’22 in review: Make the Buena Vista moves

Claudia Mosibe Esara and Eric Turro Martinez are leading Cuban dance classes in Endeavour Hills. 297945_01 Picture: ROB CAREW

By Cam Lucadou-Wells

During the new year period, Star News is reflecting on the year that was by revisiting some of the stories that made news in 2022.

Learn the smooth, sultry moves of traditional Cuban dance from a pair of maestros in Endeavour Hills.

Buena Vista Social Club international dancer Eric Turro Martinez and singer-dancer Claudia Mosibe Esara have performed together for 15 years.

The two are now taking Cuban dance classes in an atmosphere of fun, smiles and charisma.

“The music is therapeutic – it makes you happy,” Ms Esara, from Pakenham, said.

“It’s a chance to take home Cuba without leaving Australia.”

The pair met while MCing the big annual Latin music festivals at Sandown and Johnston Street, Fitzroy.

The Cuban-born Mr Martinez, now living in Laverton, is renowned as a world-leading dance exponent.

He has toured internationally as part of the Buena Vista Social Club, as well as staging a Dance Buena Vista extravaganza at The Palms resort this year.

As a member of UNESCO’s International Dance Council, he is actively preserving the Cuban dance culture.

“Music, religion and dance is a part of the daily culture… for any event we always end playing music and dancing. That’s how it is.”

Ms Esara has had a passion for dance and music since performing as an 11-year-old in Uruguay. Suffering from anxiety, she said the music heals her.

“Dancing is a time for myself and to connect with other people. It takes you away from everything as you try to learn something new and take something in.

“I learnt how good it feels to give and to get that appreciation back from the audience. It’s so rewarding.”

Arriving in Australia at 16, she joined bands as a singer. The mother of four has been teaching salsa and Zumba for more than 12 years.

“It keeps me mentally healthy and physically as well. It feels more like dancing than doing a workout.”

The Cuban dance classes are suitable from beginners up.

It’s on Mondays at 7.30pm starting from 3 October at Endeavour Hills Neighbourhood Centre, 10 Raymond McMahon Blvd.

Details: Claudia on 0481 170 788.