Born in Istanbul and raised in New York City from the age of two, Burju Perez is one of the
original 4 founders of H.Y.M (Hacha Y Machete), a salsa dance company. In 2001, she became the director along with her
husband and dance partner, Victor. At that time, the two ran the company part time after their day jobs. In 2003,
Burju made a life-changing decision to pursue a career in Latin dance.
This decision was prompted when her good friend and mentor Juan Matos offered her an opportunity to tour Italy for one
month. She left her job at Putnam Investments and has since traveled to over 75 cities all over the world teaching and performing.
Burju has worked very hard to develop her own style of Salsa that incorporates her background in different disciplines. She
began as a Rhythmic Gymnast and trained in Ballet and Jazz at a young age. She then became interested in Hip-Hop and Modern
and danced in various dance troops and productions over the years. In college, Burju became a part of a dance troop that
incorporated Latin dancing. This is where her current journey began.
Career Highlights include being awarded "International Best Artist," and "International Best Instructor" in 2007 at the
United Kingdom Salsa Congress. Burju has served as the main judge for International World Salsa Championships, performed on
stage with the world's best known Salsa bands, and has auditioned for shows like "So You Think You Can Dance" and "America's
Got Talent." A philanthropist in the making, Burju also holds an annual dance shoe drive that donates brand new Burju Shoes
to different youth groups around the world. She has also helped develop the "Learn Through Dance" in-school program that
affords inner city elementary students the opportunity to learn dance and experience the benefits of engaging in the arts.