Salsa MoJi- Owner of the the building and
Cuba Cafe Bar
How I Started In Salsa
It was back in 1991 when I was a doorman in Manchester City Centre. I use to work at most of the top night spots and before I started work, I would go around the town to see my friends working at other clubs.
One particular Saturday night, I went to a night club called La Tasca. As I was walking in I didn't think much of it until I went downstairs to the nightclub that was the first time I saw people dancing salsa. It was like meeting a beautiful girl and instantly falling in love. I couldn't believe how good it made me feel to see people having a good time, and I mean having a really good time! From that moment I knew salsa would change my life.
From then on, I stopped working as a doorman and began to learn salsa.
The classes I went to were very basic and so I learnt the initial steps and turns within the first week. I was so desperate to improve and learn new steps that I contacted a friend in London who recommended I go to one of the best teachers in London - Elder Sanchez.
After contacting him I went to my first salsa lesson at Pineapple Dance Studios and Villa Stephano which was a mind blowing experience for me because of my passion and drive to learn more salsa I found myself enduring the 3-hour journey to London (and back) every Sunday for 18 months non-stop!
For me, Elder Sanchez was my inspiration and he encouraged me to learn more and eventually become a salsa teacher myself - for that I give thanks!
Two years went by before I started teaching myself at the very place it all began - La Tasca. My first class only had 3 students, but after a week of advertising, that went up to 20 students. After one month I had 80-90 students and had to employ 4 more teachers.
Because of the knowledge I had acquired from Elder and the experiences I'd had in London I knew that to be a good salsa teacher I'd have to determined.
I soon discovered that dancing salsa and teaching it to others were two different things.
I had to be prepared to travel further afield to places such as LA, Madrid and Milan, to keep on top of new moves and bring them back to Manchester. So the money I earned from teaching 2 days a week, enabled me to travel to such places.
Once I'd established myself in Manchester as one of the best teachers, I then started to consider opening my own salsa nightclub.
The first stage was finding cheap, affordable premises Once this was done I set about negotiating a contract and working out renovation costs.
Having to work on the building myself, I had to leave the salsa scene for 9 months, but in June 1998 Cuba Cafe was up and running. After a few months of advertising, I again put myself on the map as not only one of the best salsa teachers in Manchester, but also owning one of the best Latin clubs.
The moral of my story and my advice to anyone considering becoming a salsa teacher or opening a nightclub, is that it can be achieved by hard work and sheer determination.
Despite the obsticles and negativity people have tried to put in my way, I've succeeded and so can you.