Magna Gopal – the crazy little Indian girl

September 22, 2009 § 4 Comments

Probably one of the greatest international salsa instructors, Magna Gopal, will be visiting Slovenia in the month of October for the 6th Salsa Power Festival. Her graceful dancing and great methodology skills have so far enlightened so many people. It’s only fair to say I was one of those people, who felt a big break-through, while first seeing Magna dance, perform or even better – teach. She found a couple of free minutes to present herself to Slovenian audience, so enjoy these interview and get inspired by this magnificent Indian angel. 🙂

 

1. Magna, I know this is the most common question you get, but many people here might not know much about your background. Your origin seems to be Indian, yet you lived in Canada and now in the US of A? Is New York your final location or do you see yourself moving somewhere else – maybe back home?

Hi Irena. Yes it’s a common question. I was born in New Delhi, India and moved to Toronto, Canada with my family when I was 6 years old and finally moved to the USA 3 years ago. I actually live in NJ but close enough to NY to say NY…hehehe. NY is my current location but definitely not my final. I’m still exploring the world and you never know what part will steal my heart. As for moving back home to India (not likely) and back to Canada (it’s possible but really not in my plans).

 
magna_gopal

2. You know, on previous festivals we already saw some instructors with Indian roots (like Neeraj, Mario etc.). I always thought Cubans are the ones who are born with the right feel for salsa, but you guys seem to master that even better. 🙂 How come?

I don’t think it always boils down to your ethnicity when it comes to “having the right feel for salsa.” There are many Latin Americans that have a feel for the music and moving but not necessarily for the dance itself. I think it’s part passion and understanding your body. I love the music and the dance and I was really determined to get it and luckily I have a good sense of rhythm so it all pieced together nicely.

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June 20, 2008 § Leave a comment

America had a rough night yesterday. The pressure and feeling that somebody will have to leave the show, is not too pleasant. The results show started with amazing group routine choreographed by Shane Sparks.

Then came the results. People voted and Cat Deeley revealed 3 bottom couples from Top 18 show. Here are the names and links to their performances (the ones they were judged on):
Chelsea & Thayne (I hope it wasn’t because of their costumes)
Susie & Marquis (they danced SALSA, but as a latin dancer Susie got a lot of critiques)
Comfort & Chris (Cat was holding up a sign, saying Chris is not a tree… well, see for yourself :))

Each of the bottom dancers had to perform solo to save their life. After a short brake judges have reached the decision and eliminated Susie and Marquis. That salsa was obviously not good enough. Since we are salsa dancers let’s think about it – was that really that bad? No, especially when you think they only have a few hours to get the choreography, synchronize and perform it. This is just a proof of how tough this competition really is. The judges and people are getting stricter each year, but on the other hand, the dancers are getting better as well.

Dancing production in BU-BA
If we move from States to Slovenia, just a quick info, that yesterday BU-BA had it’s own ‘We think we can dance show’. 😉 A yearly production, where all students perform and show what they have learned in past year. The evening was packed with shows. We had a lot of salsa groups, swing dancers, sexy belly dancers, new rising star La luna dance group. In addition, Dulce locura performed the Sway routine again and, believe or not, after a looong break, BU-BA show team appeared with a new show! Crazy ha,.. well, I’ll try to put some clips on asap, till than enjoy the real So you think you can dance 😉

Salsafest – part 2

April 21, 2008 § 1 Comment

The final act of this year’s Salsafest was after party on Saturday night. It took place in Laguna, which used to be THE place to be for a salsa party. But it’s a real shame they transformed it and its floor into a place, where people obviously don’t want to dance anymore. Saturday night was literary empty. At 00.30, when the place should be packed, I was almost the only one on the dance floor! And there was no entrance for all who attended Salsafest last week! Well, I guess that is one huge confirmation of how important the dance floor is for a salsa party. It’s not the entrance, the size of the venue, not even the music – the floor tops all salsa party criteria!
Otherwise I am still under a pleasant impression of last weeks parties. Sunday night there was live band performance. I love live music, the only handicap is the songs get soooooo long. And while dancing with one of the instructors I got so tired! I wouldn’t say I don’t workout enough and am therefore not in shape… on the contrary! But those long songs, without a single basic in the dance,… they killed me. Still loved it though 🙂 🙂

Here are some photo impresions from that weekend. (Photos by Jure Žilavec)

 

Salsafest 2008 – part 1

April 13, 2008 § Leave a comment

After a busy and crapyweathered week there’s no better thing than to chill and ventilate on salsa parties. Luckily this is the weekend when Salsoteca organizes its 3rd Slovenian salsa festival, so we have plenty of chances to do that 🙂 I’ve already attended two parties and still have some energy left for today 😉 Friday night was not as busy, so everybody had a great chance to experience dancing with all guest instructors and had enough room to dance (that is a very welcome festival quality nowadays). But yesterday the place got packed. I think there were quite a lot foreign salseros present as well. We saw some great shows – my favorite were Nelson Flores&Veronica Castilla (the smoothest routine of all), I really liked Fridaynight performance from Ramon Morales y su Nuevo Imperio, plus I cannot pass by Donia’s performance – she performed with Sam Gannon and they gave this comic salsa routine… I just love it when dancing becomes acting!  🙂
Unfortunately my camera is not among my top friends or employees at the moment and refuses to work for me. That’s why I will have to wait for some generous soul to equip this article with sufficient photo and video material. Thanks in advance! 🙂
Read you soon, with part 2 review – they say we’ll have a live band on tonight’s party. Let’s see how that works on Sunday night… 🙂

y su Nuevo Imperio

Salsa Valentine’s Power

February 17, 2008 § 9 Comments

I had a loooong sleep today 🙂 Yes well… it was a fun event yesterday. Talal gave us some incredible classes – we really really enjoyed them. The partnerwork with spins in a completely different directions then we’re used to do it, footwork in fastforward motion and some spices of dancing on 2. Enzo and Ivana, newcomers in Slovenia, showed us more about cuban dancing, which is not that common in Slovenia, and showed some heavy acrobatic moves. I admit I did not event want to try them?!
In the evening we all gathered in Festivalna dvorana. DJ Jose and Principe played the music till late night, we danced till we got blisters again and we saw (and gave) some hot performance.
For the time being I will only publish the performance of Dulce Locura. We decided to combine dancing with LIVE singing. 🙂 Festivalna dvorana seemed a nice hall to entertain the audience with both activities and since we don’t see that in salsa parties very often, I think the surprise effect was achieved. 😉
Other clips will be posted shortly: coming up Enzo&Ivana, Talal and Shayala’s belly dancers.

Pust in BU-BA

February 6, 2008 § Leave a comment

Today we officially buried our traditional winter chaser – Pust … and what do you know: there really is sun outside 🙂 How did we do that? We danced, of course! Yesterday night was a special night in BU-BA, because people wore carnival costumes. 🙂 It’s really fun the see all the devils, hippies, cows etc. etc … DANCING! Just to make sure we did a group rueda, so the winter is really gone now. See a few photo impressions from yesterday night!!! Congratulations to all brave salseros who dressed up!

Maškare

Are you addicted to salsa … too?

January 31, 2008 § 1 Comment

Declared salsaholics in Palmariva.

“Hello, my name is Irena and I am a salsaholic. My first salsa I had three years ago in a club called Basic.. or maybe it was Stari Glej. There I saw this people moving, spinning, sweating and smiling all the time. I was literary just starring. So I knew I had to try this. I couldn’t resist. And you always find a person who is willing to teach you the first steps and turns. I got hooked. Don’t you dare tell me to stop!”

Did I describe someone else’s story as well? Of course I did. The way I see it, salsa is an addiction – relatively healthy, but still addiction. And there are a few levels of this disease:

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