Salsa Caliente in Cincinnati,
a night to cherish
by Marques Gunter
posted May 28, 2005
The IndyRueda Dance team
and a handful of Indy Salseros planned a small
road trip to Cincinnati to check out Salsa Caliente
at the 20th Century Theater. I arrived at Sylvain's
house (our meeting point for the road trip) and
witnessed something I have never seen before,
an instructional hip-hop video. They were watching
the video while waiting for the remaining team
members to arrive. As I watched one thing shouted
in my mind, WHY, WHY!!! It was bad, really bad.
I could sympathize that the video was attempting
to teach someone how to move to the rhythm of
hip-hop, but the people demonstrating it had no
idea what they were doing. One guy even did the
thing were you hold one of your legs while kicking.
Note, if you attempt this signature move in a
hip-hop club do not feel bad if they do you a
favor and lay the smack down. One of the observers
commented, "Are they from Canada?" (Sorry Rick.).
We all crowed into 3 vehicles
and headed off to Cincinnati. Twenty minutes into
the trip we where greeted by a hail and lighting
storm. The lead car was driven by Sylvain, who
decided to pull over and the tail SUV driven by
Juan also pulled over.
ever so valiant Minivan driven by Dimas, Jamie
the co-pilot and yours truly in the backseat,
decided to push on. The cell phones were ringing
and talk of turning back started. The three amigos
refused to be talked into turning back, the trip
must go on. As hail rained down, los tres amigo
reflected upon the salsa community and commented
about its positive growth. We also touched the
topic of love and salsa. What does a salsero do
when he is interested in a lovely salsera? .A
question with many answers, none of which can
be applied to everyone or any given situation.
Even with the hail and
lighting all 3 vehicles arrived in Cincinnati
on time. We all exited our vehicles and made a
quick sprint to the theater in an attempt to keep
dry from the light rainfall. Juan and Becky had
reserved 2 VIP tables for the group and had a
first row view of the band. The band had not started
but the DJ was playing salsa. There was only one
couple on the dance floor. You could tell that
they were experienced dance partners. Their style
was like eye candy, very sensual and sexy.
Her short skirt and long legs complemented
their sexy appeal. When the band started to play,
couples began to fill the dance floor. The useable
dance space was half wood and half carpet which
was somewhat disappointing because there were
times when there was not enough room and we had
to dance on the carpet. If you have ever been
to Jazz Kitchen, you know what that is like! A
few of the experienced dancers in the group mingled
around looking for local talent to dance with.
I, being one of them, believe that life is the
sum of our experiences and having an opportunity
to sample a city's interpretation of salsa should
never be missed. We danced and danced to live
music by Salsa Caliente. The band’s music
was energetic and polished. Jenn, another salsera
in the group, and I found ourselves dancing to
a cha cha song, a dance both of us are not too
familiar with but have always found enjoyable.
The IndyRueda team assembled and put there training
to good use. They were the only rueda group there
and stole the crowd's attention. The band must
have been thinking, "Hey, you paid to see us not
them!" For the finale Sammy DeLeon did a solo
on the percussions. In one word, "fantastic!"
His hands moved so fast and if you were a physics
major, you would have expected them to catch fire!
Sylvain and I decided to have some fun and danced
together. If you did not already
Sylvain and I are guys, but Sylvain can lead and
follow. We ended our dance with an attention getting
dip where Sylvain kicked both legs in the air!
A very impressive and entertaining show we gave
the audience. Sammy must have been thinking, "Excuse
me, I'm working my butt off here and you're looking
at those two jokers!!!" After Sammy's solo the
show was over and the audience began to dissipate.
"Where is Jamie?" I asked the group. Jamie was
talking to Sammy and managed to get a signed pair
of drumsticks and a copy of his latest album,
for free! I was thinking I need to acquire this
guy's networking skills.
All good things must come
to an end and we got into our respective vehicles
and headed back to Indy. We listened to Sammy
DeLeon's CD as I lay back in my seat and reflected.
They were memories to cherish and should not be
forgotten. A night of good music, dance and in
the company of good friends; what more could a
Salsero ask for?
Till next time