Monday, June 3, 2013

Year In Review: The Forever Dancing Salsa Formation Team

This year's Spring Showcase marked the Salsa Formation Team's completion of its first year of classes and performances. In just one year of weekly classes, students have performed four different choreographies at six events. These performances included three Forever Dancing showcases plus an Open House, the 2012 DC Dance Challenge (where the team received a perfect score of 30/30), and, most recently, the 2013 DC Travel & Adventure Show at the Washington Convention Center. What started as a simple track salsa routine comprised of club style moves has evolved into a Rueda de Casino theme with numerous partner changes and more complex choreography. And what was a trial-by-fire class has turned into a beautiful group of people who support each other and the team like family.

When I first received the invitation to teach the class, I was anxious to see who would join; even a little nervous that no one would! I began looking at some of my Salsa II students like a hungry lion looks at a gazelle in the grass, thinking, "I want YOU on the team!" I had choreographed for other salsa groups in the past, but had the luxury of more frequent rehearsals with people with more flexible schedules, but in no time, I had enough students to run the class. The routine featured both partnering and solo shines that displayed the students' knowledge of Salsa II moves and their ability to work with one another. Spectators at our first performance commented that they enjoyed seeing a group mixed in with an evening of mostly dance duets. Following that performance, I received some requests for a Rueda-themed formation. For those readers who may not know what "Rueda" is, it means "circle" in Spanish. Therefore, Salsa Rueda = salsa in a circle. It involves couples executing moves as a group announced by one "caller." It also features partner changes and fun vocal calls. I love it because it gives everyone a chance to dance with everyone on the team, and the lead-and-follow format blends the teaching of material with memorization of choreography. I agreed to try it once to see how it went, and in fact, it went so well that the theme stuck and we are still dancing Rueda to this day.

The things I enjoy most about teaching the formation class are: 1.) Seeing students grow and challenge themselves to try new things. That's what dance is all about. I am so proud of everyone for their patience, support, and hard work, and the salsa formation team is living proof that anything is possible if you just put your mind to it. 2.) Getting to know my students on a personal level. We spend a good deal of time laughing and having fun in class that it's almost like a group therapy session. Every member brings something new and different to the team, so it's a very diverse group of people (and we all know variety is the spice of life). We are always welcoming new members to the team, so don't be shy- get your shoes on and let's dance!
Next performance: DC Dance Challenge- Saturday, October 6, 2013.

The premier of the Salsa Formation team at the Forever Dancing 2012 Spring Showcase

The Forever Dancing 2nd Anniversary & Open House

 The 2012 DC Dance Challenge at Glen Echo Park

The team before the 2013 DC Travel & Adventure Show

Having fun in our paper penguin hats at the DC Convention Center

The team backstage at Forever Dancing's 2013 Spring Showcase
Debut of our new costumes

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Learn more about our Salsa classes by clicking here: Information about Forever Dancing salsa classes