Ross-Shire Journal, 6th January 2006
Salsa craze all set to spin into Ross-shire
DINGWALL is set to be the first stop for a dance craze spurred on by a hit TV series.|
And with New Year resolutions flying fast and furious, the Black Isle-based organiser of a new programme of salsa classes promises it could just be the sexiest way of getting fit!
Salsa North is the brainchild of Cromarty based dance teacher Jermaine McCracken, who is also a health promotion adviser with NHS Highland Dingwall's National Hotel is set to host the first in a series of monthly events for beginners upwards starting on January 27.
Jermaine and husband Campbell believe they've spotted a gap in the market and hope to get a massive boost from the phenomenal success of BBC's ratings-topping Strictly Come Dancing. She said, "It is well known that activity is good for you but many people just do not like sports or gym clubs.
"I felt there was a gap in the market to create a place for people to learn to dance and somewhere the whole family could have fun together.
"I wanted it to be central enough for people to think about traveling in train or bus to come to the classes, have a good time and return safely using public transport."
Referring to the impact of the BBC series, she said, "Those of you who have been watching the BBC Saturday night entertainment Strictly Come Dancing will have seen the way athletes, chefs and cricketers took to the dance floor.
"The macho male grown into a confident mover and performer, the shy athlete developed into a confident sexy dancer, the female celebrities able to fulfil dreams of being swept away on a dance floor wearing glittering gowns showing every move and shimmer as they danced to Latin rhythms."
Salsa North, as the events will be called, will begin 2006 with an event on the January 27 at the National Hotel in Dingwall followed by a Saturday night session at the Royal Highland Hotel in Inverness.
A beginners' class starting at 6pm will be followed with an improvers session and then an opportunity to continue dancing with expertise from Jermaine and her team. The events are for all ages from 12 years up.
Jermaine added, "All adults need to keep moving in order to maintain mobility and dancing has particular benefits. It concentrates the mind, requires listening and interpreting music skills and stimulates the memory with each step learnt. These skills will keep people of all ages on their toes.
"Young people throughout the country have found salsa dancing helps develop spatial awareness, communication and rhythm.
"These skills are transferable to everyday life situations and you will find yourself energised by coming along to these events But most of all it is fun!"
The couple has teamed up with Birmingham-based DJ and dance instructor Michael Pottinger who is set to include Dingwall in his UK itinerary
He said. "The party night format has worked well in the UK so far We have other events throughout the year to keep dancers on their toes and even large numbers can be taught successfully, giving everyone involved a great time.
"I am looking forward to coming to Inverness as this will be the farthest north I have been on the British Isles."
A salsa teacher for 11 years, Michael, locally known as DJ Potty, has taught all over Europe and will be appearing at the Brit SalsaFest at the Winter Gardens, Blackpool in February this year.
Those wanting to build up levels of fitness and gain more confidence with the steps can attend classes on a Tuesday morning, 9.30-10.30, at the Town Hall in Dingwall.
Call Jermaine on 07803 706842 for more details.