f you want to learn to dance salsa, then Quito is the place to be.
Salsa is defined as a genre of popular dance music with afrocuban influences, merged with cha-cha-cha, mambo and jazz. For Latinamericans however, it is much more than that; it is a way of life, an identity trait, a fiber that moves within them with a certain flavor. It’s also an avenue for release and a way to face adversity.
Héctor Lavoe himself –the Fania All Stars singer- said: “Laugh, laugh, laugh, and you’ll see that noone will be bothered by your smile…change that serious look on your face”.
That is what salsa is. To dance, sing and smile despite everything.
In Quito, like in many other Latin American cities, you get to know salsa through dance. That is why we recommend a tour of the best dance clubs that play this genre and live this lifestyle.
- Lavoe Salsa Bar: Each day has its own style here. Wednesdays for example, are for “Salsa Brava”, classic salsa you won’t be able to stop dancing to, salsa that has been played, enjoyed and felt by great artists such as: Héctor Lavoe, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Rubén Blades.
(Iñaquito E2-17 and Naciones Unidas).
- Mayo 68: Here, age doesn’t matter. This dance club has seen more than one generation of salsa lovers come and go. In order to understand Quito and its alternative movement, the Mayo is a must-see, where you move to small steps and a swaying of the hips.
(Lizardo García 662 and Juan León Mera).
- Bodeguita de Cuba Bar Restaurante: Besides a varied menu of Cuban dishes, at the Bodeguita (so known among salsa lovers) you can find live music that will get you dancing until late in the evening. The cocktails are excellent as well.
(Reina Victoria N26-105 and La Pinta).
To be able to dance to this tropical rythm, you first have to feel it. However, if you’re a little nervous because you don’t know the steps, you can take lessons at the different salsa schools around Quito.Tropical Dance is one of these salsa centers and has venues at two different points in the city: Veracruz and Plaza Kendo. This space was created in order to foster the culture of dance. If you’re interested in learning visit their website.
Son Latino is a dance school with over 10 years in the market and is located in the heart of the city: La Mariscal. Clases are customized and information on costs and availability is readily available.
In any event, salsa is about letting go and enjoying yourself.
Written by: Manuela Carcelén / Picture: Francisco Veintimilla - Quito Turismo
Great dancers, professionals and amateurs, learning and enjoying Salsa.
The latest musical developments within the genre by Quiteño groups