TORONTO – Some say the path to love is through the eyes. For many Torontonians, it’s proving to be through their two left feet.
Toronto Dance Salsa (TDS) is Canada’s largest salsa dance school, churning out many of the country’s top performers. But that’s not why it’s been making waves lately. TDS has also been churning out more love stories than its owner can count.
“From bachelor parties to weddings to baby showers, I think I’ve seen more of my students off the dance floor than on,” says TDS owner and instructor Evan Carmichael, “and the best part is that it’s all because of us. We’ve introduced so many couples who wind up not only sharing a love of salsa, but also a love for each other.”
Just ask Aleks Saiyan who enrolled in beginner salsa classes at TDS.
“I used to be that creepy guy who would stare at girls for way too long,” he says. “I wasn’t actually creepy. I was just so terrified of making a mistake on the dance floor that I would forget to blink.”
Fast forward six years later and Saiyan has not only become a salsa instructor who performs at salsa congresses across the country, but he’s also engaged to a fellow dancer whom he met at TDS.
“If it wasn’t for TDS, I would probably still be that awkward shy guy sitting at the bar in clubs,” says Saiyan. “Instead, today, I’m living out my passion with the woman that I love. And it’s all because I decided to sign up for that one class.”
Saiyan is just one of the many who have found their soulmate at TDS. So what is it about salsa that seems to create couples?
Carmichael, who also met his wife at TDS, says it’s a combination of factors.
“First, it’s spending time together doing something that you both enjoy,” he says, “and since you’re both learning, there’s definitely a lot of laughs along the way. No awkward silences here.”
Second is the sexy factor, says Carmichael.
“It’s not like going for dinner with someone and just talking, or going to a movie and just staring straight ahead. You’re getting close to each other, breaking down barriers and getting comfortable with each other much more quickly,” he says. “Salsa is a sexy dance and when two people dance it, even if they’re just beginners, you can feel a spark.”
Finally, the salsa community is close-knit, and sharing the same friends always helps in a relationship, says Carmichael.
“We’re a family at TDS. We celebrate birthdays on the dance floor. We organize outings to play laser tag and plant trees together,” he says. “When you have a common social circle and support network, it really helps build trust and open communication.”
As people live busier lives and find less time to socialize, Toronto Dance Salsa just may be the city’s new secret weapon in the search for soul mates.
About Toronto Dance Salsa
Toronto Dance Salsa is Canada’s largest salsa dance school. It specializes in turning absolute beginners into dancers. It introduces students to the fundamentals of salsa, bachata, merengue, kizomba, and tango, and also offers workout classes like Zumba. Its new semester of classes is beginning now.