INTRODUCING ANDRES DAUYON:
Andres Dauyon is a Canadian and a Cuban. He grew up in Havana, Cuba’s vibrant, culturally diverse metropolis, and he spent time, too, as a child and youth, visiting relations in country villages not too far from Havana, thereby soaking up as a young person the variety and scope of Cuban urban and rural cultural traditions. One constant in Andres’s life has been music and dance: he was immersed in the rhythms and beat of Cuban salsa from birth. Cubans such as Andres learn to dance almost as soon as they learn to walk.
In Cuba, learning to dance is a group experience. Children and their older mentors, often their siblings and cousins, take to neighbourhood streets to dance at very young ages. There, together, they teach each other, and they learn from each other. Then as youths, especially for those who have a special affinity for salsa, each dancer develops and perfects his or her unique style. Such has been the case with Andres Dauyon. After completing his studies at El Centro Politecnico Amistad Cubano-Sovietica in 1991, it wasn’t long before Andres became a salsa dancer instructor at Havana’s well-known Plaza Hotel. In this period of his life Andres worked on his pedagory; he developed his own fluid and flexible approach to teaching salsa to beginners, especially.
Andres immigrated to Canada in 2007 and settled in Nova Scotia. He has brought to our region his passion for and devotion to Cuban salsa as both an art form and a spirited social activity. Almost immediately upon arrival, Andres and another salsa aficionada, Diane Saulnier, began to teach salsa informally to their friends and acquaintances. More recently, from 2013 to 2015, Andres taught Cuban salsa classes in concert with Brigitte Aucoin, a Latin-dance specialist and owner of the studio, Happy Soul, located in Halifax’s West End. He is now teaching fundamentals of salsa classes with Kirenia Gonzales, a professional dancer trained in Cuba. Andres also offers private classes to individuals who are keen to learn the subtleties of Cuban salsa.
Invariably Andres’s students find this transplanted Cubano and proud dual citizen of both Cuba and Canada to be a thoughtful and prepared instructor, a teacher who can tailor a private class, for instance, to suit the learning style and abilities of a particular student. In addition to his experience in and creative flair for teaching, Andres also brings joy to the project of sharing aspects of his rich Cuban cultural heritage, writ large, with his students.
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