New music remixes available in the Audio section

Hey folks, as you may know I enjoy creating my own music. I like to create music in a variety of styles, but lately I am working more on salsa than anything else. I plan to work on bringing out a few original songs this year. To do that I have to practice with music production and the best way for me to do that is to remix pop songs, using the original vocal track.

I have remixed songs by Adele, The Eagles, Alicia Keys and India Arie and I am very satisfied with the results. To me this is just beginner or improver level in music production, but I like where it is going. I use the songs in my classes and it is funny to see the students grabbing their phones and trying to find the song in Shazam. That’s the nicest way to find out that a mix sounds professional. :-)

The songs are available for download in the Audio section. Be quick to get them, because you never know if the FBI comes snooping because of copyright issues. ;-)

Leave any feedback on the mixes in the comments, or hook me up on Facebook.

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April 9, 2011: Leuven Salsa Festival (Belgium)

I will be teaching and performing with Caroline Menya at the next Leuven Salsa Festival. We have a long history with this event and it is one of our favourite events, because of the wonderful atmosphere and the great people. Check out the festival website for more info.

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Bachata Warmup Song from Bachatando

This one needs a little bit explaining. I have been teaching bachata last weekend at the Bachatando Festival in Brussels last weekend. As I was in my hotel room I decided to try and make some bachata music. I have always stuck to salsa, R&B and pop, so this is totally new for me. Anyway, I created a short loop and it sounded…well…ok. I’m all about mixing music styles (and dance styles) so I tried some african rhythms and I liked it. Might even use it as the start of a new bachata show.

The next day I had to teach a Bachata Mix workshop with my partner Caroline Menya. For the warm up I played my loop, that I created the day before. I played it again for the demonstration of moves at the end of the workshop. At the end of the workshop a lot of people came up to me, asking who made the music and where they can buy it. I told them it would be available for download this week, so here it is. It is not a finished song. It’s just the loop I created, so consider this version 0.1. I will turn this into a finished song, complete with rap in Swahili by Caroline.

Download it at the following link: Bachata Highlife Warm Up

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Happy New Year. What’s in store?

I want to wish every salsero and salsera a great new year. I hope dancing will fill you with lots of positive energy. Let’s spread some of that energy to the people around us.

The start of a new year is a good time for new plans. Well, actually, every day is a good time for new plans, but I digress. I will start recording new Shines on1 and on2 and put these in separate sections here on the site. The goal: at least 50 shines in each category.

Also expect video clips about technique, like spinning and styling, and tips about creating your own shines and combinations. I’m also hoping to hear from you all what you would like to see.

What are your wishes for 2011 for salsa in general, or How2Salsa in perticular?

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My new show with Caroline Menya

Here is the new show that I’m doing now with Caroline Menya. It’s a funky cha cha show. I created the music, based on the bassline of Acid by Ray Barretto. The lighting guys messed up the timing of the silhouet part, but did a good job otherwise. :-)

Hope you like it.

Problem retrieving videos from provider: Gone

Link for mobile users

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My thoughts on Musicality

In the weekend of November 20th I will be teaching at the Leuven Salsafestival in Belgium. The central theme of this edition is Musicality. The organizer wanted to know my thoughts on musicality, and I thought I’d share them with you.

1. What is musicality in your opinion?
To me, musicality means being connected to the music when you dance, or even when you’re just listening. It means being aware or becoming aware of the different things that happen in the music, like rhythms, breaks and “feel”. After you become aware of those things, it’s up to you if and how you want to use it in your dancing. That’s a totally personal decision.

2. How important is it for your dance?
My dancing is about two things: connection with my partner and connection with the music. Those two connections control what my dance will be like. So musicalityis a big part of my dancing, but I want to share it with my partner. The beauty in sharing musicality is that you can say: this is what I hear and feel in the music. And your partner shows you what she or he feels in the music. Sometimes you’ll end up hearing things you hadn’t heard before.

3. Sometimes people say ‘you can’t teach musicality’. What’s your opinion?
You certainly can teach musicality, the way I define it. There are different ways to teach musicality and each person will have his or her own preferred way of learning. I use two methods. I have one class in which I make a choreography which uses the breaks in a specific song. People seem to like that, but honestly, to me it’s not actually teaching musicality but it’s just an example of musicality. My other method is teaching you to listen first. How does the flow of the music change, what repetitions do you hear, what breaks or specific themes do you hear in the music? Then decide what you want to do with it. I give examples, but I challenge the people to come up with their own interpretations. This to me is really teaching musicality. Listen, and make your own personal interpretation.

What does musicality mean to you? Share your ideas in the comments.

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New: Performance Jam Sessions

It’s been 15 years since I started dancing salsa and it has brought me so much joy and inspiration. I always enjoy sharing and through my video clips I do this for free with the whole world. I also teach and perform professionally and I have a lot of experience doing that. For a limited time I make myself available to work with show teams, to share views, tips and techniques on dancing and performing. We will do this in the form a Performance Jam Session.

A session lasts for 2 hours. In the first hour I’ll work with the team on dance and performance techniques, styling and expression using a short piece of choreography. In the second hour I give my input on the team’s show and share ideas on how to improve it. Of course, it’s up to the team if they want to do anything with it, but a fresh view is always good. In fact, I think you should always get input from an outsider when working on a new show.

For a limited time I’m not charging my hourly rate, but what I call expenses and value. This means you only pay me expenses and you decide after the session what it’s worth. If you think it was useless, don’t pay anything extra. If you appreciate my input, pay what you want to pay me. All I ask is that all participants fill in a short evaluation, so I can learn too from the experience.

For information on how to apply, check the page I’ve put up. Use the opportunity now. I’m not sure how long it will be available.

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Wednesday Shine #07 – On1

Another shine for you to try. Enjoy.

View on mobile

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Like it? Share it!

It is now easy to share posts that you like on this site with your friends. I’ve added the Facebook Like buttons, so with just one mouse click, you can tell your friends to check out this shine, or whatever you liked.

I’ve also added other options for sharing, which are displayed below each post. So if you like what you see, don’t keep it to yourself. Share.


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Wednesday Shine #06 – On1

Hey folks,

Another shine for the weekend (or whenever), this time focusing on sharp footwork. Enjoy.

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  • About Me

    I'm a salsa teacher and performer from the Netherlands. Want to learn how to dance? Check out the clips and tips. Want to know where I teach? Check out the schedule. Enjoy!