After social dancing in various Salsa venues, Michael Avila took courses in Latin Dance at San Jose State University. Afterwards. he became a member of the Mexican Heritage Plaza Salsa dance troupe, "Salseros de la Plaza" lead by Stephanie Palmeri and Danny Zepeda, and performed routines of both Salsa and Rueda at Salsa events and clubs throughout the Bay Area for a couple of years. Since then he has covered classes for other instructors at several clubs and studios as well as teaching youth basic footwork to choreography as a method of building self esteem and promoting exercise.
Always eager to help, Mike was a very helpful substitute whenever one of the regular instructors needed a partner or when an instructor needed a substitute. Mike and Jimmy go way back as far as college where the two met each other in dance classes at San Jose State University. In addition, Mike and Jimmy would bump into each other at the dance clubs for years after.
Mike taught a lot of the classes on his own but also was a co-instructor for instructors such as Dina and Ricki.