Hey guys, summer is coming to a close, so let’s make the best of it. The events are still up and running, here is a short list of things happening this week. Comment below if you’re interested in checking out one of these events!
Time really does fly, a year ago myself and two of my best friends stepped into the Alibi Restaurant. Most of the tables and chairs were pushed to one side, making a nice sized dance floor. The orange hue from the setting sun flooded the room, and Latin music bounced from speakers at two opposing corners. It was our first day of Salsa classes. Like most fun adventures, Lexxi had talked us into it. I’m glad Autumne and I came along for the ride though.
Salsa Jamaica has just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, and to commemorate this milestone, 876LoveR is getting a little insight from the director, Keith Anthony. We stepped (danced) away from the overflowing dance floor, and took to the quiet patio to speak.
How long have you been doing Salsa?
Well, 20 years in Jamaica but I was also doing it in Toronto and parts of Canada before that. I did Salsarobics (Salsa Aerobics) in Toronto and kinda fleshed out from there.
Why did you start Salsa Jamaica?
I had been working abroad at the company for about 25 years and they were downsizing. So this thought made a bed in my brain, “What am I gonna do when I leave this company?” Here it is, now I’m facing new frontiers and I saw this dance and I thought wow, this is great and I love it! So I thought I’m planning to go back to Jamaica at this point, let me check and see if this exists in Jamaica. I flew down here and it wasn’t here! So I came and I started teaching and pushed it from there.
Do you enjoy teaching Salsa?
I do. You know what’s nice? It’s when, at the club when I sit back, with a glass of wine, and I watch all these dancers that came through Salsa Jamaica. It’s a good feeling and they’re here, they’re dancing, they’re not causing any trouble, they’re not trying to compete against each other. It’s just about dancing and doing the best you can and having fun AND respecting each other. I think this is very vital to where we are here in Jamaica.
Any upcoming plans for Salsa Jamaica in the future?
Yes! Fusion music. At the anniversary, I had a big band, they didn’t play my music but I put songs together that fused our culture and our music with Latin music…The next phase is music and to expand from there.
There we have it, Mr. Keith Anthony sharing his love of the Latin culture with Jamaica. I also have a bonus feature! Watch the performance of the rookie of the year, Autumne, and her dance partner, Ryan.
Find Salsa Jamaica at Facebook.com/SalsaJ, or simply come to Alibi Restaurant on Thursday’s at 7pm for classes for a small fee, or 8:30 simply to dance the night away.
Friday July 4th 2014
July 4th was the L’Acadco Drum Xplosion Show and July 5th was the book launch of Soul Casing by Dr. L’Antoinette Stines & L’Acadco Dance show.
The rehearsals restarted a week before the shows after a long pause: after quite a few L’Acadco members were on tour in Japan and returned just in time. The first rehearsal was Saturday following their arrival; 11 am bright and early people started showing up at Studio. By 11:30 everyone had arrived, greeted the members that we’d missed then jumped feet first into the rehearsal for the dance show. 2 hours of sweat, laughter and tired bodies later the dancers got a break.
Soon it was time for the drummers to take our leave, to rehearse for our own show. Everyone tried to pile into Obi’s pickup truck in an extraordinary fashion: drums, bodies, bicycles, sticks, shakers, bells and all. Alas it was impossible, so Drummy & Jeffery removed their bicycles (yes! 2 bicycles) from the back and rode to the venue instead. The trunk of the van had the Djun Djuns, Chippy’s drum, the bass drum, Reuel’s drum, Hakeem, Meikle, Reuel, Green and Cespo who had the percussion instruments in his bag. I sat in the middle of the van with Chippy to my left and Shane on my right, holding his drum across both of our laps. Obi was in the driver’s seat and Jody luckily got the passenger’s seat; she held Obi’s drum between her legs. When everyone was settled and comfortable (as much as was possible) we were off to the Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre!
Our first order of business was to discuss the show. Stress was riding high in the air as this was the first full drumming show in Jamaica. The weight was on our shoulders, especially Chippy & Shane’s as the main planners. After discussing the running order of the show we started to rehearse, going through every piece as if it were the night of the show. We rehearsed for a couple of hours until it was time to wrap up rehearsal and get some food. Rehearsals went well but we were nowhere near ready for the show.
• • •
The next rehearsal was the following day, a technical rehearsal, at 11 at the Phillip Sherlock Centre for Creative Arts (where the shows were held.)