Sydney’s Best Social Dancer

This week I have been watching a lot of Salsa Videos and  man, did I find some awesome ones! Today and sometime in the future, I will be sharing the best of these with you.

Today’s video is the final battle between 4 of Sydney’s best social dancers. Fun to watch especially if you love Salsa Social dancing.

The Video was put up by a guy called Salsa Potato.   Click the picture to watch the video and if you like what you see, check out the other videos on his channel.

Till next week, you know the drill! Que Viva La Salsa!

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5 Albulms to add to your collection before the year ends

As we are fast approaching the end of 2012, this Thursday I am gonna talk about the 5 Latin albums that have amazed me in the 2nd half of 2012 and you should definitely add to your music collection:

1. The Mambo Legends Orchestra – Watch Out! ¡Ten Cuidao!
The former musicians of the Tito Puente Orchestra came together as the Mambo Legends Orchestra and are they Legendary indeed.

Their album “Watch Out! ¡Ten Cuidao!” has been nominated for a Latin Grammy in the “Best Salsa Album” category and is my personal favorite Salsa Album at the moment.
Released in 2011, Its a BEAST of an album and a must add to your collection. Thanks to Albert Torres for introducing me to this album. 😉

My favorites: The whole of CD 1. This is a 2  CD album with 16 songs. You can pick it up for only $12.99 by simply clicking here.

2. Grupo Arcano – Desde El Otro Lado Del East River
These boys have recently hit the scene and were introduced to the Cape Town scene by DJ Niko. Their Album is called ‘Desde El Otro Lado Del East River‘ and is definitely one of the best salsa albums to be released in 2012. Very well deserved praise for a new group on the scene.

Grupo ArcanoGeorge Velez is so down to earth and his love for Salsa is just so evident you cant help but love his music.  This is 1 album to definitely pick up as all 8 tracks on it are absolutely Awesome. It will only cost you $7.92 so click here and go on and get your copy NOW!

You can also go to my friend DJ Niko’s Blog, there George allows you to download one of his tracks called Ary for free so you can listen to just how good they are.

My favorites:
All 8 songs rock, but Preguntele is definitely it for me. Then there is Rumba En Mi Barrio, Esa Mujer, Un Tipo Sala’o then……… arrggghhh too many. Just go listen to them! 🙂

3. Jimmy Bosch – Soneando Trombon
Pueorto Rican Jimmy Bosch aka Salsa’s Brutal Trombone is known throughout the world as a trombonist, composer, entertainer and producer of his own records.
I have always been a fan of all 4 of his different albums. Three songs in particular come from his 1998 albulm – Soneando Trombon. These 3 tracks are  Otra Oportunidad, Padre Soy & Jimmys Bop. Definitely a CD to add to your collection.

4. Prince Royce –  Phase II
23 year old Royce Rojas is the Dominican American Bachata singer & songwriter who took the Bachata scene by storm with his debut album in 2010 which had the singles Stand by Me and Corazon Sin Cara. Now he is doing it all over again with his second albulm called Phase II.

This boy is always one to keep an eye on and is my personal favorite Bachata Singer. Definitely an albulm to add to your collection.
My favorites: Eres Tu, Dulce, Incondicional.

5. Luis Enrique – Ciclos
CiclosThe Nicaraguan Singer well known for having 1 of the most recognisable songs in Salsa today – Yo No Sé Mañana. This track comes off the Albulm Ciclos which is his 17th studio release. This Album is amazing!

My favorites:
Como Volver A ser Feliz, Sonrie, Inocencia. His entire  album is pretty amazing to listen to.

So there you have it. These are the  5 Latin albums that I recommend you add to your collection before the year ends.

Till next week, you know the drill … Live, Laugh, Love & Salsa!

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How to become a better social dancer

Shaka Brown is one of the best social dancers out there. So when he wrote a piece about the 5 ways to improve as a social dancer, you know I just had to blog about it. I mean, how could I resist???

There are 2 things that he mentions that I just have to share with you before you head off to his blog:

1. Listen
Listen to what people are not saying about your dancing. If you want to be a top follower and every time you dance with someone you hear:

“You really enjoy dancing.”
“Hey, I see you like doing your thing, go ahead girl!”
“That’s a nice haircut.”

But you don’t hear “I really enjoyed that dance with you, you are an awesome follower! I hope we can dance again tonight.” Then read between the lines.

2. Film yourself:
I can guarantee you that the first time that you watch yourself dance you will feel somewhat nauseated….But you will also find things that you can correct.
There’s no inspiration like the desire to look at least as good as you thought you looked.

That’s it, now head off to Shaka Browns blog and read the really cool article for yourself.

To wrap up the week, click the picture below to see Shaka Brown in action on the social dance floor.

Till next week Thursday my Salsa Peeps, I (Heart) Dance!

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The Right Way to Dance Salsa!

What is the right way to dance Salsa?
On 1 – On2 – Cuban – Cali?
With or without styling?

I did some thinking and then  followed it up with a little bit of research, this led me to the discovery that Passionate people will always have A Way that as far as they are concerned is “the right way”. They will advocate this Way as the the Only Way (or the next best thing since sliced bread) because it works for them. Now make no mistake, their way works. In fact it works so well, that it is the reason they advocate it.

This passion and The_Right_Wayconviction of having the way is why you have a lot of debates and politics in Salsa. Where there is Passion – Politics, Dogma and conflict  are soon to follow.

So, what is the Right way to dance salsa? Well as far as I am concerned, there is NO ‘The Right Way’.  There are in fact just a bunch of different right ways that all work for various people for different reasons.

So my advice – Listen to everything, learn everything – because everything out there works for someone.  Think about it for a second – who would advocate so strongly for something that did not work and they did not actually believe in?

So try out  all the different bunch of ways, step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself and you will eventually figure out the right way to dance Salsa for you.

Those are my wise words of wisdom for this week. Till next Thursday, you know the drill.
Live, Laugh, Love & Salsa.

P.S. Feel free to post a comment if you have any thoughts that you would like to share….

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Chillys Blog Turns 2

On 18 October 2010 Chillysblog was started.Who would ever have thought that 2 years later I would still be blogging?? Oh how time flys when you are having fun.

2012 has been an interesting year for me. Lots of ups and downs and then ups again. That being said, I still would not change 1 single thing even of it even if I could.

The main highlight on Chillys blog this year is that on 16 Jan 2012 I promised to start publishing a salsa post every Thursday and i am glad to say that for 40 weeks straight I have done exactly that & never missed a week. So all you Salseros y Salseras make sure to tune in every Thursday and share with me in my passion for this beautiful thing that has taken over our lives – SALSA!

The low point on chillysblog this year was that our editor and proof reader -“twinkle toes Meek” moved to Germany. So unfortunately there is no one to fix all those typos and make those necessary amendments to all my posts before they are published (we miss you twinkle toes).

I would like to thank all my readers from all over the world who keep on coming back to read my posts and especially those who take the time to comment on them. Knowing that what I write helps some of you is what keeps me inspired to keep doing this. I luv you guys!!!

Now, to celebrate this 2 years with me – why not take a quick look through the Salsa section of my blog and see if there is anything interesting that you have missed during these past 2 years and post a comment on anything that tickles your fancy!

Till next Thursday, remember to Live – Laugh – Love & Salsa! Una Buya!!!!

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Salsa Class or Workshop, whats the difference?

If you have ever wondered what the difference is between a Salsa Class and workshop, this post is gonna explain it to you.

A Salsa class is regular event. It usually takes place on a set date and at a set time and during this time, students meet with their instructor for a lesson that follows a set pattern and routine.

A Salsa workshop on the other hand is irregular. It has a definite start and end date. It generally follows an intensive session that allows for large amounts of information to be given and doesn’t usually follow any normal class rules.
It also often allows you to to explore aspects of the dance that cannot usually be taught in a regular class and it is generally held on a Saturday and Sunday.

I hope this simple explanation clarifies it for you.

Now the Pic below is a link to one of my favorite couples Terry & Cecile doing a workshop. Terry is an absolute Beast on the dance floors and is without a doubt one of best social dancers out there. Definitely worth keeping an eye on. 😉

Cecile, Me & Terry doing the Juene after their workshop!

Now if you live in South Africa, you will be pleased to know I do workshops once a month in Cape Town and will be making appearances in Joburg and Durban sometime soon. Follow my events page on Facebook to stay updated. If you are in Europe, Ill see you at some Workshop at some congress sometime soon. 😉

Till next Thursday people –  Live, Laugh, Love,  & Salsa!

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Albert Torres is coming to Cape Town

Have you heard of Albert Torres? Well to put it simply – he is the No.1 Latin Events Promoter in the World.

Albert Torres (in the red bow tie) & Team SA 2011

Albert Torres has been promoting Latin Events for over 18 years and the LA Salsa Congress is one of (if not) the largest most successful salsa congress in the world. He created the LA Salsa congress in 1999 and in 2 short years had close to 3,000 people attend which was un-heard of at the time and this number has grown exponentially.

In the words of Eddie the Salsa Freak ‘Albert Torres lives, breathes, and thinks about Latin entertainment 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’ This is obvious from the success of the LA Salsa congress plus the close to 40 other Salsa congresses he promotes all over the world each and every year.

Now thanks to the All Out Salsa Team (a group of Latin Enthusiasts who promote Global Latin Dance and Music Events), this Salsa Legend will be down in Cape Town next week doing a History of Salsa Tour.

The History of Salsa Evening will take place from 7pm on Sunday the 14th of October 2012 at the new Buena Vista Social Café in Cape Town, South Africa.

A 3-course Cuban dinner will be served, during which Mr Albert Torres will conduct his world-famous History of Salsa Seminar, including a brief opportunity for attendees to ask Albert Torres questions about the global Salsa scene. Thereafter Cape Town’s most exciting DJ, DJ Nikos of Salsa Fuego, will entertain the event attendees for the remainder of the evening with some of the latest Salsa Dura, Reggaeton and Bachata.

So if you are in Cape Town next week, I expect to see you there.

Till next Thursday people,
Live – Laugh – Love – Salsa!

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What are the Interesting most Unexpected Places you have ever danced?

If you are a Salsa enthusiast, you have probably broken out into a basic, done a quick spin or even some shines in some pretty ‘interesting’ places. The most common being elevators, public restrooms, waiting in a que at the bank or even in a shopping centre.

Now for the real Salsa lover, you have definitely taken this a step further and actually done partner-work in way more interesting locations. I recently compiled a list of some of the much more memorable and interesting places I have danced and thought it might be interesting to share it with you:

Top 4 most Memorable ‘Interesting’ dances:

  • Bachata In the Indian Ocean
  • Kizomba In a pool (Croatia)
  • Salsa on the Beach (Croatia)
  • Salsa On Lions Head (a mountain in Cape Town – the view is amazing)

Chilly Alisar dancing Salsa

Other Interesting Places I have danced:

  • On top of a Bar (This was a scary one)
  • In a Cave
  • In a Park
  • On a basket ball court
  • On a Boat
  • On an Ocean liner
  • At traffic lights
  • On the street
  • On a train platform

Top 3 places where I wanna dance

  • On a plane
  • On a Party busy
  • On the train (missed the opportunity in Paris)

Now its your turn, tell me about some of the interesting / awkward places where you have danced or where you would like to!

Till next Thursday – you know the drill!

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The 70-20-10 Rule to being a 100% Awesome Salsera

I have been asked a couple of times by a number of women – ‘What do I need to do to become a really good Salsera?’ I therefore  decided to use today’s blog post to explain my ’70-20-10 rule’ to being a Phenomenal Salsera. These rules when followed correctly elevate a good dancer – to great and a great dancer – to Phenomenal.

Before I get into it, I would just like to point out 2 things –

  1. Before the rules – remember to have fun. This is first and foremost and without it, the rules are irrelevant.
  2. Salsa dancing is all about partnership. Now the key success to any enjoyable partnership is being ‘present‘. Therefore both parties need to be present and in the moment. That sense of presence will amplify the dance x 10 fold.

Now lets get down to the 70-20-10 Rule!

Salsera

The 70%: His lead tells most of the story.  70% of being a good Salsera boils down to simply following. No predictions or assumptions or completing the move before the time. Even if you are 100% certain as to what is coming next, you need to follow the mans lead and do what his lead asks you to do and only when he asks you to do it. You can never go wrong on this rule, it simply can’t fail!

The 20%: Pay attention to his body positioning and body language. In certain circumstances  (usually where the lead is ambiguous), you  have to look at his body positioning to help you complete the picture. E.g. Is he standing right in front of you or has he stepped out of the slot? Is his hand over your head or over his? Does his body language indicate to you that he wants you to move? These and other subtle ques will help fill in the picture that will make any dance look flawless.

The 10%: Have fun playing with the music. This last little bit takes a really cool dance and makes it Phenomenal! Ladies – The mans listens to the music and the Woman listens to the man. That being said, you still need to be totally aware of the music and whats going on & have fun with it, but this should not affect your ability to follow. (Watch any Magna Gopal video and you will see what I mean).

A Salsera who can follow, be present and play – is the most sought after anywhere in the World!

Now to see the 70-20-10 rule in effect, click here. This social dance is nothing hectic which is the main reason why I chose it. Any Salsera can follow the moves, rather its the total package that is just an absolute pleasure to watch & the partners are just so in-sync its simply….. Phenomenal. 😉

Till next week people, you know the drill!
Live – Laugh – Love – Salsa!

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My Ultimate Salsa Ambition

Chilly AlisarDid you know that my Salsa monicker  or nickname is ‘Alisar’, which is Spanish for ‘Smooth’? If you are wondering why,the answer is actually quite simple – My Ultimate Salsa ambition is to have one of the smoothest Salsa leads in the Entire World. 

Now – why settle for 1 of… and not just aim for the smoothest lead in the World? Because the answer to this question will always be subjective. The best lead for 1 Salsera may be the worst for another. If however, you are on the list of Top 10 smoothest leads in the World, this means you are without a doubt No.1 for a couple of thousand dancers out there which is not a bad place to be.

So what exactly is a Smooth Salsero? Well, Smooth = Calm & Clean! Not Rough. Free from unevenness. While  a SalseroIs a Man who views salsa as more than just a dance, but as a way of life. (Definition from  http://www.smoovesalsero.com)

I basically want to have the kind of lead that when I dance with a woman, we connect on such a level thet they have more than just a dance, they have an EXPERIENCE. My friend the Dancing Irish man defines this perfectly   – “The connection without resistance, The flow without force, The magic. She won’t be able to hide the smile on her face and she won’t want to. Her confidence will skyrocket, inexplicably knowing that whatever I do will just work… and work beautifully at that. Adrenaline will flow and hearts will race and when the music comes to an end there will be a feeling a euphoria which only comes from the near perfect orchestration of two individuals moving as one.

Is my goal ambitious? Most Def! In life though, you gotta shoot for the stars and even if you don’t make it, you will probably hit  the moon. I am pursuing this goal full steam ahead (It’s right there alongside the aim of 10,000 hours of social dancing!)  So ask me in a couple of years for an update on my ambitious Salsa journey to live up to the name of Alisar….

The_Smooth_Salsero     Smooth_Salsa_dancer    Alisar_SalseroSmooth_dancer   Bachatero_Salsero

   Smooth_chilly

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