The Lure – One afternoon while walking along Bloor Street, I found myself pulled through the front doors of a church of all things, by the pulsating sound of salsa music. Following the beat, I entered a large, sun lit room and was immediately struck by what I saw. There on the dance floor, in the middle of a church, the most incredible collection of vastly diverse people I’d ever seen were gathered all in one place. No where else in the city had I seen so much of our diversity joined together in such a deeply engrossing and engaged way. Every shape, size, colour, age, religion and ethnicity was represented on that dance floor and the place was alive with a sense of connection, cohesion, possibility and excitement. The energy of it was absolutely infectious.
Something More – Beyond the dancing and fun being had at what I came to learn was a weekly salsa practice, there was far more going on than first met the eye and I wanted to get to the bottom of it. I was drawn to investigate further not only because I myself hungered for the same sense of belonging and community I saw on the dance floor, but also because the place as a whole seemed to hold the answers to similar longings we as a City yearned for. Before long it became clear to me that who we are as a city, and the potential we hold when we came together in the right way, was taking shape right on this dance floor. In a city that holds so much promise but at times frustrates those in pursuit of it, I felt the secrets held by the TSP needed to be told and the idea for the documentary was born.
The Toronto Salsa Practice: Model for a City in the Making, is in essence the story of a salsa practice that holds within it the story of a community transcending boundaries, immigrants finding belonging and diversity realizing its innovative and creative potential. All in all, it is the story of a city coming into its own, told not from hindsight but as its currently unfolding. It is a labour of love both in support of the Practice and the city itself. Although short in length, it aims to inspire and spur all of us on in the pursuit of Toronto’s true and vastly dynamic potential. We have such an amazing opportunity before us to create Toronto into the city of our own making, so let’s not waste it! This film is rallying cry while also suggesting the means of realizing our potential by looking no further than the Toronto Salsa Practice as a model to get us there.
Premiere Screening of the documentary takes place at 4.30 pm on Saturday January 24th, at the 14th Anniversary Party of the Toronto Salsa Practice itself. Church address is 427 Bloor Street West, Toronto (Bloor and Spadina major intersection). The documentary will be live online after the screening at www.lifelivedright.wordpress.com.