I’ve always felt an intense connection to Latin music, so taking up Salsa dancing was an obvious thing to do. And one of the things I’m grateful for is the time I’ve spent amassing an extensive collection of primarily Salsa music, but also Cha Cha, Bachata and more urban Latin styles such as Reggaeton.

Salsa Musician

I absolutely love DJing at Salsa clubs. It’s a real privilege to be able to share the tracks that I love and that move me to want to dance – and also to be able to shape other dancers’ experience of connection to the music by playing tunes that are both accessible and interesting to dance to. That’s one of the reasons that I rarely play RnB during a set. The authentic Latin music has infinitely more depth and interest as a result of the complex layering of the instruments.

My favourite tracks provoke an intensely emotional reaction in me. I get goosebumps, my heart beats faster, my whole mood lifts, sometimes I even feel like I want to cry even though I feel euphoric, and I can’t suppress the movement of my body to the rhythm!

What’s so exciting for me now is being at a level of dancing where I have enough mastery of my body isolations and movement to be able to style my dancing in a way that expresses the emotions I feel in response to a particular piece of music. It’s a real freedom, and one that can’t really be taught because it’s so very personal.

To be able to pick out the key percussive or musical accents and emphasise them with a shoulder shimmy, or slick footwork shine, or a well placed arm extension that snakes out from the core of your body is a combination of technical skill, musical interpretation and artistry, layered over the earthy and rhythmic Afro-Cuban body movement.

It’s this that separates the best dancers from the rest. Of the few club dancers who actually get taught this stuff, only a minority take time to gain the mobility and body control needed to practice and perfect the isolations which create the foundation for this. I’ve spent on average an hour every single day over the last six months working purely on isolations, styling, shines and musicality and am really starting to reap the rewards.

You can be given the tools, but it’s up to you to figure out how best to use them!