Using workshops and performance courses, the trust aims to give sense of achievement to participants, developing both their physical and psychological well being. The benefits of Salsa are many:
Improve stamina and increase fitness
Meet new people
Increase self-esteem and acknowlege potential
Improve body awareness and co-ordination
Strengthen the immune system
Increase independence and confidence
Improve flexibility and balance
Help lower blood pressure
Improve cholesterol levels and make the hearth healthier
Learn to work as part of a team (Photo: www.rebeladelica.com)
Two charities have been carefully selected to receive the remaining Lee Wright Synergy Dance World Memorial Trust assets:
They were selected because their work and aims are very similar to those of the Trust and because what they do is amazing and inspiring.
See below for messages from each of the charities:
Previously Green Candle Dance Company have provided very successful lessons in dance/movement for older men in specific communities. For 2015 on behalf of the Trust, it will be running sessions for a group of Bengali men at the Horwood Elderly Club. Fergus Early OBE, D.Arts (hc), Artistic Director of the Green Candle Dance Company has previously commented on reaching older men and making a positive impact on their health and wellbeing '.....men in general, and older men in particular, are so hard to reach and their health and well-being is comparatively poorly catered for. Men are always in a very small minority in day centres and resource centres and, on average, have a much smaller take-up of activities on offer. Add to this, cultural and religious attitudes to the concept of dance and the fact that these groups of men have expressed real interest in participating in the project is remarkable and heartening.'
5 Week 'Extra Time' Salsa Course at QPR, taught by Laith, start date 23rd April 2014
Following their total beginners class back in February (see further below), these students have what is known as the salsa bug! This means that they have been back for more dancing, participating in a 5 week course at the Queens Park Ranger Stadium. On the QPR Community Trust website, there is a great quote that refers to football - but it's also relevant to dance: “Sport motivates, inspires and connects across a wide area of the community to deliver positive outcomes to people’s lives."
Solidarity Sports Beginners Salsa Class, taught by Laith, 15th April 2014
The participants for this class were connected to the charity 'Solidarity Sports' for which the mission statement is: "Our goal is to nurture the confidence of every child we work with to help them reach their full potential in any life path they choose." The students had a 'brilliant' time in their Salsa class, and we hope that they were inspired to save some space (amongst their other favourite sports and hobbies, to enjoy dance too!
Carers Lewisham Short Choreography - Salsa with Hip Hop, taught by Laith, 14 April 2014
These students, aged from 12 to 17 took part in learning a short choreography, combining salsa with one of Laith's other specialities - Hip Hop. They thoroughly enjoyed the workshop, and we hope that they will be able to enjoy more workshops in the future as a great way to unwind, learn something new and have fun! These students are extremely unique people as they do the amazing job of caring for others.
Beginners class with a touch of hip hop, taught by Zoe, 8th February 2014
Zoe made her way to Brixton to teach a group of young girls and boys aged from 5 -12 who all have one thing in common. Even at their young ages, they all care for someone in their lives which we think is pretty amazing and also inspiring! The organisation that the Lee Wright charity worked with was 'South Thames Crossroads' based in Streatham.
Total beginners Extra Time class at QPR, taught by Laith, 12th February 2014
In the shadow of the Queens Park Ranger Stadium, a group of students tackled the solo steps of salsa in order to get active, have fun, and try something new! The charity has been working with the 'QPR in the Community' Trust so that this group of older adults can enjoy a salsa class as part of their regular social gatherings called 'Extra Time'.
Introduction to social dancing for Lewisham Carers, taught by Miriam, 24th February 2014
Following on from the workshop taught by Laith back in December, this is also a salsa lesson for adult carers who do such a great job in the community. This introduction to social dancing is all about encouraging the attendees to get out and get salsa dancing! In other words, the class is aimed that providing enough knowledge and enthusiasm to encourage the participants to get their dancing shoes on and out there - both in clubs and with salsa organisations to enjoy the physical and social benefits of salsa!
Short salsa choreography with a hint of hip hop, for Carers in Lewisham, taught by Laith, 14th April 2014
This will be a class for young carers aged between 12-17. We hope that the choreography will inspire them to find the time to keep dancing through the year and beyond! The Trust has been working with 'Carers Lewisham'. Carers Lewisham "provides a wide range of support for people who, unpaid, care for or support relatives and friends who have mental or physical disabilities or illnesses. We support both adults and children who are caring and live in the London Borough of Lewisham."
Beginners Salsa Class (with quite a lot of YEE- HAAA thrown in!) with Laith, 10th December 2013
The charity has worked along side the Children's Services Department in Hammersmith & Fulham to bring about a 'Beginners Salsa' Christmas Class as part of their end of year get-together. The students are a wonderful group of people who work to care for children with disabilies and Special Needs. The lesson offers the chance for these professional carers to take a moment for themselves and enjoy the positive things that dance has to offer....and shockingly some purple sparkly hats and feather bowers hijacked the class and turned it into a line dancing-influenced spectacular! (Some of the steps are also in fact the same as salsa steps, so we're pleased to say that technically there was still a little latin flavour thrown in there - amongst the spurs, the cowboy boots and the 'ye-haaas!!)
Beginners Salsa Class, with Miriam, 15th November 2013
On Friday 15th November, students at Parliament Hill School attended a beginner class with Miriam - an opportunity to learn something new, and to start the weekend with a sense of achievement!
Creative Dance 60+/BADGE beginners partner work class, taught by Miriam, 6 June 2013
As advertised on the Creative Dance 60+ website!:
On 6th June, the Trust was very proud to team up with the not-for-profit ‘Creative Dance 60+’ as well as another local dance organisation ‘BADGE’, to provide a beginners partner work class in Tottenham. The event was extremely well attended with around 30 participants, and the class full of positive energy, driven by some excellent teaching, enthusiastic organisers, and lots and lots of wonderful budding salsa dancers! It has even inspired some of the dancers to head out for some social dancing this summer! As Jackie Richards, (founder of Creative Dance) reported afterwards, "The turnout was fantastic and everyone joined in, managed to learn everything, and have a great time!"
Lots of smiling dancers who enjoyed Miriam's salsa moves, lesson and great sense of humour! Great poses too! Photos thanks to: Jo Alexander
Courses/Workshops (2011 & 2012)
Autumn 'Salsa with Attitude' 6 Week Course, with Laith, start date 10th October 2012
This course follows the success of the first one that was held in the spring of 2012 at Parliament Hill School, in conjunction with Kids Company. The group included students aged 11 to 15. The choreography for this course was full of attitute, which the students understood and put into their dancing with ease! - a very confident group of young ladies!
Summertime Performance Course with Zoe, start date 1st August 2012
What a great thing to do over the long summer break and in parallel to the Olympics!...This course was taught by Zoe Hodges in the Croydon area, for a group of students aged 16 - 18. As she puts it herself, Zoe is used to “striving to develop confidence, creativity, communication and stagecraft”, so these performance course students have been in good hands. The girls performed their routine at Bromley Salsa, at the Bromley Civic Centre on Tuesday 4th September and did a BRILLIANT job! The costumes, salsa steps, ladies styling, and also formations, together with a very confident performance created a winning combination. Well done Zoe and well done ladies!
Final rehearsals, and in true Lee style, the aplication of diamante to costumes! Photos: Z.Hodges
The ladies looking beautiful in their sparkly costumes, both before and after their first ever performance! Photos: H.Savery & Z.Hodges
The ladies in action! Photos: Mark Waters
Kids Company Performance Course with Laith, Started 1st June 2012
The Trust has been working with Kids Company and a North London School, to organise a performance course for 18 students - all in year 7. Kids Co is a registered charity that provides practical, emotional and educational support to vulnerable children through its street level centres and therapy house. As part of it's work, it also works within schools in London, to be available for students who may want additional support, with the aim of helping young people to achieve their goals and dreams through positive experiences and relationships. This has been the charity's very first (and much anticipated) 6 week performance course for students at Parliament Hill School, an all girls secondary. Laith Sami, one of the most experienced salsa dancers/teachers/choreographers in the UK, taught a Salsa footwork choreography influenced by hip hop, which has been performed on the main stage at a London Carnival and also performed within the school. The 'Parliament Hill Synergy Dancers' excelled at their performances!
Statement: Working with Kids Company
Following media reports about Kids Company and their use of funding, we would like to reassure everyone that our salsa projects organised via Kids Company have only ever involved payment directly to our tutor for their time. Funds were never channelled through Kids Company.
As with all charities that we have worked with, we continue to be very proud to have brought salsa to so many people, including the children that we have reached through Kids Company.
‘International Women’s Day’ Beginners Workshop, with Miriam 9th March 2012
On March 9th Miriam Oppel taught a beginners workshop, to introduce salsa to a women-only group in North London. The workshop was held at a drug treatment centre in Finsbury Park, as part of ‘International Women’s Day.’ The students were sent home with an independent ‘Beginners Guide to Salsa!’ to encourage them to get out and dance socially, following the workshop.
Despite the students being only beginners, they produced some great poses and ladies styling for the photos! (with some inspiration from Miriam!)
Outreach Workshops, Hertford Regional College, November 2011
Our first outreach salsa workshops were taught by two brilliant teachers Albert Pegus and Miriam Oppel.
This comprised a day of workshops with teenage groups who had little or no experience of salsa including those with learning difficulties. Workshops included an introduction to the charity and Lee Wright, followed by learning about the benefits of salsa for health and wellbeing, and finally, lessons on the rhythms of Salsa music and the basic steps of Salsa dance.