November 9, 2018, 6:46 pm
I felt the music pulsating as soon as I walked into the Salsa club in Bogotá, Colombia. People around me glided on the dance floor, perfectly in sync with their partners and the beat of the vibrant music.
Others nursed drinks while tapping their toes to the rhythm of the live band. It seemed as though I stepped onto a movie set because the scene seemed all too perfect – the dancing, the music, the beautiful people. But it was real, it was just a night of Salsa dancing in Bogotá that you can experience for yourself.
Background on Salsa
Salsa is a mixture of a few music genres with Caribbean roots. If you have a good ear for music, you can hear the tango, mambo, and flamenco influences in Salsa. Bongos, a bass, a piano, horns, maracas, cowbells and more are key instruments that combine to make the wonderfully rhythmic sounds of Salsa.
Cali, Colombia is known as the “Salsa capital of the world.” It’s the third-largest city in Colombia after Bogotá and Medellín. Colombian Salsa, especially in Cali, is known for being faster than the Salsa in other countries like Cuba and Puerto Rico. While Cali is well-known for its infectious Salsa, there’s a better chance of you being in Bogotá than Cali, as many international flights arrive and depart from Colombia’s capital city.
Places to Go
There are tons of places to dance Salsa in Bogotá, but here are a few:
La Villa- Located in the bar district called Zona Rosa and often gives free Salsa classes on the weekends.
Galeria Café Libro- This club often features live bands on the weekends and is located near Parque 93, a cool place to check out in the daytime.
Quiebra Canto- Located near La Candelaria, Bogotá’s historic district. Weekends are the best time to go.
Salsa Camará- Also a club located in Bogotá’s bar and restaurant district.
What to Wear
Bogotá is a pretty chilly city. The average temperature year around is only 14.5 °C or 58 °F. So as nice it might be to put on that little skirt that twirls on the dance floor, you might be a little cold. I would recommend a jacket that can be checked in before you start dancing. You’ll warm up once you start moving your feet. A lot of women in Bogotá wear heels while dancing Salsa. If you opt to slide into some high heels, just make sure they are relatively comfortable because you don’t want foot pain to slow you down.
Keep in Mind
You’ll probably look to the dance floor when you first arrive at the club and spot some couples doing some intricate moves – I’m talking spinning, shuffling and maybe even some dipping. Don’t be intimidated! A lot of Colombians have been dancing Salsa since they were little, so it’s unfair to compare your skills to theirs. Moreover, most people aren’t paying attention to other dancers and are just focused on their partners and the music. So grab a drink, then grab a partner to hit the dance floor in one of many Bogotá’s exciting Salsa clubs.
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