This past Saturday afternoon, Salsa in Review decided to check out North Toronto’s Saturday Practices at Yonge and Shepperd. It is about a 5 minute walk just south of Shepperd. Look for the Coffee Time building. Enter through the law office entrance and take the stairs to the second level.
Their practice format is usually a workshop or salsa lesson from 4-5pm. Then, from 5-7pm, practice dancing for salsa, cha-cha-cha, and bachata. The entry fee is $5 per person for the salsa practice and sometimes includes the lesson/workshop held by their resident instructors. They often bring in guest instructors where there is a separate charge, so check their website to be sure.
We arrived near 5:15 for the salsa practice and there was a little over a dozen people in the studio. The studio space was nice and bright. The dance floor being new, very clean, and just perfect to spin on. The crowd was more on the mature side and everyone was there to practice dancing. There was a club cha-cha-cha workshop that preceded the practice given by Stephanie from Mambo Tribe. The music during the practice was mainly salsa with cha-cha-cha and some bachata here and there. For me, I would have preferred more salsa. From what we saw, there was a mix of beginners and intermediate dancers. A few people were teaching and learning steps together. The atmosphere was very relaxed. And there’s lots of lighting in the room.
If you’re looking for a nice crowd to practice your dancing on a Saturday afternoon, you can check this place out. It is not too crowded and there’s plenty of space to dance. See you on the dancefloor!
North Toronto’s Saturday Practices
4578 Yonge St. Suite #200, Toronto, ON
Entry Fee: $5
Dancing: Saturdays (4-5pm Workshop, 5-7pm Salsa Practice)
Fun Factor: 2
Overall: 15 (out of 25)
The first Toronto Dance Salsa Amateur Salsa Competition began with a preliminary round at Montana Lounge on Sunday April 29. Not only did we attend this exciting event, we were one of the couples competing. Before we talk about the outing and the competition, we’d like to give a warm thanks to everyone who gave us encouraging words and cheered us on.
Of all the venues for Toronto Dance Salsa outings, Montana Lounge is quickly becoming a favorite. The large space, friendly staff, and fantastic wooden dancefloor needs little to sell itself to the salsa crowd. This was the second outing at this location and I’m hoping for more.
Some commented from the last outing that the resident DJ, Vanessa, did not have an extensive enough repertoire of music and repeated a few songs. We don’t know how others felt, but we did not notice any repeated songs, and we enjoyed the variety of salsa that was played.
All in all, the outing was great fun, and to add to the nights events a performance by Mambo Mosaic was playful and entertaining. Loved the flower and bees theme, so appropriate for the final change to spring weather.
The preliminary competition was very well organized. From a participant’s standpoint we were so happy to see familiar faces wishing us best of luck. Many of the competitors also were relieved to find that others were experiencing a similar level of nervousness. The nervousness peaked for us I think the moment we stepped onto the stage and waited for the music to come on. For a fleeting moment, I had a surge of stage fright and a screaming voice in my head asking, “What are you doing here?!?!” As the music began, our heads were flooded with the million tips and rules to think about. Timing can sometimes be difficult, but we had no idea that keeping time becomes at least ten times more difficult when you have a panel of judges, your friends, and people from classes we assist in. The pressure!
There were eleven couples that entertained the audience , two minutes at a time to the same song. I think all of the moves we learn at Toronto Dance Salsa was showcased in the competition, but there was a plethora of exciting dips, tricks and amazing drops. Keeping in mind that this is an amateur competition, things were plenty exciting. Some of the couples had such hot chemistry and spiced with such sexiness the temperature in the Montana went up a few degrees.
Congratulations on a job well done by all the competitors and we hope everyone had as much fun as we did. We’re hoping this will be an annual event, and if you’re thinking about participating in the future, don’t wait – just grab a partner. It’s a great experience and it will improve your dancing at a phenomenal rate. For those who will be joining us in the finals, we’re looking forward to it and can’t wait to see what everyone has come up with. Best of luck to all!