CHENNAI: Rhythmic beats on the Conga, shiny glittery costumes and some slow to fast-paced moves, with some twists, turns and lifts. No, we aren’t describing a performance from a dance show. The Swingers Dance Inc. has the right recipe to spice up your V-Day plans. The dance group will conduct a Latin dance workshop, curated by salsa champion Richard David Tholoor.
The Bengaluru-based dancer, who has competed and performed across the world and represented India at several championships — World Latin Dance Cup Qualifier (2017), European Salsa Championships (2007) and Australian Salsa Championships (2007), is also the first Indian to qualify for the World Salsa Championships, Salsa Cabaret Division (Pro) — Richard started dancing when he was 17.
“Once I visited a private discotheque in Bengaluru and was awestruck by a guy who was doing some old school moves. More than that, it was the attention that guy was receiving from girls. And that day after going home, I switched on MTV and started dancing” he laughs.
Inspired by internationally acclaimed salsa dancer Johnny Vazquez, Richard began to take dance lessons and wished to compete in championships. He had to wait for seven years to find a dance partner, but after that he won several titles. “I travelled a lot, to learn more about other dance forms. The Latinos dance differently and it was only fair that I spent some time understanding the music and dance from where it originated,” he shares.
Latin American dance, is an umbrella term used to represent several dance forms that are divided into two categories — folkloric and social dances. Richard will be focusing on three social dance forms in his workshop — Salsa, Bachata and Merengue. “I thought why not celebrate this Valentine’s Day the Latin way. I will be teaching them the basics of these different dance styles, and then we would all dance for some Latin music at the end,” he adds.
The dance forms which are culturally similar and involves a lot of hip-movements for women, is usually structured in a way where the man leads and the woman follows. “It is not a choreography, where there are steps and you dance. So when the dancer leads, the woman needs to develop the ability and sense to follow it,” he explains.
The main difference between these dance forms is the music. Different instruments are used to represent each of these dance styles — a conga drum and a clave are used in Salsa whereas a bongo and a distinct guitar-ish sound represent Bachata. “These instruments represent the heartbeat of each music. In fact, today, Bachata can even have influences from R&B music, where they even remix English songs to Bachata. For example, a song like Shape of you will be remixed with bongo beats and guitar tunes, to make it sound more Bachata-like” he adds.
The Latin dance workshop by Richard David Tholoor will be held today from 7 pm onwards
at The Swingers Dance Studio, Kodambakkam. For details call: 9500199088