ARTICLE FROM URBANICITY’s MARCH 2018 ISSUE
Transcending borders and uniting diverse cultures
Salsa in Hamilton has been a growing underground community since the 1980’s, where people from all over the city meet up and bond through their love of Latin music. Thanks to the recent spike in weekly events and studios, this infectious style of dance is slowly taking the city by storm.
With its fast steps, spins, and body movement, salsa is a welcomed substitute for the treadmill or the gym. It is a low impact way to support bone and joint health while improving circulation throughout the body. It also increases coordination, flexibility, and balance, not to mention the added benefit of weight loss; burning over 400 calories in a single hour! Like yoga, salsa requires you to be fully present. You need focus to maintain a connection with your partner throughout combinations and tricks on the dance floor. This discipline is immensely beneficial to reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and promotes self-confidence.
It is found that because of the necessity of a partner, salsa can open up ways for people to create conversations, and overcome shyness. It is not uncommon for dancers to share stories of finding jobs, lifelong friendships, relationships, or an extended family in the dance community.
Alegria Dance Company hosts Mambo Monday on the second and fourth Monday of each month at L’Etranger on James. Dancers and non-dancers are welcome to join together for a night of Salsa, to celebrate their Monday survival. Starting with a one-hour beginner lesson at 8:00 PM, then dancing from 9:00 PM on. Salsa Soul Sundays run every third Sunday of the month at The Spice Factory in Hamilton. There is always a beginner lesson led by a local dance teacher. No experience or partner is needed, and all are welcome to join. It’s just $10 and that includes the lesson and the dance social that follows.
Salsa on the Waterfront runs on alternating Tuesdays in the summer in July and August. The kick-off date will be Tuesday, July 3rd. This is a free event that includes a beginner lesson and a dance social on the rink. As always, all are welcome (no partner or experience needed).
It’s thrilling that Salsa is able to transcend borders and unite diverse cultures all over the world. It’s even more exciting, to see the unity in our city and in our, now, not so secret Hamilton salsa community.