It all started on a trip to the Miami Salsa congress… just a group of friends looking to spend a great weekend. It was an event designed to attract dancers the world over to mix and mingle with one another and take lessons with some of the best dance instructors in Miami. We met a lot of new friends and were introduced to different styles of teaching and dancing. On the flight home we flirted with the idea of one day opening our own dance school… just a pleasant thought.
On to Atlanta . A few new friends south of the border invited us to a Salsa dancing weekend in the southern State. It didn’t take much convincing before our Toronto crew was back for more! We enjoyed creative workshops and fine southern hospitality in the company of familiar faces. We left Atlanta in search of our next adventure…
Off to Cuba. Trace back the roots of Salsa and the road will lead you down the streets of Havana. Music & dancing are both interwoven within the Cuban culture. Our experience training and dancing in Havana left us thirsting for more, and the passion of the dancers had a dramatic effect on us.
Performing in Toronto. Back home, a local charity was looking for a dance performance group. Something lively and fun to help people unwind and just dance. Our Toronto crew was set to perform but we needed a name. We were all Casineros and united through our passion in Latin dance, so Casineros Unidos (C.U.) Dance was born!
Havana Nights. It was only a matter of time before we took the next step. Our goal was simple: fuel the growing dance scene in Toronto. We formed Havana Nights - an inclusive party for anyone and everyone who enjoys fun music and great friends. The party was a hit and became a staple in the Toronto salsa scene, featuring one of the top Latin DJs, DJ Bernal, and many of the best instructors in the city.
Performing in San Francisco . Did you know San Fran hosts one of North America’s largest yearly Salsa parties? We didn’t at the time, but found out when C.U. Dance was invited to perform. What a pleasant surprise to receive such a warm reception; we were introduced to many great instructors, musicians, dancers and students. One thing was clear: we wanted to take what we learned and share our passion with fellow Torontonians.
Havana Nights patio parties. Summer was upon us and Havana Nights had grown. We needed a larger venue. We found some of the nicest rooftop patios in the city and took the party outdoors, in homage to the memories forged in Havana.
Bringing live music to Toronto. Feeding off the success of Havana Nights, C.U. Dance teamed up with Okokan Productions to host and promote an 18-piece Grammy award-winning Salsa band, Pupy y Los Que Son Son, from Cuba.
C.U. Dance school launches. We had been talking about opening a school since our first trip together in Miami. We enjoyed learning, performing and promoting Latin dance and wanted to establish a place to share and express our joy and enthusiasm. Individually, we had also been training and instructing at multiple other venues. The timing was right and we were ready – C.U. DANCE school was born!