"}
On Stage

Hot Salsa

Rumba Northwest takes it outside

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I first saw Rumba Northwest owners Antonio Diaz and Heather Haugland dance when the couple was invited onstage during a concert by the Afro-Cuban All Stars a few years ago at the Mount Baker Theatre.

To say they heated things up is putting it mildly. As the legendary Cuban band continued sharing their righteous island rhythms with the audience, the duo spun, dipped and moved their bodies with both grace and passion.

“We made dinner for the band before the show and they learned we taught dance, so they invited us onstage to perform for several songs,” Haugland says. “It was thrilling.”

It was also—how do I put this?—hot. For a couple that had at that point already been together for more than a decade, the way they danced made it seem as if they were in the early stages of infatuation—you know, the time in a relationship when it’s nearly impossible to keep your hands off each other.

While I’m sure part of the reason their dancing was so affecting is that that they really do love each other, a lot of it probably has to do with the fact that both Haugland and Diaz are longtime fans, and practitioners, of Latin dance.

“I took a few Salsa lessons about 15 years ago, which led me to listen to some Cuban music (including the Afro-Cuban All-Stars), which led me to travel to Cuba for a month,” Haugland says. “I fell in love with Latin music and dance there, and haven’t stopped since.

“Antonio grew up listening to salsa in Peru, where his family still runs a dance studio out of their home. He fell in love with Salsa dancing when he first moved to Seattle, about 20 years ago.”

Since settling in Bellingham and starting Rumba Northwest in 2010,  the dynamic duo has been sharing their love of the art form in a variety of ways. In addition to hosting “Salsa Night” every Saturday at State Street’s Cafe Rumba, they also offer beginning and intermediate classes Monday and Thursday evenings at the Bell Tower Studios and share news about live Latin music events in Bellingham, workshops, salsa “congresses” and more.

“More” includes events such as “Salsa on the Green,” a free event set to take place Fri., Aug. 1 at the Fairhaven Village Green.

Because it’s a social dance, Haugland says you don’t need to come with a partner, and you don’t need to know someone to ask them to dance. They’ll be demoing and leading plenty of line dances, as well, so partners won’t even be needed for many of the songs. Beginners, Haugland says, are encouraged and welcome to come.

Much like the themes Rumba Northwest focuses on as a dance company, “feeling the music” and “having fun” will be part of what “Salsa on the Green” attendees can expect at the hot summertime soiree.

“It is all about the music,” Haugland says. “People learning to partner dance can sometimes get caught up in the count, the turn patterns, the technical aspects, but whatever you’re doing, you should be connecting with and interpreting the music. Second, we talk about having fun because why else are we all out there on the dance floor? We try to create a casual and flexible atmosphere, one that’s not focused on rules or on performing, but rather just enjoying yourself and making it fun for your partner, too.”

Ticket Cascadia
More On Stage...
Women's World
Love, Loss and What I Wore

The five women who tell their tales in Love, Loss, and What I Wore don’t shy away from touchy subjects.

Whether they’re discussing the death of a child, ex-husbands, being raped at college, dressing room anxiety or aging, the 28 monologues comprising the play penned by sisters Nora and…

more »
Improv 101
A back-to-school guide

If year-round residents have noticed more U-Hauls awkwardly parked in alleys and on sidewalks and lawns throughout Bellingham neighborhoods of late, it’s a sure sign Western Washington University students are returning to town en masse, swelling the city’s population and looking for…

more »
Back to Love
Playing Monopoly with God

Until shortly before Melissa Bangs was admitted to the Providence Psychiatric Facilities in a manic state, she’d never experienced depression, mania or anxiety. She’d never even had a panic attack.

But a month after the birth of her daughter, Adelaide, things had gotten bad enough for the…

more »
Events
Today
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Connected by climate

10:00am

Bard on the Beach

2:00pm|Vanier Park

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Skagit Garage Sale

9:00am|Skagit County Fairgrounds

Oktoberfest Cruises

6:30pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Love, Loss & What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

The Music Man

7:30pm|Anacortes Community Theatre

A back-to-school guide

8:00pm

Welcome Back Students Shows

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Community Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Hall

Anacortes Farmers Market

9:00am|Depot Arts Center

Mount Vernon Farmers Market

9:00am|Riverfront Plaza

Twin Sisters Farmers Market

9:00am|Nugent's Corner

Farm Toy Show

9:00am|Northwest Washington Fairgrounds

Skagit Valley Giant Pumpkin Festival

9:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Pitch

9:00am|Skagit River Park

Oyster Run Motorcycle Rally

9:00am|Anacortes

Sumas Writers Group

10:00am|Sumas Library

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Bellingham Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Blaine Gardeners Market

10:00am|Peace Portal Drive

Fall Family Fun

10:00am|Glen Echo Garden

Run with the Chums

10:00am|BP Highlands

Harvest Field Day

11:00am|WSU Washington Research and Extension Center

Wild Foods

11:00am|Deming Library

Food Truck Roundup

11:00am|Civic Stadium

Making memories at Make.Shift

12:00pm

Council of the Animals

12:00pm|Larrabee State Park

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Museum Day Live!

12:00pm|Whatcom Museum

Family Trees

1:00pm|Mount Vernon City Library

Holly Street History Tour

1:00pm|Downtown Bellingham

Fingerpainting for Grownups

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Trio of Writers at VB

2:00pm|Village Books

Salute to Satchmo

3:00pm|Sudden Valley Dance Barn

i.e. Reception

4:00pm|i.e. gallery

Artist Talk

4:00pm|Smith & Vallee Gallery

The Ferndale Challenge

5:00pm|Ferndale Senior Activity Center

World Peace Poets Read-In

5:00pm|St. James Presbyterian Church

Democrats Dinner

5:30pm|Silver Reef Casino

Irish Concert and Workshop

7:00pm|Littlefield Celtic Center

Contra Dance

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Night Hike

7:00pm|Tennant Lake Interpretive Center

Artifacts Wine Bar Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Tomorrow
Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Connected by climate

10:00am

The Miracle Worker

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Little Women

7:30pm|Whidbey Playhouse

Love, Loss & What I Wore

7:30pm|Heiner Auditorium

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

Boating Center Open

12:00pm|Community Boating Center

Bellingham Bay Marathon

7:30am|Gooseberry Point

Rabbit Ride

8:00am|Fairhaven Bicycle

Veterans Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Post 1585

Starry Night Chamber Orchestra

3:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

I, Angus

4:00pm|Village Books

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|BAAY Theatre

Sunday Night Fusion

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Deobrat Mishra

7:00pm|Majestic

Culture Shock

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Standup Comedy Showcase

8:30pm|The Shakedown

Northwood Steak and Crab Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1
Monday
A gold medal standard

4:00pm

Eat Local Month

4:00pm|Bellingham and Whatcom County

Whatcom Water Week

10:00am|Whatcom County

We Grow Market

3:00pm|Northwest Youth Services

Yoga for Outdoor Fitness

6:00pm|REI

Candidate Forum

6:30pm|PUD Building

Cooking with Sea Vegetables

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Happy Elf Auditions

7:00pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Open Mic

7:00pm|Village Books

Poetrynight

8:00pm|Bellingham Public Library

Guffawingham

9:30pm|Green Frog

see our complete calendar »

CW BOB 2016 Cascadia Weekly Subscribe Ad 1 Artifacts Wine Bar Swinomish 2016 Village Books Northwood Steak and Crab Bellingham Farmer’s Market Everybody’s Store Andrew Subin