Addicted to Salsa – Interview with Salsa Oracle

salsa feet

All of us have our little weaknesses and “sins”. Some crave for chocolate, others cannot imagine their life without a good cup of coffee or a cigarette puff. You would think that one can develop an addiction to only something that he or she consumes. However, the unfortunate experience with gambling has proved otherwise. Activities can be no less contagious and addictive than products. But, can it be fun, harmless and… even healthy? Can it work for a good cause and help others? The answer is definitely yes!

One of such wonderful activities is called “salsa”. Once you get involved into dancing, it swallows you into the world of unlimited fun, joy and inspiration. Among all the salseros that are living and practising in the city of London there is one who is particularly inventive, talented and amiable. Sean Vickery is every night on the dance floor, teaching, performing, socialising, and simply having a good time with like-minded people. Today he is sharing his story and plans for the future with us.

Sean Vickery

Salsa Oracle as He is

UC: Let’ start with the very beginning. How long have you been doing salsa and dancing in general? In what circumstances have you come to it and why?

SV: I have been dancing salsa since 1998. Initially I was afraid of dancing so I booked myself on a salsa holiday to Spain to conquer my fear. When I returned to the UK, I developed “the bug” for salsa. So, I went regularly to classes and clubnights in London, around the UK and abroad.

UC: Why do you call yourself a Salsa Oracle?

SV: Salsa Oracle was a nickname given to me by my friends at salsa. I would let them know where salsa events were occurring. Initially, it started with a few friends and has now risen to hundreds of people to whom I send a weekly list of Latin dance events. The name refers to an Oracle – an Ancient Latin, Greek and Roman religious figure or temple that people used visit to ask questions, the most famous being The Oracle at Delphi. I also used Salsa Oracle as a name for my company because it is unique in salsa.

Sean Vickery


UC: What do you like about salsa? Does it benefit over other dancing streams?

SV: I like salsa mostly because it is a couple-dance that is inclusive, that can be danced almost anywhere and has a great social life. I do enjoy a wide range of dances, but for me salsa has the perfect balance of fun and challenges.

Salsa Oracle

UC: Why do you think it is important for people to dance?

SV: I think there are at least three reasons: 1. to have fun away from work; 2. to exercise and keep fit 3. to communicate with like-minded people

When I teach an hour lesson I make a general plan first, with some room for improvisation. I break the lesson into 10 minute blocks with a piece of music at the end of each block. During a lesson I emphasize footwork first, then proceed with the explanation on how one should lead and follow within the timing.The most important quality for a teacher here is patience for the student.UC: How do you normally organise your lesson? 

UC: Is there such a thing as natural ability/inability to dance?

SV: Some people are more musical than others, but to my mind everyone can learn to dance. The most important quality for a student is a mixture of the right attitude, bravery,  and willingness to absorb information and accept help, regardless of sex, age, and/or disability. People with no sense of rhythm are quite rare, but even they are not hopeless.

UC: At what age is it better to start dancing salsa? 

SV:  You can learn the basics of salsa at any age whether you are young or more mature. The ability to become great depends on your attitude and your physical history. Injuries and arthritis, for example, can be limiting. However, if there are no serious physical problems, there is no limit to how good someone can get regardless of age. Just look at the English grandmother in Spain who started salsa in her 70s, and is now performing in shows and winning competitions. I hope to continue dancing into my 90s.

Salsa Oracle

Salsa for Charity – Turning the Addiction into a Good Cause

UC: Tell us about your Charity Salsa Marathon tour. Where exactly are you going and for how long?

SV: The tour of salsa will last 60 days, salsa every night for 60 nights, mainly in London, but with possible trips to salsa nights in Oxford, Cambridge, Guildford and Birmingham. The inspiration for the event came from the fact that I regularly go to salsa several nights in a row. Fourteen nights of salsa non-stop is not unusual for me, and  one of my friends suggested I should do it for charity, like a marathon runner. The process is very simple: I will engage people at various club nights where I will encourage people to make donations and sponsor me for a dance. For example, £1 a dance. I will also be supported by the clubs I visit. My goal this time would be to raise £3,000 over 60 days and  give all the collected donations to a worthy cause such as Comic Relief or Sports Relief.

Bachata with Salsa Oracle at Pimlico

Additional Information

Salsa Oracle

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One Response to “Addicted to Salsa – Interview with Salsa Oracle”
  1. vilks12 says:

    Hi my dear ! 🙂 Good article, as usual ! And most of all I do agree with SV about his ” three reasons” ! 🙂 May after tango I will learn salsa too….

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