Angel Gonzalez is praying for men who want to dance.
The 23-year-old Cuban suspects he has his work cut out for him in Taranaki, but he's hoping enough will cast off their inhibitions so that every woman at his Cuban salsa classes and Latin parties can dance with fella rather than each other.
Blokes who do embrace the chance to cha-cha and rumba will not be unrewarded, he said.
"In Latin America it's very important for the man to dance. When you are out, maybe having a drink, it is good to be able to say ‘hello' to a woman. When you are dancing it is just a little bit easier," he says.
Gonzalez moved to New Zealand from Cuba last year with his New Plymouth wife Lisa Wansbrough.
Before he touched down in Auckland he had no idea what he was getting himself in for. With no access to the internet in his home country he had only a vague notion of what New Zealand was like and what living here might entail.
But the man with four sisters and a mother who taught him to dance when he was just 8 years old spotted differences immediately.
"I see the people in the bar only speaking and drinking, speaking and drinking. And then the women might get up and are dancing together but the men they are just still speaking and drinking. It's crazy. In my country, everyone is very poor but people are very friendly.
When you have a party everyone is dancing," he said.
In a bid to encourage this dancing habit Gonzalez is holding Cuban salsa classes at 7pm on Wednesdays at City Fitness in New Plymouth and this Thursday is hosting a Latin party at Decanta so couples can show what they have learned.
So far his classes routinely get 10 or more women but only two or three men. The imbalance is not only challenging, but disappointing, Gonzalez said. "I want to teach more men."
- Taranaki Daily News
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