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You’re Salsa Fired! 

Posted on July 20, 2011


The Salsa Fire Dance Company (pictured) lived up to its name at the Grand Final of the first UK Salsa Group Open Championship at Latin Pulse, Floridita, London, on Tuesday, July 19, becoming the first ever winners of the prestigious new dance title.

The eight-member team set the packed Soho nightclub alight with a high octane display of Colombian-style salsa, featuring scorching footwork and a dazzling array of lifts and tricks. The team’s high-energy performance secured them the trophy and a £500 cash prize in the face of strong competition from finalists Laith Sami’s Performance Group and the Salsateca Dance Company.

Salsa Fire’s winning routine was choreographed and directed by Ancisar Velazquez, with performers Ivan Dolvy, Geovanna Agudelo, Saulo Gonzalez, Luz Fernandez, Jose Franco, Estefany Moran David Yepez and Estefania Toro.

On the panel of judges were: six-times world salsa champions Yudi and Jhon; Andrew Cuerden of “Strictly” fame; Robert Charlemagne; Lee Knights, co-author with Alex Wilson of Find the Rhythm! The Dancers’ Guide to Feeling Salsa Music and Dance Today’s Nicola Rayner.

To compete in the 2012 UK Salsa Group Open Championship or any of the pre-qualifying rounds being staged across the UK, starting later this year, dance teams should contact Lee Knights on or 07979 280 283.

The first pre-qualifying round for the championship will be held at the Cuban Salsa Congress at the Kings Hotel, Newport, South Wales, on October 7–9. For more, call Gareth on 07533 473 429 or Misael on 07875 369 418, or email

Latin Pulse is hosted by Floridita, the Salsateca Dance Company’s Elder Sanchez and London Salsa Scene’s Lee Knights. For more, visit, or call 020 7314 4000.

To view Michael Payne’s photographs of the evening, visit

Photograph © Michael Payne

Nicola Rayner was editor of Dance Today from 2010 to 2015. She has written for a number of publications including The Guardian, The Independent and Time Out Buenos Aires, where she cut her teeth as a dance journalist working on the tango section. Today she continues to dance everything from ballroom to breakdance, with varying degrees of success. Her debut novel, The Girl Before You, was published last year in paperback, ebook and audiobook.

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