For information about specific dance traditions of Cuba, click on the specific style, under “Dance” on the menu bar above… or use the sidebar to the right.
Now… WHERE DO THEY TEACH “THE REAL THING”… IN TORONTO?
The biggest Cuban-style school in Toronto area is AfroLatino Dance Company. Why is it so popular? Could have something to do with the relaxed no-pressure style of teaching. Lessons on various days of the week, and locations. Drop-in is OK if there is room and you are dancing at the required level. AfroLatino also has an open social practice for anyone interested in Cuban style dance, Saturday evenings. Some Saturdays, this is replaced by a bigger event “Salsa Klimax” at a local night club: see the website.
Juan Carlos Bulnes was one of those kids dancing and honing new casino style steps, to Orqesta Reve, Los Van Van, and others on the Para Bailar TV show on Cuban TV in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Now he’s here in Toronto, and is available for private lessons in Cuban casino, orisha, and rumba dancing. He teaches group lessons in assocation with some schools, for example, sometimes with Albena de Assis of Afro-Latino Dance Co (see above). You can contact Juan Carlos at 647 818 6602 or 416 836 2600.
Sarita Leyva is a professionally trained dancer from Holguin, Cuba. She runs the Iré Omó dance school. Currently on Sunday evenings, she teaches a Rueda de Casino lesson, while Billy Bryans spins the Cuban-approved dance music at Babalúu. She also teaches cuban styles to groups on occasion, notably Afro-Cuban rumba and orisha on Wednesday evenings. The afro-cuban classes include guagaunco, yambu, columbia, orisha. Sarita is also on the teaching staff at York University teaching cuba n dance and music. See the Iré Omó site for contact information.
Vladimir Aranda Call 416 666-2441 (facebook link) was one the the pioneers of Casino style salsa in the city. You can take lessons at SALSA CASINO SUNDAYS!!
RHYTHM & ROOTS …
DROP IN AVAILABLE!!
- Latest news from Vlad: Salsa Casino Sunday’s r back!
… The lessons will be for here every Sunday:
1002 St Clair Av w
Beginner 3:00/ Intermediate 4:00/ Advanced 5:15 …
The Toronto Casino Rueda Practice is held most Saturdays from Noon to 3 PM near mid-town Toronto. It’s independent of any dance school or business… and it’s free of charge… so long as the venue is free . These vary beteween just casino/timba dance parties, to serious work sessions. Generally, the theme is to begin with good dancers and make them better as a group. They need experience men all the time.
A good way to find your way to this group of “advance dancers” is to start with the street dance loosely associated with the group. Most Wednesdays in the spring/summer/fall, we will be dancing from 7pm to 9pm, corner Spadina and Bloor. Everyone welcome, and if you can dance rueda or casino style, you will soon be dancing with us. Otherwise you are welcome to dance how you feel, talk to us, and enjoy the 100% timba from Cuba… “no lame salsa here”!
And now a new opportunity to study Afrocuban dance, the dances of the Orishas, Conga and Rumba with Consuelo Herrera. Consuelo Herrera is a professional dancer from Havana , Cuba, who began her studies in La casa de Cultura, and went on to work with the folkloric dance troupe “Liberacion 75″, perform in the grand cabarets “La Cecilia” in Miramar, and eventually join Grupo Raices Profundas as a lead dancer and soloist. She has worked with some of the best choreographers and musicians in Cuba. She has appeared in several documentaries about dance in Cuba and has performed in Mexico, Nicaragua, Spain, the United States, Japan and Canada. Consuelo originally came to Canada to perform with Jane Bunnett in a North American tour. She has gone on to perform with Ballet Creole and Joaquin Hidalgo’s Rumberos. Consuelo has been teaching Afro-Cuban Dance in Toronto in with Ballet Creole and other local companies since 1997. Location: Bavia Arts Studio, 898 St. Clair Ave W (near Oakwood). Saturdays 1pm-2:30, Wednesdays 6:30pm-8:00 Cost: $20 per class drop in Facebook Link)
Damarys Aguirre is owner of Damidance. See the link to find out about current offerings. For Summer 2013, there will classes in Cuban Casino at various locations around Toronto, call for info. Assisting Damarys with the casino lessons, is our friend Ariel who you may have noticed dancing a lo cubano around town, including at the street ruedas!
MELISSA NOVENTA teaches a great Afro Cuban class every Thursday evening – goes into the nuances of the Orishas in great detail (Facebook link) $12 a drop in 1.5 hours. Let us know if you have more information…
Jose Carret is a new Cuban dance instructor in town, teaching through Ballet Creole. He’s been a dance company directory, choreographer, principal dancer, and teacher with an amazing list of prestigious schools and institutions in Cuba. He’s teaching Cuban Contemporary and Cuban Salsa classes here. More info may be found at this Jose Carret link.