Salsa (literally “sauce”), perfectly describes a living, current genre of music and style of dance composed of various ingredients including influences from Africa, the Caribbean and Spain.
Miko and Cristina lead a fun salsa class that is inspired by Venezuelan street dance, as opposed to academic show styles. The warm-up consists of head, shoulder, rib and hip isolations followed by some basic steps. Miko instructs on leading techniques while Cristina provides techniques for following. Dancers are encouraged to use whatever elements they have - anything from popping to flamenco and tango movements - to express themselves. Emphasis is placed on understanding the rhythm and accents of the music to give students the basic tools to improvise and to make the dance their own.
No partner necessary.
Bare feet encouraged.
Cristina has been teaching Salsa Dura to youth alongside Miko Sobreira at Lula Labs since 1998 and the Pulse Ontario Youth Dance Conference since its inception. In the true sense of the word salsa (sauce), their style is improvisational, spontaneous and draws on both of their varied movement influences. Cristina studied classical ballet through her childhood and later studied such diverse dance techniques as Afro-Cuban, flamenco, Graham, Limón and salsa as well as other movement disciplines such as Feldenkrais, Pilates and yoga in several styles.
Drawn to teaching, Cristina pursued studies in pedagogy at the University of Toronto from 1996-1999. She completed the ashtanga teacher training at Downward Dog Yoga Centre in 2004 and continues to learn biomechanics and anatomy under Riki Richter of Synergy Sports Medicine. Cristina is currently enrolled in U of T’s Concurrent Teacher Education Program with a focus on French Language Teaching and Learning. In the tradition of her teachers, Cristina challenges her students while tailoring the practice to their needs.