Let’s Dance at SalsaWave, Deep River


I love to dance, but as an adult, besides weddings and bar mitzvahs, opportunities are few and far between. While Googling adult dance classes, I stumbled upon SalsaWave and immediately registered (and coerced a few friends to join me!). SalsaWave is the brainchild of Marina Gopko, a Ukrainian professional dancer and instructor. She offers classes in Bachata and Salsa at River Dance Studio in Deep River.

As newbies, we signed up for “Bachata Lady Styling,” an intro to the steps of Bachata without a partner. Bachata is a Latin dance that originated in the Dominican Republic and is a bit slower than Salsa. Marina is a gorgeous dancer and an inspiring and patient teacher. She breaks down the steps so it’s easy to follow, then adds arm movements. With enough repetition, we were well on our way to mastering the basics. Once you’ve got the moves, you can stay for the beginner partner class immediately after (and you don’t need to bring your own!). It’s a bit of a workout, and more fun than you can imagine. We were positively elated afterward, and I will be returning ASAP. Dancing with the Stars, here I come!

Good to know: you don’t need any previous dance experience. Wear light, comfortable clothing (my jeans were a mistake) and sneakers, socks or dance shoes.

First class is 1/2 price! More info and sign up here: https://www.salsawave.com/

About Marina: When she woke up in her apartment to the sound of bombing in February 2022, she fled Kyiv. Her boyfriend (now husband) was in Europe then, so luckily, she had someplace to go. He has American citizenship, and they eventually landed here. When she’s not spreading joy through dance, she works remotely as a Grant Program Coordinator at the East Europe Foundation, an international charitable organization helping Ukrainian civic society to stay resilient during the war.

In her own words:
Dance transformed my personality and my life in a profoundly positive way. It granted me strength and flexibility in my body, bolstered my confidence, and made me more open to others. I made countless friends in Ukraine and abroad and even met my husband through dancing. It’s incredible how transformative dance can be, and I sincerely want to introduce it to others.
My vision is to make social dancing an integral part of leisure activities along the Shoreline, CT. As we approach the summer season, I would love to see lively dance gatherings on boardwalks, terraces, parks, bars and other public areas. I am willing to do as much as I can for it.