Our lead instructors Tara and Marianne and have recently moved to Halifax. Between them, they have over 30 years of combined salsa experience! They have trained mostly in Vancouver and performed on several salsa teams including Baza Salsa Glam Ladies. They have traveled extensively to attend several Canadian and international congresses and have taken workshops and private classes with many of the top international instructors. Although they appreciate all styles of salsa, they have developed a love for “On 2” or New York style.
Fun facts: When they were on maternity leave at the same time, Tara and Marianne offered a Mom and Baby Salsa Fit class to help mom get back into shape and socialize. When they are not working and being busy moms, they love going social dancing.
Tara: Tara is originally from Halifax. She has recently returned to be closer to family after spending several years abroad and on the west coast. The grandchild of Canadian and US Ballroom Champions, dancing has always interested her. Over the years, she has dabbled in various dance styles such as West Coast swing but she discovered a passion for salsa while living in Australia. A physiotherapist by day, Tara uses her understanding of body motion to help break down movement when she teaches salsa.
Marianne: Originally from Quebec, Marianne first lived in Halifax during her undergraduate degree and, like Tara, has returned to be closer to family. Marianne started dancing when she was 4 and has never stopped. She has trained for over 18 years in ballet, jazz and other styles. She has done numerous amateur and semi-professional performances over the years before starting salsa dancing. She was introduced to salsa by Tara in 2005 and fell in love with it! She has focussed on perfecting this style ever since. She likes to bring techniques and exercises from other dance styles into salsa classes to help improve posture, lines and spinning in salsa dancing.
Moses moved to Halifax 10 years ago from a refugee camp in Ghana. Moses grew up dancing urban Afrodances, hip pop and performing at local parties ( mostly crashing parties with his dance moves), where there is music and food you will find him there. Though Moses's first love was dancing he did not continue dancing when he arrived in Halifax, he turned to soccer. Sadly his goal of becoming a soccer star was cut short due to a back and groin injury.
That same year he decided to take part in the musical "Fame" with his best friend Simon, which reignited his love of dancing. During the production of Fame, the director cast him as one of the male Tango dancers. After the production ended, Moses continued to attend Tango class which lead to discovering salsa dancing at a little club called Pipa and the rest is history. " It just felt right, though I don't understand what the music is saying, the instruments sounded familiar like something I had listened to growing up". Since that night back in September 2014, Moses hasn't gone a day without salsa music or dancing. While following his love of dance and music Moses began hosting Salsa Dura, from there he continued to grow as a dancer, Host and now an instructor and a business owner. Now the owner and director of Haliente Creative Studios and the Halifax Salsa and Bachata Festival here in the city.
Fun fact: Moses met his partner and the mother of his two kids salsa dancing.
" I continue to invest my time, money and energy into this art because it makes me happy and I love knowing I've created a space where others can find that same joy"
Given my mixed African background, I have managed to learn various forms of dances from Africa and understanding the story behind the moves. The dances I focus on are mainly from East and Central Africa but I can do all dances from across the continent.
Afro dance is a world of its own and that’s a world I've lived in since I came out the womb, learning the beats, feeling the rhythm and understanding that it’s all tradition and that the rest will come naturally and flow within you. With Afro-dance, you have to FEEL the beat in order to move in the right direction, don’t rush the process.
Apart from Afro-dance, I also do contemporary, dancehall, hip-hop and back in the days, ballet. But now I mainly focus on Afro-dance, dancehall and hip-hop. I’m currently working on expanding my options and creating a new form of dance called “Afro-contemporary”. It’s a fusion of Afro-dance and Contemporary dance. Dancing is fun and that’s the first thing to remember, it’s not always about being the best, it’s about enjoying it as you go along.