I think that every single Colombian I’ve ever met says that they dance salsa.
And when you ask them how did they learn? They’ll tell you they’ve been dancing since they were kids.
It’s true, with the music so much a part of the culture that you hear it walking through the streets, on the radio, and playing at family barbecues… one almost can’t help but learn to sway your hips to the rhythm.
The thing is, it’s usually not much more than just that.
But here, during our first week in Colombia, we had the privilege of meeting some Colombian kids who are actually training in salsa dancing from a very young age. And they’re absolutely amazing.
Visiting the Esfera Latina #2 dance academy we were stunned to see classes and teams full of young dancers dancing at a very advanced level.
Even more impressive, the academy’s founder and principal teacher Danny Gonzalez is just 20 years old himself! Already he’s a 4-time world champion in Salsa and 10-time national champion, and has danced with his 17-year-old partner, Judy, for 7 years already.
Talk about getting a headstart!
Danny and some of his junior team joined us in the Plaza Bolivar to film some clips and they definitely drew a crowd.
The two youngest dancers, David and Samhyta are both 10 years old, and have been dancing together for 3 years. They’re both headed to Orlando this December to compete in the World Latin Dance Cup.
Samhyta, who started dancing at just 6 and half years old, says that with dancing she hopes to learn more every day, to grow as a dancer and as a person, and the travel the world demonstrating and enjoying her talent.
As a funny coincidence, just as we were filming the two dance, a group of kids from a nearby school passed and all stopped to watch. The kids all were stunned by his flip and giggled at his shimmies.
The speed of their movements and the personalized attitudes that they’ve incorporated into their dancing at such a young age are truly remarkable.
In their training, Danny says he makes a point to help each of his team members to discover their unique dancing style and personality, and the results clearly show.
Be sure to keep an eye out for these couples this December at the WLDC!