December 2009

Monthly Archive

Rueda Level 1, the secret is out, my real name is Elisabeth

Posted by on 23 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Instruction

Hi Everyone,
As of Dec 21st the Experimental College has online registration available for my Rueda Level 1 class in the University District. You can register at and the class is listed as Rueda de Casino Level 1, as well the course number is 15.02. A few experienced Rueda dancers have talked to me about coming and learning the other part. I more than welcome you to come and learn to lead if you are already a follow and to learn to follow if you are already a lead. As you read the course description you will find that the instructor’s name is Elisabeth, yep, that’s me, Betsy :).
Nos vemos pronto,

Library Post of the Week

Posted by on 22 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Library Post of the Week

Looking for a novel, including food, history, and Cuba?

Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile’s Hunger for Home by Eduardo Machado and Michael Domitrovich

Tastes Like Cuba: An Exile's Hunger for Home eBooks

A great read. I met the authors when they were in town in 2007 in conjuction with a play based on the book which showed at the Seattle Rep. Also great recipes in the book that have been crowd pleasers.

Holiday Bash @ Nectar, Wed. 12/23

Posted by on 22 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Music

Come out to celebrate the holidays & dance this Wednesday, 12/23 at Nectar.   We’ll be spinning Timba and Salsa at the beginning of the night starting at 8pm, when there is more room for dancing.  Live music will start between 9:30-10pm, and afterwards the DJ music will change based on the crowd’s response.

Starts 8pm, $5   FREE entrance if your Birthday is in December! (bring valid ID)

Thione Diop & Yeke Yeke performing live West African music.  Thione’s last show before he goes to Africa.

DJ Karlitos & DJ-Thomas team up to spin a hot mix of dance music to keep you warm throughout the night:  Dancehall, Reggaeton, Cubana, Soukous, Kompa, Soca, Reggae, Salsa & more.

RoundTrip Holiday Bash at Nectar on 12/23

NEW YEARS EVE with DJ Karlitos

Posted by on 21 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Events


About 5 months ago, we asked what it would take to get everyone out dancing. We took your answers and created Havana Nights. Thanks to your excellent feedback and a bit of luck (hard work?), it was a success.

Take two – Dec 4th. Again a success.

And more than that, the energy you’ve brought out with you has inspired others to step up and create more places for us to dance.

We started with Havana Nights in Seattle and in less than 4 months now we also have Little Havana Nights (dj Baracoa), Rumba in Havana (dj tony) and a choice of places to go on New Year’s Eve!

Thank you to all of you! Let’s keep it going and keep growing in 2010!!!

Get your tickets now for Take three –
NEW YEARS EVE with DJ Karlitos

Dinner tickets go on sale tonight and the prices have shifted in your favor: $25 if purchased before 12/31/09 and $30 at the door.

And for those curious to know who “we” is:
Havana Nights in Seattle is organized by Chaille Mount, Eddie Alejandro and Dennis Richards with generous support from local instructors, dj’s, promoters, la casa del mojito and all of you!

Wishing you all a very happy holidays and all the best in the New Year!

-eddie, challie, & dennis r

“Que el fin del mundo te pille bailando!”

Community conversation/Sunday practica

Posted by on 20 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Admin, Practice, Social

Hi all,

Thank you for your conversation, and for your patience since the potluck at Barbara’s on December 6. I’m finally typing a brief (ha!) summary what I heard from the circle that evening.

The broad topics of discussion were (1) what makes Sunday rueda practica work? and (2) what would make it work even better.

(1) I was really glad to hear so much positive about what we’re all getting out of Sunday practica. In summary:

Reliability — We know we can come to practica on Sunday and enjoy music, dancing, socializing, and having a good time in a space away from our everyday concerns. The regular schedule helps, because if we don’t have 2 hours to spare, we know when to come for the part that’s most important to us. “Always puts you in a good mood.”

Diversity & inclusivity — We know we and our friends are all welcome. It’s casual. We get to see and learn from a variety of personal styles of dancing and history of dance experience. “Everybody gets to dance with everybody, and everybody gets to dance.”

Teaching & learning — A number of people expressed appreciation for Maritza’s energy and teaching style. We enjoy figuring out new moves and practicing dance skills and footwork. “Someone always steps up to teach what they know.”

(2) There were a number of specific suggestions for making practica even better than it is. My perception is these were grouped in these themes:

Organization — People like the structure of the 2 hours, but would also like more organization of calls to teach and learn (so we all know a similar set to dance together). The teachers who are willing to donate their time and experience could be offering their own perspective at different times, perhaps in a more organized way.

Progression — Everyone wants to have fun, and everyone wants to learn more in their dancing. More organization could help beginners move from basics into the open rueda. People would like beginners to have opportunities to dance for more time than just the first 30-60 minutes of the day. Dancers with lots of experience also want to find time to dance together and push each other to improve.

Contribution — Perhaps because Sunday practica is fun for everyone (“Best 2 hours of the week,” someone said), everyone seemed interested in contributing and learning from others’ contributions. We all know how much Maritza contributes each week. Dennis Ruiz offered to contribute footwork practice, especially for men. Many others also want to learn to call, to plan moves, to teach moves to others, to dance with newcomers, or to contribute in other ways to the community.

Finally, we all recognize that we’re part of a community that extends beyond Sunday afternoons. We want to support those who teach Cuban dance in the region, as well as the bands and clubs who play Cuban music for us to dance to. (Did you see: two!! options for New Year’s Eve. Hooray, Seattle!)

What comes next?

* I’m working on thoughts for updating our Sunday “schedule” to incorporate some of the things people want to see added to the mix. Please comment online or talk to me in person if you have ideas. I plan to propose some adjustments in January 2010 and request community agreement to try out some things. Having “a schedule” is clearly a positive thing–so let’s build in the things we want to see happen.

* Sunday practica gives us an opportunity to practice and learn, and to contribute our own expertise and celebrate our diversity in a way different from what’s possible in a classroom setting. So invite your friends, and also tell them about all our local teachers (see the Instructors & Classes page). The more we each learn, the more we all learn.

See you Sundays!


Rueda Practice Today

Posted by on 20 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Practice

Hello Everyone,
Well, I’m back from Atlanta and it was a really great time. Came back with more stuff for salsa suelta footwork, ladies styling moves for casino dancing and of coarse stuff from Julian’s workshop on intermediate rueda moves. Pepito was amazing. His voice projects live just as in Pupy’s music. Anyhow, I’ll be there to help teach. I will bring copies of the SeattleRueda grid of moves. So to make consistent on the first half hour, that will be a review of footwork, a few of the first level of moves listed on the grid, then the next half hour will be a new move (or a review of a move that is usually called.) I want to go over Juana la Cubana. If there is time to review Bacardi Limon I will. I now understand how this move works. I had to get a review from Julian. Orlando had it right…as always.
Then the last hour is just rueda and dancing. No teaching that last hour.

One more thing, Barbara had posted that the last Sunday of January, we will not have Sonny Newman’s studio to practice in. Instead, Barbara was able to land a deal with the space at Halo in Capitol Hill District. She wants to know how many will be able to be there that last Sunday  in January. I know I will be there. Let me know today at practica if you are able to make it to Halo’s that Sunday.

See you at practica!

Video of the Week

Posted by on 20 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Video

Santiago de Cuba:

Reminder: Triple Door on Sundays

Posted by on 17 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Events, Music, Social

Hey y’all,

Just a reminder, if you need more dance floor time to work on that new move, feed the salsa habit, or just stress release before Monday……that the Triple Door Musicquarium has Salsa every Sunday night.
Here is the lineup for Dec. 20th:

Tor Dietrichson & Mambo Cadillac

No Cover
9:00 PM (21+)
Percussionist-extraordinaire-about-town Tor Dietrichson is bringing in his band Mambo Cadillac to turn up the burner in a spicy musical stew of mambo, son, guaracha and rumba guaguanco for the best in Afro/Cuban listening and dancing.

Need your Vote

Posted by on 16 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Practice

Hello friends! For those of us who attend Sunday practices, I need your vote on this one. Sonny is hosting his own workshop the last weekend in Jan, so the 31st we are not able to use the space. I found another nice studio (HALO) to use, same price, but from 3pm-5pm that day. Before we commit to using it, please let me know if you would prefer to just cancel our practice for one week, or want to have it there for that one day. We have some time to decide but I am glad it’s an option.

Rueda and Casino classes in 2010

Posted by on 16 Dec 2009 | Tagged as: Instruction

In January of 2010 I will be offering the following classes at the Phinney Ridge Community Center. If you are interested then go to instructors page above and sign up. If there is sufficient interest, 10 students, then the class will be offered.

Rueda Level 1: Mondays 7:00 – 8:00 pm $80.00 for 6 class series
6 week series begins January 4th 2010(Beginners)
Welcome to the world of Rueda dancing. Learn to listen and respond to the music as I teach you the essence of the dance and you learn 10 fun and easy moves.

Casino Level 2: Mondays 8:00 – 9:00 pm $80.00 for 6 class series
6 week series begins January 4th 2010(Advanced Casino Dancing)

Take your dancing to another level as you learn about spacing, body awareness, hand positions, and improving your timing. The emphasis in this class is on efficiency of movement, ganging moves together,and precision of new moves.Footwork drills and core exercises begin each class. PREREQUISITE: Completion of Rueda 1, Casino 1 or instructor approval.

December 28th is the deadline for these classes. Let me know if it is a go or not. Thanks. Dennis

« Previous PageNext Page »