Dancers step up to big com­pe­ti­tion

Central Leader - - NEWS - By EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Brenda Liu is get­ting ready to sashay her way across the ditch for one of the big­gest events on New Zealand’s com­pet­i­tive salsa danc­ing cal­en­dar.

She is a mem­ber of the La­tinis­simo Dance Stu­dios Ladies A-Team that has taken out first place at the New Zealand Salsa Solo Com­pe­ti­tion.

The win has earned it at place at the Salsa Solo Aus­tralia and In­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion to be held in Bris­bane in Novem­ber and De­cem­ber.

In solo com­pe­ti­tions dancers dance on their own rather than with a part­ner.

‘‘You can touch each other, but it’s not a guy and a girl danc­ing,’’ Miss Liu says.

‘‘It’s dif­fer­ent to nor­mal salsa, there are more styles and shines.’’

Get­ting into top form for the com­pe­ti­tion meant get­ting creative.

Prepa­ra­tions didn’t start un­til June and the chore­og­ra­pher be­hind the rou­tine, national Salsa cham­pion Masha Jo­hans­son, was in Mi­ami com­pet­ing dur­ing much of the leadup.

‘‘Some­times she was teach­ing us through Skype which was in­ter­est­ing.’’

Miss Liu is a rel­a­tive new­comer to Salsa. The Mt Roskill res­i­dent picked it up as a hobby a lit­tle over a year ago.

‘‘I’d done some danc­ing at in­ter­me­di­ate school, which was a long time ago, and I thought this would be a way to get back into it.’’

The com­pet­i­tive Salsa world still quite small, Miss Liu says.

‘‘In clubs and places that have Salsa it’s ac­tu­ally quite busy but a lot of peo­ple still don’t want to en­ter com­pe­ti­tions.

‘‘It’s re­ally so­cial though, and you get a good work­out,’’ she says.

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La­tinis­simo Ladies A-Team is: Tracy Tem­ple­ton, Sharon Mid­dle­ton, Re­nee Hamil­ton, Brenda Liu, Emily Wood­field, Mite­lene Enslin and Mai Dal­h­ber.

Danc­ing queens: La­tinis­simo Dance Stu­dios’ Ladies A-Team.

Photo: EMMA WHIT­TAKER

Salsa suc­cess: Brenda Liu and her team are off to the Salsa Solo Aus­tralia and In­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion in Bris­bane.

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