Sunday, 19 September 2021

To Swap or not to Swap?

To Swap or not to Swap....

I’m writing this in September 2021, at a time where in many ways we’re post-covid. Clubs and bars and most importantly dance classes are open for business and people are working out a ‘new normal’.

Swapping partners is just one of many aspects of the current salsa scene that many, in our post pandemic world, consider ‘risky’. I could, just as easily, use mask wearing or hand sanitizing or simply going out to dance. For me, visualising partner swapping at a salsa event connects me to the messey real world problem of risk. So here’s a few of my thoughts that I hope are useful.

Culture:
Unlike many other dance scenes, partner swapping is part salsa culture. In my mind, salsa has retained an inherent core value of social interaction. I suggest that as a scene, it remains primarily social. This contrasts with many other dances whose origins are based upon performance, or dances that have developed through a culture of competition. In both groups there is a greater tendency to form a partnership to compete or perform. I accept that salsa has moved towards a demonstration/competition culture since the turn of the century, but it remains the fact that the vast majority of people who get into salsa do so to go out dancing and not to compete or perform.

Risk:
Covid presents significant risks at the moment. I'm sure everyone knows the potential outcomes of catching covid and I can pretty much guarantee that those who don't are not reading this blog post.

The risks are death, long covid, or a nasty couple of weeks feeling awful with added anxiety of not knowing if you have some underlying condition that makes you vulnerable to the first two. That last one is a real fear, or should be. I’m 56 and just before covid I discovered I only had one kidney. It's big and happy and not at all lonely as it has healthy relationships with my other internal organs. It strikes me that I’ve spent a fair amount of my adult life not knowing something as fundamental as missing an organ, although I’ve always had a thing for steak and kidney pie, so perhaps the clues were there!

With vaccination and new treatments the risk of hospitalization and death has been reduced greatly but covid is still around and it seems to like being here, which suggests that waiting for it to go away isn’t an option.

My Dilemma?
This Autumn I’ve restarted my Salsa Rapido 1-Day Intensive courses after a very long and unscheduled break. I’m faced with the choice of inviting people new to salsa to join my course. This presents an ethical challenge. In a nutshell, I don’t want to be the cause of someone's illness or death. At the same time I don’t want to be unemployed or bankrupt.

During August I ran two courses where they were restricted to couples only, socially distanced and no partner swapping was allowed. They worked well enough, but I’m not comfortable presenting salsa as a non-swapping dance. Apart from my need to reflect the salsa culture as I see it, I’m not prepared to exclude huge chunks of the salsa experience such as: Asking strangers to dance is exciting. Or the fun of dancing La Rueda.

There are also very practical teaching reasons to change partners. Perhaps the main effect is the sense of achievement I see when a beginner realises they’ve ‘got it’ because ‘it works’ with several people, and therefore it will work with anyone, and not just someone they know who’s probably compensating for their error in some way.


Two types of salsa dancers:
There are currently two types of salsa dancers: The ‘I’m OK with the Risk’ (Risk-OK) who are going out to classes and clubs and happy taking the risks or swapping partners etc, and the ‘I’m not OK with the Risk’ (Risk-Not-OK) group who are not going out to classes or clubs.

And yet....
At any moment, if you ask anyone from either group, their position appears fixed, polarised and entrenched. Justifications are used to back up their position such as facts and figures, theories and beliefs. I’m sure we’ve all had one of those ‘covid chats’ in the last eighteen months!
It’s a classic ‘them and us’ situation, and I’m certain whichever group you are in, you’ll have a strong view about the other side's position.

I would suggest a different picture where people are shifting from one group to another.
At times when a Risk-Not-OK perceives the risk to be lowering they reach a tipping point and join the Risk-OK group.
We can see this demonstrated in face mask wearing and I’d like to suggest that this is very similar to the decisions being made about going dancing and swapping partners etc.

Tescos
Recently I went to a large Tesco in North London. Welcome to my laboratory :)
My guesstimate of mask use within the store has gone from 98% during lockdown, to 75% just after restrictions were lifted in July and today (Sept 13th ‘21) they were around the 10% mark. Clearly many of the ‘mask wearing’ group have changed position to become a non-mask wearer. I saw someone fumbling with a mask outside the shop and they seemed to reach a subconscious tipping point, a “sod it” point, when they stuffed the mask back into their pocket and joined the non-mask wearing group. I mainly still wear one to shops to protect the vulnerable but my ‘sod it’ point is coming closer every day.

Wacko!
What interests me is that my ‘sod it’ point is not driven by any data. Why do I wear a mask in one shop and not another? I’m inconsistent. The covid case numbers haven't changed much day to day and my immune system hasn’t either. I’m less likely to wear a mask in a shoe shop than a clothing store. The idea that somehow shoe shops are safer is wacko! I can feel my brain searching for a justification but there isn’t one. My decision is not based on anything other than an emotional gut reaction, in other words my mood. That’s a thought to consider when you're next trading facts and figures in a covid chat!

Let’s all go moo

Try it, it feels good. Mooooooooooooo! A long slow out breath calming the vagus nerve and lowing our heart rate, blood pressure, noradrenaline and a whole load of sciency stuff that was known for millennia before the sciency stuff came about. It’s calming and lowers our stress and anxiety. I find wearing a cow onesie helps too, but some find that udderly stupid! Writing cow jokes is a no-bull pursuit!

If you have a good moooo before making a decision it is likely to be a better decision. Less anxiety etc. means less influence by the fight/flight response. This allows us to weigh the decisions intelligently..... Or do we?

We are all herd animals and our decision making is heavily influenced by the herd. Scroll through a few salsa links on Facebook and: Wow! What a party everyone’s having without us! How happy and safe they all look! If they’re ok, surely I’ll be fine? But what promoter show’s a balanced view, it’s simply not their job! Who posts the pictures of the salsa dancers sitting at home not going out? Who posts pictures of half empty dance floors etc. One or two have notably shared their covid videos after catching it at salsa events but social media is biased. If you don’t believe me, look at your own profile picture!

Back to my dance of dilemma:
My concern is for those making a decision to dance for the first time, or those rejoining after a long break or if they have a vulnerability. They have to make a risk decision based on poor information and mood! For some it’s easy. An overwhelming argument on one side or the other. For many it’s less so.

I’m certain that every teacher and promoter has weighed the pros and cons.Run through the regulations and come to a decision. I did this summer with my first Salsa Rapido 1-Day Intensive courses restricted to limited numbers, couples only and strictly no swapping partners. I tested myself the day before and waived transfer fees for postponement. I sent out texts the day before encouraging people not to come if they felt in any way ill.

I believe that was my best decision then, but now my position has changed.
It all comes down to the grey area of decision making. Those who don’t feel safe won’t come. Those who do will, but those in the middle might sign up and regret it. When they arrive they’ll feel uncomfortable and unsafe. If they leave the class they might feel they’ve in some way failed. They also might be someone with symptoms who’s keeping faith with their commitments by coming. The best solution for them is to never have booked in the first place or feel very able to postpone.

I now believe it’s better to remove nearly all restrictions so that the risk is clear to everyone. If one person in the room has covid we will all be exposed.
That way the Risk-Not-OK are less likely to book and those feeling a bit ‘peaky’ will postpone.
So far it’s worked well. In fact it’s fair to say that I feel more exposed on the tube to the venue with more people unmasked and close, than at the course.

Short Term:
In the short term the salsa dance scene may have shrunk dramatically but it's growing back and I believe it will return. If we hold on to the values at the heart of social dance: fun, friendship and respect, I'm certain it will grow and flourish.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Blend 21 the Reboot



Blend ‘21 the Reboot

A White Paper by Alastair Sadler

Back in 2017 I published a blog post about a new evening format I’d created called Blend. Blog Link

To put it simply it’s a blend of class and free-dance that offers a different approach to the typical UK class/club format that’s been dominant in the UK since the late 1980’s. I use this comparison, not as a challenge, but rather to highlight the difference and present an alternative format that I believe could offer many benefits to many forms of social dance.

I originally developed Blend for the Mambalsa Project. Mambalsa is a new partner dance that works to any 4:4 time music. Blend could work for any subject as it is a format rather than content / presentation which I would refer to as the teaching method e.g. Salsa Rapido method.




This October ‘21 I’m launching a new night in Central London’s Kings Cross that will be based on the Blend format.

Check out salsakingscross.co.uk for details.

 




 

What’s a Blend event like?

The evening starts with a short 40min  ‘Welcome Session’

This is aimed at absolute beginners and others new to the blend format.

Welcome, is a meet and greet combined with a core skills class aimed at a clearly defined entry level for the blend. It’s easy to skip over the meet and greet element but that’s where we disarm the fears, answer any niggles and welcome new people into our community.


The Blend

Imagine the typical classes and free dance chopped up into small chunks and rearranged so that in one chunk you’re learning and in the next you’re free-dancing or practising what we’ve just done or taking a well earned break.


A blend format venue would feel different from the get go:

Pre booked and prepaid only (A QR code at the door for any walk ins)

Pre published curriculums so participants can see their own progress

A greater emphasis on building a positive social space, friendly, supportive and confident. 

 

Chunks

Sections known as Chunks are typically 15mins long with a five minute buffer, therefore there are three chunks per hour and Welcome + 5/6 chunks per evening.


Because everyone will know that chunks are 15mins long. Creativity and expression can be workshopped taking the class content far beyond ‘the move’. 

Sessions might include:

  • Tactile mirroring

  • Footwork Patterns

  • The Event Microscope 

  • Classic Combo Show ‘n Tell

  • Musical Interpretation

  • Expression Express

  • Super Shape

  • Major Move

I’m not expecting the above names to mean anything, but the above list already appears more diverse and interesting than the typical format of: Footwork, move, more moves, Too many moves to remember!

This means atypical teaching methods (for salsa) can be employed with less resistance to change. For new dances like Mambalsa it can simply be the way Mambalsa is done!  


An example of this would be: Jigsaw breakout groups which can be set a challenge e.g. “Using tonight's Classic Combo as a staring point, add expression to show the core emotion of Anger within the mambo section.”  (b.t.w. If I ever sound like I'm setting an essay question in a class, shoot me!)

The above example would build the bonds within small groups as students work towards the goal of demonstrating to the wider class. 

Drama / Buzz 

A second advantage of the 15 min. chunks is that pace and drama can be added to the class simply by saying “I’ve only got 15 minutes for you to master xyz!” (Any relation to US cop shows of the 1970's is purely intensional! And yes I know it shows my age!!) Pace is an essential factor within a class. Too slow and students leave through boredom. Too fast and the class becomes too hard.

Preparation 

Preparation (not something salsa teachers are noted for!) is easy. Not only is it easier to create a chunk rather than a whole class, a chunk can be kept and reintroduced within a different lesson plan. The typical (to salsa) 'never ending sequence’ where instructors keep adding to a sequence of moves until the end of the class or the dancers head explodes, regardless of whether anyone can remember the beginning, would be avoided. In fairness to the never ending sequence it’s highly experiential and the fact that it’s difficult to remember forces the leader to develop their own sequence from the bits they can remember. (For the record, this is me being nice!)

Perhaps an unintended effect of greater preparation is that it would be easier to create and post online content online of the class. 

 

Music

When I trialled the Blend format in Camden, I noticed some significant differences in my beginners salsa group. First was the effect of constant music. The music as it was at a medium tempo and sometimes we needed to go slower but the majority of the time the group danced to music. Their connection to the music in terms of timing and interpretation were significantly improved. It also seemed as if a barrier was removed, that prevented them from free-dancing. Free-dancing had become part of the class. I think it's fair to say that typically beginners bolt after their class. This often empties the room making the evening less successful. The beginners were also interacting with the intermediate group far more than usual. A chat at the bar and a quick dance before the next chunk started gave everyone a thrill.

 

Not on a school night! 

No one has to wait until the classes are over for the ‘social’ side of the evening to begin, it’s social throughout with space to dance and chat and relax. 

Often career minded people want to get home at a reasonable time because they have to be fresh the following morning. They want a fun class but they want some free dance as well before it’s time to catch the train home. This group is increasing year on year as are the amount of younger people who drink less. 

 

It's not a church hall!

Venues aren't expected to be well lit church halls during the classes. From the bar/club’s perspective it's often two hours of no bar trade and no atmosphere, often with no music and the lights up, which alienates non dancers). Venues absolutely hate this, almost as much as they hate a class load of people all trying to get served at the bar straight after the class! Here lies a massive opportunity for Blend to offer constant (but no loud) music with an exciting buzzy atmosphere that entertains the non dancers as much as the participants. In short venues with a quiet night and no separate function room can be sold on Blend!

It's different

It's different, and therefore confusing and possibly uncomfortable to anyone expecting something different. There's a lot of security in an evening's format. All I can say is try it, and let chat about what's different afterwards. 

Progress comes for listening as much as leadership. 

This unfamiliarity throws the pressure onto the Welcome Session where things are explained, people are made to feel comfortable and an alliance is formed between the group and the teacher to help each other to stay on track. I believe this alliance is the antidote to the cliques and snobbery that damage feelings and make people not return.

Blend arguably requires more discipline than traditional classes. People aren't the best time keepers so the teachers have to set the boundaries and stick to them. The old fashioned word for this is professionalism.

Shift:

Notice the shift away from absolute beginners towards improver and intermediate levels who receive the majority of the content within the evening. This is significant as it recognises a trend in salsa away from absolute beginners towards a group that have some experience, possibly one or two classes or  those who have learnt some related content e.g. salsa footwork within Zumba. There is also a significant trend towards beginners having studied online prior to their first offline class. Post covid, I can only see this trend increasing. The time is coming where there is no such thing as a beginners class. The message will become 'Don't come unless you can do this much first.' Hopefully it will combined with 'And here's a video to get you there'. We're not there yet, but soon. First will see the demise of the 'Absolute Beginners Class'. Along with its passing will be the passing of huge amounts of unintended humiliation and embarrassment.

Conclusion: 

Blend is new, exciting and potentially highly beneficial to the dance teaching industry. It could open up new venue opportunities and offer choice to dancers. 

This paper is unfinished! Perhaps it always will be as every time I revisit it there's some new aspect to Blend to write about. I look forward to the time when there's a group of us developing this. Perhaps it would span across many genres of dance and many locations. If this idea excites you, please get in touch.

enjoy :)

Friday, 13 March 2020

Coronavirus


Re Coronavirus (as of 13/03/2020)



Last night the government indicated that their response to the coronavirus pandemic had changed from ‘Containment’ to the ‘Delay’ phase.
I thought I’d update my position regarding the Salsa Rapido Intensive Salsa Courses.

Salsa is a self selecting group of healthy and energetic people. There is nothing about partner dancing that puts us at greater risk than any other social activity. Like other activities, we do all need to take one or two simple precautions in the light of coronavirus.

We all have to balance our personal needs with those of society and I imagine no two positions are identical. Here are mine, and I promise to respect those whose views differ:

All courses will go ahead as planned unless I am prevented from running a course by:
  • Government restrictions, which I will follow completely and any imposed by the venue.
  • My personal ill health. I promise to self isolate immediately.
  • Lack of demand.
At the course:
Please take every opportunity to wash your hands thoroughly upon arrival and during the day. I do :-)
I cannot guarantee hand sanitiser will be available, please bring your own if you wish.
Please understand that the balanced numbers will not be guaranteed, but I assume the bug affects men and women equally. I can guarantee you’ll have fun and learn loads.
Wearing face masks will not be allowed whilst dancing.
Couples may not stay together all day as per my usual T&C.

Before the course:Should you feel unwell due to Coronavirus symptoms in the days before the course please contact me and confirm you are self isolating. I will transfer you onto a holding list, where you can rebook at a later time. No transfer fee will be charged. All other reasons for transfer will be dealt with as usual.

My experience tells me that it’s highly unlikely that you will wake up on the morning of the course feeling unwell, so I ask you NOT to leave it until then. Ask yourself if you’re 100% well and decide. Everyone's health depends on people making honest decisions to self isolate sooner. Saying “I’m not sure if I'll be able to....” does not help anyone. You’re either coming or not!

In the event of a course being cancelled by me, I will offer the choice of holding your booking or a full refund. I will make every effort to contact you by text and email, please help by confirming you’ve received cancellation messages promptly.

As per the usual Terms and conditions: ‘No shows’ i.e. those who do not attend without prior notice will not be transferred or refunded.

I hope these precautions are reasonable and proportionate and I look forward to seeing you on the dance floor.

Regards
Alastair 07939012231

Monday, 24 February 2020

Troll!


A few days ago a nasty little creep under the handle ‘kemronirons’ commented on a Youtube Clip I’d posted of people dancing to live music in Camden.


‘Kemronirons’ posted:

“Can't imagine paying for a salsa class and ended up dancing with an 80yo lady who can't move. Obviously, nothing against the lady as we will all get old but from the man's perspective this will really slow him down in learning”


Here’s my reply that I haven't posted yet because I want to know what anyone thinks first.
You’ll understand why I haven't linked to the clip.

My reply:
Kemronirons your comment is offensive and although I doubt you’ll understand my comments I'll try to explain:

It’s obvious this isn’t a clip of a class but freestyle dancing to live music.

Saying “nothing against the lady” does not allow you to be offensive to that lady.
Imagine if that lady was showing some friends that clip and saw your comment? How upset would she feel?

You seem comfortable publicly shaming an older lady who I assume you've never met simply because of her age.

Who gave you the right to judge what is an acceptable age to dance? No one forces you to dance with anyone you don’t want to, so why comment on others choices? Is attacking others the only way you can be heard?

It's easy being offensive when you haven't signed into YouTube with a real name ‘kemronirons’!  Standing behind your comments is something real men do, try it.

I doubt you would have commented on an older man. Do you only attack women?

At least she’s out there in the real world, living, laughing and enjoying a social life where as you have nothing better to do than troll other people’s lives.

Shame on you ‘kemronirons’!

End

Let me know what you think?

Monday, 11 November 2019

The Best Bachata Ever!

Last Saturday Fliss and I went dancing.
That in it self shouldn't be a surprise for a couple involved in salsa since 1992 (please don't make the calculation!) 
Perhaps it would be more typical of a couple of fifty somethings to be sitting at home watching 'Strictly Come Dancing' but last Saturday was different.
Having spent all day teaching at my Salsa  Rapido 1-Day Intensive Course at Bar Salsa I was totally spent, but this time, my reason to dance outweighed my fatigue. In fact in my mind there were two reasons:
First,  we had been invited by a wonderful woman to dance at a Celebration of Life, or as she put it, a Tumor Shrinking Party.

Last summer I had danced in a North London park with a lady (I'll spare her blushes by naming her) who, as we danced, reminded  me that I was her first salsa teacher. This alway touches me deeply. I specialize in beginners and Improvers classes and  seldom get recognition from those who, in spite of me, stay within salsa. They've moved on to higher levels with the latest movers and shakers and I fade into their history as is quite right and proper as any dancer's achievement is theirs alone to take pride in and share. 
On the occation I'm credited, I feel the warmth of pride, the respect for their effort and I usually brush off their compliment with a comment about not giving refunds!
This dance was different as the lady (a perfect description of her) said casually, that she had just six months to live.

The extra line I give is not sufficient to convey the shock of hearing those words. 

Cut to a few weeks ago when the said lady messaged me to invite Fliss and I to a 'Tumor Shrinking Party'  My response was hell yes!
I've still no idea what that means other than to celebrate the moment and every extra moment of life it implies.

As part of our online chat, she informed me that Cheryl, one of my first students back in April 1995, had just passed away. 
This too was a blow.
Cheryl was a natural dancer and as many readers will know, I never subscribe to the 'nature over nurture' debate (it's not in the blood!) and the internal racism it often  expresses. (Google 'internal racism' before you throw any toys out of your pram)

Cheryl didn't just dance, she flowed across the dance floor like an elegant isotope of mercury. Her smile was so warm that when she entered the room I knew it was going to be a good night.
When we danced it was if we had been practicing constantly for years,  intuatively connecting in a way, years later, I would term 'rapport'.
I'm not a close friend and I had no awareness of her illness until very recently but I feel her loss. 
Last Saturday was a celebration of life, which Cheryl's loss made so poignant. It honored my friend, who's tumors have shrunk, and if I'm honest my life: the friends I've made and lost, the people I've taught,  the Latin music I love and the sheer 'J'oi de vive' of dancing in my middle age as I did in my youth.

So what message would I pass down the line?
Dance as if there's no tomorrow and no yesterday, dance for the next heart beat and celebrate the last.
My only regrets are the dances I didn't have, and the people I didn't get to know. 

Reality check: She (my friend) was busy making sure everyone ate. I was concerned I would be too tired for my i2i course the following day. We got to dance one dance: a bachata! She hates bachata as do I but we danced, and chatted, and celabrated life.
The best bachata ever!

Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Yesterday I received an email from TripAdvisor informing me that I had been awarded a Certificate of Excellence. I had no idea that there was such a thing but now I've got one I'm a big fan. It's the chance to thanks to everyone who's taken the time and trouble to say some kind words about my Salsa Rapido 1-Day Intensive course.  
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g186338-d12515614-Reviews-Salsa_Rapido_1_Day_Intensive_Salsa_Course-London_England.html
Click to see tripadviser reviews

When I embedded TripAdvisor into my site I was hoping for praise but open to the possibility of harsh and unfair criticism, and in fairness I've received a one star review from someone who wasn't on the course and a two star review from someone who enjoyed the class but didn't enjoy the fajitas at lunch! May I just add that fajitas are not compulsory and anyone can eat wherever they wish. Lunch isn't part of the deal so bring a packet of crisps in if you wish but don't blame my course if they didn't have your favourite flavour! (I'm so over it now) .... Anyway, I overcame my fears and gave it a go, realising that feedback is good and TripAdivsor offers a third party review that's useful for the pubic when booking. 

Many months later and I've received mainly five star reviews. 
This tells me that: 
  • My presentation is engaging and entertaining. 
  • People are way nicer than I deserve. 
  • Salsa Rapido is a well formed and mature method that can do well when compared to traditional classes. 
  • I'm really good at asking for five star reviews.
On the last point my hobby of stand up comedy led to five shows at the Edinburgh Fringe where at the end of a show we would have a 'bucket speech' to encourage the audience to give a tip (The comedians only source of income) Infamously cliched lines like: "Take some change, fold it and put it in the bucket" are common. One time I got a waif-like act to kneel down holding the bucket while looking as mournful as a Dickensian child. Another time a showed the audience picture of my cats on my phone and asked "which one should I 'economise' first?" Well it works for charities! The result were seldom any different from no bucket speech. It was the show's content that counted. 
You'd never catch me plugging my Intensive course at a comedy gig!


I'm fairly cynical about reviews but third party reviews they are useful  in a world awash with
hyperbole. Another thing that has helped me throughout my career is open honest feedback. I've learnt the tough lesson that criticism stings like a needle but delivers a powerful medicine. I invite anyone who's attended my Salsa Rapido courses or party events to feedback in person or by email. They always get my full attention and steer my development.
Thanks in advance :-)

*****

Monday, 10 June 2019

The launch of Salsa Clasica N8



The launch of Salsa Clasica N8

It’s the morning after the launch of Salsa Clasica.I’m guessing that it’s around the fifty fifth venue I promoted salsa at since 1995 and for Fliss, A.K.A. Dj Felicidad, it was back to our roots. Not long after we started teaching salsa we started a monthly Friday night at the Old Bull Arts centre in High Barnet.

Our aim was simple: To create a friendly local monthly event where local salseros of any level and any style could come and dance and socialise.

I haven't launched a new night in the suburbs for years and to be fair, I was a little nervous.

There was only ever going to be three outcomes: No people, loads of people and somewhere in between. Last night we had enough people to establish the event and create a friendly atmosphere. We had people from several local venues and from our old venues no longer operating i.e The Cuban, Camden and the King Head Crouch End.




My sincere thanks to everyone who supported us and those who send their best wishes for the event.

It was like a house party in a mansion’s funky ball room. Oak panels with Punch and Judy serving hatch and trapease mannequins looking as if their about to jump down and dance with us. I was happy not to charge an admission and delighted that everyone danced with everyone, chatted and enjoyed themselves. For anyone who’s been on our Thames Salsa Cruise (July 28th) is was like that but with a stable dance floor and no queuing!

Fliss played classic salsa which transported me back to the early days of Salsa Fusion in Leicester Square. It was also fun to merge a micro salsa class (10mins) with a Gestalt exercise designed to break barriers and place ‘connection’ at the heart of social dance. Fitting as I found the venue by drinking there after my psychotherapy course across the road.

I was also pleasantly surprised with my energy levels. I’d taught my 1-Day Intensive for five hours on Saturday and the Salsa Rapido i2i Musical Interpretation for four hour on Sunday. Usually that would mean an evening of blobbing on the sofa. After a quick turn around we headed in for a delicious meal at the The Three Compasses. I had the nut roast which was superb and Fliss had a gourmet Cheese burger. Then it was plug in, set up and dance pretty much non stop until about 9.30pm. Thanks be to the air-conditioning and kind wooden floor!

My mission was simple, dance with everyone I could. I also wanted to meet and speak with everyone who came and I’m pleased to say I achieved that too. I believe the atmosphere in any event, big or small, comes from the promoter’s leadership and the way to avoid cliques and sleaze is to chat to everyone.

We now move to the first Sunday of the month so the next Salsa Clasica is Sunday 7th June.
7-11pm See you there :-)
The Three Compasses , 62 High St, Hornsey, London N8 7NX