Journey of A Salsa Dancer

Last update: 09/04/2014

By Nalini Ramiah

KUALA LUMPUR -- Jaxen Tan has enthralled local and international audiences with his captivating rendition of the Salsa, a dance form popularised by Puerto Rican and Cuban immigrants in New York in the mid-1970s.

Jaxen and his wife-cum-dancing partner Cecilia Tan have performed at Salsa Festivals in Malaysia, Singapore, Sydney, Indonesia and Bangkok.

Once hailed as the Bachata King and Queen of Malaysia, the loving couple have taken it upon themselves to impart their terpsichorean skills to Malaysians.

Their dance studio in Damansara is the only one in the country where you can learn all three Latin American dance forms, namely the Salsa, Bachata and Zouk-Lambada. Lifestyle & Youth paid Jaxen a visit at his studio recently to hear his story.

Jaxen who is a chartered accountant by profession, picked up dancing when he was in college. He actually wanted to learn the Tango but was coerced by his roommates into enrolling for the Salsa class instead.

Over the years, he studied Salsa moves under dance instructors from Malaysia, Europe, Australia and the U.S. and has not stopped dancing since.

His passion for the Salsa has brought him many fond memories but the three events that will forever be imprinted in his mind are: winning the Asian Bachata Championship; partnering the famous American Salsa artiste Lourisa Thayne (whom he admires a lot) at the 2013 Asian Salsa Competition; and being the closing act at the Diwali Salsa Fiesta 2013, where he and Cecilia brought the house down with their Salsa and Rock and Roll choreography.

Jaxen, who dabbles in graphic arts during his spare time, feels that his passionate involvement in Salsa is the driving force that guides him in both his professional and personal life. He loves nothing more than to travel, teach, and perform in front of audiences all over the world and rekindle the ‘Malaysia Boleh’ spirit.