So, I dance salsa and bachata. And, I dance a lot. Every time I have the opportunity to travel to a new place, I wonder about their dancing scene. Sometimes, I even check it out.
The aim of this blog is to create a collection of my dancing memories to help new salserxs/bachaterxs gain a sense of what the scene is, and to share solidarity with those who may already know.
My perspective as a Mexican mujer will absolutely influence my lived experience of the dance floor. I hope to garner the perspectives of others’ experiences on the dance floor, as well. I hope my observations, and stories offer insights not only about my own experience, but also about what the salsa and bachata scenes are like in different places.
Each experience is distinct, yet similar, to my previous dancing experiences. I hope that with this blog, I encourage you to explore the scene. You never know what thing you might learn on the dance floor.
I have been consistently dancing salsa for about 3-ish years now. My weekly routine includes 1–3 salsa and/or bachata nights.
The first night I danced salsa was at the Wokcano in Santa Monica (now closed- but previously a go-to salsa dancing spot). I found out about it because a friend was having their going away get-together there. I tried dancing but I fell short. I did not know the basics of salsa. I grew up dancing cumbia- and my skills in this arena were not transferrable. After one dance, I grew frustrated and spent the rest of the evening watching. I hoped that the grace with which others moved through the dance floor would be contagious. I was floored by the connection between dancers. Two strangers could dance together and seem as if they have known each other for a lifetime. And, as soon as the song comes to an end, they depart from each other’s embrace and walk away from each other to seek the next adventure on the dance floor. Needless to say, I fell in love with salsa dancing because it was poetic.
Since that evening, I have been attempting to improve my dancing. I began to attend salsa and bachata workshops. Thankfully, most venues in this dancing genre are friendly to beginners. Nearly each social dancing venue starts the night off with beginner-friendly classes and ends it with an open social dancing floor. The former is a structured opportunity to learn from instructors, and the latter is an opportunity to dance with many individuals.
That first night was in 2015. Ever since then, I have danced my way through many many nights. As of June 2019, these are the cities in which I have had the pleasure of dancing salsa and bachata:
Los Angeles, CA
Racho Cucamonga, CA
Long Beach, CA