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Student Spotlight:

April Peng

Salsa and Bachata Student

Get to know April, one of our outstanding students at the academy who loves dancing both salsa and bachata. She enjoys the contrast between the upbeat energy of salsa and the intimate rhythm of bachata. April values the supportive community at the academy and strives to improve her skills during the weekly practice sessions. 

April shares her dance journey through the following interview questions.

April Peng

1. Did you choose to take salsa classes or bachata classes first, or both at the same time? How come? 

I joined bachata because the salsa class was full and sometimes I enjoy bachata more! Then space opened up in the salsa class and I just carried on doing both. I enjoy the variety in types of dance. 


2. How would you describe the differences between salsa and bachata dancing (now that you’ve taken classes in both)? 

Salsa can be more upbeat and fun and bachata can be more gentle and intimate. It depends on the song of course. I like to take a break by dancing bachata when I get tired of salsa. I also like that you can dance to pop songs with bachata, which can make it more fun if you know the music. Starting off though, salsa feels a lot cooler because you do all these spins and flashy moves. But once you get to a certain level in bachata it is even better. 

3. When you've felt like you couldn't keep up with the pace of a class, what steps did you take to catch up and feel more comfortable? 

I go to Friday practice every week and really focus on honing the moves. They are great because you are practicing with people at a similar level to you and have learned the same things as you. I really focused on the footwork in those practices, as well as hearing the beats. It's not enough to just go to class, you actually have to dance. But sometimes it's easy to be sloppy when social dancing. So those practices are the perfect place to practice technique and also enjoy the music and feeling of dancing! 


4. If you had to choose between salsa and bachata to dance forever, which would you pick and why? What draws you to that style? 

Probably bachata because there are so many more flavors to the dance. It can be fast or slow, spins or sensual. Not that salsa doesn't have that, but bachata is more so. But I would really miss salsa. 

5. Based on your salsa and bachata learning experience at Movers and Shakers, what advice would you give to someone considering learning salsa or bachata? 

Hang out with people after class! The community really is the most awesome thing about Movers and Shakers. It's so nice to be able to go social dancing alone and end up meeting a bunch of other Movers and Shakers students at the event. 


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