Chicagoans who have taken up Latin dancing have likely run into Latin Rhythms before. Early in the SummerDance 2019 season they taught Salsa and on July 25 they are teaching Cumbia.
Latin Rhythms will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary in 2020. According to their spokesperson Monique Maldonado, Latin Rhythms Marketing and Venue Director, their goal is to make an “..everyday person into a more confident and joyous person through dance…”
In anticipation of their July 25 Cumbia instruction Picture this Post (PTP) asked Monique Maldonado (MM) of Latin Rhythms to tell us more about what they do and how they do it.
(PTP) How did Latin Rhythms get started?
(MM) Latin Rhythms was established in the year 2000. We have been one of the leading Latin Dance schools in Chicago. We teach over 50 classes a month Monday-Thursday and Saturdays. About 90% of our instructors have full-time jobs in various careers from attorneys, educators, VP’s in banking, etc. Most teach dance part-time at Latin Rhythms. Our CEO and Artistic Director, Maricza Valentin, studied dance since she was a child and is a graduate of the dance program at Columbia College Chicago. All of our instructors have been trained by Maricza and have various dance backgrounds as well.
Do you perform mainly in Chicago or beyond?
Our studio is located in the West Loop of Chicago but our dancers and instructors travel all over the U.S. A. and internationally at various Salsa and Bachata congresses.
Latin Rhythms provides our services all across the City of Chicago, the Suburbs, and NWI at various restaurants, lounges, corporate events, fundraisers, etc.
What’s the most challenging part of teaching this type of dance in a setting like SummerDance with newcomers at all levels of dance experience? And what is the most fun part?
It really isn’t much of a challenge. We do our best to keep our lessons at a basic level so that both experienced dancers and newcomers can enjoy themselves. Dance provides a universal emotion so we know that everyone can enjoy Latin dance at any level. We really want them to feel the music more than anything. When we see some super talented dancers on the dance floor, we always throw out some extra fancy steps for them too. The most fun is just seeing so many people enjoying Latin dance and knowing that they went home feeling great about their night with us in this great city of Chicago.
What other gigs are on your calendar?
We are around the city of Chicago on several different nights of the week providing dance lessons.
Six06 Café – Every Tuesday Lesson begins at 6:00PM with Nadia Alvarado
Nacional 27 – Wednesday’s Lesson begins at 6:00PM with Blanca Aviles
Simones - First Thursday of the Month – Lesson begins at 8:00 PM with Bruce Moreno
Salsa Sundays at Chubby Bear – Lesson begins at 7:45 PM with a different instructor each week.
For more information vist the Latin Rhythms website.
Photos courtesy of Latin Rhythms