April 11, 1999 Eddie Torres held his famous
monthly party at his old corner studio on
56th street and 8th Avenue. Candy, who was
then a part of Carribean Soul, arrived hoping
to get her monthly fix of the New York mambo
scene. She danced with all of the then Eddie
Torres crew, Franklin Diaz, Frankie Martinez,
Seaon Bristol, Danny Ramirez to name a few.
Jai Catalano was nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, Jai was home resting after
taking Eddie's advanced 3-hour class when
he realized that he left his dance bag at
the studio. He decided to leave it to Maria
Torres to pick it up and hold for him until
the next rehearsal. It wasn't until Jai
was at his most fatigued moment when he
thought to himself he might never see his
bag or his valuables again. 30 minutes later
Jai was back at the studio.
Determined to get his bag and go back
home to sleep, Jai found himself putting
his bag in a safe place while he danced
one time for the road. One short dance turned
into two short dances turned into ten or
more short dances. It wasn't until then
that Candy asked Jai to dance. Jai & Candy
were introduced a few months earlier but
rarely saw one another. They always enjoyed
each other's dancing but rarely spoke until
Jai opened his mouth and solidified his
During the dance, Jai had remembered the
first International Salsaweb Convention
was holding salsa performances and a competition
in Washington D.C on the 1st & 2nd days
in May. Eddie Torres and Carribean Soul
were two of dozens of groups performing.
Jai asked Candy if she was going to compete
being that he already knew she was going
to perform. Candy disappointingly said no
because she had nobody to compete with.
That is when Jai shoved his foot in his
mouth and told her that if they only had
more time to rehearse he would have been
her partner in the competition. Candy's
eyes lit up when she happily said "come
on let's compete." Jai was just trying to
make conversation as he realized that he
had said the wrong thing. Competition was
the last thing on Jai's mind.
Within the next 3 weeks, Jai & Candy practiced
for the competition twice, went out on their
first date, kissed on April 18th, etcetera,
etcetera, and etcetera. Oh yeah, Jai & Candy
also won their 1st competition on May 2nd
1999 as a semi-professional team.