mother Africa and the daughter cultures of Brasil and Black America. Members of the organization are known as Funkquarians. Each time the Funkquarians play, dance, sing or chant it is in honor of the lost ancestors of the Middle Passage. SambaFunk! is a  501(c)3 cultural non profit and currently seeking sponsors for development of a new cultural innovation center. Please visit the web site for more information on SambaFunk! and view our cultural arts vision video:  /

Maracatu Pacífico
Based in West Oakland, Maracatu Pacífico is a community-based performance group that brings Afro-Brazilian Maracatu music and dance from Northeastern Brazil to the SF Bay Area. Maracatu Pacífico was founded in late 2012 under the leadership of director Eric Hoffman, with an emphasis on community and personal development.


Maracatu is a popular folkloric tradition from the area around Recife in Pernambuco, Brazil, with roots going back to the colonial era and the heritage of the enslaved Africans. Today, many Maracatu Nações ("nations") continue this tradition, acting as musical and religious centers for communities of color.  Maracatu continues to grow, spreading out to other cities in Brazil and across the world.


Maracatu Pacifico uses the traditional movement and instruments of Maracatu and draws its inspiration from both traditional Maracatu Nações and more modern, non-traditional Maracatu groups like Maracatu Badia. We owe great thanks to these groups (and their mestres) for keeping this rich and powerful culture alive and for their inspiration and teaching, especially to  Pitoco de Aira of Estrela Brilhante and Nininho of Maracatu Badia. Maracatu Pacífico strives to maintain the utmost respect for the culture, and work to deepen our understanding and improve our practice.

Mariachi Juvenil la Mision
Mariachi Juvenil la Mision is a program of Cuicacalli and directed by Ariane Cortes. Ariane is in her eleventh year as a music teacher for the San Francisco School District. She graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a degree in music education and is a classically trained pianist. In her third year of teaching she received her National Board Certificate in K-12 instrumental music. Currently she is the full time music director at Buena Vista Horace Mann, a bilingual K-8 community school located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Sugey "Sol" Oliveros Orozco
Sol was the Queen of Carnaval in Colombia in 1994. After her coronation, she moved to Argentina and later to France where she worked as a dancer for a number of dance companies. She then moved to Mexico where she taught dance and is now living in San Francisco and working with La Comparsa Colombiana.




Eddie Madril
Eddie Madril is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe of Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora Mexico. He is an active member of the Native American community and represents his culture as a dancer, singer, teacher, playwright and filmmaker. He is the artistic director of Sewam American Indian Dance and has been dancing for nearly 40 years and teaching for nearly 20. He is an instructor at San Francisco State University, College of Marin, and in schools throughout the greater Bay Area. He is on the Board of Directors at World Arts West.




Carlos Barón
Carlos Barón is an Emeritus Professor of Theater Arts and Ethnic Studies, from San Francisco State University. (SFSU) He has worked and lived many years in (or close to) the Mission. A professional actor, writer and director, he also worked as Performing Arts Coordinator at the Mission Cultural Center (SF) and was a co-founder and first Cultural Coordinator of La Peña Cultural Center, in Berkeley, which was established in 1976.


Most recently, from 2008 to 2016, he collaborated with Martha Rodríguez and the Community Music Center in the popular “La Posarela,” which was presented around Christmas time. In 2016 (March and November), he collaborated with Musical Director John Calloway and the Community Music Center, in the very well-received production of “Son de la Misión,” which focused in the last 50 years of music created and played in the Mission. He is also a proud columnist for “El Tecolote” newspaper, where he writes a column called “The Devil’s Advocate.”


Right now, he is preparing to participate in the “Day without Immigrants” March on May 1st where (with artist Colette Crutcher and many students and community people) they will use large puppets, choreography and music to defend the rights of immigrants. Be there!

Roberto Borrell
Roberto Borrell learned traditional and popular Afro-Cuban dance, percussion, and song from master musicians and dancers while growing up in la Havana Vieja, Havana, Cuba. He is a respected dancer and percussionist of Afro-Cuban Yoruba, Abakua (Calabar), Rumba, Arará (Dahomey), and Palo (Congo). He is also a master dancer and teacher of Cuban popular dance styles such as son montuno, danzón, and cha cha cha. Mr. Borrell led the Afro-Cuban folkloric group Kubata in Cuba for 10 years before coming to the United States in 1980, where he founded a new company under the same name. Kubata, then based in New York City, performed Roberto’s productions for 10 years in many major East Coast venues, such as the Smithsonian, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall.


Borrell danced in the front line of the Folklorico Nacional de Cuba for several years and, in major United States venues, has performed and recorded both as a dancer and percussionist, with legends such as Tito Puente, the Machete Ensemble, Chocolate Armenteros, “Cachao” Lopez, and Richard Egües. Mr. Borrell was the co-founder, percussionist and musical co-director of the 11-member Orquesta la Moderna Tradición, one of the only ensembles in the United States that is dedicated to the performance of classic Cuban dance music: son, guaracha, chachachá, and especially the lilting grooves of the danzón.

Tika Morgan
Tika Morgan is a full time instructor of Afro Contemporary and Latin Dance with 20 years of professional experience. Her unique teaching style has garnered a loyal and devoted following throughout the SF Bay Area and she continues to be an inspiring source in the dance community. Tika began dancing at age four and had her first experience performing professionally at age 11 touring India with a British Shakespeare Company. She is a graduated teacher of the acclaimed Silvestre Dance Technique (Brazil) and has been working with its founders since 2008. Tika continues her education of dance ethnology in both Brazil and Cuba each year, which enables her to educate people on the places where the dances of the African Diaspora connect and diverge through these regions. Tika has choreographed for concerts, musical theater, music videos and carnival parades. Her work has been featured in Quién Magazine Mexico, Marie Claire Latino América, SF Chronicle and was most recently chosen by SF Bay Guardian’s top 20 choices for dance.

Michelle Martin
Michelle Martin specialized in dance and visual arts with Oakland Park and Recreation Department for thirteen years and then went on to pursue a major in Dance/Performing Arts at SF State. During this time she was given the opportunity to study in St. Louis, Missouri, with Katherine Dunham and several other masters of the original Dunham Dance Company. Her studies have taken her to the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, as well as independent study with Jean Leon Destine and Richard Gonzalez in New York City. Michelle has traveled throughout Nigeria, Cuba, and Haiti to study dance and music through religious ceremony. She has worked with Bantaba and Diamano Coura West African Dance Companies, toured Nigeria with Wajumbe Cultural Ensemble, and was the assistant artistic director, choreographer, principal dancer, and singer for the nationally acclaimed Haitian dance group Petit la Croix with Blanche Brown. Michelle has taught Haitian dance and song at several Bay Area institutions and has been an artist-in-residence with the S.F. Unified School District since 1989 and is working with the Ruth Asawa School of the Arts High School in the Theater Department. In 2010 she was awarded the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship grant as a Yoruba/ Lukumí master beadworker.

Conceição Damasceno
A well-respected choreographer, performer and instructor, Conceição Damasceno studied Brasilian folkloric, modern, jazz and Afro Brasilian dance from an early age. Her dance education included Castelo Branco, Ebateca, Funacao Cultural da Bahia, Teatro Castro Alves and Sesc (the best dance schools in Salvador, Bahia, Brasil). She did extensive research in Afro Brasilian folklore and religion – especially from the Reconcovo region of Bahia (a location for early slave communities).


In the United States, Ms. Damasceno studied the Katherine Dunham technique – including taking workshop(s) with the legendary dance icon herself. Ms. Damasceno has performed throughout Brasil, the United States, Europe and Asia. She has performed at the opening of show for major artists, including Gilberto Gil, Margareth Menezes, Celia Cruz and Tito Puentas. She has been a sought-after dance instructor for over 25 years.


Ms. Damasceno has represented Brasilian culture for nearly 26 years in San Francisco’s annual Carnaval Parade. She has staged several applauded local theatre productions, including Mixtura Brasileira, the Yemanja Arts Festival, CuBahia and the Sao Joao Festival. She received a Certificate of Honor from the City of San Francisco for “25 Years of Artistry and Cultural Contributions to the Carnaval Community.