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Published February 16th 2015
It’s our birthday so join us on the dancefloor
In March 2014, Brisbane Latin Dance instructor James Quinn-Hawtin proudly opened the doors of the dance academy bearing his name. That first Sunday, Macgregor State School hall was filled with Latin dance newbies. Within minutes James' infectious energy and enthusiasm had the whole room dancing.
James Quinn-Hawtin welcomed the very first Intro to Salsa Dancing class in March 2014
A year on, many of those newbies have gone on to become confident salsa dancing addicts. They spread the word, and the students kept coming – intrepid beginners from 18 to 80, month after month, filled the dancefloor with shimmies and shines.
Now as James Quinn-Hawtin Dance Academy celebrates its first birthday, the school has become well known for providing a fun and healthy way to meet new people while you're learning to dance. JQHDA is Brisbane's go-to social Latin dance school. From the 'wish-I-could-dancers' to the 'no-way-I-can-dancers', the JQHDA team has brought rhythm and laughter to hundreds in just one short year.
Mid 2014, JQHDA expanded to include a second and third level of Salsa training.
With three levels of salsa dancing now in full swing, James' long-term students are proof that the JQHDA program works. Whilst you're guaranteed to have a great time in class, its great to know that the teaching methods and syllabus provide solid salsa dancing technique.
World renowned dancer, "Edie, the Salsa Freak", creator of over 60 top-selling instructional DVDs, developed the Black Belt Salsa™ system based on her own teaching methodology. Many top Latin dance schools around the world use the system. James Quinn-Hawtin is currently Australia's only certified Black Belt Dance™ instructor, so his students can rest assured they are learning without even thinking about it.
Students join together to become familiar with the Salsa beat and learn simple footwork.
Learning to dance should absolutely be a positive experience, especially if your goal is go out and have a great time on the dancefloor," James says, "Our classes are structured to be social and inclusive – no one is left behind, no one is held back. We find once people start enjoying themselves and letting go, it's pretty much impossible not to catch the Salsa bug."
JQHDA Instructors (James Quinn-Hawtin and Kelsy Luengen shown) provide demonstrations at the end of class for students to record and practice at home.
Carol started as a beginner in October 2014, and in a few short months she has discovered that dancing is only one benefit of coming to JQHDA. "I started to learn for fun and to meet people," Carol says, "Coming to this course has done both!"
Carol can often be found dancing the night away at Brisbane's regular Latin dance socials, like Casablanca's Sunday Salsa Seduction. In fact you'll find JQHDA students getting together for to grab a bite to eat, take a trip to the beach, and yes, we're still talking about a dance school.
It's not all about dancing; there are all sorts of fun to be had!
After months of enjoying the company of a newfound circle of friends, JQHDA students created a social group aimed at welcoming new classmates and sharing outside interests. It just so happens they tend to include dancing in their plans as much as possible. In fact they'll dance wherever and wherever they can. That's because James Quinn-Hawtin Dance Academy has, in one year, become a community of friendly people who can't wait to get together each week. James and his team think that's reason enough to celebrate.
If you've thought about learning to dance or just want to try something new, JQHDA is a great place to start. Singles and couples are welcome, and you don't need any prior dance experience to get started.
Come and join in the birthday celebrations at JQHDA!