Please give a warm welcome our newest musical curator on the scene- DJ T. Sauce, aka Helena.
1. What is your partner dance background?
I started with Lindy Hop in September 2018, then quickly found Blues, then Fusion, followed by Bachata and Salsa, and then fell deeply in love with Urban Kiz and Kizomba in September 2019. After going a year and a half straight without dancing during the pandemic, I started with West Coast Swing in July 2021, spent a month living in Buenos Aires learning Tango in June 2022, and I’ve begun training in Zouk as of January 2023!
2. How did you discover fusion dancing?
It was love at first dance. I made some friends at Lindygroove in LA when I started dancing, who invited me to a Fusion house party. I had no idea what to expect and was extremely nervous. I was greeted with absolute warmth and welcoming energy, and I danced the night away until the party ended at 4 a.m.
3. How did you get started as a DJ?
By way of joining the organizing team for Melting Pot!
4. What do you find to be the biggest challenge as a Fusion DJ?
I am starting out as a brand-new Fusion DJ, and the biggest challenge so far has been finding the right balance between familiar sounds and adventurous avenues. I personally really love hearing things on the floor like afrobeats and Latin music, but that music is less common in Fusion, and I want to push people’s creative boundaries in the right way while also making the floor feel comfortable, cozy, and familiar.
5. What is different about how you listen to music as a dancer vs as a DJ?
As a dancer, I feel really present, and I listen to the vibe and feel of the music more than anything. Sometimes, a leader will comment on the lyrics of the song playing, and I’ll realize I wasn’t listening to a single word. As a DJ, I REALLY listen, and I like to look for interesting musical patterns with syncopations or beat variations, or songs that play with around with keys or intensity. Basically, I just look for songs that you can really sink your metaphorical dancing teeth into.
6. What do you love most about being a Fusion DJ?
I’m really excited to have the honor of sharing my favorite songs with the community, and I’m also looking forward to bringing more sounds and variety in, perhaps encouraging people to explore other dance styles!
7. What’s a track you’ve discovered recently that Fusion dancers will love?
KAIROS, by Sage 808, Ruby Chase, Equanimos. I love a good womp.