Let's Salsa - The new Tianjin lifestyle

A mother of one, Feng Feng has become a very confident woman. The proud owner of a Salsa dance studio, she has been dancing the Salsa for about 8 years. Dancing is not an alternative to the gym, she states, but a lifestyle choice to benefit one's entire well-being.

In 2006, Feng Feng became interested in Salsa dancing after, ironically, attending a belly-dancing party. Before the party was to begin, some attendees started Salsa dancing, attracting her attention. The dancers looked so passionate and professional, seeming to enjoy themselves very much. Having its origins in Cuba while gaining popularization in The United States, Salsa comes in two primary styles: American and Cuban. They differ in their steps, music, and partner interactions. Right now, the American style is particularly trendy.

The following year, Feng Feng developed chronic hives, an allergic reaction caused by an immunity disorder, resulting in itchy skin that would bother her daily. At the time, she had been taking Chinese herbal medicine, which was proving to be little help. Now, she says she is perfectly fine, however. It seems that after a year of Salsa dancing, she had recovered from her condition. Feng Feng believes that the sweating of a full-body workout from dancing, coupled with an improvement in her overall mood as a result of her developed social life, has cured her of her disease. She has since been symptom-free.

Whether or not you believe that dancing cured Feng Feng of her disorder, or that it was purely coincidental, Salsa dancing has proven to be beneficial to Feng Feng in ways exceeding those of purely physical health-related consequence. Dancing has enriched her life in a more meaningful way. She enjoys a healthier, happier mood. She also appreciates the opportunity to network and make lots of new friends. For her, Salsa dancing is a kind of lifestyle, and she hopes people take to Salsa dancing not for physical benefits or the desire to lose weight alone but, more importantly, for an interest in the culture and style of living.

After having studied Salsa dancing for some time now, Feng Feng has been teaching Salsa in Tianjin as of October this year. Her aim for starting to teach Salsa dancing has been to promote the said lifestyle and culture that she draws as a benefit, as well as developing the ensuing social platform. In Beijing, where she has lived for 12 years (and where she studied Salsa dancing primarily), and Shanghai, where she has visited Salsa clubs, people are more open-minded to outside cultures, she says. Conversely, in Tianjin, she has found it particularly difficult to promote the lifestyle of Salsa dancing as the people are more conservative and not as open-minded, she continues.

There are, nonetheless, a few bars and restaurants open to the idea of providing a venue for Salsa dancing, such as the hotel Indigo. These venues see Salsa dancing as a great opportunity to attract people to their establishment, while also helping to promote the new culture and style of living. Through Indigo, Feng Feng has been able to meet other open-minded people like herself, something she has been struggling to find after having left Beijing. She is grateful to the hotel for the social connections, which has even made her more confident, she says. It seems, though, that the dance scene in Tianjin is moving at a slower rate than in Beijing, hence her increased desire to promote this style of dancing.

The hotel Indigo is currently the venue of Feng Feng's weekly free lesson. Into the future, however, this venue may not continue for very long as, as of yet. If it does not, she says that she will find another venue which can continue the promotion of her vision. She will not give up.

The free lesson constitutes a basic introduction to Salsa dancing, providing learners with a few introductory steps to allow them to dance simply to their first song. The basic class is no substitute for attending Feng Feng's course at her dance studio near JinWan Plaza, however. At the studio, teachings focus more on detail and the building of a strong foundation. Currently, her studio classes run every Wednesday from 7:00-9:00pm.

Anyone can take up Salsa dancing, not only women. Feng Feng is annoyed by the stereotype that Salsa dancing is only for women, when, in fact, Salsa dancing requires partners to consist of both a male and female dancer. No matter what your demographics may be, as long as you can walk, you can dance the Salsa. Feng Feng's greatest, continuing headache has been, she says, the attraction of male students.

Currently, Feng Feng is only running a beginner Salsa class as not enough students are of the necessary skill and experience to compose an intermediate class. Once her beginner students develop, she will open an intermediate class to accommodate them. The beginner course consists of 8 classes, at one class per week. There is no need to wait until the current course ends to join, as a student may join at any point in the course. The only stipulation being that he or she must keep up with the others and reinforce their basics in later classes.

Upon sign-up, every student receives a 10% discount for the first six months. If a female brings a male and they both sign up together, the male will receive a 20% discount for the first six months and 10% every month after that. Single classes can be bought, or 10 or 20 classes at a time. Monthly or quarterly membership cards may also be purchased.

Feng Feng has developed into a very confident woman, indeed. Her hope is that people care about themselves, and proposes that Salsa is one of the choices of ways to do so. She has a message to new moms. Mothers should have their own time and life. They should free themselves of the responsibility of taking care of their children. If the mother is unhappy, the child will be able to feel this. It is not only for the benefit of the mother, but for the child, as well, that the mother cares for her own well-being.

She hopes for the growth of Salsa dancing as a lifestyle and that her vision will bring benefit to others. She welcomes you to contact her with your inquires about Salsa dancing and her courses.

Updated: 2014-01-20 11:47 | By: Radio Tianjin