English

Crazy about salsa

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It’s Saturday night in Skopje, we are in a club and the place is full. Everybody is looking well dressed and good. Lot a people are smiling, swinging and twirling. Just watching them dancing, we can feel a good vibe and energy everywhere. But it’s not a club like any other, it’s a latino club! The atmosphere is filled with salsa, bachata and kizomba. Men ask women to dance. It doesn’t matter about age, experience of dancing, looks, nationality or anything. As long as you can put yourself forward and ask, then people are happy to dance. When the dancers get into it, it is sensual on the dance floor. In the crowd of people dancing we can see professionals and beginners, everybody is having fun. In the beginning it was enough to just watch, but now the salsa bug has bitten and we want to dance too. That’s why we decided to go to salsa lessons. We chose KaDance as a school because it’s not far from work and we heard that it’s a good place. There, we met Iko and Kate, our salsa teachers. We asked them some questions about the latino dance culture in Macedonia, because since we are here, we really wonder why this is so widespread ! These kinds on dance only started growing about 50 years ago. Iko thinks that the reason why it became popular over the years, is because dance styles change. For example, there is always new styles in bachata, new styles in salsa, new styles in kizomba… because of this infatuation for the latino dances, a lot of people want to open dance schools. So you can find a lot a school here in Skopje, but unfortunatly all are not good. In some schools, teachers don’t really have the right technic, some just learn by watching videos on youtube. So be careful when you choose your dance school, choose the good one to be a good dancer.

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Kadance opened 3 years ago by Katerina Stojkovska. Iko works with her from the beginning. Together they organize really good latino parties in Skopje. Some of them include parties at Casa Cubana, Sensual Nights and Old Town Latino Party at Allure Bistro. These parties are really popular and usually very full. There, almost everybody knows everybody, because they are there a lot of times. Over time, it has created like a community of latino dance culture. Every time we go to these parties we feel so welcome. Even from the first time we went there people were so warm and friendly. They had asked us to dance but we were still shy at the time and didn’t know how to dance without feeling ridiculous. Also we were so fascinated and mesmerised by the way they move. It’s amazing how also the music makes people want to move their hips without even realizing it. It puts a smile on our faces just thinking about it. From the first time it was like a drug because once we had a taste of it we kept coming back for more and still do. We asked, why has the latino dance culture grown so much in Macedonia over the years. For Iko the reply is simple, because it’s social, everybody can dance. Also, one does not need to have choreography, you don’t need to remember the steps and nothing is in a specific order of movement.  You can do whatever you want. You are free. After that we wanted to know why Iko prefers latin styles of dance to others like hip-hop or contemporary… Surprisingly he said that you can mix every kind of dance in latin dance and that’s why he likes it the most. For example we are sure that you don’t know you can put some hip hop movement into salsa! Iko personally likes to use bachata everytime he dances. It’s about your style of dancing every body has his/her own style. Even today, dance culture is still growing. In KaDance they are trying all the time to bring something new by going to seminars and such learn more and bring it here to Skopje. What they bring here, they make the dance culture more widespread through the classes and parties. Although Katerina and Iko are profesionals, they are still open minded to learn about dance and share their knowledge. But who is this kind of dance good for? It depends on the person. Some people learn easier, some take longer. But if it’s something you want, you will make it work. There is no rule to say if it’s for this type or that type of person. Is good for anyone as long as you want it and you are motivated. Characteristics to have as a good dancer is hard work first and foremost. Then, exploring to learn new steps or figures, keep open mind because there is something new to learn everyday.

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Ok, so we have to go because we’ve got salsa class, but we hope to see you in the next “caliente” Latino party.

 

Chloe Dumeusois

Christopher Maiken

 

 

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