Keeping the salsa dance scene hot and spìcy on the Costa del Sol is top salsa dance teacher Emma Webb.
London Wasps rugby team fan, Emma, pictured right at a big game back in the UK kindly took a few minutes off from her busy daily schedule for an interview with gomarbella.
Gomarbella: Emma, how long have you lived on the Costa del Sol and why did you come here?
Emma: I arrived in Spain in October 2000. I came here as a holiday rep for JMC. I had just completed a summer season in Turkey and was transferred here. I liked Marbella so much that for another 3 years I declined all offers of a relocation. Unfortunately, I then got glandular fever and had to return to the UK. However during my recovery, my Mother sold her house and decided to move to Marbella. So, I came back here with her! We then decided to buy Bar Cheers, in Cortijo Blanco San Pedro and have been there ever since.
Gomarbella: What do you like most about living on the Coast?
Emma: Mainly the weather! Although I never have the patience to build-up a suntan, I love being able to swim daily in the summer. Also the people, everyone is friendlier here and you can start conversations easily with strangers! The last time I was in the UK and tried to strike up conversations with people I found that they were so reserved!
Gomarbella: What do you like least about living here?
Emma: The fact that it would be a complete waste of time buying a season ticket for the best team in the world 'London Wasps'!
Gomarbella: What do you do in your spare time Emma?
Emma: I go out dancing and socialising with all the friends that I am lucky to have met over the years! Also, as owning a bar is such a sociable job, I enjoy simple nights at home in front of the TV! I would love to have more time, to visit different parts of Spain and explore surrounding areas.
Gomarbella: How did you start teaching salsa?
Emma: Around two and a half years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn Salsa, I found a teacher named Gary, who at the time was looking for a venue in San Pedro, so I offered him the bar and it went from there.... A year ago, once I could be taught no more, Gary passed his beginners class to me. He then relocated to the UK so I had an opportunity to teach all levels, without stepping on the toes of the guy that had taught me in the first place!
Gomarbella: What gives you the most satisfaction as a salsa teacher?
Emma: I love watching my students grow. It is great to dance with a student that I have taught, it makes me proud!
Gomarbella: Why do people take up salsa?
Emma: People take up salsa for many reasons. Some for exercise, when you are dancing advanced levels of salsa you burn 600 calories an hour! It is also a great way of meeting people. We have a dance night at the bar, on the first Friday of every month and we have regular nights out together. It is like stepping into an already made group of friends. Once you are able to dance, it is a great feeling! You can find my dance classes on the gomarbella salsa page
Gomarbella: How long do you think it takes a man to learn salsa?
Emma: Within a few months a guy can learn enough, to confidently dance basic salsa, then it is just a case of adding moves to his repertoire!
Gomarbella: Is it easier for a man or a woman to learn salsa?
Emma: Men are the leaders and women are the followers in salsa, so the men have to learn the moves and the hand signals that go with them, but most importantly they have to remember everything! The women just have to know the moves and recognise the signals.
Gomarbella: Where are the best places on the Coast to dance'
Emma: I would recommend Milonga in Estepona, Havana Bar in Marbella, Ranchon Cubano in the Summer, Disco Kiu's latin room and El Picaro de la Habana in Plaza Mayor Malaga.
Gomarbella: What suggestions do you have for salseros coming out to the Coast on holiday Emma?
Emma: Just e-mail me your details and I'll keep you in touch with where to go whilst you're here!
Gomarbella: What do you do when you are not teaching salsa?
Emma: Run the bar!
Gomarbella: Where would you like to be in a year's time
Emma: At the moment I teach in San Pedro and Calahonda. In a year's time I would like to be successfully teaching salsa full-time up and down the coast.
Gomarbella: Thank you very much Emma and good luck!
Update: 9/10/10, Emma is no longer teaching salsa, she has moved on but if you would like an idea of where to dance salsa, check through to the Gomarbella Salsa page.