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All posts in February, 2009

The UPenn Salsa Club will have their next salsa dance event Friday, March 13, 2009 at Take the Lead Dance Studio.

Cover charge is only $5

Beginner lesson from 9PM to 9:30PM
Dancing from 9:30PM to midnight.

Take The Lead Dance Studio – University City
4701 Pine Street (Corner of 47th & Pine)
Philadelphia, PA 19143

Future dances will be the 2nd and 4th Fridays of the month.

Everyone is welcome! This is open to the general public. You DO NOT have to be a Penn student to attend.

Atrium Dance Studio 8th Anniversary Latin PartyThe Atrium Dance Studio celebrated their 8th Anniversary this Saturday, February 21, 2009 at their weekend Latin Party.  Droves of people came out to go salsa dancing and watch the student performances. The studio, while normally spacious, found itself packed with salseros!

Each year, since 2004, Barbara Capaldi’s students perform a showcase to show everyone what they have been learning all year round. Students can learn Tap, Ballroom dances, Flamenco, Belly Dance and more at the Atrium Dance Studio. Yoga instruction is also provided for FREE as a service to her dancers on Wednesdays and can also be taken by non-dancers for a very small fee.

Saturday, students and instructors performed Belly Dance, Hip Hop, Argentine Tango, and of course, Salsa.

Watch some of the student performances below.

Intermediate Salsa Student Performance Group

Performed by Martha and Juno, Myra and Ben, Alexandra and Jack

Advanced Salsa Student Performance Group

Performed by Ben and “Shimmy”, Rob and Michelle

For more performance videos, visit our Salsa Performance Groups webpage at Salsa Dancing Addict.

Event: La Epoca “the palladium era” Film and after party!
       “Before salsa there was mambo!”
What: Benefit
Host: Mambodelphia
Start Time: Saturday, March 14 at 6:00pm
End Time: Sunday, March 15 at 12:00am
Where: Drexel University Main Building/Cutis Rm 340

Come to Drexel University, located at 3141 Chestnut St in Philadelphia, PA – to watch “La Epoca – The Palladium Era” in an educational/university setting. The film starts at 6pm SHARP in Main Building Room Curits-340 and will immediately be followed by an open-forum Producers’ Q&A for students and guests to discuss openly reactions to the film and ask the producers questions about the film’s production and logistics. An after-party will be held in the front lobby immediately follwing, from 8pm-12am. Admission to this event is only $10 for both the film’s screening and the after-party.

Mambo (On2) is sweeping the nation and more and more studios are offering Mambo classes.  Don’t be left behind watching at the sidelines! You can take beginner mambo lessons with George Dennis!Westville Square Ballroom Side Entrance

Lessons are Thursdays starting March 5, 2009 from 8:00pm – 9:15pm at Xavier Hall in Westville Square.
201 Broadway, Westville, NJ 

Look for the clock in front.  Parking in rear.

The entrance to the studio is on the left side of the building as you look at the sign “Westville Square”.

Learn the basics in timing, shines, lead and follow and adding style to your moves.

A friendly class environment will make it fun and easy for you to learn.
For more info call George Dennis 609-330-6804

Come this Thursday, February 12. 2009
Class begins at 8PM

201 D Broadway 2nd Floor, Westville NJ, 08093

I found that salsa dancing is a language of its own. Just like you have English as your first language, you can have salsa dancing as your “first dance” language.   

My first official dance lesson was salsa, and after years of classes I became a seasoned dancer.  Any new dance that I learn is translated into salsa or another similar Latin dance – from ballroom to country line dancing.  Country what?

Yes. Its true. Last Friday I went to Prospectors in Mt. Laurel, NJ to try something new – Country Line Dancing. I don’t like country music, but the dance just intrigued me.  It was the thrill and the challenge of learning something new that drew me there.  I met up with my friend Emily Proulx and her mom.  They were both extremely helpful in getting me through the steps and patterns.

I felt like I was a salsa baby all over again. I swallowed my fears and stepped out onto the country line dance floor for the first time.  If you’ve never been to one, imagine something like an oval track with an infield.   There were dancers in the middle doing their line dance and around them on the “track” or line of dance, there were people doing partner work.     Its funny how they have a Spanish name for a country line dance pattern!   We started with something called the “El Paso”. 

The “El Paso”  incorporated moves from a cha-cha and salsa.  The guy and gal start off side by side in almost a “shadow” position with the guy slightly to the left behind the gal holding the girl’s left hand with his left hand and the right hand with his right hand at shoulder height.  There were 4 cha-cha’s forward starting on the right foot, a forward break with the right foot, a foward break with the left foot. Then a half turn to the right, another cha-cha, a quarter turn to the left to let the girl do a little sway from left to right and then another quarter turn to the left to start all over again.   It was line dancing with a partner!

There were other patterns I learned like the “Shadow” and some with a silly name like the “Push toosh”  But most of the patterns primarily used cha-cha steps, grapevines, potiborays, kick-ball-change steps, and some heel and toe taps.  It was challenging to remember the patterns just by watching everyone’s feet, but Emily and her mom called out the steps and my brain and body started to get it!   

I think I had a hard time trying to figure out the steps on my own because most of my dance life I’ve learned by watching AND hearing the instructor call out the moves. My brain hasn’t had the practice of figuring out the steps without the hearing the name of the step.    

Even though I was not that great, I still had a blast!  I may even go try it again next week!

Estilo Dance Studio Spring Student Performance Flyer 2009Come join Estilo Dance Studio for their Spring Student Performance Saturday, March 21, 2009 at TD University. This is one of the events I look forward to every year!

There will be two shows – an afternoon performance and an evening performance.

For the afternoon performance, the doors will open at 12pm and the show will start at 1pm.  Tickets are $5 advanced, $7 at the door for kids 12 and under.  $10 advanced, $15 at the door for adults.  Advanced tickets are available at Estilo Dance Studio.

For the evening performance, the doors will open at 8:30 pm.  There will be a free salsa lesson at 9pm.  The show starts at 10:15pm and social dancing till 2am. Tickets are $7 advanced, $10 at the door for kids 12 and under.  $15 advanced, $20 at the door for adults.   Advanced tickets are available at Estilo Dance Studio.

TD University
4140 Church Road
Mt. Laurel, NJ 08054

There is plenty of Free parking available.  There is absolutely NO alchohol permitted at TD University.

See you there!

The next big Salsambo event at Westville will be April 3, 2009. 

Xavier Hall
201 D Broadway 2nd floor, Westville, NJ 08093

Fuzion Creativa will have Latin Dance Scene onsite to celebrate their 3rd year anniversary.

There will also be a Jack  & Jill contest with a $400 first prize!
Party starts at 8:00 pm and ends 2:00 am, but sometimes goes on and on.

Cover is $11 advanced and $14 at the door.
Call 267-259-5872 or 609-330-6804 .

Fuzion Flyer April

Former baseball player wants to bring the salsa scene to Queens

New York, NY, January 18, 2009 – Rodrigo Bellony, 50, a former baseball player with the Yankees Farm System, recently openedrodrigo-bellony-a a Latin and Afro-Cuban dance studio in Queens. At the studio, which held its first day of classes on January 6th, Bellony and instructors Janice Sinkler-Daste and Ilse Mohamed teach salsa, merengue, cha cha cha, bachata and Afro-Cuban dances. Bellony’s goal is to establish a vibrant Latin dance community in the Greater Jamaica, Queens area. Bellony explains, “I do this not only because I love salsa, but because there is a need in this community to have more resources, especially because the Hispanic population in this area is growing. This dance is not only for Hispanics though. It’s for everybody.”

While growing up in the Dominican Republic, Bellony took easily to activities like baseball and dancing. From 1976-1978, he was an infielder for the Yankees Farm System but left after injuring his shoulder.  After leaving the Yankees, he played baseball in the Dominican Republic. Throughout this time, Bellony continued dancing and eventually decided to take his love of dance to another level. In 1990, having returned to New York, he began teaching dance classes and is credited with starting a few after-school salsa programs around New York City. With Mohamed, he also produced a series of dance socials which they named “Salsa in Jamaica.”

Bellony has found many ways to express his love of baseball, dance and community. He coaches a little league baseball team in Laurelton, where he encourages young boys, aged 10 to 13 years, to learn the fundamentals of the game. He also teaches the little leaguers the basics of salsa, merengue and bachata. Bellony, Sinkler-Daste and Mohamed also dedicate some of their time to charitable causes such as performing for the Boy’s Club of New York, Carlito’s Wish Foundation and the National World Aids Society. Mohamed feels that learning salsa builds a sense of camaraderie because, “Salsa has no race, no color. It’s a dance that just makes everyone feel good.” Sinkler-Daste, a native of New Orleans, agrees, “When I hear that music, I just don’t know how anyone can sit still.”

At Rodrigo Dance Studio, lessons are $10 per hour. There is also a Recession Package of 10 one hour lessons for $75. Private lessons are $25 per hour and private couples’ lessons are $40 per hour. The studio is open Monday through Friday from 6PM-9PM and Saturday and Sunday from 10AM-6PM. For more information, please visit www.RodrigoDanceStudio.com or call (646) 209-3173.

About Rodrigo Dance Studio:rodrigo-bellony-b

Rodrigo Bellony opened Rodrigo Dance Studio in December 2008, with the mission of adding to the rich cultural heritage of Greater Jamaica by providing low cost Latin and Afro-Cuban dance classes and dance socials.


Rodrigo Bellony
(646) 209-3173
133-15 223 Street
Laurelton, New York 11413



About a week ago, I read the blog article  “Pics: Salsa Night sizzles at Coastline” by Will Shamlin of the Courier Post.  It made me think back to about  4 or 5 months ago when curiousity got the hold of me and I went to check out the Coastline with Emily Cheng.  There were only about 20 to 30 people taking the lesson and the floor was so sticky that it felt like my knee was going to pop out.  So I left almost as soon as I got there… Ok.. I really left after 1 dance after the lesson.

Fast forward to a week ago, I took George’s salsa class at Xavier Hall in Westville, NJ and spoke to Dan, one of the salsa dancers.  He mentioned that there were a whole lot more people going to the Coastline and the floor was no longer sticky. He insisted that I  check it out again because I’d have a really good time there.

Tonight, I recalled the good recommendations, so I got off my lazy butt and went to the Coastline to see what the buzz was about.

I’m habitually on time all the time (a curse, I know), so I rolled into the parking lot around 8:02 pm.   I was surprised by how many cars were already in the parking lot!

I stepped though the entrance to the bar area and found the bar to be filled with at least 30 people, and the tables around the dance floor were already filled – I could not find a seat.   I walked around spotted my friend Emily (another Emily from Ballroom class) and was invited to sit at her table.  Emily is a new salsa baby with many years of tap dancing under her belt, so I was glad that she was able to come out and practice what she’s learned and fine tune her dance skills.

About 5 minutes after I arrived, Barbara Capaldi started the free salsa lesson the help of music by DJ Rumbero.  The dance floor quickly filled up with about 40  salseros with many more watching in the wings.  The lesson started with a slow basic step for all the beginners.  A few were having trouble, so Barbara took the time to go around the dance floor and literally hold the hand of the salsero and salsaera having trouble. Next she showed the side steps, back breaks, half turns and spot turns because all these moves would be used in the pattern she would teach in this lesson.

For those of you who were there, you may remember the pattern. If not, I will review it for you!

The pattern went like this.
1.  Basic Step
2. Spot turn the girl.
3. Basic Step
4. Spot turn the girl.
5. Switch to handshake hold, with the right hand over your left. (yes, for both the men and women)
6. Spot turn the girl with your two hands. (your hands are now in handshake hold with the left  hand over right hand)
7. Back break into a cuddle to the right
8. Back break into a cuddle to the left
9. Back break into an enchufla (the guy lifts his right hand and brings it over in front so that his right hand is crossed over the left).
10. The guy puts his right hand and girl’s right hand on his left shoulder as he crosses his right foot behind his left foot and turns half way to the right.  As he turns to the right, he puts his left palm up and brings it over his head to his right shoulder.  Now his hands are crossed with his right hand on his left shoulder and his right hand on his right shoulder.
11. As the guy side steps to the left, he brings his left hand back over his head and places it on his left waist.
12. As the guy side steps to the right, he brings his right hand back over  his head and places it on his right waist.
13. The guy steps forward on his left foot for his basic while the girl steps backward on her right foot for her basic. This creates a tension.
14. As this happens, the guy places the girls left hand on top of her right hand and he turns half way to the right to face her. (remember the guy is still hold the girls right hand)
15. The guy spot turns the girl with his right hand and goes back into a basic step.

I overheard one of the ladies say that the guys in the lesson were pretty good tonight. Good job guys!

As the lesson ended, the social salsa dancing began!  Many of the people who took the lesson stayed and I asked a few to dance.  But some of the people had left right after the lesson only to be replaced by more  new people coming in to dance! This was fanstastic.

I was feeling a little weak because I had not eaten much before going to Coastline.  I was pleasantly surprised that they had a FREE buffet!  They had salad, pasta salad,  some pasta, and a tray of hot meatballs.  Just the thing to get my energy back up!

I danced a few songs and stayed till about 10:15 pm.  Even as I left, more salseros were pouring into the place.   It really was a hot place to be that night if you were in Cherry Hill that Sunday.

The music was mainly salsa from 9 pm to 10 pm and then 15 minutes of merengue.  Most of the dancers were beginners and some were the familiar intermediate and intermediate/advanced dancers from the area.  Overall, I enjoyed myself there and had a good time.

If you live in the area, or want to try something new on Sundays, try the Coastline in Cherry Hill, NJ.
While cover is free be sure to support them and buy a drink or two.

Fuzion Creativa has their next Salsambo event March 6, 2009 at The Sweatshop Studio.

Free On1 and On2 lessons at 8:30pm
Tickets are $8 in advance  and $11 at the door.

There will be dance performances at this event!

The Sweatshop Studio
510 N. Kings Hwy,
Cherry Hill, NJ 08034

Its located next to the bank called “The Bank”.  The entrance is a little hard to spot, but they usually set out flashing lights in the front.

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