Highlights of Toronto's Salsa 2005
Rose Knows, Toronto
well as revealing the couple to be eliminated from the competition,
the show will also feature performances from top musical acts, professional
dance demonstrations and exciting behind-the-scenes footage of training
and other aspects of the show.
December 21, 2005
A New Digi-Era
Hot off the Press!
It just seems like yesterday that I started this website, had to learn anything and everything to do with the internet and what web design was all about...
Then a few years later, to save film and scanning time, I got into digital photography and then learned how to make videoclips for the web.
And now with technology changing so rapidly, it's hard not to go into an electronic store and NOT want to buy almost everything in sight as it just keeps getting cheaper to get more features in terms of megapixels, amount of memory, portability, and more. The gadget stores just lure you in to find an excuse for Santa to bring you that extra-special gift!
So what gifts is TOsalsa providing over the holidays... well, with the so-called savings in time... check out some of the new digi-clips I was able to put together "quickly" with my new camera... and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
It's amazing how many hours you can spend trying to figure out the settings...
Digi_Vid - Take 1 using Real Player
Digi Vid- Take 2 using Windows Media Player
And after viewing these clips, it would be great to get feedback on whether you have problems viewing it in Real Player or Windows Media Player.
Please remember also that if you find the resolution a little lower than you'd like, it's very difficult to find that "perfect setting" that won't become a 10mb clip; and at the same time, give you enough "air time" to really showcase a dance choreography.
As the Salsa World Turns...
Novembr 22, 2005
Get a kick-start to two new promotions for 2006 -- one Congress Pass each month (Jan, Feb and Mar) to anyone who's willing to pay their own travelling expenses to the Montreal Salsa Convetion; or a pair of tickets to Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Co at Massey Hall!
And congratulations to the following winners...
Yamoto Drummers of Japan
November 21, 2005
Salsa in November...
I just got back from a mini-trip to Montreal to see Victor Manuelle live; and for two straight hours, he sang almost every song I have ever danced to... what more can a Salsera ask for... except to throw in some shopping at my favourite store in Montreal (Simon's) and stuffing our faces with yummy El Salvardorean food with Sonia and Moris from San Tropez!
And what songs did he serenade us with?
Apiadate De Mi
Asi Es La Mujer
Dile A Ella
Hay Que Poner El Alma
Como Una Estrella
No Haces Falta Nada
Pensamiento Y Palabra
Que Habria Sido De Mi
Se Me Rompe El Alma
No Eres La Mujer
La Vida Es Un Carnaval
If you click on these links, you can hear audioclips for most of these tracks...
Oro Salsero - 2000
Travesia - 2004
And back in TO, our Ticket Promotions are finished for now, but soon you can win tickets/pass to the Montreal Salsa Convention during the months of January, February and March; and Paco Pena Flamenco Dance Co.
October 30, 2005
Salsa in October
Did you forget to turn back your clocks one hour?
I almost did... and had to check the internet just to make sure that my computer wasn't out of whack... And found an interesting tidbit... starting in 2007, we'll get an extra month of sunlight starting in March, insteady of April! Click here if you want to read all about it...
October was a non-stop busy month of salsa that started with the Canada Salsa Congress and ends with a non-stop weekend of Halloween salsa parties if you so choose...
Pics are posted of the Halloween Part at Acrobat this past Friday and pics of different nights I've gone dancing this past October including Paul Chivers Bday Dance at Babaluu's last Tuesday, October 18th.
And it's your last chance to enter to win a pair of tickets to see Ballet Flamenco at Roy Thomson Hall!
October 18, 2005
Canada Salsa Congress Pics are Up!
It's just over a week since the Canada Salsa Congress is over... and what makes this one special is that many dancers seemed to have their salsa groove back and remembered what it was like to just have fun dancing!
I recall last year some dancers were unhappy that many of the "professionals" were doing very little social dancing... but this year was quite the opposite. Not only were the pros on the floor, but anyone and everyone was pretty much dancing with someone NOT from their hometown; and no one really said "No", unless they needed a rest from a non-stop salsa set.
What also made this Congress memorable was that it seemed everyone was out to have a good time, show appreciation to the performers for all their hard work and have some fun watching various dancers ham it up.
It was so infectious that the nights I decided to go out dancing, Friday at Acrobat and this past Monday at Alleycatz, they were jam-packed full of dancers and everyone was dancing up a storm.
And if you didn't check out the shows each night, there wasn't one night that was necessarily better than another even though Saturday is always considered the best night for shows. Many dance troupes performed more than one routine and if you missed a particular night, you might have missed an awesome performance or a signature routine.
What makes it tough while taking photos or videos is that you really don't get to enjoy the live performance except behind a lens where you can lose the total visual effect.
And which routines were my favourites, well, you'll just have to check back...
October 10, 2005
The Aftermath of the Canada Salsa Congress...
Montreal was in the House!
Once again, hats off to Jennifer Aucoin for putting together a well-organized Congress for the 3rd year in a row... You know it was a great Congress when you close it down on the last day, have to kick the dancers out of the hotel, and you reminisce at 5 am at a Chinese restaurant. I can't remember the last time I saw everyone beaming and complaining of how sore their feet or muscles were from the whole experience.
While I get a chance to reflect, one dancer just couldn't wait to write in and thank all the Montreal guys for their joie-de-vivre in their dancing and their attitude about social dancing at Congresses. And coincidentally, I had forgotten how much fun my Montreal friends were as I hadn't seen them since last year.
I also felt the same energy from Montreal, seen their progression over the years and felt that they have really found their own salsa niche. They were a joy to watch or dance with... way to go Montreal!
Regarding her comments about attitude... thanks Morena for writing in and giving all dancers a reminder of what dancing SHOULD ALWAYS be about...
The Montreal guys at the 2005 Toronto Salsa Congress
I thought I was done with salsa congresses since for having attended a few, here and abroad, I realised that they were an all-in-one stage for showing off, self-promotion, politics & the ever present rudeness of guys who just-do-not-want-to-dance-with-you-c'ause-you-ain't-part-of-anything-I-know, you-do-not-have-the-look, and can-that girl-dance?? -thing.
I was dragged in this congress by a bunch of my girlfriends; and I caved in & went with absolutely no desire but the one to just be a good sport & not again decline one of their constant invitations - but still thinking that I was going to experience the same c...ap again! Life if so ironic sometimes.
Just when I was ready to exit (after all, why pay so much money for classes, events, travels, salsa gear & so on, when you are going to be treated like %$# - that is if you are treated at all - by average dancers - forget the advanced/top notches, I have already realized that I - & many other girls like me - have been placed outside of their league a looooong time ago - but average dancers who think they are blessed dough!!)
Then came those guys from Montreal ----- What can I say? WHAT A DELIGHT! Those guys came here to party! (Either I am dreaming or are they always like that?) From my many experiences here, I was almost lead to believe that asking a guy that you think is an excellent dancer to dance was an offense.
On the contrary, you watched those Montreal guys dance with the best girls and when comes the time for you to ask them to dance, not only the dancing is just TOP NOTCH, EXCITING AND CLASSY (perfect leading & BEAT & all) but the respect, the eye-contacts, the smiles, the floor etiquette that they give to you is amazing; WHAT A PACKAGE!! Plus the appreciation they have shown FOR HAVING BEEN ASKED TO DANCE is legendary -- Hey! it is not even a crime to ask the top notches to dance as well, they are ready when you are -- WITH NO ATTITUDE WHATSOEVER & NO FLAT LIE ABOUT "I-AM-TIRED" & NEXT-THING-YOU-KNOW-THEY-ARE-OFF-DANCING-WITH-ANOTHER-GIRL).
At last, people who understand & display the TRUE meaning of S O C I A L dancing..... Call it "Joie de vivre"..... Thanks to all of them, the many I have danced with yesterday (Saturday) and have made my night such a blast!!!! You have printed a smile in my heart.
THANKS TO THE PRO: (the guy who was the milk-man (Edson?? by the way, I did not even dance with him!!!) in the group performance who, at the end of the night, just said Hi! when we made eye-contact, and asked if I and my friends have had a good time........ (Whooou! You can even chit chat with them without them thinking that you need something more than a dance??).
Well, now I am looking forward to my next salsa congress (I cannot beleive I am even thinking that :-)) and If I see him (or any of the other ones I did not have the chance to dance with yesterday).... Well, I will ask for a dance :-)) just a dance, nothing more...:-)) Morena
October 5, 2005
A Non-Stop Thanksgiving Weekend of Salsa...
Less than 24 hours to the Kick-Off Pre-Congress Party tailormade for those of you who love the opportunity to dance with out-of-town dancers, see some great social dancing and group performances; and/or for those die-hards who can also handle the stamina of taking dance classes from dance instructors from all over -- the selection has a little bit for everyone to experience.
Never been to a Congress before?
Check out some of the various pages of memories I've collected over the past 5 years...
Salsa Congress Survival Guide
Salsa Congress Photos
September 18, 2005
Congratulations to our Winners...
Umoja - Wed Sep 21, 2005
Canada Salsa Congress
Please check your emails for details on how to pick up your tickets!
September 12, 2005
Salsa in September...
Once September hits, the clubs are a little more empty, but the good news is there's more room to dance...
If you enjoy the music of DJ Julio, he'll be playing every night this week from Tuesday to Friday.
This is the last week to enter for your chance to win a Canada Salsa Congress Pass or a pair of tickets to see Umoja at Elgin Theatre.
Also, for those of you who haven't seen "Mad Hot Ballroom", it's actually opened up to more theatres in Toronto and has been playing in Toronto for 17 weeks!
And if you love to dance, here's hoping you've been taking the time to watch "So You Think You Can Dance".
The format is great -- where a male and female are randomly chosen to partner dance with each other; and then they randomly choose a type of partner dance and have to learn choreography from a top professional, perform it in front of a live audience. It's interesting to see how the choreographer molds the piece to suit the stengths and weaknesses of each couple, and will give them difficult tricks to perform during their routine if they can handle it -- dips, lifts and/or flips are included in almost every performance.
The dance formats range from all types of dance you might see in a concert, video or movie, such as pop, disco, ballroom, lyrical jazz, hip hop and salsa. The last few weeks no one has chosen salsa, but it's interesting to see how versatile the dancers are, their chemistry together, if they have it, how technical they are and if they know ow to perform.
The judges comment on each performance after their routine and it's interesting to see how well they critique their technique and performance style; and how it compares to your own knowledge and expertise.
Then the worst two or three couples are picked and they have to do a solo dance by themselves so that the audience can do a phone poll for their favourites. The lowest scoring male and female of that segment are eliminated the following week and then the format starts again.
It's interesting to see how the dancers get eliminated as sometimes it's the luck of the draw if you've got a bad partner who cannot adapt to the technique of a particular style of dance.
Also, it's interesting to see that if you're not an all-round dancer, you will eventually be eliminated.
If I am to guess who will be in the final two -- for the men, I think Blake and Nick due to their technical training and the fact they seem to be able to pick up other dances and perform it almost as well. Although I also enjoy watching Jamile and Ryan as they are street dancers; and have shown some versatility, but they are not as consistent.
For the females, it's a tougher choice, as they have great style and need to be a good follower. I don't think I can narrow it down to two as these four girls impress me each week with their adaptability -- Ashle, Kamilah, Melissa and Melody. But after reflection of their overall performance each week, Ashle and Kamilah may be the strongest as they get very little criticism each week by the judges and are very consistent in their technique and performance.
Every week, there's new updated features on the Fox website, and they even have a page with all the songs the dancers used in their performances. So for those of you who have been emailing me about the salsa songs, click here!
August 18, 2005
So You Think You Can Dance?
OR maybe it should really be called... "So You Think You Have Ego..." two weeks ago.
If you love to dance, then hopefully you're taking the time each week to watch the new Fox reality dance show each Wednesday night at 8 pm. What I love about watching reality shows or documentaries is you really get a chance to see some of the trials and tribulations of what a dancer goes through under pressure, and what it takes to be a really great dancer. It's not just about your own abilities to teach yourself how to dance (if you brag you don't have formal training), but if you want to be the best; you need to learn or train in all styles of dancing. Or just have so much talent that you can pick up anything a choreographer throws at you -- whether it's hip hop, jazz or partner dancing.
And then there's dance ego... and there was plenty of it that night. The worst was Blake who actually had the nerve to say on national TV that he was a better instructor/dancer than one of his choreographers, plus the same choreographer was just "jealous". And then didn't think of the consequences that would come back to him, which in this case was the choreographers all viewing this segment of the tape and they were all obviously turned off by his attitude. If he didn't have the potential he did, he definitely would have been voted off. A perfect reminder for those with egos in the dance scene that it is a small world and don't expect that what you say about someone doesn't get back to them. Echoing the point I've always made about treating others the way you want to be treated, and you'll be amazed as I have been at what's coming atcha from around the corner...
Last night, the real competition started when the remaining 16 dancers. Each male dancer drew a female to partner with, who in turn picked a dance style (mambo, hip hop, lyrical or jive) and had to learn a new routine with a choreographer. This goes back to ego in dancing, where dancers of one dance style always think that's the only dance style or the best way to dance.
What I love about watching this show, is that if you're truly a talented dancer; with some training and practice, you could dance almost any dance style and make it look good.
What was also interesting to watch were some of the following lessons I've learned from dancing with partners, Salsa Team Canada and watching all types of dance performances; and having the choreographers echo alot of what I've learned over the years:
1. Whether someone trained in the style of hip hop or jazz could switch to a partner dance and make it look easy; and vice versa.
2. Do they have showmanship? If you watch the couples, what makes a great show is bringing the audience into your performance. If you noticed, some couples were so intent on getting the moves right, they forgot to look at the audience. It also showed us that they still hadn't had enough practice and/or weren't as comfortable with the routine.
3. Whether the couple had any chemistry together to pull off the routine. It was interesting to see who could dance well together and connect -- some couples pulled it off as if they were training together regularly, some were both technically strong, some couples had connection and some did not; or had no chemistry together so their routine just looked boring.
4. How much technique each dancer has and/or the ability to communicate their love of the dance live while performing. Hands down last night, Blake's level of technical difficulty, the emotion he showed in his lyrical dance and how beautifully he executed the pirouettes blew me away.
5. How dance instructors or dancers should not always assume that if you're a great dance instructor, you'll also be a great dancer or performer -- that's not always the case; and this show has proven this point over the past 4 weeks.
6. How you can never stop training or learning from all styles of dance. There's nothing wrong with loving only one style or type of dance, but if you truly want to be an all-round dancer -- it takes alot of dedication, practice and humility.
There are some other pointers that some of the choreographers have made over the past few weeks, but I can't think of them right now. August has been a non-stop busy month; so I've been out and about, but unfortunately have not had alot of time to do alot of writing.
But if you've missed out on the shows, you can still find dance clips each week on the Fox website, along with dancer bios, photo gallery and so on...
And for those of you who still haven't seen "Mad Hot Ballroom", it's now playing at Canada Square at Yonge & Eglinton.
And if you're thinking of seeing "Rize", you can wait for it to go to the video stores; although the dance scenes were great, this documentary just didn't make me empathize with the dancers as much as "Mad Hot Ballroom". It was also interesting to hear why the street dancers got into krumping and clowning, but not enough thought was put into the composition of the movie to keep your interest throughout.
If you're a fan of "Dancing with the Stars", ABC has just announced a special "dance-off between Hurley and Monaco" airing September 20th. Click here for more info...
Stay tuned for more in the coming weeks, including a new promotion where we'll be giving away 3 pairs of tickets to Umoja for the end of September at the Elgin Theatre. This is the second year it will be coming back to Toronto, but with some new dance or musical numbers.
July 23, 2005
Your chance to win one of 3 Canada Salsa Congress Passes -- click here!
You don't have to live in TO if you're willing to pay your own travel expenses...
July 13, 2005
Dance Media Gone Wild...
Here's your chance to watch a 2 hour sneak-peak of the new "So You Think You Can Dance" Reality TV Show next Wednesday, July 20th, on CFTO Cable 8 Toronto from 8-10 pm.
As I did some surfing, I found an article that talks about the type of dancing they will be showing which includes salsa, jive, hip-hop and krumping. Alex de Silva of LA will be a featured salsa choreographer.
And here are some clips I found on the net:
Video Preview 1
Other Clips, incl. Salsa
And thanks to a tip from a fellow dancer, Sugar-Baby, last week, I just had to check out the documentary, Mad Hot Ballroom at Cumberland this past Tuesday. If you love summer movies and especially love to watch dance movies -- this tops all the dance movies I've seen and makes them pale in comparison, such as "Dance With Me", Havana Nights, etc.
If you enjoy a totally entertaining, funny, feel-good, make you want to go back to childhood and dance -- you can't miss it. Everyone in the audience laughed throughout the whole movie, totally entertained by what these children are going through in learning how to dance and how to compete in competition.
Everything you ever felt, seen or thought about dancing is exemplified by these kids and you may even be inspired to either learn to dance ballroom or go to your nearest school to start such a program.
And none of what you see is a cliche but truly what we all experience when learning to dance. You'll see or hear everything we've ever talked about on this site -- what it's like to practice for a competition, the ups and downs from competing, how good is the leader or the follower, eye contact, you can even figure out who's got rhythm or not, imagine what they'll be like dancing when they grow up; and the list goes on and on.
Movie Trivia Articles
Movie Ratings in TO: 9.6/10
Rose Knows Rating: 10+/10
How did Mad Hot Ballroom survive the copyright cartel?
Anyone ready for Krumping?
Just released in select theatres in the US, here's a new documentary about another emerging dance streetform that started in LA which was used in the choreography of the video "Dirrty" with Christina Aguilera. It's directed by David LaChappelle, a noted fashion photographer and music-video auteur. Check out the music and the clips -- it's totally "street".
The Official Website
The Official Trailer
On the Official Website, if you haven't seen enough dancing, have some fun in the Battlezone where you can watch clips of the Clowns vs the Krumpers.
Unfortunately, I still haven't found any info to see if it's coming up to Canada as of yet.
And for those of you who love Reggaeton, you might want to check out this lengthy RNS Promotional Videoclip of "Fuego/Baila Reggaeton".
July 3, 2005
Happy Canada's Day Part 2
Salsa Girls Gone Wild?
So much to talk about and so little time to update...
It's amazing to see how much time it takes just to post a few galleries and compose some emails while trying to catch up with your salsa friends that you haven't talked to in months or years!
And the party continued straight through the weekend...
Friday (Canada Day Holiday) was probably the only day that salsa did not take over, but was a great day to just chill with non-salsa friends.
It was the formula I needed before going to see Omara Portuondo with the Buena Vista Social Club on Saturday. I met up with Roy of Salsaholics.com in LA and we had a fun-filled evening playing tourists around downtown TO. What made the evening so special for both of us was being able to share our love of the music. Roy Thomson Hall is one of the best venues to listen to a legend of a singer, with a talented group of artists in a wonderfully acoustic setting. Most of her repertoire were variations of the cha cha beat or latin ballads; but I still can't get out of my mind was the Mambo Descarga (fast salsa) they played near the end of the two hour concert that showed us what live mambo music could truly sound like in the proper setting with a full orchestra.
The whole concert was beautifully orchestrated mixing full band music sets with simply Omara with a solo musician -- pure magic for the senses. You got to experience first-hand the magic of her personality without understanding any Spanish -- just by the way she moved and used her facial expressions while singing or talking; and the fact she still has the magic at her tender age of 75!
The musicians who totally caught my imagination this year was the tres guitar player who was able to play the guitar with it over the back of his neck -- he couldn't see the keys; and later he had a dance with Omara showing us what it must have been like when they must have been in their prime; with their intricate, but subtle cuban footwork.
And later they also featured a violinist who just jammed during a mambo set that had the crowd cheering because it was just so in tune with the mambo beat but taking it to a new level.
Both Roy and I left the concert totally enthralled -- and took a long walk through downtown just to let ourselves totally absorb what we had experienced. Going to a club to dance just would not do the concert justice. Listening to the slow melodic cha chas, you could just imagine sitting on the beaches of Brazil soaking up the talent of these musicians -- you felt you were almost there...
And then to finish off the weekend, how about a Salsa Bday Party... This year, I've been so busy or tired, that I've missed most of the parties, but how could I not end the weekend dancing or partying up a storm in a different salsa venue and with almost no humidity.
And since I had been partying it up since Tuesday, we took it up another notch and inspired many of the girls to show a little attitude with Renee as the photographer and myself as the instigator-producer-co-conspirator of some of the "Girls Gone Wild" pics at Teddy of United Salseros bday...
And the next set of pics I can't wait to get my hands on is DJ Julio Cezar's photos of Thursday night and more photos by Roy of Salsaholics.com!
June 28, 2005
Congratulations to our two lucky winners of the Buena Vista Social Club concert:
June 27, 2005
Salsa Jungle Fever
How to Survive a Crowded Hot Summer Dance Floor...
What is salsa jungle fever... well, in this case, it's nothing to do with the type of hunting that might normally go on in the clubs... but let me tell you what can happen in a hot, sweaty club..
A month ago, as I headed down to Babaluu's on a Tuesday, I'm in anticipation of another great night of dancing and some great non-stop salsa music...
And as you walk in, the place is packed and you case the floor to see how many of your friends have shown up and to say "hi".
As I walk to the back of the club, I brush past some dancers at the edge of the dance floor and unluckily get a long, large scrape of a sharp heel down the back of my calf almost to my ankle... And as always, they are not experienced or considerate dancers who usually would notice if they bumped or scratched someone, but obviously beginners, intermediate or selfish dancers who are so busy still concentrating on their steps that they don't even bat an eyelash or say sorry.
Some of you may say, how can a dancer know the difference? Well, you take a crowded room full of experienced dancers and compare it to a room full of inexperienced dancers; and let me tell you how many times you were bumped into or stepped on. I can guarantee you it will be less than 10% or not at all because they usually are considerate about their floor space or stop their partner before they bump or step on another dancer.
But that was not the end of a summer night's evening of dance...
Imagine the inexplicable feeling of dancing with a partner who's clothes are soaked to their skin; and actually do moves that make your hands brush against their sweaty clothes!
Or how about a sweaty two-kiss hello we all love to do but to have their sweaty cheeks bathe your own in sweat!
Dancers, please remember some basic summer etiquette rules as alot of the salsa venues seem to lack proper air conditioning:
1. Bring a change of clothes if you know you regularly sweat on the dance floor.
2. Don't actually kiss when you're sweaty... and let the dancer know that's why you're not really giving the proper hello or goodbye.
3. If a dancer insists on dancing with you, you can warn them that your clothes are soaked right through; therefore they have the chance to refuse.
And always, always watch out for your partner to ensure they don't bump or step on someone else on the dance floor. And if you do, please remember to apologize.
If you didn't even notice, guaranteed, you need to pay more attention to your dance space and not just on your partner and your moves.
PS Remember that scratch? Well, it lasted a week and turned into a long, sore black and blue bruise!
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May 30, 2005
Surfing the World of Dance...
For those of you who love to dance whether it's salsa or ballroom, I did some surfing over the past few days and was amazed at how much new material was out there that I hadn't seen before...
For those days you don't have time or the urge to travel to other salsa cities or congresses, I find the internet the next-best-thing and you get to read about who's hot right now in the salsa scene in various cities, or see some great social dancing via the web.
10th Mayan Club Competition in LA has just finished and it's a great snapshot of what LA has to offer... if you enjoy watching tricks and acrobatics.
imambo.tv website was redesigned and has alot of great new dance clips from different events.
Also, there seems to be a growing movement towards a dance scene or a dance movie coming out on a regular basis.
At Cumberland Theatre this week, you might get some inspiration from watching these kids dance ballroom in "Mad Hot Ballroom" or pick up a few pointers if you're planning to teach kids to dance.
Later this year, there's another ballroom movie coming out called "Marilyn Hotchkiss Ballroom Dancing & Charm School".
In the trailers for these two movies, Merengue was featured...
Shooting in Toronto right now is "Take the Lead" with Antonio Banderas. This movie was inspired by a true story of an internationally acclaimed ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane;. Antonio is an ex-professional dancer who volunteers to teach dance in the New York City public school system. When his ballroom methods clash with his students' hip hop instincts, he teams up with them to create a new style of dance.
And starting on June 1st on ABC at 9 pm, there's a new Reality TV series called "Dancing with the Stars". It pairs a celebrity with a professional ballroom dance partner, where they learn to train and compete in a dance competition.
And starting on Wed July 20th at 8pm, Fox will air a 2-hour premiere "So You Think You Can Dance" . A 12 week competition of America's best undiscovered dancing talent by the producers of "American Idol" and American Bandstand".
May 18, 2005, Part 2
Super Mario Shout-out...
How MUCH did she get paid to write this?
Well, while I was checking my emails tonight... I received an email from an ex-dancer of TO who is now living in London, England. Thanks Shalin for taking the time to write and give us a peek on the London Salsa Scene...
TOsalsa Trivia Tidbit... Super Mario was one of the first out-of-town dancers who I met back in April 2000 at the Toronto Salsaweb Convention. He became instant friends with all of us back then and had his first teaching gig as a last minute replacement in TO!
But for those of you who love "testimonials" from other dancers, here's what Shalin sent in...
"Super Mario is Coming to TO-wn --
Hi Rose Given Super Mario is coming to Toronto, I thought I should key in a few lines to provide a brief introduction of the salsa scene in London (UK), Super Mario’s nights and teaching reputation here. But before that, I should point out that I moved to London from TO last month and was a regular at TO clubs for the past couple of years - miss Tuesdays at Baba's!
The Salsa scene in London is, quite simply, huge. London has over 50 salsa clubs and London hosts two congresses each year. Styles are varied with most dancing in the clubs being On 1, with some advanced folks dancing On 2. Super Mario and Susana Montero (who by the way gave a dynamite Bachata performance at the London Congress a few weeks back) have two club nights (for those planning on visiting - Mondays and Thursdays and fairly central, near subway station). The lessons typically start with turn patterns and shines being taught towards the last quarter / fifth of the lesson. The turn patterns are leadable and clearly broken down.
One neat aspect about the lessons is that elements of styling (for ladies from Susana), technique and social dancing tips are all part of the lesson. To me, this felt like better instruction as opposed to isolating elements and teaching each separately. I wish other instructors try this approach.
The other thing is that they manage to convey a huge amount of information / learning that is conveyed within an hour of instruction (you better pay attention to what is being said!). Mario also DJ’s to boot – and spins tunes with clear rhythm, designed to make you dance! Salsa dancers in London appreciate the instruction and there is a loyal following to their nights. And no, Super Mario asked not paid/asked me to post this! This is Toronto’s opportunity to learn from one of the best, enjoy! Shalin"
April 3, 2005
Congratulations to our Montreal Salsa Congress Winners!
Carlos Izaguirre - Ottawa
Chu Trieu - Toronto
Annette Trocki - Mississauga
And more responses in Dear TOsalsa and the Discussion Forum!
March 28, 2005
Salsa that makes you go Hmmm... OR
Well sort of... it has been awhile since I've updated some of our Readers' most favourite sections; and no, I haven't fallen off the face of the earth, but for awhile, it felt like it...
You're going to have tons of reading to choose from (over two months worth!). Starting with...
Dear TOsalsa... you'll find the usual questions about music and where to take lessons; but then emails from various Readers that make you go hmmm... such as:
A dance school that wants to charge a Reader $5000 to learn how to be an Instructor in two weeks and then expects them to teach for them for a year; and not even giving them any information on what they would get paid...
A 54-year-old Cuban who talks about how to learn Cuban Dancing...
A Latino who wrote in about taking off negative Latin music comments or he'll "blacklist" our site...
Then there's a response to Mechy's negativity about non-Cuban salsa dancers... but I have no idea which discussion forum this came from... (which is why I've been "patiently" waiting for someone to finish our message board... sigh...)
Discussion Forum Backlog of Emails since January, 2005!
10 new Top 10 Salsa Songs lists from all over the World, such as Tokyo, Turkey, Croatia, Sweden, Poland and France.
And two new photo galleries -- pics by Ziv at the Mambo Tribe Salsa Social Anniversary Party and the Grand Opening of Salsa Wednesdays at Lucid. This originally was hyped to be the new club that would rival what Berlin used to be with live bands every week, until they lost their CEO.
As the Salsa World turns in TO...
February 3, 2005
Valentine's Day and
Chinese New Year
is just around the corner...
What a way to kick off a cold February...
On February 9, 2005, it will be the Year of the Rooster...
and then on February 14th, we all get to celebrate Valentine's Day... and for fun, click on the list of Valentine's Day and Anti-Valentine's Day Songs I created with Freddy a few years ago...
January 9, 2005
If anyone should be having them, maybe it's me since this time last year, I had 3-1/2 weeks of gorgeous summer weather back in Brazil, and wish I could have afforded the time to go back for more shopping and tanning on the beaches!
But in the meantime, I just have to settle for our great dancing in TO any night of the week, and all the great dancers who write in and keep us all entertained from all parts of the World...
I finally had a chance to update the Dear TOsalsa section which is loaded with new tidbits and drama...
A pile of new responses in the Discussion Forum...
And two more Top 10 Salsa Song Lists -- one from Romania and another from London, England...
And for those of you who have forgotten, don't forget to sign up for our various Promotions as we will soon be picking some winners very soon...
Montreal Salsa Convention
And soon, I'll also be posting a new promotion for a Lula Lounge Concert to see Adalberto Alvarez with a 16-piece band from Cuba! He sings one of my favourite salsa songs -- Somos Latinos, a song I can never get sick of listening, singing or dancing to.
To give you some biofeedback -- the four dancers, all born and trained in Cuba, and now living in Toronto, will perform a variety of dances that are the roots and foundation of modern salsa. It was 40 minutes worth of cuban roots featuring:
Remember, you can email or let us know in person, any updates, feedback or suggestions on what you would like to read.