I was a proud mama last Sunday May 29th for the preliminary round of our 5th annual Toronto Dance Salsa Amateur Competition.  Wow can you believe 5 years have passed since we started this competition for our students and helpers so they can develop their salsa skills and take their salsa journey to a whole new height.

The evening began with 3 different lessons.  Lisa and Eunjoo provided the absolute beginner dancers with a fun intro to salsa class.  Sara and Roger taught the beginner/intermediates a sexy combination.  By the way, this was Sara’s last time teaching a club class.  Sara has completed her PhD and will be moving into a full time role in her field.  We will sorely miss her and I know she had a great time teaching the class.  May and I taught the intermediate class up on stage with a huge crowd and that was fun (almost lost my voice!).

Social dancing began at 8pm while the competitors, judges and performers prepared.  Winnie Fung was our Stage Manager and did a fantastic job organizing the evening.  The judges arrived and were briefed, we drew numbers to see the order of the competitors and everyone was getting their makeup done professionally by the fabulous ladies from Mary Kay.

At 9pm sharp, the awesome Tracie Yee in her gorgeous orange dress started the night.  She was truly an amazing emcee – engaging, entertaining and natural.  She kept the evening flowing beautifully and allowed enough time for the judges to tally up their scores.

Our judges for this round were Teddy and Rene from United Salseros, Angus from iFreestyle, Jennifer from Steps and Oscar from Latin Groove Productions.  Thank you so much judges for your input and support!

We had 8 couples compete:  Nina and Branco, Ileana and Martin, Monique and Joseph, Alexandra and Yuri, Anny and Tony, Sandra and Vig, Stephanie and John and Sanaz and Khemara.  Each couple was fantastic – you could really see the effort that was put in for the freestyle round which is difficult to do without knowing the song that is coming up.

While I tabulated the judges’ scores we had six amazing performance by the TDS Cabaret Team, Latin Grove Productions, TDS Reggaeton Team, Sumeet and Crystal from United Salseros, Daniel and Sandra’s Argentine Tango performance for TDS and the amazing TDS Pro Team debut performance with Jessica and Olivier.  A huge thank you to everyone who performed – you should all be so proud!

It was finally time for Tracie to announce the 5 couples who will be moving on to the finals and in no particular order they are:  Nina and Branco, Ileana and Martin, Anny and Tony, Sandra and Vig and Sanaz and Khemara.

Thanks to DJ Suave for the great tunes, Evan for keeping the evening running so smoothly and everyone else who made the night so memorable for almost 400 participants.  I can’t wait for the finals on Sunday June 26th at 6:45pm at Six Degrees Nightclub!!