Salsa, which first hit Bangalore in the late 1990s, is bigger than ever before. Enthusiasts say while there were only a few salsa regulars a decade back, there are now more than 800 who pound the floors of dance studios and dance clubs. The city has about 40 salsa learning centres and an equal number of salsa clubs.
Siva Balan, artistic director HipNotics Dance Co. in Langford Road, notes that his studio now has more than 100 students learning salsa each week, a 30 per cent jump from last year.
All the rage
So, what makes it so popular? Sneha Kapoor, who started her salsa career a decade ago, says “They come here because its absolute fun and one gets to socialize a lot. Socializing is a trend that has been out there since this IT boom.” Incidentally, she says, that eighty percent of her students are from IT background. What is really special about this boogie is that you can stay in perfect shape while enjoying yourself. That’s what makes it more popular”.An avid salsa fan says, “Its not like going to a gym where many of them push themselves to stay fit. Here you let your hair down, listen to your favorite music and swing in rhythm and that’s it your fit and fine!” And what more, you go out there in pairs and that adds all the zing.
On foreign lands
The sure shot testimony for Bangalore’s salsa craze is the rising Indian participation in salsa meets world over. Richard Thollor and Sneha Kapoor have participated in many such events. Last year, they won the 1st prize at European salsa masters and several other competitions of the same repute. This pair is among the first ones to represent India on international forum. “Its amazing, the kind of response Bangalore has in case of such events. It’s overwhelming,” says Sneha.
The crowd that is gung-ho about this sensual dance form finds it inexpensive. Training fee varies from anywhere between Rs. 1200 to Rs. 2500 for 8 sessions.