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In November 2013 I had never danced before. One year later I’m dancing in a choreographed performance for the club’s end of term party. Crack a Coca-Cola and I’ll tell you the story of how I became a “Salsero” (or you can just skip to the video).

“Learn to Dance” was on my bucket list when I started at Wilfrid Laurier University in September 2013. After my business lab I would often walk through the concourse and see the big circle of students dancing to salsa music.

“I had a meeting.” “My assignment was due the next day.” For 10 weeks I put off going to a class.

11 weeks in, I had run out of excuses.

La Prima

Like most things in life, it is a lot easier to start with the basics. 11 weeks in, that wasn’t an option. After explaining to each dance partner that, “Sorry, this is my first class” I was determined to get better, and fast.

The next class went a bit easier, everybody was still so friendly, but it was the last one! Each semester ended with an End of Term (EOT) party at the on campus night club, the Turret. Dancers of all abilities (and in my case: inabilities) attended for a night of social dancing punctuated by choreographed performances by some of the better dancers in the club.

Students from all faculties, Laurier, University of Waterloo, and the community came together through dance. Salsa music appealed to my love of a kicking brass section. The guy:girl ratio was on point. In three words: I was hooked.

Through the winter I attended Level 1 and 2 classes simultaneously. In the summer I was asked to be a TA for Level 1 and ended up helping with both classes. It was a refreshing break from our long summer hours with Teknically at Communitech.

I made new friends from more faculties and backgrounds than I could imagine. We learned more complex moves than I thought I could ever pull off. Salsa was the fun that made the summer fly by.

La Hermana

When I auditioned for the EOT performance team earlier this fall, I did it more of a test of my skills than anything. I had no idea if I’d get in when there were many more experienced dancers auditioning.

Somehow I made the cut! Over the past ten weeks I’ve possibly learned more than I had in the previous ten months. I guess my lead has even improved because dance partners don’t feel the need to back lead as much!

'Charanga Cubana' - starring the Fall 2014 KW Salseros Performance Team (I'm furthest to the right). Filmed November 21, 2014.

 

La Familia

Along each step of the journey, the leaders, instructors, and TAs have been so friendly, encouraging, and fun to be around. More than my newfound dance skills, I’m so thankful for the new friends I’ve made through my first year of salsa dancing.

It really takes a village to raise a dancer.

It’s never too late to find your passion. Even if it’s not salsa dancing, find a supportive community and go for it! Then again, it may be salsa dancing and you just don’t know it yet…;) Salsa class returns in January, so check out KW Salseros for more information.

Tocinillo. Coca-Cola. No ragrets.

Andrew Paradi

Andrew Paradi

I study computer science at University of Waterloo, develop software at Atomic, code hacks like this, produce vids, and play piano.


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Andrew Paradi

Growth Focused Developer

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