Lee Hunter voted UK Top Teacher 2007, started his career at the tender age of 10, dancing Latin American & Ballroom he was placed 2nd the world at 15, then moved up into the amateurs and moved across to Holland where he reached 28th at the world championships. Lee was
Lee started Absolute Salsa in 2000, and since then has become one of the most successful Salsa promoters in the Midlands area, running probably the busiest classes in the UK during the weeks, running massive events at their Rollerworld Venue quarterly and teaching all over the UK at all major events.
Lee has also produced his own line of DVDs; there are now four DVDs to choose from Beginners, Improver guides to Salsa, Cha Cha Cha and Shines, when he’s not working he sleeps! Lee’s relaxed & Fun approach to teaching has earned him his accolade of top teacher, come along to his class and see for yourself.
Heres the full story….
Born in Sheffield South Yorkshire and being brought up in Rotherham , Lee’s Career started at the tender age of 10. His parents attended a weekly classed at the old picture house in the town centre, one night they could get a sitter so Lee went a long. He made friends with a couple of the lads from the dancing and soon joined the Saturday morning class. Lee found a dance partner and started to prepare for medals. Prior to the looming exam day his dance partner suggested why don’t we try the Disco class on a Saturday too? So they did. Lee nervously danced his first Dance Exam in ballroom and Latin and then danced to Billy Jean for his Disco Award.
A few weeks later came the medal presentation and what Lee didn’t realise was that he’d got the highest score in the school achieving Highly Commended and a score of 95.5%! With trophy in hand Lee decided this was something he wanted to pursue. The dance school he attended didn’t do national competitions so he moved to another school, but these could only do the lower level competitions. So he moved his lessons to Leeds and found another partner Paula Baines, together they won the World Jive Competition at Blackpool Tower Ballroom and achieved 2nd in the world under 16s. Their last world competition saw them finish 4th in the World rankings.
At 18 Lee had the opportunity to move to Holland to learn the trade and to compete. It was an easy decision to make within a month of visiting Holland he’d moved out there. Lee lived in a beautiful town 45 minutes South East of Amsterdam and worked in one of the biggest Dance Studios in Holland with over 1900 pupils passing through their doors each week. Training every day and teaching busy classes the competitions results started to flood in, trophies, invitations and trips too. Within 2 years Lee and dance partner Sonja Parmentier started to rise up the ranks. Eventually becoming 2nd in Holland for Latin American and 3rd in the Ballroom sections. Unfortunately the politics of who your Teachers were and who’s competitions you attended turned Lee’s love for the competition sour as some of the adversaries and Dutch teachers were quite corrupt and very underhand. It all came to a head when it was the Ten Finals. This meant you competed in the 5 ballroom dances and the 5 Latin dances in one event and it was the best of the Ten. Considering their closest competitors didn’t make the finals of previous National championships it was clear that Lee and Sonja would have a good chance of winning and representing Holland as Ten Dance Champions. It wasn’t to be and they didn’t even make the final, it was at this stage where Lee said enough is enough, they retired from competing and just concentrated on teaching people the love of dancing. They’d reached a world ranking of 28th in Latin American and travelled all over Europe dancing. After five years Lee returned to Derby where his parents had moved to.
Lee continued to teach and in 2000 was approached by a pupil to try out the local salsa classes in Derby. Lee wasn’t interested at first but after a few months he dipped his toe.
After one night he was hooked, starting one night a week then trips to Birmingham to learn new moves, buying the music, videos and later trying out the Salsa Weekenders. After six weeks of starting classes Lee had set up his first class in Salsa and the rest is History. Lee was attending a salsa weekender and got talking to one of the teachers Cyldra Schierbeek from Holland , she was looking for an assistant Lee helped prepare for the class and then was asked to teach it . After a packed class and great feedback Lee & Cyldra became regular teaches and performers at the weekenders. As a result of this Lee was being asked to teach up and down the country each and every weekend. Having worked for all major weekenders and events in the Salsa Calendar Lee was acclaimed with TOP UK SALSA TEACHER 2007 and runner up 2008 and 2009. Oh and when the Olympic torch came to Derby Absolute Salsa took over the Market place with over 7000 people all dancing and learning salsa. He has brought out a successful range of DVDS and can easily boast having the busiest classes in the Midlands and probably UK and has ran the biggest event in the UK with a live band Alex Wilson in Derby with over 800 dancers attending. Apart from that Lee hasn’t achieved a great deal!
Lee has hung up his travelling work to concentrate on raising a family. Absolute Salsa has now been running since 2000 and during that time has brought dance pleasure to thousands and taught the majority of teachers and dancers in the Midlands. As lee concentrates more on family life the classes and events have been streamlined and are now more low key. A lot has changed in the 23 years of teaching people to dance, we are still committed to teaching people to dance and have fun while doing so, we’re not interested in show offs or egos they can go elsewhere. Our classes remain 30% learning and 70% enjoyment come and see for yourselves …..