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Russians dance in the streets

 article about Salsa dancing
Every Saturday at 8 p.m. Pushkinskaya Street in Russian city
Rostov-on-Don turns into a dance pavilion. It is full of people. Dozens
come to watch an exotic Cuban dance, Salsa. People dance in rain and in
sun, forgetting age and human complexes

Salsa appeared in Rostov
three years ago. It is a Cuban folk dance, which has recently become
very popular in the clubs of many countries. Salsa is open to people of
different ages and physical shapes, in contrast to ballroom Latin
American dancing which is more a sport than a dance. Salsa is more a
means of communication, though it requires serious effort to learn.
Couples are not constant and change of partners enables dancers to
learn how to gain mutual understanding during a dance with a stranger.
As soon as you can do it, you can dance salsa in any club of the world,
communicating in universal language of dance.

Salsa came to
Russia from the parties of Latin American students and started
spreading to ordinary clubs. It is the reason behind the conception
that only Latin Americans can dance the real salsa. But in Rostov the
situation developed vice versa salsa first was taught and then it
appeared in clubs.

It is like madness! I cant live without
salsa," says Olya. She is a member of the Rostov salsa club, Boogaloo,
which was organized June 2, 2001.

The idea of organizing a
dance club for people who are not fond of modern club music occurred to
Marina Vanyushina, a professional choreographer. At first she planned
to teach different pair dances (waltz, tango, Latin American dances) to
let people immerse themselves in the world dance culture. But the idea
was not put into practice due to various reasons until spring of 2001
when Marina and her husband Gena went to a salsa party in the Moscow
club, "Dirty Dancing."

The dance, the music, and the overall
atmosphere everything greatly amazed not only Marina but Gena as well,
though he had never gone dancing before. The feeling of freedom in
people of different ages amazed them. A dance is like a conversation,"
Marina explains, "the pairs talk in tongue of warmth."

That was how it all started

First
there was an Internet search for information about salsa in Russia, as
a result of which the Rostov salsa lovers got acquainted with salseros
of St. Petersburg. Marina used her holidays to go to St. Petersburg to
take salsa lessons.

The idea of the first Rostov club rapidly
started coming true. Gena (for the first time in his life!) felt a wish
to dance; Marina got a partner, the absence of whom was the main
obstacle before. She started learning from famous dance instructors and
in October 2001 she went to seminars in Darmstadt.

Thus, dance
education, expertise, and great will to learn in a short time let her
organize a salsa school in Rostov. Nowadays salsa clubs are open in
three Russian cities Moscow, St. Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don. "Boogaloo" club organizes training, subject parties, club and street dancing.


Pushkinskaya Street was chosen for street dances not by chance. Its one
of the most beautiful and loved places for townsmen. People come there
to relax after the workday, to walk with children, to make
acquaintances and meet old friends, to fall in love and to date.
Nowadays they come also to dance. The audience book seats on the
benches beforehand. Among them there is a nice-looking older woman in a
red dress and coral beads. Every Saturday she comes there by 8 oclock
to watch with nostalgia young people dancing

We like this
place very much," says a middle-aged man. He comes there with his wife.
I think its kind of an answer to discos and club parties. Do you see
the boy in the red T-shirt? He was my student. He was usually shy and
quiet. Im impressed by his dancing now.

The founders of the "Boogaloo"
club, Marina and Gennady Vanyushin, managed not only to catch their
students up in love of salsa and Latin American rhythms but also to set
the teaching of salsa to a high level andattract first-class salsa
stars to Rostov.

Im very glad to communicate with new and
interesting people and also impressed by the level of salsa development
in Rostov, " says Oliviya Dasso. Shes been dancing since she was twelve
years old. Together with world renowned salsero Johnny Vaskes, they won
the World Salsa Competition three times.

Salsa revives the
culture of pair dancing among young people", says one of the street
dancers. "The magic rhythm of this dance brings people freedom and a
feeling of happiness. And when they say 'good bye' to each other here
on Pushkinskaya, they take leave till the next salsa."



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