Edson Phipps’s Journey


Edson is well known in the Salsa community and at “On the Rocks” as being skillful in a variety of Latin dances. His repertoire includes Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and especially his lovely cha cha. Originally from Trinidad, Edson has lived in Edmonton for 10 years. Edson told me he had a big advantage being from the Caribbean where, “dancing is a part of our culture”. As a result, he said “following rhythms comes easy for me”. He specifically decided to learn Salsa when a friend took him to a Salsa evening in Trinidad. That night he met Glen Wilkinson, a Trinidadian Canadian active in our Salsa scene. When Edson moved to Edmonton, much to his surprise he bumped into Glen and so decided to take some private dance lessons from him. He also took lessons at Salsaddiction, Latin Corner and Fiesta Cubana.

Edson says he loves Salsa because of the romantic, sensual, and free style dance moves. Despite being a natural with his responses to music, like most males, he says he has had challenges on the dance floor including remembering the numerous moves he learned. To overcome this challenge, he discovered a simple remedy. He said he would think, “The way to improve oneself is to practice, practice and do more practice!”.  And his persistence has paid off. He’s found Salsa has enriched his life in many ways, especially through the development of some great friendships. Edson’s advice to new salsa students or those having moments of uncertainty is to take every opportunity you can to go dancing. “It is how to develop confidence,” he added, “and don’t be afraid to ask others to dance with you. It’s a good way to learn and grow”.

In his daily life Edson works as a contractor and is an accomplished builder and renovator of houses. He has created beautiful homes, then sold them and created more. Few people are aware that this great dancer is also a mean piano player. He especially loves playing Rhythm & Blues and Gospel tunes. So, look out for this highly musical guy at On the Rocks on Thursdays. You’ll love every second of any dance with Edson.


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Roman Gonera’s Dance Journey

Ubiquitous dancer of salsa

For dancers new to the Salsa scene in Edmonton, it’s Salsaddiction’s pleasure to introduce a warm, dynamic salsero by the name of Roman Gonera. This guy is known as a treat to both watch and dance with at Salsa nights Thursdays at the “On the Rocks” nightclub. Roman is well known by the ladies for his strong, clear lead and pleasantly surprising moves. He possesses a European style of charm that delights us, and the humour he injects into dancing amuses the guys as well.

Not everyone knows that Roman is originally from Poland and only arrived here at the age of 16. He explained to me how grateful he is to his father who sacrificed a lot in his life by escaping to Greece from a communist regime that restricted opportunity and freedom. His father then went on to work very hard to bring his whole family over to Canada.

In his day-to-day work life Roman is a a Stock Broker specializing in Futures Trading. If you want to learn more about the exceptional value that can be found in owning mutual funds, equities and assets, he’s your man! Few people are aware that Roman also keeps in great shape by balancing this high stakes financial work with occasional stints as an Oil Rig driller. I’m sure the dance around the dangerous pipes, chains and huge wrenches on the rig floor must have helped his rhythm.

Roman began salsa in 2002 when his friend Patricia Wallace brought him to a salsa class. He quickly became hooked on this dance and, like many beginners, took lessons for a year to acquire the basic skills and tried to relax with the moves. He describes how he said to himself one day, “I’m going to go all out and get good at this Salsa thing!  Nothing less will work for me!!” Eight years later this focus of attitude clearly has paid off. It’s so evident when you see his joy and creativity on the dance floor.

For new dancers wanting to increase their comfort and skill at Salsa, Roman advises them to “keep at it, take lots of lessons and don’t give up because eventually you’ll relax and find your own style”.

When you dance with Roman, you will find he’s consistently kind and supportive – steadily encouraging you while making sure you have a lot of fun as well. So, if you see Roman at On The Rocks or any of the Salsaddiction social dance nights, enjoy watching him dance for awhile then introduce yourself. It’s a good way to catch a dance with him too.

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