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The Show Must Go On

27 Apr

New Skin at the 2013 Toronto Salsa Festival

The Ladies of New Skin

As promised I am dedicating this post to our latest new Salsa/Cha-Cha routine.  We only trained 10 weeks this year!  There were challenges leading up to very last day right before performing and not everything was going as planned but all girls gave their 110%.

My lovely partner’s creative vision made us all look fierce, stunning and graceful on stage, she worked so hard to make everyone shine!  The project, no doubt, was ambitious  – all girls on the Team had a different skill level, not everyone had a performance experience and some of the girls had been dancing only for 1 year.  My hat goes off to her!

After the show

After the show

Here is my personal horror story.  I knew both routines (Cha-Cha and Salsa) inside out.  If you would wake me up in the middle of the night I could perform the routine on the spot.  I felt well-prepared, calm and composed on the day of the performance. Tech rehearsal went well, I glued the crystals on my shoes the day before, the beautiful costume was ready, hair and make up flawless.   I felt really, really good.  So we go on stage, the audience is cheering like crazy, we KILLED the Salsa part and exit the stage for a costume change… and I had a major wardrobe malfunction at that time.  I did flinch but continued the remainder of the routine.  The organizers graciously offered us to perform the routine again hence the 2 separate videos.  I’ve been performing since 2005 and this is the first time that something like this happened to me! Lesson learned – keep my head high and keep on going.

However, this didn’t take away from the beautiful choreography.  All our endless hours of hard work paid off!  Here are the links to the debut performance… Enjoy!

What Do Salsa Dancers Eat?

17 Mar

Our Team's Potluck

Team’s Potluck Theme – Healthy.  Great food!

Lately, I haven not been blogging regularly  – our rehearsal schedule is jam-packed.  We are 2 weeks away from debuting our new routine, this is what we are calling the “crunch phase” 🙂

Great Rehearsal!

 Great rehearsal last night! 

Knowing that on Saturday night a 4-hour rehearsal will be followed by the 3-hour costume fitting the girls decided to have a potluck to keep our energy levels up.

On the menu:

  • Quinoa Salad with Kale;
  • Buckwheat with Mushrooms;
  • Chickpeas with Tomatoes, Cucumbers and Feta;
  • Almond Biscotti and Fruits.

I have my favourite biscotti recipe but it’s somewhat time consuming.  Since I was pressed for time yesterday I decided to try a new recipe which promised 45 min (including prep and cooking time).

Almond Biscotti

Almond Biscotti (Yields 16)

Adapted from Healthy Heart Miracle Diet cookbook.

Ingredients :

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 raw organic sugar
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2  cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds (raw)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.  Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. With an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy.
  3. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and almonds in a food processor and pulse until the almonds are chopped.  Fold into the eggs to make a stiff batter.
  4. Spoon the batter onto  the baking sheet making 2 logs, leaving about 3 inches between.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and reduce the temperature to 325F.
  5. Use 2 spatulas to slide the logs to a cutting board.  Cut into diagonal slices (1-inch wide).  Place the slices, cut side down, on the baking sheet and return to the oven.  Bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

 

 

Why People Fall in Love with Salsa

28 Jan

Our Team at the 2011 Vancouver International Salsafestival

My friend and a fellow dancer Christian P. from Regina posted this question on his Facebook page.  It made me think why I fell in love with this dance and this is what I came up with:

  1. It is a beautiful dance, very elegant and explosive at the same time.
  2. I love Salsa music – it always puts a smile on my face.  
  3. Helps to manage stress.
  4. Builds self-confidence.
  5. You get a complete body workout while having fun.  Some researchers claim you can burn up to 400 calories per hour!  
  6. It improves balance and coordination.  Try doing multiple spins without falling over 🙂
  7. Sharpens memory – I love learning new routines, it requires to memorize very intricate footwork.
  8. I love performing and everything that comes with it  – beautiful Salsa costumes, creative makeup and hair.
  9. I have lots friends that I met through Salsa.  I met my amazing boyfriend through Salsa!
  10. Makes you part of a global community.  I’ve danced Salsa in Germany, Israel, Ukraine and the United States.  It’s wonderful to see people of all  ages, backgrounds and cultures dancing together.

Promoting Peace Through Salsa

7 Dec
New Skin at the Med Salsa Congress 2012

New Skin at the Med Salsa Congress 2012

The Israeli Salsa Congress (also known as the Med Salsa Congress) has been promoting peace through Salsa for many years.  Each year many international Salsa artists participate in the festival and support this good cause.

Our Team, New Skin Dance Company, is honoured to have had the opportunity to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the International Salsa Congress s and be an Ambassador for Promoting Peace Through Salsa.

The festival was held in the city of Eilat and we could see the Jordanian lights at the other side of the Red Sea.

We had a privilege of sharing the stage with the best artists from around the world.  I have to say that the Israeli congress has the best audience!  They are very supportive and appreciative, and their energy level is through the roof.

Here is one of our performances.  I am on the far right at the beginning of the show 🙂

Choreography, costumes, hair and make up is by my talented friend and partner Mira S.

Salsa Dancing Is For Life

27 Nov

Backstage at the Congress

Almost 10 years ago I discovered Salsa dancing and instantly fell in love with it.  It became such a big part of my life that I can’t remember how I managed without it.  It’s fun, challenging, and there is something new to learn!

First few years used to go out Salsa dancing 6 days a week and even that wasn’t enough.  I took lots of classes and eventually enrolled into instructor’s course and became part of the performance team.  I spent 20 hours weekly teaching, training, performing, and social dancing.  I was in the best shape of my life!

These days I am not immersed in it full time but I continue performing, and occasionally, social dance.  Professional dancing takes a lot of dedication and hard work. Our dance team practices insane amount of hours for months before any Salsa Congress, whether it’s a local or an international event.

This is my favourite routine.  We had performed it back in 2011 at the Vancouver International Salsafestival.

People don’t have to be exceptionally good to enjoy it.  It’s a great form of exercise and it helps people to become more confident.  Plus, it’s a lot better to move on the dance floor than to sit on your butt and eat junk food.

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