Salsa classes a chance to learn movement and culture

Wilfried Edom loves to dance.

He has traveled through Europe from his home in the Caribbean, and now he’s sharing his love of dancing with Timmins.

“My favourite part of teaching is sharing my passion,” he says.

Edom grew up in Guadeloupe, a small island in the Caribbean.

Edom started dancing in his early 20s after taking one salsa class eight years ago. He began teaching three years ago.

“I always loved to dance, but I couldn’t take dance lessons when I was young, but I always liked it,” he says. “My friend invited me to a salsa class. She was like, ‘You have to come, you will like it,’ so I said Ok.”

After that first class, the passion for dance took hold.

“I never stopped. I went to every class for three years. I was going to dance four to five times a week,” he says. “The first step is the hardest one, but once you understand how it is, it’s a whole different world.”

He says that he was nervous about going at first.

“I was a bit afraid, so I was like, ‘Oh, they will make fun of me, I’m too young,’” says Edom. “Some people might hesitate because the first step is really hard to take, but once they start, they really like it.”

He moved to Timmins for love and says it’s been an adventure.

“Timmins chose me because my girlfriend’s family is from Timmins, so when we were thinking of moving, she chose Timmins,” he says. “I’m starting to really enjoy the town.”

Since those first few classes, he has expanded his repertoire and three years ago, he started teaching.

“It was my hobby, and I didn’t want to prepare or think about it. I just wanted to release things when I danced,” he says. “What I like is to share the passion, the culture, and everything related to those dances.”

His background is in physical education, and it was a logical step.

“I always knew I would teach,” he says. “I’m just trying to adapt to what the students are asking.”

He has been teaching one-on-one and small group classes for individuals in Timmins for the last year, and now he’s expanded to a class every second Thursday at the Timmins museum.

“I was looking for a place to do collective classes, but I didn’t know where,” he says.

He says the classes are a great way to meet some new people.

“There are couples coming, there are friends that have come together, and there are people coming alone, but the dance environment is a really social environment,” he says. “Once you understand that, we can come and share with other people.”

Edom’s next salsa class at the museum is on Thursday, Oct. 26. Registration costs $20 per class at the museum or by calling 705-360-2617.

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,