Salsa Solstice
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Salsa Solstice

The nights are getting longer and colder, and there’s no better way to spend it than getting hot, sweaty and having the time of your life at this year’s Salsa Solstice event. Organised by Club La Vida Salsa, we spoke with Sonja Sanderson about what to expect on the event.

Hi Sonja, thanks for taking the time to chat with us, how are you and what are you up to at the moment?

I’m great thanks. I’ve been really busy working with the committee of Club La Vida Salsa Geelong, promoting our next live gig on  Friday, June 24. We’ve secured Melbourne based band Carino Son, a 6-piece Cuban outfit whose playlist is inspired by the music of the legendary Buena Vista Social Club.

It’s been a little while since Forte have talked with La Vida Salsa, what has the club been up to over the past 12 months?

It’s been a great year for the club, we’ve seen student numbers build at our weekly dance classes, and even since the weather has turned cold, we’re consistently getting a great turnout each week. We run Cuban salsa dance lessons every Monday night, at 3 Aberdeen Street, Newtown, in the Baptist Church Hall. We are very fortunate to have a genuine Cuban teacher, so we’re learning authentic Cuban street Latin dancing – which is very earthy, sensual and expressive.

We’ve also been running a social dance night on the last Friday of the month, usually upstairs at the Belmont Hotel, where students and the general public are welcome to come and mingle, unwind, practice their dance moves, enjoy Latin music and experience the friendly chilled atmosphere. Plus, with the growth and success of our volunteer run dance club, we’ve been able to host some live music events in Geelong – which have been very well supported.

In a few weeks you’ll be putting on the Salsa Solstice, would you say dancing is one of the best ways to keep warm during the cold winter nights?

Absolutely! Even now that winter has arrived, once we’ve all done our warm-up dance exercises, the layers of clothing soon start peeling off, and some people get mighty hot on the dance floor. Dancing is very therapeutic both physically and mentally. It’s an all over workout, so it’s a great way to increase fitness. Plus, salsa is a partner dance, so it can help build social skills and confidence too. We’re a friendly, welcoming bunch of people, so it’s also a great way to make some new friends while you are working out on the dance floor.

What was the vibe like at last year’s event?

Last year’s Salsa Solstice was awesome! We had such a fantastic positive response from everyone – even the band commented how much they enjoyed the night! We had people come from Melbourne and the coast, along with some of Geelong’s multi-cultural residents who were keen to hear live Latin music in Geelong. The energy in the room was very high, with the dance floor getting a big workout all night. The atmosphere was relaxed and friendly, and many people made a point of congratulating us on the event – which is very gratifying, because we really make an effort to ensure everyone feels welcome.

For those who mightn’t be as coordinated when it comes to dancing, can they still come along to experience the festivities?

Definitely, everyone is welcome, whether or not they dance. People can get up to boogie and shake their thing on the dance floor if they want to, or they can just sit back and watch. We usually do a little dance demo, kind of like a bus-stop Latin style, which everyone can join and get a taste of salsa. We find that even non-salsa dancers really enjoy our events, because it’s a unique cultural experience, and it’s very entertaining watching everyone having so much fun on the dance floor. We provide a yummy pizza supper included with ticket entry and we’ll even have mojitos and sangria available for purchase at the bar to really get into the mood.

Carino Son will be the band on the night as well, how did you come about them and what made them the perfect fit for the event?

We saw Carino Son playing a gig in Melbourne a while back, and again down at the Piping Hot Chicken in Ocean Grove – we really enjoyed them. They draw a diverse, cool crowd and they play authentic Cuban songs at a really good dance tempo – which is exactly what we want to bring to Geelong. They are a multi-cultural group with six members, four guys and two girls – so they have a great pool of vocal and instrumental talent. Carino Son have played many music and cultural events in Melbourne and around Victoria, including the Apollo Bay Music Festival, and they’re really excited about playing in Geelong on 24 June at the Seaview Club.

When & Where: Tickets are selling now for Salsa Solstice, Friday 24 June 7.30pm – midnight.
Ticket price includes entry and pizza supper. Drinks will be available at bar prices. The venue is The Seaview Club, 335 Bluestone Bridge Rd, Lovely Banks, Geelong.

TICKETS PRE-SALE $20- available Monday nights @Club La Vida Salsa Geelong dance classes 7.30-9.30pm 3 Aberdeen St Newtown. Or, www.trybooking.com/196333 (+ booking fee) DOOR SALES $25- Enquiries PH 0411 730 430 or, go to: https://www.facebook.com/lavidasalsageelong/

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