Dirty Dancing Hits the Gym - Jan 11/2008
Michelle Hopkins, RICHMOND NEWS
Popular television shows such as Dancing with the Stars and the Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll have spawn a number of dance/fitness classes -- everything from Latin Funk to ballroom dance to the sultry new dance called the Pussycat Dollz. That's great news for fitness buffs who want to add a little pizzazz to their exercise routines, as well as those looking to jump-start their fitness regime. This year, the move is towards variety and fusion of different dance genres. There is so much more diversity in fitness for 2008 that anyone can keep their New Year's resolution of getting fit and healthy," says Donna Bishop, coordinator at the Steveston Community Centre fitness centre. Two fitness programs that have generated lots of buzz and enthusiasm are both Latin-inspired fusion dance classes.
"We have cardio-salsa aerobics with Latin flair and a Latin Funk Dance class with Gustavo Ferman and neither feels like exercise" says Bishop.In California on holidays, Ferman spoke to the Richmond News about his Latin Funk Dance classes - a dance that will get you in knockout shape, adds Ferman. "It's a fusion of seven different Latin styles -Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Reggaeton and Rumba that I mix with a little HipHop, Funk, Jazz and African moves. It's a dance/fitness class that keeps you motivated and feeling alive ... it's for the mind, spirit and body" says the sultry dance instructor who hails from El Salvador.
"I had a 57-year-old student who was overweight and never danced before and she's lost 60 pounds by coming to the class. Anybody can learn the dance moves, all that's required is for you to let go of your inhibitions" he adds. With his unique fusion of Latin, Jazz and HipHop moves, Ferman's classes get booked very fast.
GEORGIA STRAIGHT Mind Body Soul Magazine - February 2007
Getting a Move On with Funky Fitness! - Article by Gail Johnson
Step and spinning classes don’t appeal to everyone who’s determined to get into shape. There’s a hot alternative for people craving a high-intensity cardio workout combined with the irresistible rhythms of salsa, merengue, and mambo and the infectious energy of a passionate instructor.
Vancouver’s Gustavo Ferman developed Latin Funk Dance®, a movement-based fitness program that incorporates the forms he learned growing up in El Salvador as well as elements of hip-hop, African dance, and jazz. He stresses on his web site (www.latinfunkdance.com) that the classes focus on proper technique, but you don’t need any dance experience to take part, nor do you need to bring a partner.
Ferman who also heads his own troupe, the Corazón Dancers—teaches at a variety of locations, including the Kitsilano Community Centre (2495 West 12th Avenue), the Roundhouse Community Centre (181 Roundhouse Mews), and Kitsilano Workout (1923 West 4th Avenue). Drop-ins are welcome, but Ferman recommends registering in advance. Olé!
COCO JAPANESE MAGAZINE - J Wave Com Inc - December 2005
Hot Fun! Latin Funk Dance® - Article by Akiko Arakawa
(This article is translated from the original Japanese version)
We heard there is a fun and interesting dance fitness program in the Vancouver area. It is called Latin Funk Dance® Fitness. It is an original dance fitness program that includes 6 different latin dance styles such as Salsa, Cha Cha, Mambo with a mix of Hip Hop, Jazz and Funk etc.
Gustavo who is the creater, instructor and also director started this unique fitness program about 15 years ago. His class in Vancouver started in 1993. He also performs as a dancer at several places. The age range of people he teaches are from 10 years old to people in there 90's! Some classes have up to 40 people in a class. Its easy to take because you don't need a partner to do this class and it makes exercise fun!
Everyone stretches at the beginning of the class and starts to get into the rhythm of the music following Gustavo's dance moves. The first 20 minutes are warming up and then he starts with basic dance steps making sure everyone is understanding and most importantly having fun. You can lose weight from this exercise program and relieve stress.
After the hour lesson we saw that everyone was really happy and everyone had a smile on there face. They cannot wait to come back to his class. This winter come and try Latin Funk Dance® Fitness!Come and warm up your body and mind and get out of the cold!
LULULEMON LULUZINE MAGAZINE - November 2003
Customer of the Month - Gustavo Ferman
Luluzine reports: "Dancing From the Heart"
"Our customer of the month is on a mission to get you moving!"
I enter the studio for the first time with some trepidation. What if I can't shake my hips the right way? What if it's too hard and I end up looking like an 80's-style-Kevin-Bacon-wannabe with two left feet? "Come on in" the teacher says with a big smile. I find my place at the back. "Ok, vamonos!"
Dance instructor Gustavo Ferman is a man on a mission. The Hispanic Canadian has been teaching in Vancouver now for several years and wants to revolutionize fitness as a concept. How? By creating a non-intimidating place where anyone can come to dance away their inhibitions, sweat to the sounds of Africa and Latin America, and commune with the sensation of shakin' those hips and bootie. "It's my passion," he smiles.
Born in El Salvador and raised in San Francisco, Ferman began his studies at City College of San Francisco where he could be spotted dancing in the streets, and then went on to study dance at the Arthur Murray Dance Studio in Calgary Alberta. It was there where he danced professionally with the Young Canadians of Performing Arts. His energy and talents have taken him to Club Med as a choreographer and performer, as well as given him opportunities to perform in many shows here in Canada and parts of the United States.
With classes all over the city which have him dancing six days a week, and being the sole organizer, coordinator, teacher, and boss of his dance company, he has a lot of work to do. He created his own fusion of salsa, mambo, African dance, jazz, and hip hop to encourage people to diversify their styles, work their entire bodies and develop a sense of confidence through their fitness activity of choice. This is what he has coined "Latin Funk."
"Through my own experiences and struggles I have learned that life is always changing and you must challenge yourself as a human being in order to grow and find your true self. This style of dance is a great example of this. It is an outlet where you can step out of your comfort zone, challenge yourself, and heal your mind, body, and spirit."
The other exciting part of his classes is that they are accessible to everyone. Women and men from their teens into their seventies and eighties show up to groove and simultaneously sweat out unwanted toxins. It's a wonderful release and a way to laugh a little while you work out.
Gustavo has a big vision for his company. He would like to see it spread through North America, helping people nationwide to get in shape and empower themselves with a new skill. Eventually he would like to see an international performance team that travels to all sorts of world dance hotspots. "People will love it because it's something new that they have never seen before." But for now, he stays dedicated to the mission at hand. He works hard with the students he presently teaches, helping them reach their individual goals for specific routines or moves, fitness levels or anti-stress plans. He helps them establish a relationship between body and soul via the music. The man never misses a beat!
UBYSSEY MAGAZINE - March 2003
Spring Dream Extravaganza - Article by Heather Neale
What turned out to be a sensational artistic extravaganza Saturday night at the Jewish Community Centre on 41st, started out with two men and a dream. 'Spring Dream' as the show was titled rather appropriately, found its start in a musical friendship and professional partnership between The King of Latin Funk Gustavo Ferman and professional flutist, vocalist, and Latin percussionist Carlos Joe Costa. For them, its realization was huge.
"It's been such an amazing experience working with all of these phenomenal artists" said Costa of his co performers. While he did not include himself in the praise, I'll be quick to jump in. The mans got game. Costa is a freelance artist based in Vancouver who has played with big names over the years like Carlos Santana, Bob Marley's crew, the Wailers, and many such others. Ferman is also an experienced performer- which showed in his stunningly good dancing and vocal percussionist abilities. He is also the person responsible for The Corazon Dancers, the high energy dance troupe that played a large role in the show Saturday, ripping out some Hip Hop, Jazz and Latin rhythm blends of choreography with smiles and sass to boot!
The evening blended music, dance and poetry, followed by a massive audience line dancing session - that proved highly entertaining as four hundred bodies moved in different directions- some in ways that at time did not even seem possible, there were even beverages and tapas in the wings to prepare us for the salsa explosion to follow.
All of those audience members whose feet were tapping during the performance were offered their fifteen minutes - which in actuality, were three hours or so of fame on the dance floor ripping it up to the rhythms of Paul and Katherine Choisil, Gail Bonner, Glen Pourie, Deeana, Costa himself, and New York artists Gary Foote and Rolo Preza. There is no doubt that this dream was not asleep, and there will most certainly be more to come from that ensemble!