Salsa Addiction Centre
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    Find going out to salsa dance a little scary? Grab a costume and check out our Halloween Party!

    One major step to becoming a true Salsa addict is to overcome the fear of dancing outside your classroom, ( especially for leaders as it takes time to craft the art). Have no fear, our Halloween Costume party is here! Well, next Saturday to be exact. With the majority of Salseros dressing up, you will have the security of disguise as well as an amazing time dancing with a group of people whom I’ve come to discover as one of the most patient and fun group to dance with.

    Here’s a little story from when I was about 4 classes into my level 1…

    While still very new to the salsa scene, I was getting anxious to get out and see some seasoned salsa dancers in action (as well as to perfect my forward, side-to-side and ‘back-across-together’ steps). It was an outing to Acrobat (which just so happens to be the same location for this weekends’ party). After reviewing the level 1 DVD a few times, I got ready and headed down to check out the event with a friend I met in class. The place was packed and we were amazed to see some of the most amazing moves!

    Within 15 minutes we decided to leave.
    Why? Because everyone was so good and we were so not. What happened next basically forged my love for the dance. As we walked towards the exit we were stopped by our level 1 instructor, Emely. She had noticed that we were leaving and she took the time to give both of us a few dances. It definitely made our night and showed us that the TDS gang are out there to get everyone dancing. After that we noticed a few girls from class and spent the night practicing our basics together.

    The morale of the story?
    Whether you’re a level 1 with 1 class under your belt or maybe even haven’t taken a lesson; TDS outings are the place to break in your dancing shoes. If you see a helper/instructor from your class? Ask to dance with them and they will love to.

    If you’re still feeling nervous you can take comfort knowing that if you weren’t on your ‘A’ game your dance partner will think it was Captain Jack Sparrow, the Sexy Princess or the Zany Zombie that they danced with.

    Have a Spooky Halloween and hopefully a not-so-scary time on the dance floor!!!

    SPECIAL EVENT: HALLOWEEN DRESS UP PARTY!
    Acrobat Lounge on Saturday October 31st at 8:45pm!
    2464 Yonge Street (N of Eglinton). Beginner/Intermediate lessons from 9:00 – 10:00pm. Cover is $10. Prizes for best costume including $150, Acrobat passes and more. Open to everyone. 300ppl expected.

    Need practice music? The Salsa Beat Machine will blow your mind!

    While I’ve only been a T.D.S. helper for a little while now, one thing that I’ve noticed many students say is that they don’t really know where to start when it comes to music to practice to. While a list of songs is a good start, imagine a free online app that not only allows you to choose the tempo but also the key and instruments that song features! This tool is called the Salsa Beat Machine and an invaluable part to any salsa dancers’ arsenal.


    Check it out here.

    Why would I want to use the Salsa Beat Machine?
    Imagine that you just learned how to do a new move that you couldn’t quite get during your last class. You want to practice the move but find that all of your salsa songs are way too fast to get it right. Just go to the S.B.M.’s website and click on the arrows by BPM to speed up or slow down the song.

    Don’t like the key? feel free to change it.
    Want to change the melody? Click the piano icon in the ‘instruments’ channel and change the ‘program’ options.
    Having trouble finding beat 1 or 5? make sure the ‘instructor’ icon is selected and you’ll hear him call the beats out.

    These are just a few features of the S.B.M. but all in all it provides countless options for melodies, rhythms and instrumentation to give you complete control over your salsa needs!



    Welcome to the Salsa Addiction Centre

    Hello, my name is Tony and I’m a salsa addict. Whether I’m listening to El Gran Combo on my ipod or learning a new move in class, there’s rarely a day where I’m not fueling my addiction. In fact, my love for salsa has consumed me so much that listening is no longer enough and even dancing is no longer enough… that’s where the Salsa addiction center comes in.


    Welcome to the premier edition of the Salsa addiction centre, a place to get your fix for all things salsa. From tips on timing to doses of dance lessons, the Salsa addiction centre’s goal is to tide you over until the next time you hit the floor! So feel free to give your comments & suggestions on future posts as we’re excited to fueling your addiction as best as we can!

    With that being said, cue up the clavs as the addiction centre is officially open.

    Thanks to all those who took time to read the ‘salsero’s soundtrack’ blog, I appreciate it. I hope I was able to give you some insight into the songs you hear so often, it was a great pleasure writing them. Unfortunately, I have not had the time to update the blog as regularly as I would like or as regularly as the reader deserves. I wish the next person that takes over all the best in providing their own twist to the salsa community.

    Muchas gracias y sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    A Halloween Story…

    As she stepped into the club from the cool October air she could already hear the rhythms taking over her. After a long week this was her way of unwinding. Out on the dance floor nothing else mattered but feeling the music and expressing it with the movements of her body. She usually went out with friends but had decided that this night she just wanted to go on her own. She knew this club and the people, so she was never really alone, still for all intended purposes it was just her tonight.

    Truth was that she was hoping to see him this night, an encounter she wanted to be private. Stepping up to the bar she scanned the room and saw many familiar faces but not the one she was really hoping for. She greeted people who came up to her and danced for a few songs, all the while maintaning a look out. The time was nearing 12:30 and she knew that the DJ consistently changed the music at this time, from the exuberating rhythms of salsa to the sensual sound of bachata. It was like an internal clock the club provided its patrons.

    Sure enough, right on cue, the salsa ended and gave way to the twang of the bachata guitars. She recognized the song, the DJ always played it; she figured it was one of his favourites…it was one of her’s as well. The song was “Llorando Penas” and it was one of the most beautiful songs she could recall. The pace of the song caused partners to hold each other closely and through this she saw him. He was smiling at her from across the room and they both started moving towards each other. They came together with tenderness and passion and started dancing like long time lovers enjoying the ecstasy of being with each other.

    The first words of the song were heard and she rested her head on his shoulder as they began their dance.

    I’m crying of regret

    without your love

    So alone and without your heart

    I cry like a child

    Their bodies move as one. Nothing intricate, just swaying to the music. His arms holding her close, her breath warm on his shoulder.

    I want you to listen well

    To what I say now

    I can’t be without you

    I miss you

    In her mind she remembered the times they’ve shared, many of them in this club and to this very song. It was their own thing, an obvious attraction and longing. Regardless of this, circumstances always kept them apart to the point where this was the only time they could be together. She figured this was why they always made such an effort to share these nights… alone, together.

    Why did you let my poor heart fall in love with you?

    So that today I would be suffering without your love

    Without your presence?

    Why did you let those lips that taste of honey

    Sweeten my soul?

    So that I now feel the bitterness of knowing that you no longer love me?

    They turned to look at each other, staring into each others’ eyes. Tears were forming but so were smiles. There was no need to say anything, the moment said it all. Still, why not say something when you felt it?

    Today I’m crying

    Crying of regret for your love

    Today that you’re no longer here

    I want to know why you don’t love me

    Today I’m crying, its true

    And its something I can’t stand

    You left me, without your love

    And my heart will die of shame.

    The song strikes its final chords and with eyes still locked they each whisper “I love you” and share an embrace. They walk off the dance floor in silence, share a final moment and part ways. The moment is bittersweet but they know they’ll see each other soon, its become a yearly tradition.

    The night has gotten colder as she leaves the club. She reaches into her purse, looking for her cell phone. There is a missed call, her husband has called her, letting her know he’s back from his night out with his friends and that he’ll see her when she gets back. Hearing his voice brings a smile to her face and a warm feeling in her heart. She calls him back and tells him she’ll be home soon. At the moment she wants nothing more than to be in his arms. Just one more thing to do.

    Putting her phone away she reaches for her keys and as she pulls them out they fall to the floor beside a lamppost. She bends down to pick them up and notices the flowers set up around the post. This makeshift memorial had been set up a few years ago to the day, of this she was sure since she had been the one who had mournfully placed the first flowers in honour of the young man whom she had just been dancing with. “Til next year,” she says as she walks off to her car and heads home.

    Happy Halloween!

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    Just a couple of thoughts…

    I was heading back to work the other night and came across a sight that I had never seen but of which I had been involved in many times. In the lobby of the building there was a couple dancing salsa. Whether it was for a performance, competition, or just for the fun of it, I don’t know but it brought a smile to my face. Over the past couple of years, I have done the exact same thing in the exact same spot. In may case it was for competitions or a performance. This stirred a warm and comforting feel inside of me. I’ve enjoyed competitions and performances in my time dancing salsa and usually once it was done I would have many good memories, feel the absence for a while and then move on with the other things going on in my life. After a long enough time, the longing fades away. However, as I watched this couple, doing what I did so many times before, refreshed the memories. For the first time in a while, the desire to have practices leading towards something flooded back into me. Part of me just felt like rushing up there and joining in…but I digress.

    I must apologize for the lack of entries recently. I do mean to get back to it and will hopefully deliver a new entry soon. But speaking of entries, you may have noticed that I like using songs to tell a story. This concept is hardly new but effective nonetheless. Another thing, related to the performance aspect, is the curiosity of seeing how all of you express music through your dancing. A natural idea progressed from this: TDS has many talented individuals, would it be possible to make a show using those talents? Take a basic story and let the members of TDS put songs and choreography to it. Not necessarily a play, but more like a show where the songs follow the theme of the story and members interpret it as they are inspired. Anyways, just an idea I thought I’d throw out there. Any thoughts? Let me know…this could become something.

    Hasta la proxima,

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    Reflections…

    Without realizing it, every day we end or begin a new adventure. They may not always be exciting or glamorous but they take us to different places nonetheless. It is no surprise then that sometimes multiple journeys can begin and end in the exact same place. It was the night of July 4th, 2008. After a 6 week trek my partner, Camela Adams, and I found ourselves on the stage at 6 Degrees nightclub awaiting our fate in the second TDS amateur salsa competition. Move forward 11 months and once again, my partner, Winnie Fung, and I found ourselves in the exact same situation. The destination and result turned out the same in both cases but the journeys were distinctly different and special in their own ways.

    I remember hearing our names announced as the 2nd place couple at last year’s competition. I remember giving Camela a big hug of congratulations. I remember the elation of working so hard and being rewarded for that effort. I was proud of our accomplishment and satisfied in the outcome. Nothing wrong with second; to me it felt as if we had won. “Are you competing again next year?” I’d hear. My answer was always “no.”If I never competed again, I knew I was pleased with the outcome. In all honesty, I had no plans of entering the competition again. I figured my time had passed and it was now up to others to compete and surpass what had come before (which has been a trend of this competition). Than, one day, I was asked by a friend if I’d have any interest in competing with her. I was caught off guard and yet the question awoke something within me. As you’ve guessed by now, that friend was my partner for this year’s competiton, Winnie.

    I met Winnie while helping in some classes last summer, right around the time of my previous foray into the competition. Her skills on the dance floor were obvious from the beginning. In addition to that, she was (and is) a genuine, friendly and intelligent person. We got along right off the bat. A few months later we had the good fortune of being in the helper’s performace group together. Through this I came to know her better and as a result had no qualms about accepting her proposal to enter this year’s competition. I am glad that I did.

    Camela and Winnie are both extremely skilled dancers and I am honoured to have had the chance to compete with both of them. I always find it interesting how different personalities work together. When looking back at the creative process I was amazed at how quickly the anticipation of what we would come up with returned. Ideas went back and forth, choreography changed, and on occasions, frustrations arose (mostly from me though I’m sure I wasn’t exactly easy to work with-sorry Winnie) but we worked together to create something we were both proud of. Winnie’s attention to detail was the perfect complement to my laid back nature. In the end the balance we obtained made the process enjoyable and allowed us both to put our prints on the routine.

    Competition night is always an interesting blend of anticipation, nerves and, above all, excitement. This year was no different. Once on stage, the entire routine was a flash. All I could recall was the music starting and then hitting the end pose. As we finished something happened that I didn’t totally expect and yet was likely the most memorable moment of the night. Having finished the routine and performed it as well as we did, Winnie gave me a big hug. In an absent minded moment I told Winnie that we now had to bow and acknowledge the audience. It was only upon reflection that I realized how much the moment had meant. Regardless of where we ended, the imporant thing was that we had both shared a special performance. I also realized how much it meant to Winnie to have gone through with it. I suppose on some level I had become caught up in the competition and lost sight of the importance of just having fun. With that one action, Winnie had reminded me of the joy of just performing without care for where things would end. It also reminded me of how important it was for her and in the end I was honoured to have been able to share that with her. My biggest fear going in was that I would let her down, luckily she let me know that what was important was to have fun. Of course, I always have fun dancing salsa but the excitement in Winnie gave me the reassurance that no matter what happened, we had done what we had set out to do. Thank you, Winnie, I will treasure our partnership and friendship forever.

    As we stood on the same stage, receiving the same placement as I had received the year before I knew two journeys had ended on that spot. However, just because a journey ends does not mean that the people we meet on that path leave us. Camela and I remain friends and I look forward to doing the same with Winnie. Thanks to you both, the experiences we’ve shared transcend salsa.

    As a closing note, congratulations to all the participants…you all rocked it!

    Hasta la proxima.

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    Act 1, Scene 4, Song 9

    It was the weekend, which meant it was a time to get away from the hustle and bustle of work and just spend some quality time together. This weekend, Sandra and George had decided to keep it simple. A picnic at the park next to the pond, what could me more relaxing? The conversation with Emilio a few days prior had initially shaken Sandra. The feeling of ‘what if’ had thrown her off, but the truth was that down inside, she knew this was the right thing; her and George. It was always interesting to her that while Emilio had been her first real love and may have taught her so much, it was George who had overwhelmingly captured her heart. It surprised her when it first happened, but she knew now that sometimes these things just happen. No need to question it, just enjoy it for the amazing truth that it is. For his part, George was deeply in love with Sandra. He had met her at a friend’s barbecue. It just so happened that this friend and Sandra were co-workers. Well, needless to say that the attraction was immediate and he knew that, succeed or fail, he had to try and get to know her. He had been persistent but luckily not to the point of being annoying. Surely enough, he soon convinced Sandra to go on a date and now they were going to be married. The thought always put a smile on his face.

    On one side you, asking me for a night of love
    On the other side there’s me, fleeing round the usual corner

    And you, flooding my dreams, you
    Peeking round my corner, you
    Disturbing the calmness, you
    Appearing in my life, you

    While I’m out shopping I remember him
    Words of days gone by
    A wrong turn….

    To give you my life I’d return
    From the fires of that love I used to dream of
    To give you my life I’d return
    Flying on a star and be reborn in you
    To give you my life I’d return

    On one side you, erasing my doubts with your eyes
    On the other side there’s me, taking that love offered to me

    And you, holding my hand, you
    Burned into my mind, me
    Looking for a shortcut
    Lost in other times

    To give you my life I’d return
    From the fires of that love I used to dream of
    To give you my life I’d return
    Flying on a star and be reborn in you
    To give you my life I’d return

    The dizzying effect of love was in control of them. The future was bright and together, they would face anything head on. Of course, Sandra had felt that way before and it had not ended in the best of ways. Could it, would it happen again? She knew she couldn’t live in fear of that, because that would just make things at a disadvantage to begin with. The thought came and went but it had its effect. For the first time there was some doubt in her mind, one that she was going to have to eventually confront.

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    DLG concert in Toronto-April 18

    Hi eveyone,

    Just want to pass on the news that the new Dark Latin Groove (DLG) will be putting on a show in town on Saturday, April 18th. Time is 10pm at Fusion nightclub and tickets are $40, see this link for more info. Not only will you get a chance to hear some good salsa but there will also be a bachata group performing so it should make for a very entertaining show. Anyways, just thought I’d spread the word, I’ll be back with a new posting soon.

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel

    Act 1, Scene 3, Song 8

    The phone rang somewhere in her living room. One thing about organizing a wedding was that it completely disorganized her living space. Cloth samples, invitation options, seating arrangements and other such things lay strewn about the room on just about every surface you could imagine. After a quick second of recovering her senses, Sandra pushed aside some papers and picked up her phone.

    “Hey Sandra, how are you?”

    The realization of who was speaking startled her just slightly.

    “Just thought I’d call to say hi, answer that call you made a few days back.”
    “Right, hey Emilio, sorry, you just caught me in mid-thought. How are you doing?”
    “You know, same old same old, nothing much changes on a day-to-day basis. Work, friends, family. How ’bout you?”
    “Well, I guess on a daily thing I could say the same. When’s the last time we talked?”
    “I gave you a call for your birthday back in May, so, 7 months.”

    The truth here was that both of them were dancing around certain topics, namely that their respective love lives had picked up. Out of respect for their past and any lingering feelings neither seemed to want to say it. However, there was an underlying reason as well, and that reason was that as long as one felt that the other was ‘available’ they kept a certain chain on each other. Each knew that the other was in a relationship but it was something that they never dwelled on. Sandra realized that these tendencies were childish and detrimental to her impending marriage and so she decided to break the cycle.

    “Emilio, listen, I have to tell you something.”
    “I kind of figured you did. The message you left sounded important. Alright what is it?”
    “Its about George and I.”

    A strange feeling arose inside of Emilio. His initial reaction upon receiving her message made its way back through the emotions. However, this time it was joined by a sense of dread at hearing news of Sandra and George.

    “Is something wrong?”
    “No, no, everything is great, part of the reason I want to talk to you.”

    The pulsing dread overpowered all else.

    “You see, I wanted to tell you this before you heard it from anyone else. Emilio…George and I are getting married this summer.”

    The dread was now overcome by something else. A feeling of loss set in, accompanied by a welcomed sense of calm. Emilio always figured he’d hear this news before he could share something similar. He always wondered how he would react, now he was experiencing it first hand.

    “Emilio, you there?”
    “…Yeah, yeah…That’s great news. I’m so happy for you. The two of you must be so excited.”
    “We are, thanks.”

    The conversation continued with back and forth banter. The news had left both numb. Sandra had finally gotten it off her chest and Emilio had faced the possibility he always knew would come. Eventually the conversation came to its end and both politely said farewell, hung up the phone and went off with their thoughts. Through time both of them found that a conversation between the two always left them exhausted. Holding back so much, carefully watching what they said so as not to bring up the past or stir any memories, it all took its toll.

    The feeling that resulted was not new to Emilio. One thing he had come to realize was that no matter what, at some level he would always love Sandra. That didn’t mean that they had to be together or even that they should be, just that he would always do so. He had become comfortable with that sentiment and had reconciled it in his mind. It didn’t change how he felt about Stella, he loved her as well, but he knew that when you loved someone the way he had loved Sandra, that didn’t just go away.

    Sandra, on the other hand, had never understood how Emilio could feel that way. Granted, she had loved him but she didn’t see how they could not be apart if love was still there. This lack of understanding made this current feeling of remorse difficult to deal with. Deep down, the verbalization of the news filled her with some sense of loss, which produced in her an uncomfortable guilt. She wondered, “could Emilio have been right all this time?”

    Today I once again feel you eyes over my past
    Its like a sudden yet eternal cloud
    You’re like an inferno where a cool breeze blows
    And that temptation that tells me that I still love you

    I’ve never been able to control my feelings
    And now I’m the liquor that escaped from the bottle
    I silently hid one of my songs again
    So that I could tell you…

    That my life would fade if you tell me you have another love and won’t come back

    I still have your name imprinted on my skin

    Then, if you can, come back to me

    And I’d love to hold you again and reach up to heaven with that passion

    I thought you’d forgotten the past

    I thought so too, but now you see

    I love you as much as yesterday, if not more

    I also love you as much as yesterday

    Apparently things were not as clear cut as both had hoped. Neither questioned their love for Stella or George but both had clearly left certain emotions neglected. This was not just about them, there were two other people to consider and certain issues had to be resolved for the sake of all involved.

    Hasta la proxima.

    Sigan bailando!

    Manuel