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Media Mentions

Naressa Coutinho talks to young Latin Ballroom Dancer, Conrad Coelho, the first residential Indian to become an ISTD (London) certified Latin and Ballroom Dance teacher and Salsa Promoter, to find out why the Latin Ballroom dance form could be the right career option for you.

Latin Ballroom dance styles are no longer an alien concept, what with popular television dance shows like ‘So you think you can dance’ or our very own desi dance series ‘Jhalak Dhikla Jaa’. Distinguished for its hip action, pointed toes and sizzling chemistry, the Latin dance form has taken on a global appeal which means that India too is not far behind.

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Conrad along with his partner Arpita, intend conducting a ISTD medal examination session in November this year. They have the necessary permission from the ISTD HQ and have started intensive technical training in their classes. Though they are qualified to train and enter students in the Latin American and Modern Ballroom Genres, for this examination they are focussing on the Latin American Dances, so as per the level of the candidate he/she can appear for any or all of the following dances: Rumba, Cha Cha Cha, Jive, Samba and Paso Doble. here are excerpts of an interview with Conrad Coelho

Please tell us about the ISTD and your association with this esteemed institution.

The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD) is the world’s leading dance examinations board. Formed in 1904, it is an institute founded by Dance Teachers for Dance Teachers and is the only organisation that covers the full spectrum of dance examinations on a truly global scale.

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Mumbai based IT company Directi has a five-day week. Yet, 20 of its techies make it a point to commute to office every Sunday Morning. But work is the last thing on their minds. They make the long trip to the company's office in the suburb of Andheri so they can learn the art of ballroom dancing. And boy, do they have fun while they're at it.

Under the supervision of the avuncular and able dance instructor Conrad Coelho, the Directians pair up and start dancing the fox-trot. They follow Coelho's instructions moving back and forth and trying hard not to look down at their feet. They make mistakes at the first but about two hours later, they're much more proficient.

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With the wedding season almost here, choreographers are in short supply among Mumbai's Christian couples and their families who want to take private dance lessons in the energetic Rhumba that's replaced the slow Waltz. No time? Try the Masala Mix, a no-training, no-brainer number that's everyone's favourite finds Melissa D'costa

Opposites attract, and we saw that. In between bursts of childlike laughter that pierced through the air at choreographer Conrad Coelho's Vile Parle dance studio, an awkward Warren D'souza and a confident Margaret Rodrigues tried keeping time, their hand and legs in sync, a smile on their face, while Conrad watched their every move. The Malad residents had dropped in on a Sunday evening for a session of training in the Rhumba.

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