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Setting the floor on fire

A popular group aims to give outsiders a taste of the spice and savor that makes up the Cuban salsa.

Dance is a key component of Latin American culture; one that taps into the inner feelings of participants and brings forth passionate and powerful emotions often not easily expressed in words.

One of the most popular dances from that part of the world is the salsa; an art form originating from the island of Cuba in the early 1920s and that later expanded into countries like Colombia, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico and Venezuela.

One of the most popular forms of salsa is the Cuban style, also known as “Casino” style after the name for the dance halls in which it originated.

It is normally more fast-paced than regular salsa and has been developed relatively independent of outside influence due to the U.S. embargo on Cuba.

Salsa is very often a partner dance, with one person leading and using their body to signal the follower what to do next. The dance has a generally forward to backward motion with simple motions (such as three steps followed by a tap or kick) becoming evocative symbols of romantic feeling.

It is this sense of intense communication and being in tune with another person that the Baila Londres group hopes to convey to others in their upcoming season-starting party.

After a short summer holiday, the group has returned with a new events and a new location in Euston. The party will celebrate Cuban music and dance, as well as giving guests the opportunity to get a taste of both Latin American food and culture.

The party will feature live music from the Cuban Combination, a UK-based band that specializes in salsa tunes and other classic Latin American dance beats.

There will also be a dance class taught by professional dancers from the organization Deakocan.

Anneta Kepka and Osbanis Tejeda Fajardo are both internationally recognized artists and chamions in various forms of Latin American dance. They will lead classes meant to show both beginners and more experienced dancers the basics of the Cuban salsa.

The event will take place September 22 at the Elixir Bar, 162 Eversholt Street, London NW1 1BL. The dance lesson will be from 9 p.m. until 10 p.m. and the after party and club gathering will go until 3:00 a.m.

For more information, call 02088833610 or visit www.cubacheche.co.uk.

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