World champion salsa dancers visit Calgary
On Oct. 5, salsa world champions David Zepeda and Paulina Posadas made a stop in Calgary to host several salsa tutorials and a social dance at the Ballroom and Country Dance Studio. The three workshops included sexy modern bachata, stylized partner work, and women and men's styling. Each of the workshops attracted more than 30 Calgarians. Individuals of all ages participated with various levels of dance experience.
Photos by Larissa Pinhal
Published on Oct. 28
While the two champions knew of one another in Mexico, they only began dancing together after being introduced at a salsa congress in Edmonton, Alta. This year, they celebrate their fifth anniversary. “It’s our longest relationship,” Posadas jokes, as the two maintain a relationship as friends and dance partners.
Left: “What makes salsa more attractive to me is the connection with the partner,” Posadas says. “The guy is leading and the girl has to follow. It’s not one person; You have to be connected with somebody else. The stylized partner workshop focused greatly on the importance of the connection between dance partners. Right: Both dancers were raised in Mexico, where Zepeda says he grew up learning different styles of dance such as jazz and hip hop before breaking into salsa. “I knew it was my thing,” Zepeda says.
“Salsa is just incredible,” Zepeda says. “You get to know a lot of people and it gives you the opportunity to enjoy, to be free. When you’re dancing, you don’t worry about anything.”
Left: Before earning their title as world champions, both dancers had to train in different styles of dance including ballet and gymnastics. “It took us a long way to be world champions,” Posadas says. “I’ve been dancing for 12 years, so (even) just to complete our dreams was a big challenge. You think about all of the work and all the sacrifices, but you want to keep going and keep the title.” Right: Posadas began dancing salsa after taking lessons for her 15th birthday – a celebration known in Mexico as a Quinceañera. From then on, she says she couldn’t stop.
“It’s what you put into salsa,” Zepeda says, as he socializes with the male students. “It gives you the freedom to add any kind of style.”
During the women and men’s styling class, male and female students separate to learn different routines. Zepeda and Posadas lead their groups through stylized and individual footwork, later bringing the two sexes to a dance off.
The workshops finish with a group photo and celebration. Later that evening, students return to the dance studio for a night of social dancing and a performance by Zepeda and Posadas.