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    An Ode To Beginner Salsa Dancers…

    I love going salsa dancing and seeing beginners on the floor. True, there have been times where I have not been so fond of some of the dancefloor crimes they commit. All in all, new dancers belong on the floor and there’s a lot to learn as a more skilled salsero.

    Have fun
    I think I really get caught up in taking myself too seriously. Sometimes it’s because I’m forcing myself to work on certain moves or other times where i feel like I need to be 100% all of the time. Having fun is what salsa is about.

    Being Courageous
    Newer dancers are some of the most courageous people out there. Even having danced for a little while now, I find that there are some days where I’m not brave enough to take the floor and dance it up. I love seeing small groups of people from various classes come out and try the handful of moves that they know. Salsa can be quite intimidating and seeing new dancers out there makes me smile.

    Keeping it Flirty
    Salseros build up an arsenal of flirty moves and while they usually look great, I find sometimes the flirtatious factor can fade as it can feel forced. New dancers can really heat up a floor as they’re still in the “rose-tinted glasses” phase and out to meet people and live the salsa dream.

    I still remember really monumental dances where I had my first dance with a certain teAcher, great dancer or that really cute Chica from my level 1 class. Don’t get me wrong, as I try to have one great dance per outing. I think that sometimes, we let our studies/ advancement get in our way of truly enjoying salsa for what it is… A fun and sexy dance.

    Competition 2010 – Salsa Love Is In The Air…

    Do you ever get taken aback and remember why you fell in love with something, or someone? One day you’re rushing to work and then a bird flies past you and you just stop and watch it in all of it’s beauty. Perhaps your partner is sleeping in, yet again and then you spend a few moments watching them sleep and seeing them so peaceful brings everything into perspective. Last night at the TDS competition I fell in love with Salsa… again.

    Perhaps I never fell out of love, but there have been rough patches. Last night energized me as everything thats’ amazing about Salsa was present, in full-force!

    The Joys of Beginning…
    It was apparent as soon as I walked in that it was going to be a special night as everyone in the Beginner class were smiling and having a blast! If you’re ever in a slump, take the beginners’ class and you’ll find a sea of smiles. Seeing people connect for the first time on the dance floor is a sacred thing.

    Seeing Old Friends, Making New Ones…
    I almost immediately ran into a Salsera who had taken a break of roughly 8 months. It was so nice to see her radiating and dancing up a storm! I remember having a really bad night a while back and she made me feel like a million bucks with a really great dance.

    I also ran into 3 people I had the pleasure of helping in their level 1 class last term. It was truly amazing to see them on the dance floor all night and having a blast! I don’t think I had the guts when I first started out and am almost certain that within a few months that they’ll be salsa addicts.

    At Least One Great Dance…
    One of my personal goals is to try to have 1 great dance each time I go out. Last night I had about 6! I guess the stars were aligned, but something was in the air and it all came together. Mind you, I did a few bad ones and apologize for those.

    One of the greatest things about the TDS Competition is that you get to see students, teachers and performances from many of the dance schools in Toronto. I love how all of the schools in Toronto are so supportive of each other big events like last night are always a blast because diversity in dance makes us all better dancers.

    Mind-Blowing Performances…
    9 performances and all of them were rock-solid and unique! From the flawless United Salseros to the Show-Stopping iFreeStyle teams and Passionate GoDance team! I also have to say that the pre-teen champions of Latin Energy blew me away!

    Pretty in Pink…
    The TDS Ladies brought the house down in fine form! With amazing formations, shines and an insane amount of pink sparkles; they made all of us proud!

    Clash of the Titans…
    As I watched each of the five couples I found different elements of salsa that helped reignite my salsa passions. Joanna and Orlando’s routine was spicy hot, from the flamenco-esque entrance to the heart-stopping lifts they were elegance personified.

    Omid and Maysa’s routine was all about the powerful sex appeal of Salsa. Featuring insane-acrobatics and some serious show-boating; I was loving every second of it!

    Steve and Jamie were so synched and tight watching their routine reminded me of ‘Burn the Floor’ as their steps were perfect and movements were stunning.

    Miro and Julia’s performance was Salsa in it’s purest form. Who could forget Julia’s amazing floor spin?! A flawless ending to boot!

    Last but not least, Olivier and Elise’s routine was a perfect combination of shines, tight movements, stunning tricks and brilliant costumes! Something really special happened on stage and I was really happy to witness it. Congrats to all of you as it was a most amazing night.

    All I can say is thank you to everyone who made the night so amazing! I can’t wait till next year!!!

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!

    Salsa Hygiene: A few tips to stay fresh on the dance floor

    I rarely hear people make complaints about their experiences with Salsa Dancing, but nine times out of ten it has to do with personal hygiene. While it’s easy to assume that most of the odour offenders are Salseros; I’ve heard just as many complaints from men about the fairer-sex. Whether you’re a guy or a girl, one thing is for sure; unpleasant odours make for an unpleasant dancing experience.

    So what should a dancer do? Here are a few tips that I’ve discovered during my dancing experience that has kept everything in check:

    Put the following in your shoe bag:
    deodorant, body spray, breath mints/gum/melts, hand towel – with these items in your shoe bag, you’ll be reminded to freshen up each time you put on your dancing shoes.

    Refrain from smoking right before or during dancing:
    As someone who’s really sensitive to cigarette smoke, it’s very hard to enjoy a dance when it’s hard to breathe.

    Try to have breath-friendly meals before dancing:
    If you do partake in that oh-so-tempting garlic spinach dip, be sure to brush your teeth or breath mint it up before dancing.

    Bonus Tip:
    One item that I find keeps me smelling good is sun tan lotion. Not only will it keep your from getting sun-burned; but you’ll also smell like the beach: in my opinion, the greatest smell of all time!

    On a final note:
    Salsa is a sweaty, calorie-burning affair and if you don’t keep on track with your personal hygiene; you’re going to lose out on a lot of great dance opportunities. Hopefully with a few of these tips in mind, you’ll be smelling and dancing great at all of your outings, classes and performances!

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!

    100th Post! TDS Helper Team Debut Video!!!

    Well, it’s official, the Salsa Addiction Centre has hit it’s 100th post! From Nina and Alfred to Manuel, it’s been a fun journey this far and I hope to continue the great tradition of providing great salsa info to you all! Here’s to 100 more!

    So the Helper Team’s first performance was this past Sunday and we thought we’d give you a little treat by posting the video taken to give you a sample of what to expect when we do it again on April 25th, when we, and many other great performers hit 6 Degrees for the Annual TDS Competition!

    I hope you like the video and that it inspires you to take the stage whether its performing or competing!

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!

    A little Dose of Salsa…

    Here are a few more tracks to check out while you’re practicing for the Salsa Competition or warming up for Sunday night’s performance from the Helper Team at Dovercourt!

    Sey - Thione Seck ( I think this may take over Yo no se mañana as my favourite salsa song )
    Hong Kong Mambo - Tito Puente
    Lo Dudo - Frankie Ruiz 

    Speaking of Salsa/Bachata music, have you checked out Dj Duck’s Salsa mixes? Each month he posts great tracks from current hits to Salsa classics!

    Hope you like these as much as we do!

    Till next time,
    Stay Shining, Salseros!

    Helper Only Performance Choreography: FIRST PERFORMANCE THIS SUNDAY

    Nervous, excited and a hot pink tie.

    This Sunday, the Helper Team will be tearing up Dovercourt House at 8pm with our very first performance! Let’s just say that while a little anxious, I’m also very pumped to see how we fare outside of Empress Walk and in front of a mixed-school salsa audience. With the ladies looking fantastic in their dresses and the guys rocking pretty sharp ties, it’s going to be a great test-run for our second showing, at the TDS Competition, April 25th!

    Speaking of Performance Teams, I’m glad to see that the Student Performance Team class is filling up quite quickly. Trust me, I’ve learned so much from this experience that I’m sure you’ll have a blast taking the class. I’d also love to hear about your experiences when you start practicing for your performance! If you’re undecided if you want to take the class or not, feel free to come out to Dovercourt this Sunday and hopefully the team will inspire you to get on board!

    On a side note, I must apologize for not posting as many blogs as of late, but I’ve been working on a top-secret project for TDS and it’s been taking much of my time. All will be revealed soon, and I’m striving to get back into my regular posting routine soon enough!

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros! 

    A Little Dose of Salsa…

    Just wanted to quickly post a few songs that have been repeating on my iphone lately…

    Hasta El Sol De Hoy – Edgar Joel (killer melody, super chorus)
    Cantinero De Cuba - Semino Rossi (this song drips with sex appeal)
    Lagrimas Negras (guitara) - Cachao y Maria Dolores Pradera (another sexy track)

    Non-Latin Songs:
    I Can Transform Ya - Chris Brown (I know, I know, but this song is amazing and it’s more Swizz Beatz than Chris)
    This Too Shall Pass – OkGo (The video is brilliant, the song simply rocks)
    Soldier of Love – Sade (My favourite female singer returns, I’m dying to make a bachata version of this)

    Why Non-Latin Songs you ask? Why not. Get out there, experiencing all genres of music help only improve your understanding of Salsa and the other Latin styles.

    Till Then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!

    A little dose of salsa…

    Need a quick fix of salsa songs? The Salsa addiction centre will be posting a few tracks each week to keep your playlists fresh and spicy!

    Here are a few songs that I’ve heard in class, at clubs and outings…
    Moliendo Cafe – Africando
    Lagrimas Negras (guitara) - Cachao y Maria Dolores Pradera
    Bemba Colora - Celia Cruz 

    And to celebrate the Bachata Festival here are some great Bachata tracks…

    Que Me Des Tu Cariño - Juan Luis Guerra
    Shorty Shorty - Xtreme
    Por Un Segundo - Aventura

    Speaking of Salsa/Bachata music, have you checked out Dj Duck’s Salsa mixes? Each month he posts great tracks from current hits to Salsa classics!

    Hope you like these as much as we do!
    Till next time,
    Stay Shining, Salseros!

    Helper Only Performance Choreography : week 6

    With the entire team working hard, we’re slowly getting closer and closer to the official first performance! While an official date hasn’t been set, we’re aiming for the end of March or early April. While there’s still much to be done, I’m getting so excited (especially after seeing such amazing performances at the Salsatine Outing last weekend at Acrobat). The Pro Team has set the bar extremely high, and I can only hope that can come close when we finally hit the stage!

    Did you see that Toronto Dance Salsa is offering a ‘Student Performance Class’? Trust me, if you’d like to amp up your dancing as well as have a pretty fun time doing so, then sign up. While I was nervous at first, I’m really enjoying the whole process of learning great choreography and am pretty pumped for our first show. If you’re level 3 or higher, then sign up as I’m sure that you won’t want to miss such a fun and great learning experience!

    Looking forward to this Saturday’s practice.

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!

    Helper Only Performance Choreography : week 5

    Well the moment that I’ve been told would happen has finally come… I’m absolutely loving this whole performance experience. I must admit that throughout this whole process that I’ve been quite anxious… what if I’m not good enough… what if I can’t lead my partner… what if I forget the routine? It’s taken a while, but I’m finally over the hump and now am really enjoying the whole process.

    Today was also a cool day because there was a level 1 condensed class waiting outside the door and it kind of felt like we had an audience. Being that much closer to the reality of being in front of people makes it that much sweeter. Speaking of sweet, we went over the costume situation and I’m so relieved to know that we’re not wearing any skin-tight, glittery outfits… I always think classy trump glitz.

    If you are thinking about joining a performance team I highly recommend it. Maybe you’ll love it from the get-go or maybe it’ll take a little longer? Once thing is for sure, give it about 4-5 weeks and I’m sure the performance bug will hit you just like it has with me!

    Till then,
    Stay Shining Salseros!