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You know how we sometimes save numbers on the phone with a suffix? With Hitesh Salsawala (in picture above) there is no such need. “In India when you are in a certain profession, you become a wala,” smiles 26-year-old Hitesh Teckchandani Salsawala, clarifying that he is not Parsi!

This Don Bosco Park Circus boy left India in 2008 to study dance and culture at the University of Surrey. Now based and teaching in Gilford, UK, Hitesh is back in his hometown for a short salsa stint at Flash Fitness (3A Camac Street). His previous workshop in Calcutta was in 2010. The class mainly featured his former students who had turned independent salsa instructors!

cutta has witnessed a salsa explosion in the last few years, tracing it back Hitesh says, “Five years ago when we tried to organise salsa parties, the response was lukewarm and we had blamed the venues. In hindsight, it was not the venue but the people who were not confident enough. I believe things have changed.”

Excited to witness this change in the salsa scene, Hitesh has prepared the agenda for a three-day workshop. Heading the list is lead-and-follow techniques (“it’s essential to know how to react”) and spin techniques (“very important to improve balance”). He will also focus on styling, especially in partner work (if you know any solo show-off salsa dancers, send them to learn a thing or two about incorporating moves with their partner) and an essential pillar called posture. “I always say salsa is like Jenga (a building-block game) on bones.”