Question By User vstefan
I’m keen to get really good at Salsa (and Bachata) and spend 4-6 hours a day social dancing / practicing. Any city recommendations? Ideally in South America (cheaper + Spanish haha)
No better place to learn than NYC.
I lived in Cali for a year total and loved it and will go back. But the number of good socials is limited to 2 to 4 per week. If you want to do a class and/or social literally every day of the week, consider Buenos Aires. Salsa there is mostly Cuban and linear, Bachata is mixed though most classes are modern bachata.
Cali is cheaper though. ¿Porqué no los dos?
Disclaimer: I’m not really good.
here are some cubana focused pages you can check for events when you do visit:
Not cuban focused, but definitely check out the malecon if the weather is good https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008535823165. (update: he recently posted he was going to delete his account and create a new one “MALECON PUERTO MADERO”. One challenge in BA is all the dance socials have a mess of abandoned facebook pages and its hard to find the active ones).
If you really want to be somewhere that lives and breathes Salsa then there probably isn’t a better place for it than Cali but if the city itself is also important for you (infrastructure, weather, etc..) then many would consider Medellín a better option.
In Canada and the US for example, the most popular styles are the linear ones (LA/NY style) and AFAIK Europe is mostly the same except with some places like Spain being more popular with Cuban style as I’ve heard. You can still definitely learn linear styles in Colombia, but it won’t be as popular as somewhere like say, New York.
Medellín has social salsa and Bachata every night, but there aren’t a whole lot of really great dancers who go out dancing. In my opinion, there are more great dancers out and about in a few US cities compared to Medellín. But there is salsa music everywhere – parties, grocery stores, on the street, etc. It’s part of the culture. Not everyone is a great dancer, but lots of people dance. So it’s fun, but not necessarily helpful for growth and being challenged. It is pretty cheap to pay for private lessons from great instructors, though.
Places to check out in Medellin:
In Poblado, Dancefree is pretty convenient. They have pretty good socials that most of the instructors come to, so you can get more practice with them. I really like going there Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday when there’s nothing special going on elsewhere. My friend also teaches in Poblado and he is GOOOOD. I’ll ask him what studio it is and come back.
Places to check out in Cali:
I preferred Arrebato Caleño. SalsaPura is also popular. Both are accessible to travelers with good instructors. I would do private classes as well as group classes to get a good start. They have fb pages with their schedules.
Antigua Guatemala is pretty good. Dancing every night and some good social parties and really good dancers. New sensation is the best dance academy. Also everything is cheap as hell