Kelly Lannan & Eric Caty are featured in this edition of the Dance Spotlight. Kelly and Eric are the owners of Alberta Dancesport, the directors of Salsa Rica Productions, and the organizers of the Calgary International Salsa Congress, and the Edmonton Ballroom and Salsa Gala.
They were nominated by Anya Katsevman. Anya said, “They run the most successful social dance school and congress in the area and organize many competitions around North America. I think they’re great organizers and dancers and would be wonderful to spotlight.”
Check out some fun facts on the talented duo, including their thoughts on organizing the Calgary International Salsa Congress and their social dance pet peeves.
What (or who) originally inspired you to try Latin dancing?
Kelly: One of my first instructors (David Joseph) introduced me to latin dancing and I’ve been in love ever since.
Eric: I’ve been training in Ballroom all my life, and Kelly took me to a Salsa club after a bad breakup.
What makes a social dance fun for you?
Kelly: A great song and a fun partner.
Eric: Musicality and interaction with my partner.
Social dance pet peeve(s): (Hygiene, No connection, People who teach while dancing, etc)
Kelly: My worst social dancing pet peeve is when a partner overpowers me with an overly strong or aggressive lead, and I feel worried about getting injured. For the most part I have great dances.
Eric: I hate when my partner is more focused on styling and showing off instead of following and interacting.
Describe a moment from your dance career that made you proud?
Kelly: I was incredibly proud when we celebrated our 10th Annual Calgary International Salsa Congress. Our friends, dancers, and artists put together an amazingly special set of surprises that touched me and made me feel very proud of the wonderful people we have met on our journey.
Eric: I agree with Kelly’s answer, and would like to also add the very first year we were able to do and International Congress in a small community like Calgary. Also proud of our finals in World Salsa Championships.
You co-organize the Calgary International Salsa Congress. What makes this event special and what are your goals for the event?
Kelly: It is an honor to present a community wide celebration of the arts in my hometown. We work very hard to make the event the best it can be, we want dancers, instructors, directors, judges and spectators to have a fantastic experience and to feel that we have put in a lot of care and thoughtfulness to ensure their enjoyment of the weekend. Our international artists are amazing, and we have the support of all of our local schools, which is wonderful. We are so proud when people make the journey to Calgary that we try our hardest to make it special. The Hyatt Regency was always my dream hotel in the heart of Calgary. Our event is friendly and clearly organized. We have an audience of spectators who are from the general public, who love the dancer and give them a lot of support on stage, and of course, it is a huge thrill to take everyone to Banff National Park and Lake Louise on Monday. I feel so lucky to have such a beautiful place in my backyard, and it is the perfect ‘day after’ celebration.
Eric: One of the goals for the event is to constantly bring talent to Calgary, and love to see how the community responds to the international guests we bring. Feedback from our guests is that the local dancers are very grateful and appreciative of their presence in Calgary.
Kelly – You participated in the Performer/Artist Photo Challenge on Facebook. Unfortunately, the challenge advised there should be zero explanations. Can you pick one of those photos and describe why it’s meaningful/memorable to you? (I’ll share the photo in the post).
It would have to be one of the photos with Eric and David. I have been very lucky to share my career with them, where they (quite literally) picked me up and put me on their shoulders. If I had to choose one, I guess it would be the one where we performed at our first congress here is Calgary, it had a disco theme, and was always a lot of fun.
What is your favorite dance genre and why? (Salsa, Tango, Country, Bachata…?)
Kelly: Salsa. I love the music, the dance, and the community. It is difficult to say if it is the music, dance, or community that is my ‘why’. Whether I am at our local Latin festivals, or at an international Salsa event, social dancing, performing, judging, or teaching my introductory classes, I always get that magical feeling.
Eric: I did Ballroom and Salsa competitively for most of my life, so it’s always a hard question for me to answer, but I would have to say Waltz in the Ballroom portion, and definitely Salsa, for the music and the social aspect of it.
Favorite dance video(s) you’d like to share?
Kelly: I feel so lucky to have social media now and be able to keep up with all of the amazing artists around the world. I wouldn’t say it’s one video for me, I feel so lucky to see what all of my favorite artists (and friends) are up to!
Eric: If I want to show my non Salsa dancer friends where the level of Salsa now is, I would always use a video of Tropical Gem as a reference.