Category Archives: Event

AfroLatino Cuban Salsa Beginner I – 585 Yonge

New 8 lesson session begins July 14.

Learn the basics of Cuban Salsa (“on 1” or rumba timing), with its richness of body movement derived from their afro-cuban traditions. You will learn Guapea, Para Arriba, Para Abajo, rock back step, basic transitions, Dile que no, Enchufla, Enchufla Doble, Ronde for men, and Paseala.

These classes are taught in a progressive fashion, over a period of 8 weeks. This course gets filled up quickly so reserve a spot by completing your registration early (including payment).  See AfroLatino site.

AfroLatino Afro-Cuban lessons

New Session begsin July 18.

(All levels – progressive, but you can drop-in)
Learn the principles of body movement in Cuban dancing with Albena de Assis and Cesar Salazar. This class will focus on techniques and elements of Orishas dances, the Yoruba branch of Afro-Cuban traditions, Congo dances (Palo, Yuca, Makuta), Rumba (Yambú, Guaguancó, Columbia), and more.

Both Orishas dances as well as Rumba will add flavour, style, and authenticity to your latin dance, specially salsa.

These classes are taught in a progressive fashion, over a period of 8 weeks.   See AfroLatino site.

Afro Latino Dance Co, Saturday Casino Practice

Almost every Saturday evening 7pm to9 pm… but check the AfroLatino site to be sure.

(All Levels)
Your opportunity to practice your salsa in a relaxed environment specially geared towards students. Take advantage of these sessions of non-stop music, where you can practice your moves with other students, friends, and the instructors.

While it is not a class in the sense that no new moves will be taught, you can still receive some amount of feedback from the instructors should you wish so.

Afro Cuban class Thursdays, Melissa Noventa

Learn dances of the Afro-Cuban orichas, Palo, Arara, Vudu and Rumba as they have been taught to me by my mentor Sarita Leyva, and as studied in Cuba amongst members of Conjunto folklorico Nacional, Yoruba Andabo, Los Rumberos de Cuba, Los Munequittos de Matanzas, Adache, Ocha Reo, Kokoye and Cutumba.
(southwest side of jane and dundas just next to the library)

**NB*** there are two entrances to the building, one on dundas and one at the back of the building!***

Gotta Dance Inc.
3581B Dundas St. West
Toronto, Ontario M6S 2S8

Regular classes are $12 for a drop in and $100 for a card of ten (10$ per class).

AfroLatino Cuban Salsa Intermediate III – 593 Yonge St.

First 8 lesson session begins July 14.

Learn more turn patterns such as Setenta Nuevo, Bayamo, Bayamo por Abajo, Avioneta, La Rosa, and others. Dancing a tiempo (“on 3”) will also be emphasized as well as various enrichment options on the guapea step. Class taught by Isaac Herrera, at the neighbouring Turning Point Fitness, 593 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor.

These classes are taught in a progressive fashion, over a period of 8 weeks and will provide better preparation for the Advanced level. See the AfroLatino site.

Cuban band, dance music, Ajax, Fridays

Orlando Cardoso advises, he’s been booked with a band… small one, but packed with cuban talent… Currently with Josvanni singing, who we used to enjoy singing with Rubén Vázquez’ band… to play cuban dance music at Havana Nights, Ajax.  About 10 pm … This FRIDAY gig is Cuban salsa, 50/50 with other Carribean dance music.

Before the dance music, Yosvanni and a Cuban friend bring around guitar, bongos, maracas and do songs from the “son” tradition of Cuba from table to table.   Buena Vista Social Club songs a specialty, but try them for any you want to hear.  And… the food is very good.

Glenda del Monte Escalante, recital, York University

At York University, Accolade Building, Recital Hall, Red Lobby.  4700 Keele St.

March 04, 2009  12:15 p.m.

Graduation Masters Recital by Cuban-Canadian Pianist Glenda del Monte Escalante.

…. playing Works by Two of Cuba’s Great Composers: Manuel Saumell (1817-1870) and Ignacio Cervantes (1847-1905).

If you’re not lucky enough to be able to get to York University on a Wednesday noon-hour: watch for Glenda’s gigs around town, worth catching!

a PS: Glenda has entered a reputable internet international song writing competition.  UPDATE: she is a finalist.  She says … “VOTE FOR ME ONCE EVERYDAY” … go to:

Here the song on her myspace site.

Feb 27: Jane Bunnett, Embracing Voices, Hugh’s Room.

: Jane Bunnett

:Fri Feb 27 8:30pm

: Hugh’s Room

$22 in advance or $25 at the door

Jane is joined on stage by her group The Spirits of Havana and special guest vocalists Elizabeth Sheppard and Telmary Diaz and will be performing songs from her new critically acclaimed CD Embracing Voices as well as a wide variety of songs from her many award winning albums.

Touring begins in April, catch the show before it hits the publicity fan.

Percussionist Papiosco is booked for this date, and vocal Desandann plus other Cuban musicians of note.

Hamilton Place: Hansel & Gretel, Cuban National Ballet

CBYE Presents Hansel & Gretel by the Cuban National Ballet at Hamilton Place Theatre Thursday, Feb 26, 2009 07:30 PM

There will be a Special School Matinee of Hansel and Gretel will be perforballet-hansel-and-gretelmed at Hamilton Place on Thursday, February 26 at 10:30 AM. School tickets can be ordered on line calling 905-512-1453.  (ed note: I saw Giselle last year in the same theatre, same company, and it was definitely very impressive.)

For the main show, order tickets at ticketmaster.

Click here to see a short article on the ballet and the Cuban version… by Pastor Valle-Garay, Senior Scholar, York University.

Excerpt: “It will be a joy to watch particularly because well over one hundred Canadian youngsters are about to share the stage with the Cuban performers.  The local talent will assume the roles of dancing flowers, witches, cats and otherworldly visions in a production that promises to fulfill the most demanding wishes of the audience.”

How long to get there?  You can play with this Google map.  From City Hall, Toronto it’s 49 minutes to Hamilton Place.  Note the early start, 7:30 pm. so you can be in bed before midnight!

Rueda in Rochester

Ruben Fuentes tells us:

I am the owner of Tango Cafe Dance Studio Corp. We have a rueda weekend workshop for the weekend of march 21st, with Orquesta Antonetti finishing it up on Saturday Night. This would be a great opportunity to get our communities together. Please check our web site. The instructor is from Salsamania in Tampa. Please call the studio, we would love for you to be there and your students. We have made arrangements with Holiday Inn Express for those that are coming in from out of town. The workshop is reasonable and we can show how Casino Rueda is alive and well in Rochester New York. The studio number is 585-271-4930.

Kerri Vaughn and Ruben Fuentes
Tango Cafe Dance Studio

We (at this site are not a dance studio, we gather Cuba related news.  So, here’s news: According to, it’s 2 hours 55 minutes to Rochester from Toronto.   If you’ve lived by Lake Ontario all your life… and never seen it from that side… why not visit our neighbours for a rueda party!

Rueda in Rochester
Rueda in Rochester

Not Just Tourists: medical help to Cuba

Not Just Tourists – Toronto is an idea to connect Canadians and Cubans at a humanitarian level.  Please go to the site to check the dates.

You can still go to the resort… lie on the beach for a week or two.  Or, hang out on Calle Obispo or at the Casas de la Musica.

Then, one afternoon, deliver a suitcase of much needed medical supplies to a Cuban clinic or hospital near you. Most Cuba visitors find the experience the absolute highlight of the vacation, find a new way to connect with the real Cuba, and do it every year afterwards.

NJT finds the bags, packs them, has a doctor inspect and certify them… and gives you instructions to get to the clinic.  So it’s easy!

But they need help here at home to get it all together.  They collect supplies, used suitcases, and find storage.  Then they put in hours, with the supervision of Canadian doctor and nurse volunteers, to get everything organized.  You can help.

Sort and pack sessions this month, usually on Birchmount Ave.  Wed Feb 18 at 7 p.m,Tues Feb 24 at 7 p.m, Sat Feb 28 at 10 a.m.

Also badly needed now:  medium sized suitcases, either soft or hard sided, as well as duffle bags, sports bags, and soft bags of various kinds. The suitcases and bags need to be relatively clean and have working handles or straps. We have found that large suitcases with heavy wheels and handles, or foldable clothing bags don’t serve our purposes.

Please send an email to

Whitby: Casino Dance lessons on Mondays


Whitby Ontario, east of Toronto: MONDAY group lessons in Casino (cuban style salsa) dancing… close by if you live in Ajax or Oshawa… or if you live anywhere in Durham, you won’t get a better chance than this to learn the real thing.

With el pianista rumbero , Orlando Cardoso, phone Claudia at LA Hair (905) 556-9967.

Also… Orlando plays Saturdays at La Pequeña Habana with a small Cuban band.  In between sets, there’s often a Rueda, join in!

Durham region has sabor de Cuba… !

Toronto Rueda de Casino Practice

Joseph Kim hosts a weekly practice for Cuban style Rueda de Casino in Toronto.  This is the Cuban version of square dancing… though it’s not square… in any sense of the word!

Toronto Casino Rueda Practice
Toronto Casino Rueda Practice

It’s held in downtown Toronto area, usually from noon to 3 PM on Saturdays.  It’s free of charge, while the venue is free.

IMPORTANT: Join the Facebook group to get news about each week’s meeting.  Some need to be cancelled due to circumstances beyond control!

“There are a very few casino rueda classes in the city. Most of them rarely go beyond the basics. Most of them do a kind of North American style casino rueda, which is not that exciting nor dynamic.”

And some of them even avoid playing Cuban music.  If that leaves you wondering, “what’s the point?!” then this practice is for you.

Not only Casino de Rueda (salsa dancing in a wheel, cuban style), but a bit of partner dancing, plus “nothing but 100% current Cuban dance music” make this a unique opportunity in the city.  No teacher is present, it’s a cooperative approach.  Bring a partner, or come alone.

Click here to access the Facebook Group.  If you don’t have facebook, email Joseph for information.

Voices of the Diaspora: Canciones de Cuba at York U.

The thrilling 20-voice Nathaniel Dett Chorale, directed by Brainerd Blyden-Taylor, will present a special concert, “Voices of the Diaspora: Canciones de Cuba“, in partnership with the Faculty of Fine Arts at York University on February 26.

Launching the Chorale’s new ‘Diaspora’ series, “Canciones de Cuba” highlights the contributions of African-Cuban poet, Nicholas Guillen
(1902 – 1989).

The concert will mark the world premiere of three compositions drawn from the poetry of Guillen. The program includes Seis Canciones and Momenade a la Trova, arranged by York University music professor Michael Marcuzzi; Canciones Por Las Americas by Canadian composer Sid Robinovitch; and two pieces by Cuban composer Guillermo Fragoso.

“Voices of the Diaspora: Canciones de Cuba” takes place Wed. Feb. 26 at 8:00 pm in Burton Auditorium, York University, 4700 Keele St. Admission is $35, $25 for seniors, $15 for students, free for children under 12. Tickets are available by calling 416-872-1212 or at the door on the night of the show.

For further information, please call the Nathaniel Dett Chorale, 416-340- 7000.

Wed’s, Sat’s: Pearls in odd places… a reminder

Bands composed primarily of Cuban musicians here in Toronto… and playing largely Cuban music… play regularly in 2 places in 905 area.  Who plays depends on who’s available… and whose turn it is!

Richmond Hill: The Marlowe on Wednesday evenings.

Ajax: Havana Nights, Saturday evenings.

Typically, every other song is a Cuban salsa, the rest could be merengue, cumbia, bachata etc.

AfroLatino, Toronto’s biggest Cuban style dance school : new sessions

November 10: AfroLatino Dance Company, Toronto’s largest school specializing in true Cuban style social dancing, is beginning new sessions on November albenaYLazaro10.  Other dance styles are featured as well, including Samba, Bachata, Kizomba.  Check out the schedule !

February 15, 2010: Also be sure to notice, the annual Cuban Dance Workshop trip to Cuba.  Come with Albena and the AfroLatino crowd to Havana, Cuba.  Learn estilo cubano from Cubans, in the city where dancing is just part of life, not the preserve of dance schools … Some of the teachers are the same ones whose videos are studied by fans of Cuban style all over the world.

This perfect one-week package includes flight, 5 star hotel in historical Old Havana, 15 hours of intensive dance instruction with professional cuban dancers, and tons of fun.

You will learn salsa and rumba in the place where it originated, Havana, Cuba.