The Inside Scoop on Nashville Salsa and Casino Rueda

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The latest info on what's going on in the Nashville Salsa community and beyond!

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Monday Night Lessons

Posted by Kendra on February 15, 2013 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (3)

Monday Night Salsa Lessons continue at Urban Dance studio.  We are creating new salseros in our beginner class at 6:30pm and polishing intermediate and advanced dancers at 7:30pm.  Check out footage from our classes at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjY4fnlH3d4

We have a lot of fun and still manage to learn a lot as well.  Hope to catch you at a lesson soon!

Salsa 101: A New Class With the Beginner in Mind

Posted by Kendra on November 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Our dance community is growing.  So much so, that I felt is was time to separate my all-levels casino rueda class into Salsa 101 and Salsa 201.  Salsa 101 is a class designed especially for those guys and girls who are brand new to salsa.  Each week, we plan on reviewing the fundamentals of salsa such as the cross body leads and the right hand turns and will rehearse them until they become second nature.  We also covered simple turn patterns that are fun and will definitely add more variety to your dance repertoire. The goal is to help you build a strong foundation of salsa techniques that will last you a lifetime with this highly addictive dance.  

Please check out a video of what we covered last week here http://youtu.be/F90hPxQFJJ4  This Salsa 101 class happens every Monday at  6:30p at Urban Dance Studios.  Classes are only $8 per lesson or $25 for the month (4 lessons).  As you become more advanced you can graduate to the Salsa 201 class at 7:30pm.  This class focuses on advanced partnerwork techniques and also how to do combinations in a rueda.  It's truly an exciting group of lessons.  Hope you can make it to one.  Until next time, happy dancing!! 

2 Hour Styling Workshop this Saturday, October 27th

Posted by Kendra on October 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Salsa dance is a lot more complex than just learning a few turn patterns. It is also important to learn how to add style and flavor to your repertoire, and our 2 hour workshop this Saturday will be a perfect opportunity to learn some new tricks to spice up your dancing.

 

I’ve traveled to many salsa congresses around the country in LA, NYC, and Miami and every time I’ve seen professionals dance socially, I’ve noticed that even on the most basic of cross body leads or right hand turns, they are able to make these fundamentals look absolutely amazing by strategically adding body movement, arm styling, and extra footwork to everything they do.

 

I’ve been working on my styling and spins for years. In this video from 2 years ago, I’m dancing with a friend at the New York Salsa Congress.  We were mostly just trying to have a good time, but I also had just finished a day of workshops and I wanted to challenge myself to put some extra styling to what I normally do and I was very pleased with the results. In this video, ladies will see 3 different ways to style your arms during a cross body lead, good opportunities to add in a head roll or two, and how to be ready for multiple spins. Men will see 2 different ways to change the look of your cross body lead by changing your foot position; you will also see how my partner added footwork as he prepared me for a double spin making it look more interesting. Lastly, you will see that he’s not afraid to give himself a double spin from time to time. Although we are dancing LA style, in this video, we gave it a little Cuban flavor at the end by adding some rumba style to our last shine. There are just so many options when it comes to styling and we will cover many of these techniques in great detail at our class, Saturday October the 27th from 1-3pm at Urban Dance Studios. Hope to see you there, styling it on the dance floor :) 

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Thanks for the Laughs Patrice!!

Posted by Kendra on October 18, 2012 at 5:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Patrice’s workshop Monday was a huge success as he exposed Nashville to the joys of adding rumba and guaguanco to casino turn patterns. There were plenty of giggles and smiles as Patrice explained the purpose of the men’s vacunas, and the ladies need to protect themselves from the vacuna and tell the men “no.” The women learned to roll their hips and the guys learned to say “wow” to their sexy body movement. It was playful and reminded us all that this dance is about more than turn patterns. It is about socializing and interacting with your partner in a fun way.

Salsa Workshop with Internationally Renown Patrice (aka Mr. Timba)

Posted by Kendra on October 10, 2012 at 10:50 PM Comments comments (0)

 

I'm very excited to announce that on Monday, October 15th, we will have a very special guest instructor all the way from Martinique. Patrice (aka Mr. Timba) is internationally renown dance instructor and DJ who in known for his knowledge of timba music , casino style salsa, and Afro-Cuban body movements. He was the 1st place winner of the couple's competition at the Miami Rueda Congress in 2008 and has danced and instructed internationally at Cuban salsa congresses in France, Barbados, Mexico, Cuba, and Miami. He specializes in teaching casino con rumba at beginner and intermediate levels and will be in Nashville for one night only bringing you his passion for salsa and musicality. Please join us for this very special workshop with this amazing instructor.

 

 

I still remember the first time that I danced with Patrice.  He knew the music better than anyone I've ever met, and proved his expertise with  musicality as he used my hand to make the holy cross at his forehead, chest, and both shoulders in perfect unison with the accents of the orchestra.  I must admit that it made me squeal, which is how I usually judge the quality of my leads.  It they cause me to make funny noises.  They must be good, and I can honestly say that Patrice is that good and then some.  You don't want to miss an opportunity to take classes with such a great dancer and instructor.  The workshop will be held at Urban Dance Studios on 604 Gallatin Ave, Suite 209 in East Nashville.  The workshop starts at 7:30pm and is just $8 a class.

 

Havana Nights is Back, Friday, May 25th

Posted by Kendra on May 22, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Start your Memorial Day weekend off right with a night of dancing at the Havana Nights Salsa Social on Friday, May 25th at Urban Dance Studios. We will start the evening off with a basic salsa lesson at 9pm to get you feeling comfortable on the dance floor, then we will have open dancing at 10pm to a lively mix of timba, salsa, and bachata.  Finally at 11pm, we will be having performances from our Monday night salsa class students and from our semi-pro dance team Nashville Rueda. Feel free to BYOB but we will also have some water and wine to share with everyone. Cover is just $7 at the door. Hope to see you there!

*Directions and parking notes: The studio is located at the corner of Gallatin and West Eastland. There is free parking in the covered lot behind Rite Aid. After you are parked, cross W. Eastland Ave, go to the front of the shopping center, and up the stairs. We are located in suite 209.

Havana Nights is this Friday

Posted by Kendra on March 21, 2012 at 11:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Our love for Cuban salsa and timba has inspired us to throw our first Havana Nights party this Friday night, March 23rd. We will play a good mix of the classics like El Gran Combo, Oscar D’Leon, Eddie Santiago, and Spanish Harlem Orchestra. However, we plan to also add in some tracks that Nashville has never heard before from Los Van Van, Maykel Blanco, Charanga Habanera, Michel Maza, Havana NRG, Timbalive, and Pupy y los que Son Son. This music has a different vibe to it. It’s joyous and funky at the same time challenging you to get down, wind your waist, and to shake parts of your body that you didn’t even know that you had.

We will start the night with a salsa rueda lesson from 9pm-10pm which is a great way to get introduced to the internationally known turn patterns that we call in a rueda. Open dancing goes from 10pm-1am, and we will be calling ruedas all throughout the night, so be sure to take the lesson and jump in a circle. It is so much fun and can completely revamped you love for salsa. Something about being in sync with a whole circle of friends and booty bumping at the same time really takes you to a whole another level of fun. The party is at Urban Dance Studios at 604 Gallatin Ave, Suite 209, and it just $5 if you RSVP to this post or $7 at the door. Hope to see you on the dance floor.

Spanish Harlem Orchestra at the Schermerhorn

Posted by Kendra on March 20, 2012 at 10:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Spanish Harlem OrchestraSpanish Harlem Orchestra

Sunday night, we had the pleasure of turning the very elegant Schermerhorn Symphony Center into a smoking hot nightclub. The lively music of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra was hard to resist, inspiring even those who did not know how to dance salsa to get up and move to the intricate rhythms of the Grammy award winning group. The seasoned salseros were also cutting a rug, hardly ever sitting down and even begging the band to come back for an encore after their amazing two hour set. Smiles were contagious as the crowd and band entered into a cycle of feeding off each other’s energy. 

We even got to meet the band afterward.  In the picture above is the orchestra director Oscar Hernandez and singer Marco Bermudez.  It was such a honor to meet them.  What a great night!   

  

Our Trip to the 2012 Salsa Rueda Festival

Posted by Kendra on March 5, 2012 at 11:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Nashville Rueda members Amber Perkins, Kendra Murray, and David Lucas made the long journey to San Francisco this year for the Salsa Rueda Festival, and once again this congress did not disappoint.  It was well attended by casineros from all over the world.  Folks flew in from Japan, China, the Nethlerlands, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada, creating a perfect mix of people, and a crowded dance floor all 4 nights of the event. 

Although this was a huge event, it still carried a small community vibe as everyone was so friendly and welcoming.  It was like a family reunion as so many people we met last year had returned to enjoy in the festivities once again.

I've included a video of highlights from the event, so that you may get a taste of the energy of the place.  It was a great time, and I can't wait to do it all again next year!

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0ld7AzMCic

Primetime TV Goes Latin Performance

Posted by Kendra on February 17, 2012 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

We had a great time performing at the Primetime TV Goes Latin show in Huntsville, AL, put on by the New Jersey based professional dance company Cultural Explosion. We were honored that they asked us to be in the show, as it was a great learning experience for us to see how a 2 hour show comes together in very little time. This experience has helped our group grow even further forcing us to master new tricks and getting us out of our casino rueda comfort zone with some LA style moves.

What a great show it was too! My favorites were the lively interpretation of Miami Vice and the comical spoofs of The Jefferson’s, The Cosby Show, and In Living Color. It was a joy to watch.

Nashville Rueda revived the tv shows Batman and Spiderman with this salsa dance routine. Check out the video to see us in action.

 

http:/www.youtube.com/watch?v=FswExKiqzg8&list=FLYXrJFP9qBzYpMh1vl3YgMA&index=2&feature:lpp_video

 

If you can believe it, we learned this routine in only one month by reviewing video from their previous performances. It was a challenge, but well worth the effort. The show came out beautifully and had a rocking after-party as well. There is much more on the horizon this year with performances in Knoxville, Atlanta, and Huntsville. We will be sure to keep you posted on what’s next.


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