Monthly Archives: February 2009

Upcoming Outings

Many students are asking to know about upcoming outings in advance. We don’t always have the dates far in advance but we can provide the information for the next 3 outings which will take us to the end of March.

1) Peridot Lounge – Saturday February 21st – 81 Bloor Street East (at Yonge)
Beginner and intermediate lessons from 10:00 – 10:30pm

2) Plaza Flamingo – Friday March 6th – 423 College Street (at Bathurst)
Beginner and intermediate lessons from 9:30 – 10:30pm

3) Acrobat Lounge – Saturday March 21st – 2464 Yonge Street (at Eglinton)
Beginner and intermediate lessons from 9:00 – 10:00pm
Debut performance by the TDS Professional Dance Team at 11:30pm

As usual we also have our weekly Sunday practice sessions called “socials” at Empress Walk from 6-9pm so come out and make new friends, practice your moves and get a great workout.

Hope to see you all at these events!


So You Think You Can Dance Canada Season 2!

Here is a bulletin I just received about SYTYCD Canada Season 2 – it’s back!

“Toronto, ON (February 13, 2009) – Get ready to dance again Canada! As the cross-country tour pulls into Toronto’s Air Canada Centre today, CTV announces that smash-hit series SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA has been green lit for a second heart-racing season. Last season, approximately 2,500 hopefuls busted a move for the judges during the first-ever audition tour, ultimately crowning Montreal’s Nico Archambault as Canada’s first-ever, favourite dancer. This year, CTV and Danse TV Productions are warming up for another cross-country search for the next Canada’s Favourite Dancer (audition details to be announced soon). SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA is based on 19 Entertainment and dick clark productions’ popular international format SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE from a uniquely Canadian perspective.

“The success of the first season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA has inspired a whole new group of dancers across the country,” said Susanne Boyce, President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “With the talent Canada has to offer, the second season is sure to be even more show-stopping than the first.”
This past fall, the first season of SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA broke ratings records with an average of 1.4 million viewers tuning in each week on CTV, quickly making it Canada’s #1 new fall program with total viewers and the key demos A18-34, and A18-49. The home-grown hit consistently won its timeslot nationally and in Canada’s major urban centers, placing the series in the Top 20 list of the most-watched programs in Canada*. The series boasted a highly-coveted female audience (66% of total audience) and nearly a third of its viewers were from the key A18-34 age group. SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA was also the #1 program on MuchMusic for total viewers and P12-34 during its broadcast season.

When Quebec dancer Nico Archambault was named Canada’s first ever Favourite Dancer at the end of the first season, the audience peaked at 1.9 million viewers. “The opportunity to work with such talented dancers and choreographers was a great privilege,” said Archambault. “I’m definitely a better dancer for it.”
Today’s announcement comes at the half way point of the successful first-ever SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA 15-city tour. Playing at Canada’s premiere concert venues across the country, the tour has already strutted its stuff across stages in; Vancouver, Kelowna, Edmonton, Calgary, Saskatoon, Regina, Winnipeg and Sudbury. Cities still waiting to get their SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANDA tour groove on are; Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Hamilton, London and the final tour stop will be Kingston on February 21. The tour features Canada’s Top 10 dancers from the competition and some of the hottest performances from throughout the show’s first broadcast season. For more information on the must-see tour, visit
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE CANADA was created by Simon Fuller and Nigel Lythgoe, and is produced in association with CTV by Danse TV Productions in association with CTV. Sandra Faire and Trisa Dayot are Executive Producers. Ed Robinson is Executive Vice-President, Programming, CTV Inc. Susanne Boyce is President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc.

Just Posted – Intro to Dancing Salsa On 2

Hi Everyone!

We have just posted an Intro to Dancing Salsa ON 2 workshop on Saturday March 7th from 5:15 – 7:15pm at Empress. Open to those who have finished level 2 or with permission, this workshop is taught by Teddy Olaso from United Salseros and is $35 for students and $30 for helpers.

Here is a description:
This workshop will focus on introducing the proper fundamentals of dancing On2, covering proper footwork, musical pacing and timing. Musical tips will be given on how to feel the On2 beat much more effectively and how to enjoy it differently from dancing On1 so one understands the music better. Students will convert commonly used turn patterns On1 to On2 timing so they can focus more on the timing rather than the choreography. Since most On1 turn patterns were originally based on On2, transition will be easier and less complicated. However, an intermediate level turn pattern On2, along with styling (body isolations & hand movements) body movements that go with the accent, will also be introduced at the end of the class.

You can register online through your profile. We are still looking for one more workshop topic for April so get in your request soon!

Salsa Etiquette- Part 5 (Last One)

Here is the final piece of the salsa etiquette guide and with hygiene as a topic below it is an important one. Please be aware of hygiene both in the classroom and on the dance floor!

• Who should you dance with?
It is always best to dance with as many dancers are possible with a variety of levels and skills. If you are a beginner dancing with other beginners may be more comfortable. However, also consider asking those who are more experienced then you to dance which will offer you a good opportunity to follow a more complicated lead if you are a follower or experience a smoother follower if you are a leader. Remember that everyone was a beginner once so don’t be intimidated by others. If you are more experienced please be gracious and dance with beginners if asked as we all had someone help us learn and we need to keep this circle continuous and give back to the salsa community.

• Hygiene
You do not want to be the male or female who others do not want to dance with because of hygiene. Knowing that salsa is a close body contact type of sport where you touch others in a hot, sweaty environment, please be considerate and adhere to the following guidelines. Fresh breath is a must. Bring breath mints or gum to any dancing event. Anti-perspirant and/or deodorant are also a must. For excessive sweating, try Drysol. It can be bought at any Shopper’s Drug Mart and really works in controlling sweat. Some people bring a change of shirts if they know they are going to perspire a lot. Others use talc powder for damp palms. Some bring small towels or handkerchiefs/bandanas Take breaks often and keep yourself hydrated. Avoid heavy cologne, perfumes or oils as they can get musty in that environment and others may be allergic.

Following these tips will allow the salsa experience to remain a positive one for everyone involved. Remember that good manners, respect for others and awareness of the environment you are in will go a long way. Take the time to get to know your dance partners as it is a wonderful networking and social opportunity. But most of all, listen to the music, feel the energy of the crowd and enjoy the dance

Lula Lounge Outing

Friday night at Lula was such a fun evening. The vibe was awesome and everyone was ready to dance the night away.

The evening started at 9pm with our lessons. Tracie and Mark taught the beginner lesson and Evan and I did the intermediate lesson. Although the space was small and the classes were packed as usual it was still so much fun to see everyone learning and practicing their turn pattern.

At about 10:30pm the band came on. The name of the band is Conjunto La-ca-lú and this was the first time I have seen them perform. They were awesome. Crisp sound, plenty of energy and great unity. Here is a bit about them:

Conjunto La-ca-lú is one of Toronto’s newest salsa bands. Rooted in the Cuban sonora tradition, this group couples a dynamic three-trumpet horn section with a rhythm section featuring Afro-Cuban hand percussion, piano, bass, and tres. This particular instrumentation allows the group to achieve a classic sound while being sufficiently versatile to appeal to the myriad tastes of their contemporary audience. Conjunto La-ca-lú’s repertoire borrows heavily from its predecessors—such as Conjunto Clasico—yet also includes a number of original arrangements of salsa and pop standards as well as a growing catalogue of original compositions. Conjunto La-ca-lú! is co-directed by pianist Sean Bellaviti and percussionist Luis “Luisito” Orbegoso, and features some of this city’s most talented and hard working musicians.

The band had 3 sets which went on to almost 2am. Needless to say it was great to see familiar faces and to meet new students and TDS friends.

Our next outing is Saturday Feb 21st at 9:45pm at Peridot Resto Lounge at 81 Bloor St E at Yonge. Can’t wait to see you all there!

Helper Training, Potluck and Workshop

Saturday night was a great evening with the helpers. Every semester we host a potluck at the studio for the helpers, assistants and instructors. It is a great opportunity for everyone to get to know each other as there are new helpers every semester. In addition we do an hour long training session to go over helper duties and responsibilities. To make the evening even more fun, I have been inviting instructors to host a workshop for the helpers.

Over 40 helpers came out the potluck with a huge variety of yummy treats. The tables were loaded down with appetizers, entrees and desserts. There was a great variety which is always a pleasure to see (and eat!).

After the training and dessert, Caryl Cuizon taught an hour and a half shines performance workshop. The basic idea was to teach everyone a shine routine. Then the group would be broken up into 3 groups who would perform the routine in different ways. Some made it sexy, others made it classy and others made it urbane. So the same routine ended up looking three completely different ways which was really fun and exciting to see.

After the workshop the helpers hung around for some social dancing with DJ Evan. Thanks to everyone for coming out and your contributions and looking forward to celebrating the end of the winter semester in March!

Salsa Etiquette- Part 4

Ok time for part 4 of the salsa etiquette article…

• Timing vs. Moves
Gentlemen, you have the very difficult task of balancing the rhythm/timing of the music with the types of moves you execute. Some men will compromise proper timing to execute more complicated moves. From a female perspective, most women would rather dance with someone who understands timing and can stay on time and who only executes simples moves as opposed to someone who is constantly skipping from one beat to another while executing complicated moves.

In terms of what timing to keep, the truth is it does not actually matter what beat you begin dancing every set on – depending on what part of the world you are in, who you have learned from and how you interpret the music, a male can lead on any beat (hence the terms “dancing on 1″, “dancing on 2″, etc). The key is to keep that same beat for the entire song. So if you begin the dance “on 1″ which is the first beat of the set of 8 salsa beats, you should start every set on 1.

• How to make a graceful exit

There will be those times when a dance becomes unsafe or uncomfortable. In these situations it is best to end the dance as soon as possible, even if that means stopping the dance half way through. There are two ways to approach the situation. If you feel the need to let the person know that they are rough in their lead or follow, please do so kindly. Many dancers are just getting started and strong criticism could affect them. Gently let them know that you are having a bit of difficulty following or leading them. Many will be open to advice or feedback but don’t give it to them unless they ask for it. If you are not comfortable with this approach, it is always best to let them know you are getting tired/hot/thirsty and need to take a break. Always thank them for the dance and be gracious.

The last and most important piece of this article will come up next on the blog!