AM Buffalo


Salsa in the Park

Posted at 2:09 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 14:09:57-04

Emily and Mercedes were live at Delware Park this morning. Joining them is Sarah Haykel, who is the instructor, and she is also a life coach. It is wonderful that this event is able to come back year after year. She says Salsa in the Park started in 2012. It is the ninth season. Sarah says, “My vision for ‘Salsa for the Soul,’ when I moved back to Buffalo, which is my hometown area, was partner dancing for healthy relationships to help couples in particular, have their healthier relationships through the art and beauty of Latin partner dancing. It took many roads, as life usually does. When I started the business to now and it’s become an offering of many different things to help us all connect with ourselves in healthy ways, to connect with each other in healthy ways, to understand different cultures and how things were created. You know a lot of people love hip hop music but hey have no idea where it comes from, or they love Latin music but they think it comes from Mexico. It actually comes from the Latin Caribbean, and they say when you get bit by the salsa bug you get bit and I got bit in 2000, I was just out of college living in Denver, Colorado and I was like, I’m am going to learn this dance and it’s just become a love of mine and it’s helped me heal and grow so much as a human being, mentally, emotionally, physically spiritually so it’s an all encompassing holistic experience.

How does this help couples? Sarah says, “At least in America and I’m all for women being strong and all that kind of stuff, but I feel like there’s now been an imbalance in relationships where the feminine in the relationship has gotten so strong, the masculine seems to have gotten a little less and we want to bring the balance and the harmony back into relationships. Some people have great relationships and others could use just a little rebalancing. So, what I love is that traditionally, and it doesn’t have t be this way, and so it’s not gender specific, so it’s gender, no gender, nonconforming, whatever you identify with, you can learn the lead, you can learn to follow but at any given time on the dance floor we need one leader and one follower. So there is a hetero couple, a male and a female. I love to have the female learning how to follow and the male learning to lead and what that does is it helps the male part step into that role of being the conscious, caring, loving, clear leader that we need them to be and the female part can learn how to relax, get into her body, trust herself, express, have fun and follow the lead. It’s a partnership, not a power dynamic and so we need both roles equally and you then you just learn how to have fun and like go, especially if you’re in a couple relationship. I’ve experienced some beautiful moments with couples. I work with soon to be wedded couples, couples that have been together for decades and the learning is all the same. It teaches just beautiful, healthy way of relating to each other and then listening to the music and dancing. It is so good for our bodies and our spirits and souls; it’s great.

Sarah says, “And singles are totally welcome. I’m a single you know, we have many people that come that don’t have a significant other right now or they have a significant other who doesn’t want to dance. We have a lot of singles that come and dance. We rotate partners, complete beginner, two left feet. Even if you are in a wheelchair or whatever we will get down on the gravel and dance with you down there. We just want to really invite everyone to come out and just, you know, now more than ever with everything we’ve been through in Buffalo and in the country in the past few weeks and in the world, you know coming together in a healthy way to support each other to feel connected.” She goes on to say,”COVID was very isolating for a lot of people and may still be for some people so it’s a great opportunity. We are outdoors, you can wear a mask if you want, you don’t have to; we are asking people to just follow the CDC guidelines and I’m just calm and, you know, sometimes going out can be scary and it can be scary to get out of your comfort zone, but just come out and be with us.”

The dancing is on Mondays and starting June 13th, it starts at 6:30 with that free lesson. We’ve got some amazing dancing and then social dancing after it.

There is a cost. It is $10 to come each night. After that free lesson at 6:30pm and they do have some special teachers coming in as well.

Emily and Mercedes get a dance lesson from Sarah. Check out their dancing skills and the fun they have learning the Salsa.

For more information she has a blog where you can find all the information. Go to