Dancing Poetry PDF Print E-mail
Written by Linda Palacios   
Thursday, 13 May 2010 22:20

Dancing Poetry
From YouTube to iTunes to "American Idol," music plays a major role in our lives. Find out how you can blend the art of music with the art of dance Downtown this summer.

Like any other art form, dance allows artists to express themselves. Kama Salsa Owner Diana Hoffman compares learning the steps and music of a dance to learning a language. "Dance is the art without the words," Hoffman says. It is in the specific combination of steps that follow along the grammar of the beat that allows dancers to create poetry. And Hoffman helps her students learn to write that poetry all over the dance floor.


Hoffman shows her love for salsa dancing poetry in her studio's name, Kama Salsa, as Kama is the god of love. "Salsa is not just a dance. It is a way of life," she says.


But Hoffman also teaches merengue and bachata dances, two other Latin dances. Hoffman tends to use salsa as a starting point before moving onto merengue or bachata so that her students form a foundation before diving into another dance.


Salsa, the "way of life," promotes wellness of body, mind and spirit, much like the practice of yoga. And Hoffman let's you know how:


A Fit Body


Like any other form of exercise, dance helps you burn calories and build muscle. Unlike many forms of exercise, however, the music and movement mask the fact that dance is, indeed, exercise, so participants are more likely to exercise through dance longer and more frequently than another form of exercise that is less fun.


In salsa, this idea of the music and movement masking the exercise is even more prevalent, as the music follows a specific rhythm much like a heartbeat, Hoffman says. This heartbeat helps keep your body in tune with the music, allowing for a smooth exercise.


A Healthy Mind


Before the physicality even starts, Hoffman gives her students food for thought as she teaches them about the history behind salsa dancing. Then, once the music starts, salsa dancers must think about their feet dancing in tune with the music. Instead of a freeform dance, the format of salsa keeps a regimented dance.


A Renewed Spirit


While the regimented dance keeps participants in tune with the music, it is knowing this foundation that allows for more creativity on the dance floor, Hoffman says. Similar to poetry's using a specific set of words to create art, the foundational steps combine for a specific pattern for another work of art.


Salsa also renews the spirit by bringing a community together. Salsa serves as a cross-cultural connection, and to experience that connection for yourself, check out Salsa on the Square Thursday nights this summer on Fountain Square starting on June 3. Hoffman will be teaching salsa at the event.


To learn more about Hoffman and Kama Salsa before Salsa on the Square even starts, check out




Photo coutesy of Diana Hoffman

Linda Palacios -

Linda Palacios is the editor of Cincy Chic. Send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .Read More >>

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