People come to dance for all kinds of reasons! Some are looking for a break from the stress of day to day life, some want to know what to do to look good on the dance floor, some people jump at the chance to meet new people. Nicole shares her first peak into the Salsa world
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.
Dance class is a wonderful environment to learn not only the in's and out's of the Salsa world, but its a great spot to brush up on etiquette! Since Salsa dancing is a true contact sport, it is helpful to be mindful of the little things that help to make for an enjoyable time for all.
Please be on time, and stay for the duration of the class. It is disrespectful & disruptive to the instructor and fellow students when students are coming in and out of class. Early is on time, On time is late, and late is unacceptable.
Please be mindful of your body odour (wear deodorant & reapply if necessary), avoid excessive amount of cologne/perfume, and shower regularly. We suggest you keep makeup to a minimum as well, since sweating can cause it to run and sting your eyes. We offer spray deodorant, and mints please use them, and if need be, bring a towel :).
Please remember that there is often lots happening in a dance class, exchanges with your partner are encouraged and are is helpful wen learning. Please keep them at a low volume (no one should hear you over the music), and refrain from talking when the instructor is explaining.
Please keep in mind you will be moving and you will be dancing with a partner, attire must be respectful, and appropriate for dance class. We ask that you keep jewelry (earrings, rings, watches, necklaces etc) to a minimum to avoid any unnecessary injuries. If you wouldn't wear it to the grocery store chances are you shouldn't be wearing it to class.
Students who come to class visibly under the influence of drugs or alcohol will be asked to leave. It creates a distracting environment for fellow students and takes away from their learning experience.
Everyone has challenging days but dance class is the one place where students can put down the stress of daily life. Come into class with an open mind, positivity, and an encouraging attitude! This will not only make it a more enjoyable experience and help you to learn faster, but make it a better environment for all your partners and fellow students!
7. Safe Space
We understand that learning to dance can be a vulnerable thing. It's brand-new, most people feel like they have 2 left feet, and everyone makes lots of mistakes when they first learning (just like anything new). It is imperative that all students feel welcome, regardless of age, gender, race, orientation, and/or everything in between! Please keep an eye out on your fellow students and if, or anyone you feel is having a bit of a hard time with partner dancing dynamic please let the instructor know!