Archive for January, 2014

Hi St. John’s Salsa Dancers past present and future! It’s been a pretty exciting few years since I (Judy) started getting involved in our “little” salsa scene back in 2006. Just thought I’d highlight a few moments along the way that helped grow our Salsa community to its thriving present-day scene. I realize many of you reading this are new to our scene and won’t know these places, but I’ll add some pix to give a little context. For those of you who DO remember and are still members, thanks for sticking around…there’s lots more still to come!

Bella Vista Fiesta 2008

Bella Vista Fiesta 2008 hosted by Deneen Connolly

Where I started: The Bella Vista! At that time there was VERY limited access to salsa. You could pay for sets of lessons at a formal dance studio, you could find a lovable Mexican named Esau at the old Mexi’s, or you could drop into the then brand new salsa lessons on Tuesdays at the Bella Vista. These were hosted by Deneen Connolly as part of her effort to share her love of Salsa dance with Newfoundlanders. I spent a few years going to Tuesday night beginners’ lessons and socials, and occasional special weekend Latin Fiestas. This venue certainly helped set the scene for a salsa explosion.

no couches allowed!

No couches allowed on the dance floor!

house party!

Salsa house party!

Weekend salsa warriors: Between 2007 and 2008, there must have been more house salsa parties in St. John’s than ever before! Tuesdays were fine for beginners, but weekends were needed for those infected with the salsa bug…and there were dozens of us craving weekend salsa fixes. Couches to the bedrooms, coffee tables to the hallways, make room for another salsa dance party!

Saturday Salsa Socials @ Coffee & Company

Saturday Salsa Socials @ Coffee & Company with Cindy and Judy

Cafe Salsa: For a little while a fabulous little cafe called Coffee & Company let us take over their back room on Saturday nights. Salsa dancers will shimmy wherever they can move the chairs away 🙂

Facebook group: Did I mention in 2008 I started a little facebook group so people would know where to find the next salsa party?! It was originally called something like “Salsa in St. John’s…Location TBA” but then got shortened to Salsa in St John’s. It was a public group and to our surprise a whole lotta people, especially international people living in St. John’s, started to join! We outgrew our house parties pretty quickly and needed a real weekend venue.

Welcome to Salsa in St. John's

Franklin 2010

Saturday Salsa @ The Franklin with Judy D and Eddie

That’s where things got REALLY exciting! A couple of group members, from Scotland and from Africa, found a little lounge in The Franklin Hotel that was willing to host us every Saturday evening for a few hours. We took turns playing the music, with members sharing their favorite tunes. And Salsa in St. John’s EXPLODED! We were packed Fiesta-style every weekend, sending oodles of people to lessons…to the Bella Vista’s expanded lessons and to new lessons with MUN BLDC. People just couldn’t believe we had Salsa in St. John’s! We stayed at The Franklin for almost a year, and then we had to move on…dancers just don’t drink much and the lounge picked up lots of new regular non-dance customers from our busy evenings.

mexis 2012

Sunday Salsa Socials @ MexiCali Rosa’s hosted by Salsa Floreo

The Mixx 2012

Saturday Nite Salsa @ The Mixx with DJ Gustavo

IMG_4877

Salsa Into The New Year @ LSPU Hall’s Cox&Palmer 2nd Space hosted by Judy D

We’ve been hopping from venue to venue for our weekend salsa socials and parties pretty much yearly ever since, from The Lower Path to Mexi’s  to The AnneXe to Turkey Joe’s. And our members have hosted special Fiesta’s, demos, fundraisers and parties at these and many other places: The Bella Vista, The Martini Bar, The Rocket, The Landing, The Ship, the old Majestic, Eastern Edge Gallery, The Mixx,  Bally Haly, The LSPU Hall’s Cox&Palmer 2nd Space, Quidi Vidi Brewery, outdoors at Quidi Vidi Bandstand & The St.John’s Farmers Market, the RockHouse, various community centers…so many people have hosted so many Salsa events here in li’l ol’ St. John’s NL!

A wonderful turnout for Saturday Nite Salsa @ Rocket-Fundraiser for CBCF 2012

A wonderful turnout for Saturday Nite Salsa @ Rocket-Fundraiser for CBCF 2012 – hosted by Judy D and Cindy Butt (FarOut Fitness)

Casino de Rueda lesson, Salsa Party @ Quidi Vidi Brewery hosted by Bailamos St. John's, Dec 2013

Casino de Rueda lesson, Salsa Party @ Quidi Vidi Brewery hosted by Bailamos St. John’s, Dec 2013

Along the way we’ve had super instructors help us grow our community: Deneen, Esau & Tamoc, Alex & Jim at MUN BLDC, Corie & Stephanie of Salsa Floreo, Jim at Wild Lily, Del & Stacy of Bailamos St. John’s, and drop-in volunteer instructors and instructors aids like Helen, Jim, Tamara, Sandra, Teeba, Dais…I’m sure there’s many more I’m forgetting or haven’t met (yet!) who are spreading the Salsa fever!

DJ Gustavo & DJ Marcelo got people dancing at The Mixx

DJ Gustavo & DJ Marcelo got people dancing at The Mixx

dj chamba at tjs fundraiser for filmmaker

Ritmo Latino’s DJ Chamba working his magic at a Turkey Joe’s Salsa Fundraiser Party, Dec 2013

I can’t forget to mention the DJ’s and musicians who hopped on board to help us out. Deneen and the members of Salsa Roca carved out a Latin niche for themselves for a few years. DJ Gustavo wows the crowd whenever he has time to host a party. DJ Marcelo is working the salsa scene at Annexe Lounge. DJ Chamba rocks the house wherever he spins his Latin tunes! And we have Onelvis Hierrito Fernandez, our very own Cuban musician living in St. John’s scheduling live concerts regularly.

It’s been so exciting, being part of the growth of this special salsa scene. What’s kept me here through all the growing pains? All of you wonderful dancer friends of course! So here’s to another dance-filled year and a peak at what’s to come:

LESSONS: Currently there’s beginner’s lessons with Bailamos St. John’s instructor Stacy Fowler. Check back on our site regularly for even more salsa lessons, workshops, etc.

PARTIES: There’s weekend salsa dance parties at least once a month at various venues ( next one is this Sat Feb 1st 2014 at brand new venue RockHouse Pub). Keep checking our salsainstjohns.com site for news of other upcoming events!

LIVE MUSIC: Cuban-born musician Onelvis Hierrito Fernandez recently moved to St. John’s and is scheduling live concerts regularly (next one’s at The Ship on Feb 6th 2014!).

FUNDRAISERS: Salsa dances are the latest craze for fundraisers! Over the years our salsa group has fund-raised for various non-profits including CBCF, RIAC and THRIVE-CYN,  as well as for individuals during times of need. Contact me (judy.salsa”AT”gmail.com) to discuss your salsa fundraiser needs.

OPPORTUNITIES: We need a lead instructor(s). If YOU live in St. John’s and are skilled enough as a salsa lead to teach (or be an apprentice) pleases contact me and I’ll help you get in touch with an instructor! We also need a regular Friday or Saturday night venue for drop-in socials/parties! If you are a business owner interested in hosting salsa events for our 600+member group, with average event turnout between 50 and 150 people, please contact me! If you have other ideas or would like to join in and help out with things, contact me… judy.salsa”AT”gmail.com

So if you’re a Salsa dancer living in St. John’s, or heading our way, don’t forget to look up Salsa in St. John’s to find out what’s on the go in our little BIG salsa scene.

🙂 Judy D

Salsa Party @ The Rock House Pub, Sat Feb 1st 9pm-1am

Salsa Party @ The Rock House Pub, Sat Feb 1st 9pm-1am

Cuban Masters Presents Onelvis Fernandez @ The Ship Thurs Feb 6th 9pm

Cuban Masters Presents Onelvis Fernandez @ The Ship Thurs Feb 6th 9pm

feb 1 rockhousepub SALSA

Get your dance shoes ready, we’re turning the Rock House Pub (upstairs off Duckworth) into our own private Latin Lounge on Feb 1st! 9pm-1am

Join us early for a mini-lesson from Stacy Fowler of Bailamos ST JOHNS then dance the night away with DJ Chamba’s crazy energetic Latin mix. Salsa Merengue Bachatta ChaCha Reggaeton…anything to keep you dancing all night!

hosted by Judy D for Salsa in St. John’s

event link: https://www.facebook.com/events/645058625541133/

Hey St. John’s Salseros! 2013 was a Super Salsa year and I want to thank you all on behalf of Salsa in St. John’s for your enthusiasm and support. We kept salsa going and growing for another year, congratulations!

OK I know! You’re all itching for another year full of salsa dancing…don’t worry, we’re working on bringing you more great events 🙂

We do have info on this winter’s beginner’s lessons with Bailamos St. John’s, and there’s still room in all the classes! Message from instructor Stacy Fowler:

Exciting news!!!!! We have a new space for January!!!! We will be using the beautiful studio at the Dance Academy on Airport Rd. Classes start on January 8 (8 Week Session) and will be as follows –Wednesday 8:30-9:30pm Salsa/Latin – Beginner 2 classThursday – 8:30-9:30pm Zumba. Looking to work off all those holiday treats, but want to have fun doing it?
Zumba fitness is for you!!!!! Zumba is not a dance class, it is a fitness class that uses dance moves to make exercise fun!! No experience necessary. You don’t have to be a good dancer, you just have to love music and dance. Turn your workout into a super fun dance party!!!!!!Sunday – 7:00-8:00pm Beginner Salsa/Latin (For complete beginners – no experience necessary, no partner required)

Sunday 8-9pm Zumba

To register send me a message to the page https://www.facebook.com/BailamosStJohns or e-mail bailamosstjohns@gmail. And keep checking back here or on the fb page for info on upcoming Saturday Socials and occasional special workshops with Bailamos St. John’s!
As soon as we get some great big fiestas planned for Salsa in St. John’s we’ll post em here and in our fb group.
Bye for now,
🙂 Judy D, Salsa in St. John’s