Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Friends of Salsa

Who invented Salsa - Cubans or Puerto Ricans? Whoever invented it, whoever created it, we cannot ignore the fact that the rhythm, the beats come from Africa. We are all connected through this fiery Latin dance. So closely related to Mambo and Cha-Cha, some say it is the same dance. Latin communities throughout the United States and Latin America are responsible for shaping most of the steps we see today.

I loved dancing salsa so I decided to have a salsa party to celebrate my birthday and the launch of the I DANCE BECAUSE scholarship fund. Many of my friends came, learned basic salsa choreography and donated to the scholarship fund.

We were all blown away when the FRIENDS OF SALSA stepped on the floor. The Friends of Salsa are a group of dancers from Newark, all over the age of 60, (except for one) who dance smooth, old school salsa. I was mesmerized just watching these seasoned dancers spin, turn and shimmy with each other. I was amazed when the male dancers started dancing with 2 & 3 females to make up for the shortage of men.

It was a great night. We've decided to make it an annual event so if you missed it, catch us next year. Most of all consider donating to the I DANCE BECAUSE scholarship fund. Help send an inner city child to a dance school. Dance has changed many lives. Lets keep it going. What has dance done for you? Consider the gift of dance and how important it has been in your life.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


HAPPY MOTHERS DAY & Happy Birthday to ME! This year as I celebrate Mother's Day and my birthday, both on the same day I am so grateful to have my mom living with me.

I remember when I first started taking ballet at the age of 6 - I HATED IT!. My dance teacher was strict and I just wanted to have fun. I begged my mom to take me out of class but she wouldn't. I had asked to take ballet and she wasn't going to let me just stop because I didn't like it. I am so, so, so grateful today my mom did not take me out of that class. It taught me so much much than ballet. It taught me about commitment. You see even at 6 years old when I just wanted to play and have fun I had to learn that when you ask for something and then you get it - you don't just throw it back at the first sign of discomfort or dislike. Some things you have to see through for the gratification. I also learned to plan ahead and shift rather than just give up. You see, for 2 years as I begged not to take ballet, my mom asked me what I wanted to take instead and I replied "I don't know". I learned very quickly that was not an acceptable response in my house. Finally after 2 years, I got it!. I asked if I could take tap dance instead of ballet because it was fun. See, I had a plan and a reason. My mom obliged and thus my love affair with dance began. I eventually went back to taking ballet and eventually into modern, jazz and African. After a few years, I was hooked and knew this is what I was supposed to do with my life.

I can't imagine what my life would be like had I never been introduced to dance. So on this mother's day - I thank my mom for making me stick with it even when I didn't want to. I dance because God called me to dance and my mom wouldn't let me say no.