Rwanda: A Journey to Salsa

Salsa? Rwanda?? Who would have thought?

To some people, Salsa may not be a kind of performance of your choice, or knowledge, yet it is more than just a dance, or entertainment. Known as the “Master of Salsa,” Mike Marorerwa has dedicated himself to making dance and music live. His hard work, creativity and brilliance has captivated the hearts of many Salsa dancers and fans for what he promises to be an exciting one this year in a way that appears effortless and magical. Marorerwa’s talent is fascinating and quite eclectic. Besides his work and devotion to Salsa, he is also the founder and President of a Salsa group called “Squadra Del Sogno”. He has received numerous accolades and recognition for his Salsa performance. Kazibwe Israel Andrew captures the inspiration of a man who has been devoted to Salsa for most of his life.

Below are the excerpts.

How can you define Salsa?

Salsa is a dance for Salsa music created by Spanish-speaking people from the Caribbean. Salsa mixes African and European dance. It resulted from centuries of dance evolution, brought about by economic, social and political changes.

In old days, people used this kind of dance to relax, as they had broken off from a long day of work.

When did you start performing Salsa?

I started in 2004 in Burundi during a long vacation. My first performance was at club ‘Imanzi’, before I started training in clubs.

What inspired you to go into Salsa?

I was inspired by my family because my father was a pianist and my mother, a dancer. I was born in a family where music was regarded highly.

There are also musicians and groups such as Groupe Africain, Lokua Kanza and Koffi Olomide, who inspired me and I have always admired their performances.

When did ‘Squadra Del Sogno’ start?

‘Squadra Del Sogno’ started in 2009.

How many people did you start with?

Initially we were only two people, but now the group has ten members (five females and five males).

In what way is Salsa unique from other forms of dance?

Salsa is a romantic [genre] that involves a combination of different dance moves. It relaxes the mind. It is a form of sports because it requires ones’ confidence and effort. And when performing or rehearsing, Salsa requires a calm environment.

Do people love Salsa?

Yes, many people love Salsa and there are various groups coming up.

Currently, there are three groups “Noyan”, “Deuxième” and “Dèbitants Groupe”, and they are all active. “Squadra Del Sogno” trains people who are interested to learn Salsa.

How can Salsa develop in Rwanda?

Salsa can be developed through the media. The media should educate the public about the importance of Salsa. People can also take on Salsa dance classes, or even learn from videos.

The group, Squadra Del Sogno, (The Dream Team) performs every Tuesday and Wednesday from 6p.m -9pm, and on Thursday and Saturday starting from 8p.m- 12a.m at Pasadena in Gikondo.

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