‘I want you just to try it. But if it doesn’t work, I don’t want you to

think, “Oh my God, this is the last time

I’m going to dance!” Just remember, everything comes from the hips.’ The beginners Latin American dance classes at Dance Base on Thursday evenings and Saturday afternoons are packed with a medley of enthusiasts of all different shapes, sizes and abilities. Alternately attentive and confused, they follow their dance teacher, Alba Higgins’ every move. ‘People have discovered that they are able to dance like Latin Americans if they are given the same tools’, Higgins enthuses.

When Higgins began teaching Latin American dance in Edinburgh in 1994, she had only one class. She now gives three each week at Dance Base and one at the University and is amazed at how quickly the trend is spreading. Helping to boost the popularity of weekly classes is the proliferation of Latin Club nights like Fiesta Latina, Salsa Viva and Rumbeando which are infinitely more enjoyable if you can practice your hard-earned skills and impress your partner with the real


thing. Apparently, there are at last enough men around who can dance well. In one of Alba’s classes there are actually too few women to go round, a 2 problem previously unheard of.

Why such a sudden enthusiasm for Latin Dancing? Morag Deyes, artistic ; director of Dance Base, partially I attributes the trend to the growth of a Latin community in Scotland. But she 'f feels that the Scots’ new found i affinity with Latin Dancing is only ; natural. ‘I think it’s to do with the very passionate nature of the Scots and because this kind of dancing is not pretentious. The Scots have an inbuilt anti-pretentious filter,’ she concludes. (Tanya Stephan) Thanks to Dance Base and Alba 5 Higgins for Latin American dance classes.


I DANCE BASE Assembly Rooms. 5-1 (ieorge Street. 225 5525. The centrepoint of Fdinburgli‘s dance activity boasts a beautiful. airy studio space complete with sprung floor and a body-bending range of classes led by higlily-(jualified teachers. Weekly sessions are generally booked on a termly basis (ten week term) and are all full to capacity for Spring. You can

however book for nest terni‘s classes from

late March onwards choosing from a broad sweep of styles tiiat runs froinjau.

tap. ballet and conteiiiporai'y techniques to r

the ever-popular ligyptiaii. Latin .'\inerican. Bharata Natyaiii (classical Indian style). Ballroom and jive. .\'ew programme with full details available from early March. l’laces still available in the one-olf workshops listed below. All sessions held at l)ance Base tniless stated otherwise

I The X Factor Workshop Fri l Mar.

2 Jpn). L~l (L2 l. (leneral level (at least one year's e\pei'iencei. Alan (ireig. clioreogiaphei' with dynamic Fdinburgh- based all-male dance company X Factor. leads an energy-filled workshop based on the latest w oik to emerge out of the company studio. Dual.

I Afro-Caribbean Dance Workshops Thomas Morton llall (l.eith Theatre). Ferry Road. l.eith. Beginners: Sat 2 Mar. 2 5pm. £10 (LS). (ienct‘al (one year of contemporary. ballet or jazz. dance experience); Sun 3 Mar. llam—i2pm. £10 (LS). Feel the heat of Afro-Caribbean dance with excellent teacher and founder of Kokutna Dance Company Jackie Guy. I Cajun Dance Workshop Sun 2.1 Mar. 10.30am—4piii. £20 (L'l5 ). .\'o experience necessary. but pai'dnei‘ useful. Wear comfy shoes but not trainers. Britain‘s top Cajun dance teachers Tim Rutherford and Madeleine l)ohei'ty' invite you to get your knees up to rocking accordians and bluesy riddles with the mad. swinging dance- style that belongs to the party-lovin' folks on the bayous of Louisiana.

I Raqs Sharqi Egyptian Dance Weekend Thomas Morton llall (l.eith 'l‘heatre). Ferry Road. l.eith. Beginners (no

experience necessary): Sat 30 Mar.

l0am- noon. £10 (LS). lntei'iiiediate

(minimum one year experience): Sat 30 Mar. 2-~1.30piii. £15 (U2). lntermedlate/advanced classical Arabic

dance: Sun 3] Mar. llt)()ll--~lptll. £20 (£l7).

Woineii only. Wear long skirt/leggings

with t-shirt or leotard and bring long silky

scarf to tie round hips. l)on't miss the chance to shake those hips and bellies ligyptian-style with this sensual. therapeutic form ofdance.

3 I Dance For All Studios 9h Grange Road.

1 (ins 4030. Spacious new twin-studio

complex in a converted church hall and a

; growing programme ofclasses for

lidinburgh‘s flamenco queen Tracy

llawkes and her school. Adult classes:

one hour £3.50 (£3 )'. one hour fifteen

minutes 9.11 (£3.50).

I Ballet livery Tue: beginners 7pm.

ery Wed: general (v.30pm. lfyou've always fancied yourself up there with the sugar plum fairies. why not try a spot of classical ballet'.’ liven those who didn‘t spend a childhood at the barre should be able to get their feet round the rudiments. and practised regularly it‘s brilliant for muscle tone aiid strength.

I Contemporary livery- to: general (ipitl. (ieneral class in the broad modern dance style Used by most big dance companies

from America's Mark Morris to Britain's Raiiibei't l)ance (‘ompanyz

I Creative/African livery- Fri. 7. 1 5pm.

5 (let down with funky Afro beats in this

new creative class.

I Egyptian Belly Dance livery Wed:

beginners (i.45piii. New class in this

sensual ligyptian dance style.

I Flamenco livery Mon: beginners

(r. l5pm; intermediate 7.15pm; advanced

r S, l5pm. livery Tue: beginners 8.15pm.

; livery Thurs: intermediate 7.45pm:

performance class Spin. Finger-curling.

' heel-clicking. hot-blooded traditional

Spanish dance pitched at various levels

and led by highly-experienced

i tcacher/performer Tracy llawkes.

; I Indian Kathak Dance livery wed. 5pm.

(‘o-ordinatioii and rhythm are what's

l required with this classical lndian dance


I Latin American livery Thurs. 5.30pm. New class providing a grounding in the key elements of Latin dance.

I Jazz livery Tue: beginners S. l 5pm. livery Sat; intermediate 4pm. llip- thrusting. high-leg kicking youthful dance steps of the West lind stage musical kind with classes to suit absolute beginners and those with a hit more dance experience. I Spanish Sevillanas Class livery 'I‘liurs. (v.45pin. (irab your partners for this sexy. sangria-swilling Spanish couple dance.

Other classes

I Ceroc Moray House. llolyrood Road. Further info: 0l324 (i l 320‘). livery Tue: beginners 7.30pm: general S.-l5piii. L31 (two classes and two hours of freestyle dancing). Massively popular form of modern jive based on French rock ‘n' roll which has hooked over l000 devotees since it arrived in Scotland in 1902. by teachers .leaii Harris and Franck l’auly. I Latin American St (‘olumba’s (.‘hurch llall. Upper ('ii'ey Street. Further info: Manuel. 337 (i170. Weekly: Wed 2| Feb—20 .Mar. 5pm. L'l5 (l; l 2) per term. Wear loose comfortable clothing. lisperienced (‘olonibiaii teacher and ex- (‘oloiiibian National Ballet. dancer Manuel Montenegro leads you through the basics of the tango and salsa.

I Latin American The Belgrave Hall. 34 Belgrave Road. Further info: Manuel. 337

()l70. Weekly: Sun 25 Feb- 24 Mar. ().3(lplll. As above.

I Creative Dance For details of weekend and ongoing workshops contact lsabell Buenx: 22S (>786. (iettirig-iii-touch-w'ith- yourself type dance classes rising elements of theatre. play. circus skills. as well as l’\" light to heighten body awareness and explore creativity.


For details check out feat Now also on a monthly 5 i

at the Queen ’s Union, I .

Latin clubs

Take those hot Latin American moves out of the classroom and onto the dancellror Latin dance clubs are in.

I Hay Algun Problema Negmlanis. Lothian Street. 225 (i3l3. Sun l3 Feb. Fortnightly. l0pm -3am. Free. See (‘lubs

listings. I Latin Festival Fri ((r -Sal I7 Feb. Feelin' hot. hot. hot'.’ Try a week nd of

Latin madness.

Club Latinos 2nd Birthday Party 1... Belle Angele. Cowgate. Tickets from Fopp Records. (‘ockburii Street. 220 0l33. Lo (£5) subject to booking fee. Twelve piece salsa orchestra ‘l’a‘lante' open the festivities of this kicking Latin all- weekendo and celebrate two years of sweaty salsa-style clubbing at (flub Latino in style.

Kids Carnival Assembly Rooms. 51 (ieorge Street. 'l‘icketline: 220 43-1‘). Sat l7 Feb. l---l.30pm (doors l2.30pm). Ll per 45 min workshop. The Latin Festival extends its welcome to younger pai‘tygocrs. with a series of workshops aimed specifically at kids between eight and fourteen years old (adults welcome). Carnival Ball Assembly Rooms. 54 (ieorge Street. Ticket line: 220 434‘). Sat 17 Feb. S.3()pm-».‘saiii. Ell) (£7). The grand finale to the Latin Festival looks set to top last year's success. with a winter-frost melting line-up that includes Mavimo Jitiietiel. Y Los (‘hicos dc \'allenato from (‘oloiiibia's Caribbean coast. eleven-piece Brazilian orchestra (irup l-‘oha and dance troupe ()s Folious do Samba.

I Salsa Viva at The Attic. l)yet is (‘los’e. (‘ow'gate. 225 S3S2. Fri ‘) Feb. Fortnightly. 10.30pm 3am. Lil. See (‘lubs listings.

Complete beginners welcome every week.

- v I nce orphone hotline. l r I 5 Night stoning 24/02/96 've Glasgow - 8.15pm

The List 9-22 Feb l996 99