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Salsa Fiesta 2013 brings challenge for guests
Salsa enthusiasts will be put to a challenge at this year’s Salsa Fiesta TnT happening at the Cascadia Hotel, Port-of-Spain from May 31 to June 2. This is the salsa congress’ fifth anniversary and to mark the occasion, in addition to hosting international instructors, participants can take part in the Survivor Challenge and the National Open Salsa Competition.
According to Martin Jim, a local dance instructor and member of the Salsa TnT organising committee, in the Survivor Challenge participants will be taught a dance routine at the beginning of the weekend from which the best performers will be chosen to dance with international guests such as Tito Ortos, Tamara Livolsi and Dorottya Ujszazi. This is the first year for the challenge and also the first year for the competition. The winner of the National Open Salsa Competition will represent T&T at the World Salsa Summit 2013.
In a telephone interview, Jim said the event has grown over the past five years from 72 to 140 participants and the audience has doubled from 200 to 400 guests. He attributed this growth in popularity to the uniqueness of the event, which includes 40 workshops, Latin dance parties and dance showcases. Participants and audiences also appreciate the quality of both international and local dancers included in the congress.
Past international guests include Susana Montero of the UK Latin Dance Academy and Marchant Birch and Davina Birch of the UK Alchemy Dance Company. This year local participants can also look forward to networking with regional dancers from Barbados, Jamaica and St Vincent.
Jim is particularly happy about this year’s competition. “I’m hoping that the exposure to the international level of dance that the winners will get at the World Summit will help us (in T&T) understand where our game is and how much we need to improve it—and that will inspire us to do better,” he said.
Jim has been a dancer and instructor for more than 20 years. He said Latin dance became popular in T&T in the 1980s through establishments like The Attic (formerly in Maraval).
Jim said he believes the Latin dance community is now near 2,500 people including dancers, instructors, and spectators. There are many smaller events throughout the year, he said.
He added that many people, like him, are drawn to Latin dance because of the music. “The music is simply so amazing. It’s full of different rhythms and very sensual. It’s a mixture of jazz, percussion Afro-Cuban music and the songs really call to you. I cannot not move my feet when I hear salsa,” he said.
• For more information about Salsa Fiesta TnT, a schedule of events and prices for classes, you can visit their Web site: www.salsafiestatnt.com. You can also contact Jim via phone: 471-5898 or e-mail: [email protected].com
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