Monday, August 14, 2006

Salsa: The New "In" Thing in Bangalore

"Four one, cha cha cha, two three cha cha cha," went my instructor. We, twelve of us students, tried to follow her steps as she sashayed her way around the floor. By the third or fourth session, we barely managed to keep up with her feet movements.

She, of course, was moving way more than just her feet. Her hips swayed, her arms moved fluidly in the air, her shoulders and spine were ramrod straight. I, on the other hand, punched my hands in the air, hunched my tense shoulders, took giant strides on my flat feet and tried not to crash into any of the walls or crush anyone's feet.

But I keep at it. Why, you wonder. Because I'm a glutton for punishment. Well, no. Ok, maybe yes.

But there are also a few other, perhaps more logical reasons. For one, the music is infectious; you can't help but dance. Two, I have delusions of being able to wiggle my hips a la Shakira, the operative word being delusions. (Did you see her FIFA World Cup Final performance? Aye, Caramba!) Three, once you get one sequence right you feel like you can do all of it. Four, my instructor is good at what she does, both the dancing and the teaching parts. Five, any form of exercise that is fun and enjoyable is gold. Finally, and most importantly, there are no mirrors where we dance. So while I feel ungainly and have a faint idea of how klutzy I might look, I really don't have concrete evidence of the blashphemy I commit twice a week.

Over the past few weeks I've been finding out that some or all of the above reasons are responsible for a whole lot of Bangaloreans to turn to Salsa.

And by whole lot I mean thousands.

Lourd Vijay, a businessman and purveyor of all things Salsa should know. He started the first Salsa school in the city, Lourd Vijay's Dance Studio, in 1997. Now he has three of them up and running in which he, along with four full-time and four part-time instructors, teach a total of six thousand students. Yup, that's right, 6,000. And he has plans to open three more studios in the next three months.

Vijay himself came to dancing and to Salsa like many of us do. He saw the movie Dirty Dancing and he was hooked. His sister, who lived in Australia, sent him books and video tapes of dances so he could get familiar with the art. He then went to Canada, to Vancouver and Toronto, to train in the various dance forms. Now he travels extensively all over the world attending workshops, conferences and congresses.

Although the average age of his students is around twenty-five, the classes are so popular among all age groups and among people from all walks of life that his studios offer exclusive classes for those over 40, those over 50, for homemakers, etc.

The reasons most of his students attend the Salsa lessons, he says, are to have fun (which is crucial to any activity that you intend to pursue for a long time), the studios are a great place to network, to meet like-minded people, especially if you are new to the country or to the city, to get fit, and because going to the gym can get boring pretty fast.

The dance form is so popular in Bangalore that the India International Salsa Congress is all set to kick off in Bangalore on August 16th. The official website has all the details of the Congress including the schedule, details of all the performers who are flying in from all over the world, competitions, workshops, parties, etc.

So if you've vaguely heard of Salsa but don't know squat about it, now's the time to go, watch and learn. Lead with your hips and don't forget your heels.

37 comments:

Swapna said...

Ya... my first salsa class - i felt so ungainly and unfortunately, the room was full of mirrors. :(

Golden Beard said...

Would you be knowing of any good slasa place somewhere near BTM layout ?

Anonymous said...

Me too looking for a good salsa classes near BTM layout..

homer said...

Studio 5678 has classes in BTM , above the gym on the 16th main stage II.

Well, there are many learning salsa in Bangalore, but how many places are there to go dance ? In Boston I could walk in to a Salsa place alone and here I am not allowed because its couples only... learning in a class and dancing are completely different.You forget many moves otherwise

syed said...

I need to find a place I can go for a Salsa class, I have a place at the Millennium Habitat at Kundalahalli. Any help would be appreciated, brand new to Bangalore.

Akash said...

Looking for a Good class in Koramangala ... any block will do .. help ?

Sujatha said...

I believe the Koramangala Fitness One has some classes or perhaps someone there might at least direct you to one. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

i m 19 male lloking for a partner who could be as a partner for me. i m new to this place. interested girls call me at 9886595085 or scrap me in orkut id is catchmesachin

Anonymous said...

PLEASE LET ME KNOW OF A GOOD SALSA CLASS IN INDIRANAGAR.

Anonymous said...

Try LatinoRythms. John Anthony (9845433370)is the instructor. He conducts his classes at Figurine Fitness (the gym near Indiranagar) every Saturday and Sunday. He's good!

Anonymous said...

i m 22 male lloking for a partner who could be as a partner for me. i m new to this place. interested girls call me at 9986028859

Sharada Bist said...

I reccomend Prithvi and Ree at all times. Their classes are not only full of fun but there is a whole lo of learning too! From music to footwear, from styling to smiling! they have got it all.

They teach at Alliance Francaise de Bangalore in Vasanthnagar. contact them at 9980008667/9342508667

richa said...

Hey, i was just online, and thought i must put my word in too...kuddos to prithvi. he teaches at alliance and his classes are awesome!!!

Shanks said...

Hi, I am new to Bangalore and interested in learning Salsa as a beginner. I heard about Spinn as a good place to learn Salsa.

Can you please suggest me a good salsa class in BTM second stage or Jaya Nagar area.

Can you give me any reports about how is the Salsa class on 16th Main (Studio 5678). And how is the crowd there.

Currently I do not have a partner. But based on the comments here it seems its absolutely necessary to get a gal here.

Waiting for your feedback. I would be grateful if you can mail me the info at 4u.shanks@gmail.com

rekha said...

i heard of the coolest new thing in dance! i got an email from prithvi and ree's dance company offering private dance lessons, tailor made to suit yor needs! so all you people who cannot find the right venue, nor the right batch timings, nor the right days and dates, why dont you have salsa lessons structured around your requirements?

here's to real customer service! kuddos prithvi and ree!

netwriter said...

Hey First time when Vijay was at our office, he showed some of his moves, too good, we all decided to join, we were about 18 who joined now it needs dedication and regular practice not every one would be able to do it. I was happy to see your blog. I have uploaded few videos links of Salsa if u would like to check you see that on my community at orkut. http://www.orkut.com/Community.aspx?cmm=29600150

cheers shiv

Anonymous said...

Anybody can tell what is the best place in Bangalore for a salsa night.

Amelie said...

hi !
am happy to see that the virus is shared in Bangalore
I'm one of the instructors & DJs who came last year for the congress and I'll be back this year
hope to see all of you in class :)
Amélie
PS it's sad to see that clubs allow couples only as it is possible to dance alone of course + social dancing is the only way to be able to dance at the end )

Roopa said...

HI,
I called in one of the Lourd Vijay's studios but got to know that they have only fitness classes and no more Salsa classes. Can some body tell em about the salsa classes in and around kundalhalli gate?

Roopa

Anonymous said...

Hey i called Lourd Vijay's instructor/studio today on 9845239123..
Apparently they are gonna start a batch in September (@ Opus near Palace grounds)They've got both Weekend and Weekday courses..

Anonymous said...

Check out Aero Fitness Centre in Koramangala, Arif(from Body Language) teaches. #-9845370340

krishna said...

Salsa classes - Indranagar 80 ft road

Weekend - Fresh Salsa batch starting sept 15th.

Intermediate batch also starting on sept 15th.

contact sachin - 98450 93964

krishna

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I'm looking to join a salsa class somewhere near R.T Nagar. I'm new to Bangalore, so besides giving my names of areas, some instructions will also help! Ta!

sujith said...

Hi,
i am looking to join a salsa class near Banashakari or jayanagar..any good instructor near that locations

Anonymous said...

I'm learning Salsa from Alex. He's an instructor from U.S. He's amazing. IMO he's much better than some of the other instructors mentioned here. His website is SalsaBangalore.com.

Shal said...

Hi Im looking for western dance classes in Indiranagar.

If anyone who is aware plz let me know

Veena said...

Hi, am taking classes at Genesis in J.P. Nagar from Alex. He is just too good. The batch has very good members and the learning is real fun and a work out too.

Anonymous said...

hey.. can u give me the contact info for genesis...
thnkx

Sunitha said...

you guys need to check out salsa dance lessons at rock around the clock dance company. prithvi and ree run these fun filled lessons. "from jive to cha cha cha, bachata to hip hop, bollywood and dancercise.." quotes one of their recent mailers..they've got it all..

i had a blast while i was there..each class is a complete stress buster.

their instructors are gentle yet encouraging, and that really counts for ppl like me with 2 left feet!

here's some contact info:
info@rockaroundtheclock.biz
www.rockaroundtheclock.biz
9980008667/9342508667
rock around the clock dance company
alliance francaise de blore
thimmaiah rd vasanthnagar

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me if there is any such classes in ulsoor area...since i am a working person, i cant travel very far..so any classes in and around ulsoor...

preeti said...

info@rockaroundtheclock.biz
www.rockaroundtheclock.biz
9980008667/9342508667
rock around the clock dance company

i have been visting prithvi's dance classes and have always enjoyed ebery second spent there. dancing is so much fun with him!
and easy!

Anonymous said...

I guess none of the people has visited FB DANCE STUDIO at BTM 2nd Stage. If not just call 9916304538.

I found the DANCE STUDIO and the Instructors who teaches there are the best in INDIA not only in Bangalore.

So, my request to every one here just check their class once and feel the difference. I am sure you won't feel like coming out of it.

Anonymous said...

Hi take a look at this site where some fitness centers in bangalore are listed

fitness centers in bangalore

Anonymous said...

Do check out Studio5678 in Jayanagar 9th block...apart from that, they have centers spread across the town like in Vasanthangar, Indiranagar, Hebbal and New BEL Road...u can get in touch with the studio on 9972005629 or 9972182300

ZeAL OF LiFe.... said...

Guys please check out Latino Rhythms Dance Academy (LRDA) In jaynagar,south end Circle it's a nice place to learn Salsa,i am learning Salsa and the instructor gives special emphasis on ur learning.U can contact LRDA at 9880881513.Happy Dancing !!! :)

ZeAL OF LiFe.... said...

Guys please check out Latino Rhythms Dance Academy (LRDA) In jaynagar,south end Circle it's a nice place to learn Salsa,i am learning Salsa and the instructor gives special emphasis on ur learning.U can contact LRDA at 9880881513.Happy Dancing !!! :)

ZeAL OF LiFe.... said...

Ur write-up is well written friend. love it :)

ShareThis