We’re Havana great time

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A DANCING Cuban is set to bring his Salsa flair to the people of Hartlepool.

Rene Villar de Franco, who hails from the Cuban capital of Havana, is launching a new salsa dance class at the Belle Vue Community Sports and Youth Centre, in Kendal Road.

The 40-year-old is a professional singer, but has a passion for dancing and is hoping to inspire town residents with his f dance moves.

Rene, who has been living in Hartlepool for six years, said: “It is easy for everyone,

“You can feel good, have fun, improve your health and dance to a great selection of Latin rhythms.

“I want to bring a bit of colour into people’s lives.

“We are going to find out if Hartlepool is ready for salsa.

“It is popular in the big cities so why not here?”

As well as the beginner salsa classes, Rene is also set to launch a Conversation Spanish class at the same venue.

He said both classes are aimed at beginners, with an emphasis on having fun while learning.

Rene lives in the Dyke House area of town with his Honduran wife Yasmin, and the pair have a three-year-old daughter Valentina.

The Cuban worked as a singer and tourist guide before moving to Stockton six years ago after first spending a few months in London.

It was in Stockton where he met his wife, who has lived in this country for 25 years, and used to be the manager at an internet cafe.

The pair moved to Hartlepool shortly afterwards, and have settled in town.

Rene said: “I have enjoyed living in Hartlepool.

“It is safe and I like living so close to the sea. We are used to living near the sea in Cuba.”

He is also doing a teaching qualification at Hartlepool College of Further Education and hopes to teach Spanish or become an interpreter.

Rene is looking forward to teaching his own Conversational Spanish classes.

He said: “The classes are very relaxed.

“We are there to learn and to have fun.”

Rene, who is also a professional singer, said: “I am a singer who can dance.

“I dance for fun and to teach people how to enjoy themselves.”

Gordon Larkin, centre manager, said: “ We are delighted that Rene has volunteered his time to run these two classes.”

People do not need a partner for the Salsa dancing sessions, as Rene will teach people how to lead and be led through group work.

A free taster session will be held on Monday, January 30, between 6pm-7pm.

After that it is £4 per session.

The Conversational Spanish classes are open to anyone aged 16 plus and people do not need to know Spanish to join in.

Sessions are suitable for groups or individuals.

A free taster session is planned for Wednesday, January 25, between 6pm-7.30pm.

After that it is £2.50 per session for the basic six-week course.

To book or for more information call the centre on (01429) 221832.