Hi, Salsa Phil here...
I'm a 'Salsero' of Pakeha and Maori descent and can dance as both a leader and follower. Dancing allows me to express myself in a way that is fun, sensual, exciting and creative. I've also met a lot of fantastic people through dance.
I have always loved to dance, and initially got into aerobics; teaching it for 3 years. In fact it was only in order to learn moves for aerobics competitions that I began partner dancing in 1993. Starting with Modern Jive, I was soon introduced to ‘Street Latin’, which included Lambada, Salsa,bachata and Merengue.
At the time the NZ salsa scene was pretty small but I did what I could to get out and practice. Very special thanks go to Kantuta for providing music and places to dance! Kantuta was the foundation for Street Latin in those early days and has continued to feature strongly in this country’s Latin dance scene.
In January 2002 I was asked to take over a salsa class at Let’s Dance Studio in Pakuranga. This inspired me to get classes going in my own local area as well. Teaching is what I love to do. It inspires me in everything I do, motivating me for the next project.
While I personally believe my teaching skills are better than my dancing skills, in the past 12 years I have won six awards in the NZ Street Latin competitions.
styles and influences
I am most passionate about the music and interaction of Street Salsa.
My biggest influences are the Aerobics fitness network courses, Modern Jive, Miriam Copperman, Isaac & Linda (founders of Latin Fever), Rolly & Vanessa, Julius Wendt, Oliver Pineda (Latin Motion, Australia), Eddie (The Salsa Freak), Albert Torres and Super Mario.
I would also like to thank the whole Latin community in New Zealand for welcoming non-Latin people into their culture.
Some day, I hope this country’s culture might become more like Latin America’s - where most people can dance a little - and let loose with a few hot moves!
My current goal is to introduce Latin dance to the younger generation - maybe even the rugby addicts...!