Dancing Through the Decades with Dance Caliente
Eileen Herman-Haase and Raul Nieves formed the company, Dance Caliente more than 17 years ago for the purpose of bringing the emotional joy and physical benefits of Social Dance to as many people as possible. To this end, they have developed courses, workshops and interactive social dance programs geared to populations that span from the very young to most senior among us.
The impetus to create Dancing Through the Decades with Dance Caliente came about as a result of personal experiences with aging parents. Whether it was because of memory loss or the fear of dementia, an increase in physical limitations, or a smaller pool of personal friends, it was clear that many people over 70 years of age carried an unwelcomed weight on their shoulders. With the goal of lifting the spirits of a population that lived through WWII and Korea, Eileen and Raul decided to incorporate the cherished music of that generations earlier years, the fond memories of dance halls during the big band era and the delight of old movies that included Fred and Ginger into an interactive social dance performance. They also thought that such a large culturally diverse population would enjoy Latin dance selections as well. Lastly, they made sure that there was a participatory element throughout the performance so that nobody would fall asleep and miss the show!
Eileen and Raul pay attention to their audience as they perform. A wink of the eye, a knowing smile, a collaborative wrinkle of the eyebrow, make each and every audience member know they are important. The experience of forty years of teaching, choreographing and performing along with an extensive education that includes a Masters in Dance Education from Columbia University is minor compared to the passion Eileen exudes with every step on the dance floor. Raul’s charismatic charm grabs the attention of any audience he faces. He too, comes with more than thirty years of dance experience as an award wining competitor, and a much sought after performer, entertainer and educator. For more in-depth bios on Eileen Herman-Haase and Raul Nieves click here.
Dance Caliente is the proud recipient of numerous Local Cultural Council grants awarded to perform Dancing through the Decades with Dance Caliente. Venues included community centers, adult day care centers, nursing homes, assisted living residences and senior centers.