5 Simple Tips for Beginners

So this week a friend of mine suggested I blog about some helpful tips/ reminders for beginners who are just finding their way onto the dance floor. I took her advice and here it is.

beginners class

5 Helpful tips/reminders for beginners:

1. Step onto the balls of your feet. This applies to both Men and Women. Dancing Flat footed or on your heel is a NO. Also, make sure the ball of your foot hits the ground on the Beat and not the heel. (This could be the reason you are off time). Taking small steps is also a good idea (don’t try and trip everyone dancing around you).

2. Ladies; when being turned keep your arm in an L shape and don’t pull down on the mans hand. Gents; when turning a Lady use your entire arm from your shoulder  and not just your wrist & imagine drawing a Halo over her head just like she is an Angel.

3. Practice does not make perfect.  Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. So make sure you go to a dance school and learn the right techniques and get lots of the right kind of practice. No point in doing the wrong thing by yourself over and over again. (A couple of private classes will never hurt.)

4. Social Dance with everyone – Beginners and Advanced dancers. This is some of the best advice that I or anyone else will ever give you.

5. Smile and Have Fun! Dancing is so much Fun after all.

Till next week Thursday,Keep Calm and Dance Salsa!

P.S. This is my 54th Consecutive Thursday Salsa Post and I haven’t missed one yet! 😉

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Gangnam style goes Merengue

Park Jae-sang better known as Psy is the 35 old Korean Pop star who has been hailed as the King of You-Tube after he became the only person to have a viral video get over 1 Billion Hits.

Gangnam Style

This video was released in July 2012 and  hit the international scene in August and now has over 1.2 Billion hits with no signs of slowing down (I suspect it will hit the 2 billion mark before it is even 1 year old).

What surprises most people about Psy and Gangnam Style is that video was not an attempt at stardom, but was actually the result of a day in the life of a Korean Pop Star. Gangnam style is just a song off Pys’ 6th studio Album that has achieved unparalleled success having now created over 36,000 parodies and off shoots.

In case you are wondering, I am a Psy fan. I can still remember the first time I saw the video and half way through just sat thinking to myself, “What the hell is going on here?” It was the most random music video I had ever seen and yet I liked it.

Fast forward a couple of months and I was setting up my top 8 Latin songs for 2012 to play at a party and  a friend of mine made a bet with me for a bottle of preferred vintage that I would not dare throw down Gangnam style in my top mix. Challenge accepted.
I went in search of a Latin version and needless to say, I found quite a few. 1 in particular was a Merengue version that  made it onto my playlist and that I am actually going to share with you today.

So if you are a Psy fan and love Latin music, click here to listen to DJ Toofan’s and DJ Nima’s remixEnjoy!

Till next week Thursday people, take a chill pill and gangnam style!

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The Mzansi Cape Town Salsa Festival 31 Oct – 3 Nov 2013

Its official: The Mzansi Cape Town International Salsa Festival will take place from the 31st of October to the 3rd of November 2013 in Cape Town, South Africa.

visit capetownsalsafestival.com for more details.

Quick fact: Mzansi is a term for south and is often used as the slang term for South Africa.

This festival is shaping up to be quite an event with over 23 local schools getting involved and a host of international acts like Island Touch, Alien Ramirez, Marchant & Davina Birch, Albert Torres, Mark Anthony’s Ukraine Mambo Project, Daniels Dance & Yassin Mutati.

Island-Touch-Ataca-Alemana

You definitely don’t wanna miss this. Tickets recently went on sale, so get onto the website now to book yours. Ticket prices go up on the 1st of every month, so the earlier you book, the less you pay!

Here are a few highlights you can expect:

  • Over50 Workshops catering for all levels in various dance styles (Salsa On 1, On 2, Cuban style, Cha Cha Cha, Bachata, Kizomba, Pachanga, Reggaeton, African Dance, Cape Jazz, Body Movement, Ladies and Gents Styling, Samba, Rumba, Tango, International Latin and American Rythm Ballroom) from some of the worlds best instructors
  • Performances by South African Dance teams
  • Performances by International Guests
  • South Africa’s hottest DJ’s
  • Special Guest DJ’s
  • Live Band to be confirmed
  • 4 Nights of Parties
  • 5 Day Tour of Cape Town for attendees that includes Safari, Table Mountain, Robben Island, Kirstenbosch Picnic, Camps Bay Beach, Stellenbosch Wine Route and more

cape-town-table-mountain

You definitely don’t wanna miss this and I hope to see you there!

Till next week …..

…. (= looking for a new tag line to sign off my blog in 2013?? Suggestions????)

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Nina and Zerjon

As the year ended, I reflected on some of the highlights of the 2012 and my life in general. 1 of the things I always look at is my favorite dances for the year. Now while there were some AMAZING ones I added to the list – my absolute favorite social dance in the world happened in 2011 with a Salsera called Nina from Twisted Feet Dance Crew in Sweden @ the Hot Salsa Weekend.

When we first danced, I had no idea who she was or what her level would be. Yet within 5 seconds we clicked and I knew  that I had met a kindred spirit in dance. I later on discovered she is into Hip Hop as well as Salsa – my 2 favorite forms of dance and she has without a doubt mastered both. (She apparently also loves eating pineapples like I do too.)

While at the Hot Salsa Weekend, I also had the pleasure of meeting her dance parter Zerjon. About 1 month later, I saw a performance they did which was a Salsa Hip Hop Fusion to MJ’s Liberian Girl.
This is hands down the best Salsa Hip Hop fusion performance I have personally ever seen and I am sure it will blow your mind like it did mine.

Simply click on the picture below to watch the video.

Nina and Zerjon @ the HSW in Stockholm 2011

Nina and Zerjon @ the HSW in Stockholm 2011

If you ever see Nina on the dance floor, make sure you grab her for a Dance. You won’t regret it. 😉

That is all I had to share with you this week. Till next week people, hope you have an Awesome 2013!

Live, Love, Laugh & Salsa!

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Salsa Mag Dot Net

This week I want to introduce you to the Salsa Magazine.

Salsa Mag

This is an informative magazine (which you can also download as an app or subscription on your mobile or tablet).

It gives tonnes of Salsa info on
Bands
Artists
DJ’s
Congresses
Locations
Clothing
and lots of other Salsa info.

Salsa MAG is a child of the new media – it’s not a conventional glossy magazine destined to gather dust under the coffee table, but rather a modern e-magazine which takes classic elements and combines them with videos, audio files and interactive features to create a multimedia experience. Whether at home or travelling – SALSA MAG can be read any time, any place.

THE PUBLISHERS AND EDITORS of the magazine are the unbeatable duo: Martín Aguilar-Paz and Gesine Aguilar Paz- inseparable both professionally and personally.

So if you want to improve you all round salsa info and know what is going on in the world of salsa out there, I suggest you get onto salsamag.net

So this is my last post in 2012. Hope you enjoyed reading my blog. See you all in 2013 peeps.

Live, Laugh, Love & Salsa!!!

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Terry Social Salsa Dancing

This week I just want to show you a video of Terry social dancing.

Once you watch this video, I guarantee you will know exactly why this Man (who is a Beast on the dance floor) is without a doubt, one of the best Social Salsa Dancers out there.

Terry

Enjoy and ill talk to you all next week!

Que viva la Salsa!

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Rumour has it there is a Cape Town Salsa Festival in 2013?

So rumor has it that there is a Cape town Salsa Festival in the works.CPT Festival
It seems a bunch of Cape Town Salsa enthusiasts are planning something Epic in The first weekend of November 2013.

I hear they plan on bringing down close to 10 International Stars and that over 20 local salsa schools from Cape Town, Johannesburg & Durban will also be participating.

There are talks of having over 40 workshops and 30 performances, so this will definitely be one for the history books. I strongly suggest you keep your ears to the ground because this is bound to be Awesome!!! (I’ll keep you posted if any more details leak)…. 😉

Till next week people.. Live, Love & Salsa!

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Kids from African Township booked to perform at the LA Salsa Congress

The Albert Torres Productions motto is: “Create Unity Through Latin Music & Dance“.  So when Albert watched the children from Khayelitsha (a township in South Africa) dance a few months ago, he decided to give them a platform to showcase their talent at the Los Angeles Salsa Festival in May 2013. (The Los Angeles Salsa Congress attracts over 20,000 visitors over a 5 day period from over 50 different countries and is the premiere Latin Music and Dance event annually.)

Albert was truly moved by what he saw that afternoon and would like to share that experience with the rest of the world by showcasing these children on the world’s biggest stage during the Los Angeles Salsa Congress. Cape Town based Dance Instructor, Director and Choreographer Bheki Ndlovu of Suede Productions will choreograph the showcase that the children will perform at the event.

albert-torres-khayelitsha-kids-dance-class

This opportunity to send children from one of the poorest communities in South Africa to this world-class event in Los Angeles is the perfect reflection of the Albert Torres Production Motto in action. No matter our age, location or background, we are all united by our passion for music and dance.

Watch the video to hear what Albert Torres had to say about his visit to Khayelitsha.

Now we need your help. Together we can turn this dream into a reality and send these children from Khayelitsha to the Los Angeles Salsa Festival in May 2013. All Out Salsa is looking for sponsorship to pay for the children’s air travel between Cape Town and Los Angeles as well as their hotel rooms for the duration of their stay. You can contribute to this cause by making a donation on our website by clicking here or emailing info@alloutsalsa.com and then we’ll send you the All Out Salsa bank details to transfer funds to.

Lets be the difference that makes a difference and help create unity through both music & dance!

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Some Reminders as we head into December

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere (like me), then you are enjoying the warm summer days. If however, you are in the Northern Hemisphere, then you are probably enjoying a cold winters day.

Whatever side of the world you are on, here are a few reminders as we head into December.

Hygiene – Smell good. Learn the difference between an antiperspirant and deodorant.  If you have not changed anything from what you normally used since before you started dancing, then ask someone whom you trust for their opinion on if you should invest in something new. Its also always a good idea to carry a towel and an Extra T-shirt (especially for the guys). 😉

Look good – Ladies (Men may never say this), but truth is they actually enjoy dancing with Women who make an effort to dress up (Guys, the same applies to you).

If you want to grow – choose what is the most uncomfortable, what does not make any sense, what is the most unnatural thing in the world for you to do. You are only learning when you step outside your comfort zone. So challenge, experiment and push yourself.

Last and most important – Have Fun – I did a survey once and this was ranked the single most important factor for having a good dance.

Till next week Thursday, you know the drill…. Peace, Love & Happiness!

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The British perspective on Salsa

Alright, today I just finished my exams. This has been a long time coming. To celebrate, this week I am posting with you 4 really cool videos that I came across.

1. Salsa and the stiff upper lip is a Brits perspective on Latin dance. His perspective is pretty interesting and the video he has put together is awesome. Definitely my top pick for the week.


2. This is a really cool performance by 3 world class salsa couples / champions at the Puerto Rico Salsa Congress i think it was (might be mistaken) anyway, make sure youCheck out the Lifts at 02:05 and spins thereafter. 1 word – Impressive!


3. Oliver Pineada going ape shit as usual. With regards to Social dancing & musicality, this boy is in a league of his own. Just watch any social of his in 2012 and you will see what I mean.

4. Last but not least, A performance by Lucky Sipin to my favorite Salsa song in the World – Merecumbe! Definitely fun to watch….

Alright, time for me to go party! Hope you enjoyed my videos.
Till next week Thursday, you know what to do….Live, Laugh, Love & Salsa!

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