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Salsa up your life

Salsa dancers from around the country will glide into Gisborne at the end of the month for a special Latin night at the Dome.

“I love Latin music and dance and want to grow the Latin scene in Gisborne — we’re excited to be able to host our fifth Fiesta Latina,” says the event’s host Elena Serena.

“There is a vibrant Latin scene in the main centres like Auckland and Wellington and a lot of people who love Latin music here, so I hope the Fiesta will be a great and different night out.”

Elena is hosting the event with the assistance of NZ Latin music and dance aficionados, Sheryl May, Dirk Bullivant and Michael Appleton. Sheryl May will lead a warm-up for those wanting to learn the basics.

“We have dancers coming from Rotorua, Napier, Auckland and Whakatane so there should be plenty of male partners.”

Serena hosted the first Latin night back in 2014 and had a live band. This year DJ Dirk will be in charge of the music and has a line-up of reggaeton (Latin hip-hop), merengue and bachata.

“Being Italian I grew up with Latin music and always loved dancing,” says Serena.

“Having a good lead dancer (and these days it’s also women who learn the part of the lead) is wonderful as the lead will allow the follower to glide on the dance floor in a way that is not too challenging for her.

“A good leader will dance to the level of the follower. For example, for a beginner, a good leader will not make her try to spin several times when once would be enough. But in the end it’s about how it feels not how fancy the moves are.”

Fiesta Latina, the Dome, Saturday, June 29 from 9pm. Tickets are selling fast but 30 will be kept for door sales. $10.

FIESTA LATINA: Dancers spice up their evening with Latin dance moves at an event like the upcoming Fiesta Latina in Gisborne. Picture by Tanja Dove