Salsa mania: Sea Breeze Salsa instructors
Salsa mania: Sea Breeze Salsa instructors
Children across Bermuda have been introduced to the world of salsa, one step at a time.

The youngsters aged 7 to 15 have been learning to put their best foot forward at government day camps throughout the summer.

Teaching Bermuda's future generations was Sea Breeze Salsa's way of "giving back to the community."

Jamelle Ming, founder and company director, said: "We taught them the basic salsa steps, and we then finished the class by performing for them and partnering with them so that they could practice their new salsa moves.

"The response was tremendous and the children and camp supervisors received it very well . Everyone is excited about making this an annual Sea Breeze event."

Giovanna Watson, creative director of Sea Breeze said it was good for the children to see "role models doing something positive and fun."

"What we are essentially asking these kids to do is to trust us, not be afraid to make mistakes, and for them to be patient with themselves when they do.

Personal accomplishment

"We want them to take something that may look intimidating at first and turn it into a personal accomplishment. These are behaviours that we want them to apply outside of salsa and into their homes and schools."

Aside from Mr. Ming and Ms. Watson, the Sea Breeze Salsa team behind this project included Dan & Stacey Cooke, Chioke Lodge, Jaddira Harvey and Salma Malik.

There has been no rest for Sea Breeze Salsa having recently performed at Summer Sundays in the Park, the two Mambo Nights shows at the Fairmont Southampton Resort and last weekend's body building competition.

Mr. Ming said the school's aim was to help "the young and mature, natural and non-natural dancers" to be creative with dance.

He said: "Our main goal is to help salsa grow in our community, and to do that we introduced our Kids Programme that consists of 13 kids, who are currently performing and sharing their salsa experience.

"Because of the rave reviews, and sparked interest, we decide to engage the summer day camps that went over really well. I want to thank those who came before us who sparked our interests, which is enabling us to share that same spark with these young children ­today."

Sea Breeze Salsa, which started in the fall of 2006, runs successful children and adult programmes year-round.

The school's home is in the Yamaha Building across from TCD, which was painted and furnished by Jamelle Ming, Lisa Ty, Tara Botello and Dwayne Cox.

Sea Breeze Salsa's dance teachers also taught youngsters at the Family Center's summer day camp on Friday, August 21. The Girl Power Camp consisted of eight girls aged 11 to 13 who danced to music from salsa to hip-hop and learned footwork such as side-to-side, cumbia, travel step, cross body lead and left and right turns.

Leila Wadson, the Family's Center's community development team leader said: "One of the aims of the summer camp to expose young kids to new experiences and opportunities. Many of the young people had never done salsa before, had a fantastic time and are looking forward to continuing it in September."

 11-year-old Deshale Lewis, who took part in the salsa, said: "I had lots fun and enjoyed learning new steps and it was fun to do salsa with no boys." While 13-year-old Deleon Brangman added: "The instructors were funny.  It was really cool and I want to do it again.