Latin Krazy - Clubnight of the Year 2014

The winner of the Club Night of the Year 2014 Latin Krazy is a team of dancers and dance teachers whose passion for salsa inspires Londoners since 2002. It’s founder Karin Oliver has taught salsa at Pineapple studios, Bar Cuba, Havana Central, Little Havana, The Chapel Bar or Y.M.C.A. to name just a few, and worked with the top salsa, samba and lambada performers in London. Here is her story…

I was born in Chelsea, but raised in London by Scottish parents. I’ve never moved outside w9 or w2. My father was a musician, so there was always music and bands in the house. My Dad played many instruments but was known for the steel guitar mainly. He played Country, western and Irish music but could also play the most beautiful Hawaii music. These are my memories growing up. I would DJ with the old 45’s at our parties at home, the place to be on NYE’s and birthdays.

I grew up, did the normal things, had jobs, kids, long relationships: one for 13 years, then another that ended after 7 years. And here I was… a single mum, time on my hands at the weekends as the kids were with their dad. So I went to the gym. Here I saw a sign that changed my life:

Salsa Workshop 2pm – 5pm

I joined and haven’t stopped since…

I went from selling tickets for classes to learning to teach, from organising and promoting nights to having my own nights.

I have to say my first teacher Geraldo Soares was so charismatic and amazing dancer that if I didn’t have such a good teacher I may not have carried on. It shows the importance of dance teachers who teach beginners (which I still do and love).

I always loved dancing. We could not afford dance classes, because there were 5 kids in my family. So I watched it on TV and dreamed. I watched Come Dancing and their ball gowns… Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers…. I was always enthralled watching couples dance. I wanted to be a dance teacher.

I was luckily enough introduced to salsa music by a friend, a Colombian girl, who came to stay. She took me to a couple of clubs, where I was the only English person I could see.
I loved it! She bought me my first salsa CD , which was Fruko and then Fulanito (still classics till today).

The music talks to you and makes you dance. I am English and although understand only a bit of Spanish, the songs have enough emotion to understand. I felt connected.
I am blessed to be at such an iconic venue as Bar Salsa. In the old days all promoters respected each other’s territory and nights, but that has changed and it’s a shame. I have had underhand tactics happen to me many times, but I believe in what I do and I work hard.

In the UK we are so lucky to have so many nights that offer a whole variety of styles and levels of dancing. I have found this limited anywhere else.

I have kept driven because there is always more to learn, new music to dance to and new people to meet. Salsa has given me so much in terms of friends for life, travel, health and happiness.

The person I’ve always admired is Jackie Chan, because of his commitment to work and charity.

I have done most of what I want to do in the Salsa scene. I would love to own Bar Salsa and if I won the lottery I would. I have a book to write and 2 films already half-way written. These are my next projects…

Salsa has been there for me through many heartbreaks... We come to forget and to live .. in music and dance...