September smells of learning. It sends you strolling down memory lane, landscaped with mental snapshots of toothless grins and new backpacks, favorite teachers and the prom. The promise of knowledge and wisdom lingers still, even after we’ve rounded the corner into adulthood. There’s no escaping the school supply sales, tax-free weekend or speed zones, no matter how wise and mature we become. To this end I say, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”
Learn! Don’t let the children monopolize the studying season, it’s not fair. There’s plenty of information to go around for everybody. And now that the kiddos are settled into their back-to-school routines, there’s no time like the “present.” Get it? Roll call?
Otis Gray, MODEL Mentoring Program Coordinator at LULAC National Educational Service Centers, had your learning needs in mind when he developed his “Learn to Dance Salsa!” course. “Learn to Dance Salsa!“ is not your traditional salsa class. You’ll learn to dance (intermediate level by the end of the semester, just in time for New Year’s Eve) but Otis is offering more than just footwork and patterns. Gray is a proponent of the arts with a strong background in music, and he’ll offer insight into Latin dance, music and culture.
“Learn to Dance Salsa!” will cover Latin Jazz/Salsa Music Appreciation, Intro to Latin Music Percussion and Salsa Tune Analysis. You’ll learn the history, development, styles and key musicians leading up to the global salsa explosion, fundamental percussion rhythm patterns and the structure of a salsa song. Gray will also bring in guest instructors for master classes, arrange monthly “field trips” to different salsa venues for social dancing and provide a weekly Latin arts calendar highlighting the best of Latin entertainment in D/FW. You’ll receive an abundance of culture and instruction in a fun, no-pressure environment. Here’s what your instructor has to say about the classes:
“There are no tests, this is entirely for FUN! And as long as students have questions and want to learn, I will be glad to help them find the answers. Notice how I didn’t say “give” the answers; I learned this from one of my former professors. ‘A good teacher helps the student teach himself.'”
Course Details and Requirements
Otis will hold four “Learn to Dance Salsa!” classes per week at three convenient Dallas locations. Please note, if you miss one of your regular scheduled classes, you’re welcomed to make it up at any of his other sessions. Ages 16 and up. Student and teacher discounts available with proper I.D. Course requirements include: 5 blank CDs, one 3-ring binder and a positive, ready-to-have-fun-attitude. Partners are encouraged.
North Dallas/Lake Highlands – Starts 8:00pm on Tuesday, September 6 at Dallas Ballet Center (8530 Abrams Road Suite 608, Dallas TX 75243)
Highland Park – Starts 6:30pm on Monday, September 12 at Plaza Health Foods (6717 Snider Plaza, Dallas TX 75205)
Oak Cliff – Two hour-long courses starting at 5:15pm and 6:30pm on Wednesday, September 14 in the basement at the Bank Tower of Oak Cliff (400 S. Zang Boulevard, Dallas TX 75208)
For course pricing and further details, please visit Otis’ event page here.