Dancing the salsa

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 04 January, 2012, 12:00am

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Four junior reporters paired up to learn salsa from dance instructor Joseph Ennin. They shook, glided and spun around. Check out what they have learned.

What is salsa?

Joseph Ennin is one of the key organisers of the annual Hong Kong Salsa Festival, which will be held from February 27 to March 4 this year. He told us how different salsa was from other dances. 'When you compare salsa with cha-cha, the rhythm of salsa is more rapid. The beats are slightly different, too,' Ennin said.

Salsa includes a lot of sliding and turning so it is best to wear some easy-sliding shoes for it.

'We dance in pairs usually,' he said. 'Salsa is a great way to socialise and meet new friends as well. Salsa is popular in Singapore, and I want teens in Hong Kong to receive the same exposure.'

Janet Tam

Hong Kong Salsa Festival

Joseph Ennin's Quick Step Productions organises the Hong Kong Salsa Festival every year. During the week-long event, thousands of dancers from all over the world flock to Hong Kong to dance along to some light-hearted salsa beats.

During this year's festival, Hong Kong will host the World Salsa Championship for the first time. More than 3,000 participants from around the globe will be in Hong Kong for this annual competition.

Apart from the competition, there will be salsa workshops for people who are not familiar with the dance. The festival aims to bring the salsa culture to Hongkongers.

Another highlight will be a street party at the Avenue of Stars in Tsim Sha Tsui. Salsa originated as a form of street dance in Cuba. During the festival, passers-by can dance the salsa on a Cuban street created at one of Hong Kong's most scenic spots.

The Hong Kong Salsa Festival will be a fine celebration of the global salsa culture.

Elise Choi

What did our junior reporters do?

As the instructors Joseph Ennin and Sherman Chow Cheuk-man demonstrated the dance's intricate footwork to us step by step, we tried our utmost to keep pace by imitating them.

The workshop lasted for around an hour. We managed to learn some basic salsa steps even in that brief period of time.

The duo then performed a routine at normal speed, and sat down to answer our questions.

Ennin said he could not wait for this year's Hong Kong Salsa Festival. Although the dance is popular worldwide, Hong Kong people, he said, do not get enough exposure to it. The Hong Kong Salsa Festival was a good opportunity to popularise this famous Latin American dance.

Dancing salsa, he added, is a good way to release stress and burn some calories.

Sophia Cheung