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A Student’s Perspective
Last fall, with the winter months looming ahead, I was looking for a way to stay active as the days became shorter and colder. I had taken salsa lessons previously, but I hadn’t been dancing in years and barely remembered how to do a basic step.
Based on a friend’s recommendation, I arrived at RyT Studio, and thus began my journey into the world of Latin dance. Twice a week salsa classes quickly led to four times a week. Then, came the inevitable fascination with Bachata, followed by a brief tryst with Cha Cha (still my favorite).
As the weeks went by (and the videos filled up my iPhone), I slowly progressed from a stumbling newbie to a passable leader. Each transition, from one level to the next, brought new challenges as well as those moments of pure joy as I finally learned the proper way to step and turn.
Then came a moment – one I still remember well – when the hours of practice finally came together. I was at Havana Club, dancing with the woman I most wanted to impress from class. Suddenly, my nervousness disappeared and I started to lead.
The song was a mambo, slow at the start, that offered the perfect opportunity to try out the basics I had mastered in beginner class. As the tempo picked up, I plucked up my courage and started throwing in more complicated sequences and combos (and, of course, a quick creepy).
As the song came to a close, my partner’s hand lingering on the back of my neck told me all I needed to know. I had learned to dance.

Sesha Patrap

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Learning salsa was always in the back of my head ever since I took a one-hour lesson at Fire and Ice a few years ago. I remember being excited and very proud of myself when mastering the very basic step, but after being thrown into the social dance scene followed by the lesson, I quickly learned in a humiliated way that salsa cannot be learned in one hour. So I joined Rumba Y Timbal in September of 2014.

Everything has changed since then. My little curiosity about salsa has gradually turned into my passion, love, and healthy obsession. Coming to the studio on a regular basis has become one of my top priorities. Re-playing Lili’s techniques in my head and copying has become one of my unconscious habits. Wanting to become better and “thinking how” and “wondering when” have become one of my constant thoughts and sometimes struggles.

My everyday has changed in a dramatic way and I am enjoying every second of it. Throughout my journey, I have learned that “Life is better when you are dancing”.

Yumi Sakuma

It’s always hard…that first step to try something different, in a new place with unfamiliar faces. That was how I felt, my first day at Rumba y Timbal. I had come with a friend, both of us experienced in life…but not so experienced in Latin dance, ready to face the challenge together. Though nervous, one glance around at the myriad of faces and the immediate warmth I felt from the instructors made me feel like maybe I wasn’t so much a fish “out of water.” It didn’t take long for me to go from taking one class, to two, to becoming a member. It was then, when I realized that no matter how bad my day, how bad the weather, how exhausted I felt, the moment I walked into the doors of the studio and heard the music, my spirit lifted. I wanted to stay; I felt joy.

Fast forward, over two years later, I have come to think of Rumba as a second home with a welcoming family, always there to greet me. Some faces stay, some faces change, but the passion and excitement for the dance remains a harmonizing thread. Though learning to salsa, bachata and cha cha continues to challenge me in new ways, I am forever grateful for the patience, expertise and guidance of the incredible teachers I’ve had at the studio. Thanks always, Rumba y Timbal, for bringing me the joy of dance, music, friendship and community.

Susan A.

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” My introduction to salsa at RyT began in January of 2016. I arrived with 6 months of prior salsa experience. I was looking to improve my skills, as well as feel more comfortable with social dancing. I have gotten so much more than that out of my experience. On a basic level, I am being provided with a much better foundation to my salsa skills, always being challenged, but having great fun in the process! I am learning to relax more in my dancing and become a better follower. Having the opportunity to dance with multiple partners with different styles and skill sets, I am learning to adapt, and communicate better with my dance partners. I feel that these experiences would not be possible without the expertise, dedication and enthusiasm of the staff. When I walk into the studio, I feel a positive, dynamic energy generated by Roberto and Liliana, who do an impressive job of engaging their students. For me, RyT has not been just a dance studio, it has been an enriching experience on many levels. It has far exceeded my expectations!”

Diane Dewhirst