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Somoloco Salsa Immersion

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Interview with Somoloco Alum, Helen Fisher from Canada

We followed up with Helen Fisher, a Somoloco Salsa Alum from Canada who joined us for a Group Immersion in February 2024. Here’s what she said!

 

What was your favorite part of the Immersion? 

I really appreciated being in Colombia and having an activity that gave me access to one of the best aspects of the local culture and environment that I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise. Meeting genuine local young people and having a chance to get to know them over several days. 

 

What drove you to sign up for the Somoloco Immersion?

I was attracted to the flexibility of the program.. Learning from exceptional local teachers but also a chance to meet other students from around the world.  

 

Why choose a Salsa Immersion over a typical vacation?

It felt every bit as rewarding as a typical vacation but had a structure and timeline which gave me more opportunity to explore the city with guidance of local people.

 

In what ways are you incorporating the vibrancy of Somoloco into your life post trip? 

I have signed up for a local Salsa class, it’s nowhere near as exciting or vibrant but it keeps my new found knowledge fresh. I have also signed up for lessons online with the Spanish teacher I met through Somoloco, (Meli.) I would never have continued with my language learning online without having met her in person first. 

 

What was your level of salsa when you started? How did you feel about your level when you left? 

I was a complete beginner to salsa when I arrived. I did a two week program, which I felt was ideal as I could take class at a more steady pace. By the end I felt it was really coming together — the teachers were super encouraging and endlessly patient! I have a dance background but salsa was all new to me. It meant I progressed, slightly faster. I still went from 0-60 in a short space of time!

 

Did you do any of the Immersion add-ons?

I did a two hour Spanish class every day in the morning. This was such an important part for me personally. I wanted to make the most of everything on offer and having some basic language make such a difference.  Unlike Spain, English is not as widely spoken. I adored trying out my new knowledge in the shops and cafes. I picked up hilarious slang phrases from the young dance teachers. I could make the Uber drivers cry with laughter at my use of street Spanish! 

 

What was the highlight of your trip? 

I genuinely left on a high each day after every class with my dance teachers. We were from different worlds (me being probably older than their parents!) but we laughed and messed about and never took any of it too seriously. It was a chance to forget who I was in my real life. 

 

Did you find the Immersion conducive to personal growth, either in your dancing abilities or in other aspects of your life?

I found the social dancing in the evening a real challenge. Having the wait to be asked to dance and then feeling totally out of my depth. But really, I surprised myself at how it wasn’t so scary after all. No one is there to judge, it’s all very accepting. 

 

How would you describe the sense of community and camaraderie among the participants?

I’ve kept in touch with a couple of young women I met on the course. They live in the US and I live in the UK. In fact, as I was typing this, a message came through from one of them. I love that! Age and distance disappears. 

 

Did you have any “aha” moments during the dance classes that made you see salsa in a whole new light?

Listen and learn through playing with dance. Try it and see what happens. It’s a bit like a recipe – there are rules but they can be broken! Personal style is more important. 

 

Finally, the million-dollar question: would you do it all over again? And more importantly, would you recommend our Salsa Immersion to your friends?

I really am keen to come again, I’d probably do one week next time  but I’d recommend two (or more) if you have the time/money. Especially if you’re older and new to the dance style. It has given me motivation to keep up my Spanish so I can return and meet my teacher for live lessons again – she is exceptional. When something sounds too good to be true – it usually means you’re about to be let down. I’d say, Somoloco is every bit as good as it sounds online. Go, live and love a new way of being even for only a week in Colombia. It really is not that hard, don’t overthink it!

 

Thank you Helen for sharing your experience with us. See you again soon! 🥰

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