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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. The 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 know, 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

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