He lives in Dublin (Ireland), he loves dancing salsa and we see him very often lately in Romania, at salsa events, teaching, performing or just enjoying dancing on the dance floor. Dave Keeler is his real name, but most of us know him as TheDave Whisperer. Meeting him so frequently in Romania, questions started popping in our minds and we thought it would be a very good idea to make an interview with him, so you will get to know who TheDave Whisperer really is. He was kind enough to answer us these questions about him and Latino dances, to tell us his story about how he discovered his passion for salsa and the Romanian dancers.
TheDave Whisperer and his passion for salsa
1. Do you remember your first salsa class? When did that happen and who was your teacher?
Yes, I do remember it actually; it was a long time ago now, 10 years ago. It was on a Thursday night and the only reason I went was a girl from work who told us to go because she needed men at that class, so myself and my friend went along for fun (I didn’t even know what salsa was then). After one class I was hooked, it was so much fun, there was a lot of people there and in my head I actually thought I am John Travolta J. My teacher was a guy who is still running clubs now, his name is Mark Elmore and he runs the longest salsa event in Ireland, “Irish Salsa School”.
2. Do you represent a certain salsa school in Ireland?
I used to represent a school, 2nFro Dance, which was the brain-child of my 2 friends, Hellen Bangura & Patrick Marinho. They taught me a LOT of what I know, understand and love about dance. During my time in this school I became a helper, a teacher, an instructor and, eventually, I ran the whole school, due to the fact that Hellen left for New York and Patrick had family commitments. Now I do not represent a school, I have my own practice group, which is not a school, it’s a place for like minded people to gather and to learn from each other.
3. Is salsa what you do for living or you have a different job during the day?
Salsa for me is a Passion, a Hobby, a Drug, but I also have a daily job working for a large multinational computer company. A lot of people over the years have asked me why I don’t do it for full time and, sadly, there are a few reasons: it would never pay enough; there are too many people who want to get better than you (and that’s fine), but the way some of them are trying to put you down is not nice; also, IF this was my living, there would be so much more pressure and I wouldn’t be able to enjoy it as much.
4. Please order these salsa dance styles by preference: salsa on1, salsa on2, bachata, kizomba, cha cha cha.
Salsa on2 (MAMBO), cha cha cha, salsa on1, bachata and I stop here.
5. Please tell us what is your top 5 latino dancers in the world.
WOW! Everyone has their favourites and likes different styles, but me, I like different people for different reasons.
Gilberto Prado Mendez (Mexico/ London) because this guy is my best friend and, also, his attitude is something to behold; he does his thing, smiles and lets everyone do theirs; he has helped me so much over the years and STILL is.
Enoch Lopez Madurga (YE MAMBO) because this guy for me has the flavor, the passion, the style, the skill, everything I love about on 2; he was the one who got me dancing Mambo.
Leon Rose (London/ Paris) is for me one of the most understated dancers around. I took classes with Leon when I traveled to London, he has so much flavor, style, attitude, knowledge, he is so inspirational and very creative (people, you should really look this guy up!) and WHAT A DANCER!
Karel Flores (Mexico/ New York) – is there anything to be said about the Pocket Rocket? She is just like a little Ferrari on speed, amazing to dance with, amazing to watch and actually lots of fun.
Adolfo Indacochea (New York/ Italy) – I started looking at Adolfo 5 years ago and for me he has become even better in his dancing, his teaching and his attitude. Might be silly, but what I really like about Adolfo’s classes are not the main shines/ partnerworks, but the warm up and the simple footworks he puts together, which are very simple, yet very creative (watch out for them).
TheDave Whisperer and Romania
1. When did you discover salsa in Romania?
I actually discovered Romanian salsa in London, when a friend of mine, Harry Lim, told me at the 5 Star Congress to dance with his friend. After that dance, I said to the girl “Marry me!”, we danced again and a beautiful friendship was born still to this day with Alexandra Ilie. She was the one who invited me to come to Romania, to the Salsa Factory Anniversary, actually where I met so many beautiful people and so many great dancers, I just have to keep coming back and, in fact, as some of you know, bring a lot of my friends with me.
2. If you were to compare salseros from Romania with salseros from Ireland, what would you say is the first difference that comes in your mind and what is the first resemblance?
First difference is the level of commitment in Romania is a LOT higher, people WANT to get better, want to excel, not that people in Ireland don’t, but the amount of people here is a LOT higher.
The first resemblance is that people here are just as friendly as people in Ireland, I’ve been to other countries and people can be very closed, not here, I love the attitudes.
3. You travel from Ireland to Romania several times a year. What makes you come back every time?
The people, plain and simple, and even if I didn’t dance, now I would still come back, I have made some very wonderful and special friends here, from a LOT of schools and even outside of salsa, this place will always be in my heart.
4. What is the reason you are in Romania now?
Well, there are a few reasons. First of all, I was missing my friends and strangely the city (pet hate smoking inside), I was also thinking it’s time to have fun and you all know how to have fun. I had some holidays so I arranged with my friend to stay at her place and I arranged to teach some classes at Salsa Factory and also some at Revolucion del Cuerpo. Different schools, different types of teaching, all good, all fun. It’s nice to learn from someone other than your regular teacher as it gives you a broader perspective and also some new ideas.