Each year we at Salsabor like to award excellence in teaching. We have so many amazing teachers but this award is for the special someone who goes above and beyond during the year. In 2016, it was Hamed who has been teaching with Salsabor since 2014.

“Hamed is such a gifted instructor,” Raquel and Andrea said. “He communicates and connects with his students with such genuine passion, patience and care it’s inspiring to see. His big smile, contagious laugh and warm hugs also make everyone feel welcome.”

Excellence in teaching award winner Hamed

Hamed teaches Salsa from level 1 through to level 3 and the Latin taster salsa and bachata classes at Latin Tuesdays. We caught up with Hamed to ask him about his win. We also wanted to share some of the lovely words from his students who wanted to thank him for all of his time and effort. For Hamed, winning came as a surprise.

“It was unexpected to get the award,” Hamed said. “For a second, when my name was called, I thought I am flying to the moon. I love Salsabor and love dancing and this award just made it so especial. Thank you, Raquel and Andrea.”

Being a teacher by trade, teaching comes naturally to Hamed, but teaching dance is something different. “I teach at University,” he said. “However, to be a dance teacher is different as I can express my feelings and emotions with students. I can give them energy and also get energy back. I never feel tired after my dance classes as I always enjoy sharing my time and dance knowledge with them.”

Excellence in teaching award winner Hamed

And his students love him for it. One of his students, Robert Collins, thinks Hamed is amazing.

“Hamed is an amazing instructor, and I find his energy and enthusiasm motivating in developing my passion for Salsa!” Robert said. “Hamed continually appears as if he is the happiest he has ever been when dancing, and this enthusiasm is infectious to everybody watching. I find his teaching to be extremely useful, challenging, and productive!”

Emily Collins thinks Hamed is a fabulous teacher, Rose Linke really enjoy the enthusiasm and humour that Hamed brings to his classes, and Anne Guan thinks he is great. She adds, “When we’re systematically getting it wrong he says ‘I know what the problem is’ and always miraculously finds the problem and (solution). Thank you, Hamed, for being you and sharing your love of dance with at Salsabor.”

For Lara Mills, she sees Hamed as one of her all-time favourite Salsabor teachers. “I appreciate his kindness and patience in teaching,” she said. “He balances fun with a mastery of his art – the art of salsa!” And for Jamie Bryce, an up and coming salsa instructor, Hamed is someone who he genuinely looks up to, both as an instructor and individual. “Not only does he teach with passion and professionalism, he has the wonderful ability in making students feel valued and included,” Jamie said. “He creates positive energy in his classes, both through good humour and encouraging his students to smile. I truly believe that Hamed makes the Canberra dance scene a better place.”

Excellence in teaching award winner Hamed

Even Hamed’s salsa teaching partner, Amy Walker, has only praise. “I love working with Hamed because we make a great team,” she said. “We feed off each other’s energy and we’re completely in sync. Hamed is a very passionate and dedicated teacher who always has the students best interests at heart and knows how to create a fun and welcoming atmosphere at the Salsabor studio.”

How did Hamed get to be a teacher? His dance journey began in 2012 to bring balance to his life. It helped him meet new people, to socialise with them and find great new friends. For Hamed, some of his dancing friends are his best friends. It changed his life.

“I never forget, my dad used to tell me that I don’t know how to socialise with people,” he said. “There are rules and I didn’t know them. Dancing really helped to learn that skill. It helped me to better express myself to people and helped me to better communicate with people even in my teaching experience at the university.”

For Hamed, the best part of dance is not just learning patterns or complicated moves for the dance floor but it is the energy you can share with each other.

Excellence in teaching award winner Hamed

“People love seeing that energy and sharing that moment with a great enjoyment,” he said. “My plan for this year is not just teaching dance moves but teaching how to share positive energy with their dance partner. I want all my students to be at a level that even if they get to dance only once with someone, they never forget them because they were able to share their excitement and happiness in that 2- 3 min dance.”

Simply magic and Raquel and Andrea agree. “We’re so grateful to have Hamed part of our familia!” they said. “He is one of the most friendliest, genuine and passionate people we know. His smile lights up a room and he has an incredible special ability to make each person feel special.”

Thank you again, Hamed for everything you bring to Salsabor and your students. Your award was well deserved and we love having you here.