May 29 2009 by Stuart Wilson
HIPS are set to swing as one of the world’s most popular dance crazes hits Ayr.
Salsa classes have kicked off just in time for summer – and teachers say it’s the stairway to heaven.
All ages are on the dancefloor enjoying the Cuban cult dance, which has taken the world by storm.
Now Ayrshire is being urged to throw on its salsa shoes – and get fit into the bargain.
Alison Boyd is the coach spearheading Ayr’s dance revolution.
She said: “I was on a works’ night out in Glasgow when we ended up in a salsa club.
“I thought I’d died and gone to heaven – everyone was dancing away and having a good time.
“Since then I’ve been going to classes up there and absolutely love it.
“Now I want to bring it down here and give people in Ayr the chance to experience salsa for themselves.”
Classes are being run by Academia De Salsa, Scotland’s first Salsa school, which formed 17 years ago.
The Citadel classes mark their first forage into Ayr and the initial six week course is already proving popular.
Alison, 40, explained: “Dancing is becoming more of an ‘in’ thing to do as a result of all the shows on television shows.
“More and more guys are getting involved too, which is great because girls love a guy who can dance.
“You can walk up to four miles during a typical lesson and it’s a great way of staying fit – I actually quit the gym when I started salsa dancing.”
The woman behind Scotland’s salsa sensation believes Ayr can become the new capital for dance.
Shannon Shiell, director of Academia De Salsa, revealed: “Our courses are aimed at people who have never danced before and at the end of the course we take everyone out to a salsa club so that everyone can see for themselves how fantastic a time is to be had.
“With a recession in full swing, salsa as a pastime that will not break the bank and we offer a lot of free events too on the weekends so that you can still have an active and entertaining social life.
“At the moment most of these events are in Glasgow but once we are established in Ayr, through our classes, we will be on the look-out for local businesses keen to host the occasional salsa evening.
The course, priced £30 for a six week block, runs every Tuesday at the Citadel from 8.15pm.