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Shake Those Hips: Salsa Dancing in Pottstown (who knew?!?!)

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Come January and February, gyms are generally packed thanks to popular New Year resolutions to get in shape.

Recently I decided to steer clear of the crowds and have some fun, so I went to a salsa class! My friend, Star Seguinot, teaches salsa at SwingKat at the Ballroom on High Street in Pottstown, for the Starry Ferrari Salsa Dance Party every couple of weeks. Remi & Star

This one was also a special occasion, as Star was celebrating her 51st birthday (and looked amazing... obviously salsa is the key to a rockin bod!)

I’m a pretty good dancer, so I figured I’d have no problem so I jumped into the beginner class with ease, thinking I’d be just like Jennifer Grey in Dirty Dancing. And I was. I danced like she did in the beginning of the movie. But I soon found my way with the expert instruction of Star and her assistant.

Salsa is a very sensual dance and is very much a contact sport. After we all tried out some dance moves, everyone paired up, tried the moves, and then the ladies would move one partner to their right, making sure that you get to know everyone personally. It was fun, and the Latin music was great. I started to get more and more into it. On the other side of the room, Star and Remi Rosales taught their intermediate class, and those participants were having a lot more fun than us in beginner, mentally counting out the steps as people were murmuring one-two-three next to me!

After a break and cake for Star’s birthday, DJ Fausto Rey from Cuba Libre  came to DJ. Star and DJ Fausto Rey are old friends from her days dancing there, and he was spinning some of the greatest music I have ever heard. Salsa Dancers

Salsa, bachata and merengue were the dances of the evening, and these people can MOVE. I always thought I was a good dancer, but watching the salsa dancers move with such grace and sensuality, made me want to do it too! The room was alive with people on the floor, and soon I got asked to dance and I was dancing—and it is a workout! I moved muscles I didn’t know I had, especially in my hips!

It was great to hang out with Star, who has made salsa dancing her life’s work. She began training in salsa and hustle in the Philadelphia area in 2000. She also trained in New York City in mambo with Melanie Davis, director of the famed Copa Cabana dancers. She has performed at such venues as La Luna Dance Studio, Bensalem; The Atrium Dance Studio, Pennsauken, N.J.; The Cultural Explosion Holiday Party at Club Cubano, Elizabeth, N.J.; and various private events in the Philadelphia region.

Star was also a featured performer at Cuba Libre Restaurant, in Philadelphia. She was an original member of La Luna’s first professional dance troupe, Luna Negra, until the team dissolved in 2007. In April 2004, Star won the $3,500 La Luna Salsa Classic competition. In March 2009, Star and an amateur partner took second place at La Luna Dance Studio’s first pro-am salsa competition. Now, between the classes and dances, she is kept busy as the director of the salsa program at the Ballroom on High, Pottstown, and salsa instructor at Brasil’s Nightclub, Philadelphia.

I had a great time and will definitely be back. It was a great way to meet new people of all ages, and to try something new, by taking a small (salsa) step outside your comfort zone to have a good time with amazing music.

The Salsa Socials begin at 8 p.m. with a Beginner salsa lesson or an Intermediate salsa lesson (your choice), then dancing to salsa, bachata, merengue and cha cha till 11, and it is only $12. Salsa Dances happen at The Ballroom On High, 310 E. High St. Pottstown, PA. Remi & dance student

For more information call 215-920-4511 or email star@netcarrier.com

These dances usually occur every 2nd & 4th Thursday of the month.

Christine Tarlecki can be reached at engchik@comcast.net, or at http://twitter.com/engchik  or http://engchik.blogspot.com/