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22 January, 2021

New Salsa studio set to sizzle

ONE of Cairns’ oldest Latin dancing schools is ready to turn up the heat in 2021 with the opening of Strictly Street Salsa Cairns studio in the Showground Shopping Plaza.

By Tanya Murphy

The large new studio will provide space for up to 30 students at a time under COVID-safe procedures and is currently taking bookings for students from absolute beginner and up.

Dance teacher Joanne Fairbairn has been dancing since she was a child, including ballet, ballroom and rock and roll. But it was when she first tried salsa in 2002 that her true passion was found.

Within a short time her dance teacher had appointed her as his assistant and just one year later in 2003 she founded her own salsa dance school.

Salsa is a dance which originated in Latin American communities living in South, Central and North America during the 1960s. Though there are numerous Latin dance clubs in Cairns, Ms Fairbairn’s school is the only one that focuses on the Cuban style.

“After attending a Cuban dance festival in Sydney in 2011 and visiting Cuba in 2012 and 2013, I became hooked on Cuban salsa. It’s very authentic and steeped in culture and tradition, it’s what you see the locals doing on the streets and in the clubs and bars of Cuba,” said Ms Fairbairn.

The studio’s official opening will be celebrated on Saturday January 30 with two of Australia’s leading Cuban dance instructors traveling to Cairns to hold workshops during the day, followed by a night-time practice.

Ms Fairbairn and fellow teacher Kevin Loccisano will then run classes in Cuban Casino, Son, Cha Cha Cha, Afro-Cuban, and Rumba five nights a week at the studio. Newcomers are welcome. Although salsa is a partner dance, all-ladies classes and men’s classes are also available for dancers to hone their individual movement skills.

Bookings are essential and limited numbers apply due to COVID-19 restrictions. Call Jo on 0423 218 929 to book.

For more information, visit

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