Monthly Archives: October 2009

Helper Only Performance Class

Dear Helpers!

We have just posted a new Helper Only Performance Choreography class! This is your chance to take your dancing to another level by learning a professional choreography and performing it as a team in full costume at the completion of the course.

The course is 10 weeks long at 1.5 hrs per class. In addition to the class will be 5 hours of rehearsals before performance night. It begins Jan 9th to Mar 13th on Saturdays from 12:30pm – 2:00pm at Empress. The class is led by Tracie Yee.

Registration is open and we hope you take advantage of this fun opportunity to grow as a salsero!
Toronto Dance Salsa

Toronto Salsa Lessons / Toronto Salsa Classes

Another Article Mentioning TDS!

Hi Everyone!

We have a level 2 student named Prakash who recently wrote an article about how people can improve neuro skills and he listed dancing as his top 5 item. He recommends salsa dancing and TDS to learn. Check out the article on the website

Top 5 tips to exercise your brain

Mental stimulation improves brain function and actually protects against cognitive decline, as does physical exercise. Most age-related losses in memory or motor skills simply result from inactivity and a lack of mental exercise and stimulation. In short, use it or lose it.

By constantly participating in activities that you have not done before, you train your brain to go into uncharted territories, and pick up new skills. Health, or for that matter, anything flourishes, when you focus on eliminating the weakest link. i.e you are as strong as your weakest link.

Here are the top 5 tips for actively engaging your brain and in the process having fun too:

1. Break routine
Use your weaker hand to drive the computer mouse. Or try signing your name, or try punching in the phone numbers or brushing your teeth with your weaker hand. By doing it more often, you will be surprised how quickly your brain adapts!

2. Play games/sports
Any kind of new indoor or outdoor games that you haven’t played before. Or the latest craze – Sudoku. Sudoku rules are easy, and most websites carry free puzzles that you can download, and print and take it with you on your ride to work. is a good resource to go to.

3. Juggling
Juggling is my favorite way to get my brain, eyes and arms coordinate, balance and do acts that I thought I could never do! Get yourself a good set of Juggling balls to begin with. There are a lot of youtube videos that show step by step on how to start juggling. You can drop me an email, and I can teach you myself or pass on the links. One of the best places to get juggling gear is from

4. Play a musical instrument
Learn a musical instrument. Anything that you always wanted to play. When I started learning the piano, getting the fingers and the brain tuned to the next note to play, can be really challenging and at the same time fun. Practice makes us learn it eventually and we then go on to play complex notes, songs or start learning the next musical instrument!

5. Learn a dance form
Salsa, could be a great choice. New moves to learn, new partners to dance with, and a great cardiovascular workout at the same time! If you are in Toronto, I would highly recommend

Thanks Prakash for a great article!


So who is going to take home the gold? There are 4 finalists in the 2nd season of So You Think You Can Dance Canada awaiting results. Vincent, the first ballroom male dancer to ever make top 4 in any SYTYCD show worldwide. Jayme Rae, contemporary dancer. Everett, Tap Dancer and Tara-Jean, also a contemporary dancer.

It is always hard to judge who will win because it is about the most popular dancer, not the best dancer. That is why Sabre won out Danny, Benji won out Travis and, most recently, Brendon lost to Jeanine.

So when judging who will win we really need to keep in mind who was the most popular dancer in the group. I haven’t had a chance to watch the entire season but I do know that Tara Jean comes to mind as the most well rounded popular dancer. She has never been in the bottom 3 as far as I know, she is spunky, fun and bubbly and she does a great job adapting to all the different dance genres. So I am betting my money on Tara Jean. I do think Jayme Rae is also a strong contender, she is a real fighter. I hope to see her place second.

Good luck to all the participants. Looking forward to focusing on the American version which is starting the Top 20 of its 6th Season. I have missed so many episodes so far. Has anyone PVRd it???

New Belly Dance and Zumba Classes Just Posted!

New Zumba 7 Week Class

What is Zumba Fitness?

Founded by celebrity fitness trainer, “Beto” Perez, Zumba Fitness Classes Toronto fuses hypnotic Latin rhythms and easy to follow moves to create a dynamic workout system that will blow you away. It’s an exhilarating workout of caloric-burning, heart-racing, muscle-pumping, and body-energizing movements meant to engage and captivate for life! The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat.

In the past years Zumba Fitness Classes have become nothing short of a revolution. Coining the concept of “fitness-party” and making fitness fun, Zumba has spread like wild-fire throughout North America. The routines feature interval training sessions where fast and slow rhythms, and resistance training are combined to tone and sculpt your body while burning fat. Add some Latin flavor and international zest into the mix and you’ve got Zumba Fitness!

Zumba Fitness Classes will get you grooving to Merengue, Salsa, Reggaeton, Cumbia, Bachata and Cha Cha Cha. The progressive level 1 class will start you with the basic footwork patterns and as the weeks progress, styling and fitness elements will be added to have you really working up a sweat! What are you waiting for? Join the party!

Join Tracie every Thursday 6-7pm from October 29th to December 10th at Empress for a high energy dance workout.


New Belly Dance Beginner Class

What is Belly Dancing?

Belly Dance is a very sensual, fun past time and offers an excellent workout especially for the abdominal area. This ethnic dance which originated in the Middle East has different influences from regions such as Egypt, Africa, Lebanon, Turkey and more. Today it is enjoyed by dancers worldwide and is a popular form of entertainment and exercise as well as a great way to meet new friends and socialize.

Belly Dance has many social, mental and physical health benefits. Belly Dance classes promote better circulation and can reduce blood pressure, assist in joint health and act as a great cardiovascular exercise which burns calories, tones up and strengthens the body and assists with trimming up and getting fit.

The technique of belly dance varies with the type and style but most of the basics involve circular motions that, very similar to salsa body movement, isolate certain body parts such as hips, abs, shoulders, etc. The use of a coin belt or scarf tied around the hips assists with accenting and isolating the hips.

It is a misconception that men do not belly dance. Historically men have been very involved in this dance and we welcome males in our Toronto Belly Dance classes.
Join Laura from Arabesque every Monday or Wednesday from 6-7pm for Belly Dancing for Beginners at Empress.
Mon Oct 26 – Dec 21
Wed Oct 14 – Dec 9

New Open Shines Class and Bachata Workshop!

Salsa Open Shines
For intermediate level dancers (those who have completed level 2 or with permission), this new open shines course teaches students to salsa dance without a partner. Each week students are taught a short shines (footwork) sequence that can be used on the dancefloor when separated from your partner. This class will challenge your coordination, speed and weight transfer. Body movement and rhythm and musicality will also be covered.

Date: Sundays 2:00 – 3:00pm starting Oct 18th
Instructor: Tracie Yee
Type: 9 classes x 1 hr per class
Cost: $126/$117 per person

Sexy Bachata Moves
Kick your Bachata dancing into high gear with some new sexy turn patterns that will add flair and sensuality to your dancing. Join Elton and Velina as they cover body movement, rhythm and musicality, as well as explore new dance patterns in this 1.5 hr workshop at Empress Studio. For those who have completed a minimum of Level 2 and up or passed an assessment.

Date: Saturday November 7th from 5:30 – 7:00pm
Instructors: Velina Sotirova and Elton Martins
Type: 1.5hr workshop
Cost: $35/pp or $30/helpers

Helper Outing Last Saturday

As per tradition, every semester ends with a Helper Recognition event. This summer was no exception. Last Saturday the TDS summer helpers got together for some food and fame!

We met at 6pm at Peridot Resto Lounge. It was great to finally taste some of the great food that Peridot has to offer as we always hold outings there. We enjoyed a three course meal and many of the helpers got to know one another better.

We then hustled to the AMC at Yonge & Dundas to see the movie FAME! I grew up on this tv show and was really looking forward to seeing Kerrington, a favourite of mine on SYTYCD Season 4, in her debut performance.

I definitely wish there was more dancing in the movie. The little that was seen was actually very good and I really enjoyed the Kerrington piece half way through the movie. But for a dancer it wasn`t quite enough and I think the group of us were left wanting more.

Overall a great evening though. Thanks to all the instructors, assistants and helpers who made the evening so much fun and made the summer semester a great one. Can`t wait to do this again in December!