MARION SAUVEBOIS chats to a woman who caught the salsa bug

SHE fell under the spell of salsa’s heady Latin American rhythms and sensual movements 17 years ago and salsaSwindon founder Joy Maddison has made it her mission to stir dancers in the town ever since.

The dance group was founded on August 5, 2002, and now meets each week in Old Town.

Although Joy had always loved to dance, she had never had a lesson until she stumbled upon salsa quite by accident.

“I was hooked at the first lesson and attended weekly classes in Swindon for a few months,” she said.

“I regularly travelled further afield in my thirst to learn more, dancing up to seven nights a week.

“Then there were the major weekenders with wall-to-wall lessons and dancing from morning until night.

“Within two years I was teaching salsa – again, quite by accident. I had been partnering with one of our teachers for several months and one night he couldn’t make it so I was asked to step in. He gradually stopped coming altogether, so my teaching became a permanent thing. And the rest, as they say, is history.”

She was soon joined by fellow teachers Andy, who started as one of her student 11 years ago, Susie, also a former pupil, and Rob and Anne.

Weekly salsa lessons are held on Mondays, including bank holidays, at the Star Bar in Wood Street.

Beginner and improver classes start at 7.30pm and intermediate sessions at 8.30pm.

Between classes teachers introduce the group to other Latin dances.

Dancers also have the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt after the intermediate class.

“The goal is to make dance accessible to all within a welcoming and friendly social environment,” she added.

“We break it all down so anyone can learn to dance (even those with two left feet), whilst making our classes a fun and enjoyable experience.

“There’s no need to book – just turn up any week, with or without a partner. It doesn’t matter what age, shape or size you are or what level of fitness you have.”

 Classes are held on Mondays at the Star Bar in Wood Street, Swindon.

Each session costs £4.50 per person. New members receive a two for one offer on their first visit or £1 off for singles.

For more details or to book go to