Latin dance a try
Latin dance craze hit Trinidad just over ten years ago and
continues to be very popular today at numerous nightclubs
and bars throughout the country.
Since then, many additional entertainment areas have added
Latin nights to their schedules, which are frequented by
scores of enthusiastic Latin dance fans.
To satisfy the demand for such an exciting, entertaining
and enjoyable pastime, several dance schools and groups
have opened their doors and classes are now widely available.
If you are a fan of Latin music and dance you may already
be familiar with some of these locales, as well as the opportunities
for expanding your talents in this art form. For those of
you who may want to try your hand at this fun, energetic
diversion, weve put together a brief listing of some
of the local Latin dance hot spots.
Latin dance fans in the north-west have quite a few choices
regarding when and where classes are offered, as well as
a selection of different types and styles of dance.
The nightclub Sabor Latino in Maraval is one of the more
popular night entertainment sites for Latin dancing. Classes
are offered Tuesdays and Thursdays and there is no fee for
simply watching the students go through their paces.
Even without a dance partner one is certain to find many
willing volunteers. Everyone comes together to learn from
each other. Thats what makes Latin dancing so much
Sabor attracts a wide age group so that Latin dance lovers
of all ages fit right in.
Tasca Latina is another Port-of-Spain pub providing Latin
classeson Saturday nights. Latin music is played for
most of the night and the dancing goes on until the early
hours of the morning.
Hilton Trinidad is not to be left out of the Latin dance
mix. Classes are on a Tuesday evening and true dance enthusiasts
share their passion for salsa, meringue and cha cha cha.
If one considers midnight too early to be making ones
way home, the Mas Camp Pub has a session that goes on until
the wee hours of the morning. The Woodbrook pub hosts classes
on a Tuesday evening.
There are also a few locations that host Latin nights but
do not provide classes. Arthurs in St James is one such
site. On most Friday nights, patrons are treated to international
standard performances by a Latin jazz band whose members
comprise talented local and Venezuelan musicians.
It really is a squeeze down at the Squeeze pub in Woodbrook.
Occasionally, there are performances by live bands but Latin
music is played throughout the night.
The nightclub 51 Degrees also hosts a Latin night every
second Wednesday of the month.
Not only is Latin dancing enjoyable to watch, but when one
participates, it is a great form of cardio vascular exercise.
If you can move to soca then learning the merengue, salsa
and cha cha cha may come naturally.
Not knowing how to Latin dance is not an excuse. Get together
some friends, join a Latin dance class and open up your
world. You can all learn and laugh together and maybe even
make new friends in the process.
So why not get up and dance your way to a new pastime which
is not only enjoyable, but safe, and brings with it a whole
host of health benefits.
See you on the dance floor!
For more information about the Spanish As the First Foreign
Language (SAFFL) initiative, please contact the Secretariat
Implementation of Spanish (a division of the Ministry of
Trade and Industry) at 624-8329/6279513 or fax us
about the interchange
Minister of Works and Transport
IN a recent Guardian article it was reported that the construction
of the interchange had been delayed for a few months because
local contractors did not have the capacity to construct
the project, while several foreign contractors thought that
the project was too small for them to mobilise in Trinidad.
This article has resulted in an editorial in the Guardian
which has drawn erroneous conclusions, and has also resulted
in an appearance on television by the president of the Contractors
Association who sought to defend local contractors, although
they were not under any attack.
There has also been other uninformed and erroneous commentary
with respect to the design of the structure.
The president of the Contractors Association, Mikey
Joseph, has claimed that local contractors can do the job
if they are given sufficient time to tender, and has given
the impression that the Government is somehow at fault.
The reality is, however, that, in the quest to ensure maximum
participation by local contractors, the invitation for submission
of applications for pre-qualification for the project was
published in the daily newspaper in November, 2005, almost
eight months ago, and the deadline for submission of applications
has been extended twice since then.
Despite being given all of this time to make the necessary
arrangements, however, local contractors have not expressed
any interest in the project.
On Monday night on television, Mr Joseph explained that
contractors in T&T had so much work that they were picking
and choosing projects, and selecting the easiest and most
profitable projects, hence the reason why they did not express
interest in the interchange, which they perceive to be a
Mr Joseph went further to say that the interchange project
would be done in the full view of the public, and, therefore,
the performance of the contractor would be subjected to
daily scrutiny by the local population, which was another
reason why local contractors were shying away from the project,
since they did not want to be judged if they did not perform
Mr Joseph also confirmed that local contractors could not
do the project on their own, but would require foreign assistance.
The explanations that he made on television, however, are
very different to the statements attributed to him in the
The editorial in the Guardian has erroneously assumed that
the design of the interchange has been changed and that
the material for the elevated bridge structure has been
changed (presumably from concrete to steel) and further,
that the Ministry of Works and Transport should have known
that the project could not have been done using local expertise.
All of these assertions are incorrect, however. In the first
place, the design of the elevated structure has not changed
and further, the choice of steel for the bridge structure
has been in the public domain for years.
It should be noted that the previous design of the interchange
under the former administration also involved a sophisticated
steel arch bridge structure for the west to south movement
and at that time it was public knowledge that the arch structure
was to be built by a specialist French contractor who was
said to be associated with the construction of the Eiffel
Tower in Paris.
Further, the steel bridge structure that is to be built
now is not any more complex than the previous steel arch
structure, and it is completely misleading and erroneous
for anybody to assert otherwise.
Engineer Aaron Busch, an experienced structural engineer,
who was on CNC3 television on Monday night, also confirmed
that steel was the most appropriate choice of material for
the bridge structure, and would save time and cost.
In addition, contrary to the assumptions which informed
the editorial, it was always known that local contractors
did not have the ability to construct the elevated bridge
structure for the interchange without foreign assistance.
As a result the Ministry of Works and Transport has sought
over the last months to encourage local contractors to enter
into joint ventures with foreign contractors so that there
would be a transfer of technology leading to development
of local expertise in sophisticated steel bridge construction.
The local contractors, however, have made it clear, as confirmed
by Mr Joseph on television, that they prefer at this time
to do simple projects because there is less risk and greater
opportunity for profit.
On the flip side, a number of foreign contractors have indicated
that the project is too small to justify the expense of
mobilisation in Trinidad. There are, however, several foreign
contractors who have expressed interest in the project,
and in the interest of transparency, all the Ministry of
Works and Transport is doing is seeking to ensure that a
sufficient number of contractors tender for the project
so that the process is competitive and we get the best value
It is unfortunate that a routine update of the progress
of the interchange project, which was accurately reported
in the Guardian, has been misconstrued to the extent that
all sorts of unfounded and inaccurate conclusions have been
The truth is that that local contractors are unwilling to
participate in a joint venture with a foreign contractor
to undertake the interchange project because they have enough
work in Trinidad to keep them busy. This is not a controversial
matter and is simply a statement of reality.
Further, the worldwide construction boom has created enough
opportunities for foreign contractors to allow them to also
pick and choose their projects. As an example, an experienced
contractor from Denmark had previously expressed strong
interest in the interchange project in 2005 but has now
indicated that they have recently won a number of large
construction contracts in Jamaica, and are now too busy
to undertake the project.
Notwithstanding this, the interchange project is moving
ahead with those contractors who have indicated their willingness
to participate in the project, and barring a catastrophe,
construction of the elevated bridge structure will commence
There is absolutely no need therefore for the local construction
industry to be on the defensive and the Ministry of Works
and Transport will continue to encourage local contractors
to upgrade their capacity to undertake sophisticated construction
Finally, in order to avoid any doubt, and to clear up any
misunderstanding, I wish to confirm that tenders for the
elevated bridge structure on the interchange project are
expected to be invited in June, and we do expect to receive
serious bids from experienced international contractors.