The Lockdown Interviews! – Part 3
Welcome to The Lockdown Interviews where we grill and probe some of Salsa Buenas’ most popular Teachers/Guest Teachers, who are also some of the UK’s TOP teachers, about the lockdown.
How has it affected them? How have they been coping? What have they been up to? What do they think the future holds? All this and more! Their answers will inspire, surprise, shock and intrigue.
For this interview we have Rohan Brown another one of our most POPULAR guest teachers at our Salsa Buena party nights. International Teacher, Congress Star, Dancer, DJ, Compere, Voted most popular teacher at Baila Siempre Salsa etc etc! Rohan is also known for his FUNKY line-ups.
Note: If you are really struggling with lockdown and/or are seriously affected by any of the issues in this post, please seek professional guidance. Check out the infographic to the left/or at the bottom of this post of just some of the many professional and charitable organisations that can and will help. You are not alone.
SB: What were your first reactions/thoughts/fears when the 1st lockdown was announced?
Rohan: I was one of the very first dance schools to lockdown before the actual announcements. I really read between the lines and saw a real threat coming. As a result I really felt I needed to protect and set a precedent for other teachers, therefore my closure was a week prior to the official lockdown.
SB: How were the first few weeks for you emotionally and mentally?
Rohan: I have been on the Salsa scene for 20 years now. I have worked on an average of 6 days a week for 20 years and travelled twice around the globe as a dancer, presenter, DJ and all round dogs body. The lockdown came to me just at the right time in my life where I really needed to take a good break.
SB: As lockdown set in how did you cope and what have you been doing?
Rohan: Having closed my schools before the lock down I was already prepared for a long haul therefore I was prepared for the lockdown. Meditation also helped with relaxing.
I have been part of the Our Salsa Soul Radio team playing my breakfast show every Wednesday and Friday from 10am – 12. I play all the rhythms from Danzon, Son, Bolero, Salsa Dura and Timba
SB: Have you still been able to teach?
Rohan: I have not been teaching online as firstly there have been far too many free classes on offer, plus I really get a spiritual connection with a face to face class which for me is lost when doing Zoom sessions.
SB: What do you recommend people can do to keep up their dancing skills and class fix?
Rohan: You can learn something about dance theory that you don’t know. There are enough documentaries on YouTube about the story of what they call Salsa, as Salsa is just an umbrella term that covers much more than many of us think.
Try and connect with your fellow student class mates and do Zoom sessions in either dance or just simply getting to know you fellow dancers in a different way. This way building your community socially as support.
SB: Have you taken on any new Hobbies, Pastimes, Skills or Courses?
Rohan: I did a course in landscaping and tackled the building of walls, slabbing, and much more of my 250ft back garden.
I also began a course in life skills coaching which is also occupying lots of my time.
SB: Do you have any advice for people struggling during this time?
Rohan: I really recommend doing a short course in mindfulness as this will really help to put your life into perspective: what’s important and what’s not.
I also recommend forming a social unit of friends who can help with keeping you connected to the outer world.
SB: What has lockdown taught you?
Rohan: Lockdown has reinforced to me that there are lots of important things in life that need focusing on.
SB: Do you envisage any change in the future of Dance Classes and Events once this is over?
Rohan: I think that the future of dance has changed for ever in form of new online markets developing.
I think going back to Salsa will take a while as there will be different waves of people coming back therefore I don’t think it will get back to the norm for at least a year or so.
I think the way forward to develop our dance scene as an extended family.
This also extends to the global community. We should all look to entertain the notion that there are forces that we all need to adopt to survive that are closer to home than we think.
So I think getting to know yourself and learning to be friends with yourself is where it begins.
Learning to share your self-worth for a greater good than yourself i.e., giving and helping others for their benefit.
Dance is about expression: take a little time to say hello and get to know your fellow dancers.
When Black lives matter – All lives Matter.
The dances we are all learning talk about a long history of expression of oppression.
Learn a little bit of that history and work out away of creating a platform with people from different cultures so that we all become more culturally intelligent.
So the dance we dance on the floor becomes more about a sharing of all cultures.
SB: What do you think the first day back at a regular class/dance event will be like?
Rohan: I think there will be 2 schools of thought returning back.
1: The diehards.
I think they will be so eager to get back and absorb everything.
2: The late comers.
They may take a whilst to build up confidence to being in a social setting.
Therefore I think the atmosphere will take time to build up with people. I guess it may even be like starting over again, and the first day at school.
Thank you Rohan for taking part and your open, honest and inspiring answers. ❤️. We look forward to seeing you in Cardiff again as soon as its all over! You can catch Rohan DJ’ing on Our Salsa Soul Radio every Wed and Fri 10am-12pm. Full details:
Make sure you add yourself to our Facebook Page (link at bottom of this page) or check back on the Events section of this website regularly to read further Parts of The Lockdown Interviews with our other awesome Salsa Buena Teachers & Guest Teachers – Part 4 with another teacher coming imminently!