CHENNAI: Bachata’ and ‘Reggaeton’ are words that may go completely over Chennaiites’ heads. But for 30-year-old Sura, the Spanish terms are his bread and butter. Though the instructor of Cuban Salsa and Latin music DJ took a big risk diving headfirst into international music on a professional level, he has tons of students lining up today.
Sura begins his story in 2007. “I was introduced to Latin American music by a friend. I started playing just out of curiosity,” he admits. But that did not stop him from hitting all the popular night clubs in the city within a span of few months. He lists out the ones he frequented and entertained with this newly culled out genre of music: “Pubs like Pasha, Dublin, Havana,” the list goes on.
After achieving something of a cult status among international music-playing DJs in the city circuit, Suresh, or Sura as he prefers to be called, discovered Cuban Salsa, a more versatile and lyrical offshoot of Salsa, originating in Havana.
He is quick to point out that it is different from regular Salsa: “It allows circular movements, not just linear ones.” He explains that most of his current students are non-natives of the city, either from other states or foreign nationals.
Salsa, he says, is one of the more sensual art forms and cannot just be learnt off the internet. “Salsa demands a partner. You must find an instructor you trust enough, as there is going to be physical proximity with a dancer you’ve never met before,” he says.
Sura admits that his family supported his move unquestioningly, though the move from a businessman to teaching dance like ‘Reggaeton’ wasn’t what one would advise. “I was always a little upset that I couldn’t formally learn music, growing up. But taking this risk has let me do what I enjoy doing,” he says. “I have people with different reasons coming to learn Cuban Salsa — stress, boredom, interest, curiosity and they range from teens to fifties and sixties. I can accommodate them all,” he says.
Sura can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for queries on Cuban Salsa and for setting up classes.