Monthly Archives: September 2008

Peridot last Saturday!

Thanks to everyone who came out this past Saturday to Peridot for our outing. It was a great success as usual with over 200 people in attendance.

The evening began with a beginner lesson downstairs with Sara Sharifpoor and Velina Sotirova and an intermediate lesson with Evan and myself upstairs. We had a great turnout for the lessons and I was happy to see that the students picked up the combination with greater ease than last week at Plaza Flamingo.

DJ Evan then got the night started with lots of great salsa, merengue and bachata. I saw plenty of faces of new students and past students so it was great to see everyone enjoying themselves. I had some fun dances myself – thanks to Frank, John, Vince, Mark, Rob and anyone else I danced with for the fun times!

Our next outing is on Friday October 17th at 9:30pm at Plaza Flamingo. Also keep Saturday November 1st open as that is our traditional Halloween Dress Up Salsa Party, this year at Peridot!

World Salsa Championships

Here is a press release I just received about the annual World Salsa Championships in Miami this December. Is anyone going?? I have never been but hope to one day experience it!

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Isaac Altman, President

LEGENDARY AFRO-CUBAN MUSICIAN LARRY HARLOW TO APPEAR IN CONCERT AT THE 7th ANNUAL WSF WORLD SALSA CHAMPIONSHIPS IN MIAMI

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the World Salsa Federation, Inc., we would like to welcome everyone to the 7th Annual WSF World Professional Salsa Championships and the All-Star Dancesport Championships to be held in Miami at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming, November 7th and 8th, 2008.

Over 2 days, competitors from around the World will have an opportunity to be World Champions in their Salsa style and category, and then go head to head for the title of Undisputed World Professional Salsa Champions. The Undisputed World Professional Salsa Champions will represent the best of Salsa competitive dancing, and will represent the WSF world-wide. Also included this year will be the World Junior and Youth Salsa Championships. The youth come to this event with unsurpassed energy and enthusiasm. Come watch them compete as these young people will be our future Salsa Stars!! Also that weekend the WSF will hold its All-Star DanceSport Championships bringing the ever popular Ballroom Dancing to Miami in its most competitive form. Competition ranges from ages 4 through adults and beginners through advanced levels.

Salsa music legend and renowned Latin-style pianist Larry Harlow comes to the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Grand Ballroom for a special performance on Saturday, November 8th, 2008 . Playing with Larry Harlow will be his Latin Legends Band offering a night of hot salsa rhythms to dance to. Larry Harlow, one of the original members of the most famous Salsa band ever, the Fania All-Stars, will be in concert for one night only. This will be his only Florida appearance before receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award one week later at the 2008 Latin Grammy Awards. General admission tickets for Saturday Night are $20 and reserve tables of 10 are $250. Ticket purchases can be made by calling 786-566-2604 or online at www.wsf.cc/saturday_evening_ticket.html

Larry Harlow is recognized by many as a revolutionary of the Latin music known today as “Salsa.” His influence in the early 70s developed the explosive trumpet and trombone sounds now familiar in contemporary salsa bands. Harlow is a graduate of the prestigious New York High School of Music and Art and holds a BA in Music from Brooklyn College and a Masters in Philosophy from the New School of Social Research in New York City . He is a gifted player of the oboe, flute, violin, bass, and, most notably, the piano. He is a three-time Grammy nominee and was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame on April 5, 2000 .

Latin musicians around the world enjoy greater recognition and rewards due to Mr. Harlow’s pioneering efforts as a Governor of the New York chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. There, Harlow helped to establish the first Latin Grammy Award. There are now 12 different Latin categories in the Grammy’s, as well as the exclusive Latin Grammy Awards.

WWW.WORLDSALSAFEDERATION.COM

WSFSALSA@YAHOO.COM “

Friday at Plaza Flamingo

Last Friday we held our first outing of the fall semester at Plaza Flamingo. It was a great evening with over 200 of our students in attendance. Plaza is a great venue in the sense that it is one huge room so visually you can see others dancing, it is easy to find dance partners and it feels like a real party atmosphere.

We started the evening with a beginner and intermediate workshop. Kimberly and Nina taught the beginner class and along with the salsa basics covered Cuban inside turns and sexy styling. Evan and I did the intermediate class and really challenged the group. Just remember when you are doing a club class that the quality of the class will not be at the level of a group class. It is harder to hear, there are more students of all types of skill levels and the combination is longer. So just keep in mind that it is not necessary to get the whole combination. Whatever you can remember and feel comfortable executing is fine. And don’t leave the club without reviewing the combo at least ten if not twenty times so you commit it to memory.

After the lesson the lights went down and the social dancing began. The DJ played non stop salsa for 1.5hrs which was a great opportunity to really practice and get into the swing of things. I loved seeing beginners dancing with intermediate students and vice versa. It was also great seeing old students I haven’t seen in a while and I encourage everyone to get back into the salsa groove even if you have taken the summer off as this fall and winter will have plenty of dancing opportunities and a chance to meet great new friends.

Our next outing is this Saturday Sept 27th at 9pm at Peridot…see you all there!

Free Paris Airport Dance Lessons!

Kris Schantz from Happy Worker sent me this interesting article to share with you all. It was posted on Springwise.com and talks about free dance lessons at the Paris airports. Wow can we have these in Canada????

“Free Dance Lessons at Paris Airports

Roughly 17 million air passengers travel through Paris during the summer, presenting the city’s airports with a significant logistical challenge. To keep tempers cool and spirits high this year, the Aeroports de Paris implemented an unconventional plan: free dance lessons for passengers.

Much like the free light therapy the airports offered over the winter holidays—which we covered back in January—summertime passengers can use their wait time at the airport to learn any one of 15 dances offered by the airport’s resident trainers from “L’Ecole des Vacances,” including Afro Jazz, Disco, Hip Hop, Mambo, Modern Jazz, Rock & Roll, Salsa, Samba, Tango, Cha-Cha and more. Music and trainer instructions are broadcast through cordless headsets so as to minimize the disturbance to other passengers, and lessons last 10 to 15 minutes each. At Paris-Orly, they take place on a dance floor in terminal South at boarding gate 17, with roving workshops also available in the boarding area at Paris-Orly West. At Paris-Charles de Gaulle, the dance floor is located in terminal 2E, gate E51, with itinerant workshops in Terminals 3 and 2F. Dance floors were designed by the Aeroports de Paris boutiques. Classes are available each summer weekend between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. through August 17th.

There’s nothing quite like free love to elevate consumers’ moods, particularly when it includes a dash of sympvertising to relieve the stress of travelling and provides some status skills to boot. No doubt the airport boutiques will benefit, but another possible scenario could involve the sponsorship of such an effort by a local dance studio chain. Either way, one to emulate in any travel or hotel context!”

Thanks to springwise.com for this great article!

Come to Cuba With Us!!!

We know that many of you have been asking for this for some time and we are so excited to finally offer a salsa trip to Cuba! Join Evan and I on this trip…here are the details!

“Toronto Dance Salsa is taking you to Havana! We have teamed up with the global leaders in salsa holidays, Club Dance Holidays, to bring you a unique holiday this Spring. 7 nights of Salsa in Havana from 21 March 2009 to 28 March 2009. Salsa in Havana – what more could you ask for? This holiday is designed to completely immerse you in Cuban culture and the Cuban dance scene, both of which are energetic, very real and totally spontaneous. It’s all about forgetting who you are, where you come from and living in the moment. Enjoy 15 hours of Salsa classes with some of the most exciting Cuban Salsa teachers and dancers in Havana. We have a whole team in Havana dedicated to assist you in the classes in the mornings, take you to the best Salsa matinee afternoon dance sessions in the afternoons and accompany you at night dancing with you until late in intimate clubs, where the dancing is often energized by live bands.

The dancing …

You will love our team of professional Cuban dancers. What makes this Cuban Salsa trip special is the team of Cuban dancers who come out with you at night to the dance venues in Havana. This means that there are more dance partners to go round and enables you to dance with not just Cubans but Cuban trained dancers!

Cuban Salsa is about truly “inhabiting” your body, really dancing WITH your partner and feeling the music in your soul. You will find that there is more fluidity and body movement compared to LA or New York Salsa due to Cuban Salsa being at one with Salsa’s ancestors – Son, Rumba, Afro-Cuban dance, Cha Cha Cha and Mambo. Our team of Cuban instructors truly want to see you dance like a Cuban, and will work with you on the “feel” of the fluid Cuban body movement, as well as on the moves and the footwork.

What’s included?

*Thorough and entertaining syllabus in salsa (Minimum 15 hrs of classes)
*Beautifully organised programme of nights out with our team of Cuban dancers who really spice it up.
*Charmingly hosted by our team on the ground who are experts in salsa and in Cuba.
*Return direct flights with Air Canada from Toronto Pearson
*Meet and Greet upon arrival and return hotel transfers
*7 nights accommodation and breakfast in the luxurious Hotel Nacional – the best hotel in Havana.
*A well thought out programme including parties, soirees, restaurants, nights out dancing as well sightseeing suggestions.
*A full Orientation Pack containing information on where to eat, where to party, tourist spots, things to do etc so you can do your own thing
*A Welcome party and drink
*A choice of optional extras related to the holiday

How much is it?

The price is $ 2349 CAD. Book now and get the best possible price at $2149 CAD (for reservations booked prior to end of November). Be among the first 8 people to book and pay only $1999 CAD. This holiday has limited places and will sell out. This price includes all taxes.

How do I book?

Call Club Dance Holidays direct on 416 848 0501and refer to the “Toronto Dance Salsa Trip to Cuba for March 2009″ and they will sort everything out for you. “

Our New Helper of the Semester!

I wrote last week about our new initiative to have a quarterly Helper of the Semester and our first helper to be recognized for his contributions for summer 2008 is David Charing!

David joined Toronto Dance Salsa in 2006 and very quickly moved up the levels and joined the helper group. Since then he has demonstrated an exceptionally warm, giving and helpful personality. He is always ready to assist, whether it is to take on more helper shifts, lend a CD at outings, providing T-shirt slogan ideas, dancing with students in the social and more. I have received many comments from students and instructors about David. He was mentioned several times in the 2008 summer semester feedback and because of all of this David is our first Helper of the Semester!

As well David has given us the slogan that we will be using on our salsa t-shirts that will be coming out shortly. David will be the first person to receive a t-shirt for his contributions. In addition, as Helper of the Semester, David will receive a free TDS class for next semester and a discounted rate for all TDS classes for an entire year.

Make sure you congratulate Dave when you see him!

So You Think You Can Dance Canada

It has been a very slow month for great dance TV but all this is about to change. For the first time ever, Canadians are getting a treat because So You Think You Can Dance is coming to Canada! The show premieres Thursday September 11th on CTV and here are the details of the show as found on CTV.ca.

“So How Does ‘So You Think You Can Dance Canada’ Work?
Updated Tue. Sep. 9 2008 10:41 AM ET
Lindsay Zier-Vogel, CTV.ca

The show’s about to hit the nation but before Thursday’s premiere, let’s figure out how the show works…

Cross-Canada Auditions

Our cross-Canada audition shows feature the best of the best! So You Think You Can Dance Canada’s stellar roster of judges traveled from Vancouver to Halifax, searching for Canada’s top dancers.

How Does the Audition Process Work?

Before they even have a chance to get on stage the dancers lined up in wee hours of the morning, braving rain and wind and humidity. They nap, eat, bust a move and practice their solos while they wait, greeting old friends and meeting new ones.

The crowds erupt when host Leah Miller calls them into the theatre, and after the initial rush, there are forms to fill out, music to register, dance clothes to slip on and muscles to stretch. Before long, the dancers are finally up on stage, doing what they do best — dancing.

Solos:

After each dancer performs his or her solo for the panel of judges (in his/her own style to his/her own music), three things can happen:

* “It’s a no for me”: If the majority of the judges don’t think dancers can hold their own, they are homeward bound.
* “It’s a yes for choreography”: If the judges aren’t sure about the potential of a dancer, or just want to make sure he/she is versatile and capable of picking up choreography, the judges send him/her on to “Choreography” with Blake McGrath to learn a challenging multi-genre routine.
* “It’s a yes for me!: If the majority of the judges see great potential in a dancer, he/she will receive a “Boarding Pass” to Toronto and head straight to the Finals.

Choreography:

Dancers who are sent on to choreography perform Blake’s routine in front of the judges in small groups. After this performance, two things can happen:

* “It’s a no for me”: If the majority of the judges don’t think dancers can hold their own, their So You Think You Can Dance Canada journey ends for this year.
* “It’s a yes for me”: The strongest, most versatile dancers receive Boarding Passes to the finals.

Finalist Week in Toronto

The top dancers from each city travel to Toronto to compete for a spot in the Live Show’s Top 20.

Competitors are taught routines in several different styles by the two permanent judges, Tré Armstrong and Jean Marc Genereux, and third alternating judges, Luther Brown and Blake McGrath.

* At each stage, the judges vote on whether or not to keep the dancers in the competition.
* If the judges are split, contestants must “Dance for Their Lives” (i.e. perform a solo in their own style).
* After a grueling week, judges choose the Top 20 — ten male and ten female finalists — to participate in the live show.

Top 20 to Canada’s Favourite Dancer

With the Top 20 dancers ready and rarin’ to show Canada what they’ve got, it’s up to Canadians to decide who stays and who goes.

Each week, competitors are assigned different partners and dance styles to perform. From hip-hop, krump and pop-and-lock to salsa, quickstep, ballroom, and jive, the dancers perform group numbers, solos and duets every week.

Leah Miller hosts the evening and there will be three judges each week:

Two permanent judges: Tré Armstrong (a contemporary/funk dancer, choreographer and star of the MTV/Paramount dance film ‘How She Move’) and Jean Marc Genereux (international ballroom champion and guest judge/choreographer on the U.S. version of ‘So You Think You Can Dance’).

The third judge will alternate between a series of guest judges: Paul Becker, Luther Brown, Sean Cheesman, Rex Harrington, Blake McGrath, Mary Murphy and Melissa Williams.

Top 20: The First Five Weeks

The Top 20 Contestants try to impress both the judges and the voting public so they can remain in the competition.

Performance Night:

* Dancers perform duets created by the show’s choreographers in specific styles –contemporary, hip hop, ballroom and jazz, among others.
* The judges offer their take on the couples’ performances and provide feedback.

After Performance Show:

* Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite couple(s).

Results Show:

Dancers open the show with a group number.

* The three couples that received the least number of votes are revealed.
* Dance For Your Life: These bottom six performers are given one last chance to prove themselves as dancers as they each perform a self-choreographed solo in his/her own style.
* One male and one female contestant are removed each week based on the judges’ final decision.

TOP 10: The Remaining Weeks

Once our dancers are narrowed down to the Top 10, it’s up to the public’s votes send one female and one male home each week — ending their dream of becoming Canada’s favourite dancer.

Performance Night:

* Dancers perform duets created by the show’s choreographers in specific styles –contemporary, hip hop, ballroom and jazz, among others.
* Dancers also perform their own solos
* Judges offer their take on the couples’ performances.

After Performance Show:

* Viewers are encouraged to vote for their favorite couple(s).

Results Show:

The remaining dancers open the show with a group number. Special guest performers will also perform for the live audience

* The male and female with lowest number of votes are revealed and eliminated.
* In this part of the competition, the judges do not have any direct control of the elimination process, and the fate of the dancers is left entirely to the viewers at home.

Season Finale:

After the tough, exhausting months-long competition, one dancer is voted number one and heads home with the highly coveted $100,000 grand prize and the title of Canada’s Favourite Dancer!”

Can’t wait to see what they have done with the show – I’ll keep you updated but feel free to send me your thoughts especially about the salsa routines!

Helper Get Together

Last Saturday we held a Helper Training/Potluck/Casino Rueda workshop for all the new and returning helpers, assistants and instructors of Toronto Dance Salsa.

It was an awesome evening with almost 50 people participating in the festivities. We began at 5:30pm with a big potluck. The tables were overflowing with amazing food from around the world and the group was able to catch up after the summer and meet new members of the group.

At 6:30pm we began the training and brainstorming portion of the evening to discuss helper duties, responsibilities, feedback and ideas. Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and participation.

It was at this point that I announced our new initiative: Helper of the Semester. We will be choosing a Helper of the Semester quarterly to recognize their contributions. Our first Helper of the Semester for the summer quarter is David Charing! Tomorrow I will write about David’s contributions so you will all know why we chose him but don’t forget to congratulate Dave when you see him in class or at the socials/outings.

At 7:30pm we began our 2 hour Casino Rueda workshop with Bong Gonzalez. This was a blast. We formed a giant casino wheel and traded partners with ease after a brief introduction to the mechanics of the dance. The mistakes were hilarious and it was really a memorable workshop.

We finished the evening off with desserts and dancing until almost midnight. Overall a great evenings. It was great to see everyone after the summer and I can’t wait to hold the recognition evening for the summer helpers at the end of the month!

Son De Cali in Concert in Toronto!

Welcome back everyone! Hope you all had an amazing summer! I am back from vacation and ready to continue my blog. I received this concert announcement recently and wanted to pass it on. Please excuse the capital letters – that is how it came to me!

Sharon

“SOUND ACADEMY PRESENTS – DIRECT FROM CALI COLOMBIA – SON DE CALI – LIVE IN CONCERT SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, AT SOUND ACADEMY (Formerly The Docks) 11 POLSON ST., TORONTO -TEL: 416-649-7437. DOORS OPEN 8 PM.

SON DE CALI AND THEIR 14 PIECE ORCHESTRA ARE ONE OF THE WORLDS FOREMOST SALSA GROUPS. THEIR BRAND OF FIERY “COLOMBIANA SALSA” IS NOT TO BE MISSED. SON DE CALI WILL PERFORM 2 LONG SETS ON SEPTEMBER 27TH AND THE BAND’S LEAD VOCALISTS WILLIE GARCIA AND JAVIER VASQUEZ HAVE OFFERED A CHALLENGE TO TORONTO SALSA LOVERS…”LET’S SEE WHO CAN LAST LONGER ON THE DANCE FLOOR…US OR THE DANCERS.” THE SOUND ACADEMY HAS A NEW GIGANTIC WOODEN DANCE FLOOR. LITERALLY ROOM FOR HUNDREDS OF DANCERS. SO DON’T MISS SON DE CALI AND TORONTO’S SALSA EVENT OF THE YEAR!!

ADVANCE TICKETS $36.50 – AVAILABLE AT TICKETMASTER BY CALLING 416-870-8000 OR ONLINE AT WWW.TICKETMASTER.CA / ADVANCE TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE AT TORONTO LATINO: 1786 EGLINTON AVE. WEST 416-781-0919 + SUPER LATIN MUSIC: 1088 ST. CLAIR AVE. WEST 416-654 2217 + MARIO LATIN VIDEO: 616 BLOOR ST. WEST 416-537-3449 + COLOMBUS BAKERY: 2931 DUFFERIN ST. 416-782-4520 + GUSTITOS de MI TIERRA: 2708 JANE ST. UNIT #1 416-749-8777 + LA FUENTE: 9 MILVAN DR. PLAZA LATINA 416-745-0785 + CELLULAR PRO SHEIMY’S LOCATION: 1740 JANE ST. 416-249-7200 + CAFE LATINO: 3038 HURONTARIO ST. 905-949-8447 + 4UR CONVENIENCE: 3070 HURONTARIO ST.905-272-9257 + RINCON LATINO: 1352 KENNEDY RD. 416 615 2675 + LAS AMERICAS: 2260 KEELE ST. 416-246-9911 + LA FAVORITA: 18 QUEEN ST. W. BRAMPTON 905-460-1346. TICKETS ALSO AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR FOR $40.00.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION + ALL MEDIA AND PRESS INQUIRES REGARDING SON DE CALI PLEASE CONTACT SOPHIE AT 416-836-2600.”