Congratulations to the Winner of the San Diego Salsa Festival Full Event Pass Giveaway, Angelica Romero!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Angelica Romero, Winner of the SDSF Full Event Pass!

Ritmo Bello congratulates Angelica Romero as the winner of the Ritmo Bello “My Salsa Story” contest!  Her entry was chosen out of a number of great submissions and exemplifies the impact salsa dancing can have in a person’s life.   As the winner Angelica receives a FREE Full Event Pass (a $220 value) to the upcoming San Diego Salsa Festival including all the shows, workshops, and events that will be held there.  On behalf of Ritmo Bello I’d like to thank everyone who submitted their entries, there were many heartwarming stories that were shared.

Below is the article that Angelica submitted to win the pass.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

John ;-)

Ritmo Bello


My Salsa Story – Angelica Romero

As a child in Colombia I can remember music had always been a part of my household.  I have memories of my parents holding dinner parties at their house and Latin music was always on the background.  One of the predominant types of music was salsa; I remember the beat of the drums and the horns and just wanting to sway to the music.  Most of this changed when my family decided to make the US our new home.  The music somehow or other did not follow us.  The focus was now on trying to survive in a new environment and unfortunately music was not a priority.

Growing up in suburbs of LA I was immersed in so many different Latin cultures and music; once in a while I would hear that salsa rhythms and beats and I just remember noticing that I was swaying to the music.  But yet I was not making a conscious effort to learn it and immerse myself in it.  I knew that the art form of dance was something that I was good at and that I wanted to explore.  So I danced and performed in high school and college, yet the type of dance that I was attracted to was ballet, jazz, modern dance and traditional ballroom.  When I had opportunities to visit my family in Colombia I realized that all my younger cousins grew up around salsa, they knew the famous songs, the most popular singers and watching them move was just amazing.  I knew that somehow or other that passion had to also be running through my veins, I just had to find it & let it out.

The few times that we would have a social gathering where salsa was being played my Mother would try to get me out there and teach me, for some reason I just was not into it.  I felt that I just could not move like that, how can my hips move that way?  I knew what it was like to move to a waltz or to do pirouettes from ballet class- but having to move your body to that type of music; I just did not get it.

Well eventually time flew and I reached adulthood and then salsa came into my life once again through friends.  I loved listening to it, I loved the stories that the song was telling, love the passion that you felt while listening to it- it seemed that you just got lost in the song and you became part of it.  Once I realized that the music had such a profound feeling over me I was determined to learn it and be able to move with it.  So I started taking salsa group classes about 8 years ago and stuck with it for about a couple of months. Although I had fun I felt uncomfortable doing it, I did not understand the hip movement and the timing of the feet.  I kept thinking that after so many years of dance why was I having such a hard time getting this and also shouldn’t I be a natural at this, after all I am Colombian.  Well I let all of these insecurities take a hold of me and I quit.

Time passed and salsa was in and out of my life in short spurts, but yet I really did still love listening to the music and would find myself tapping my feet and swaying my hips whenever I would hear a song.  A couple of friends introduced salsa to me once again in the spring of this year and I figured that this must be the opportunity that I had been looking for.  I finally for some reason felt ready to take this on once more and hopefully commit to it; so I decided to join the San Diego Salsa and Latin Dancing Meetup group Well it has been 4 months and I am completely hooked on salsa, I love it.  I consider myself a beginner that is thirsty to continually learn more about this beautiful art form.  I have been regularly taking group classes at one of our local dance studios and have been progressing very nicely.  For some reason I feel that my hips finally woke up after all of those years.  I try to go out dancing three to four times a week and have had the opportunity to visit many of the great salsa venues here in San Diego I love salsa because honestly I have FUN dancing it; I love the music, the movement, the passion and the way that you can express yourself through movement with your partner.  Because of all of this I would like to continue dancing for as long as my body will allow it.  It would be great to perform again and I like having the opportunity to meet more people that share in this passion. 

I am looking forward to my first ever Salsa Festival and the fact that it is being held here in San Diego, I am thrilled to be part of it.  I would like to take part of the different workshops and to learn from different instructors that may have their own style.  I now know that salsa will continue to be part of my life and am glad to finally be a true American Colombian salsa dancer.

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

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