Friday, 11 July 2014

I've been meaning for a while to write about salsa and now (after a two and an hour class last night) seems a good time to do it.

In January my friend Emily and I went out for Mexican food and a fair few cocktails. Both of our birthdays are in January so we told the waiters and had shots and cake! Yum.

Anyway we were talking about the salsa club which is downstairs in this Mexican restaurant and decided we wanted to go. We asked the waiter and he said the club was closed until further notice.
Disappointed we got out our Ipads and looked up Salsa lessons. We ended up speaking to our friend Jo at the office who has done Salsa for years and she suggested a place near London Bridge. We had a couple of glasses of wine beforehand to curb our nerves (awkwardly running into a whole group of men who work at one of our investee companies, including the Chairman) and then heading to the bar where the salsa lesson was being held. By this point we were really excited....andddd they had stopped doing the lessons. 

The next week we tried again and went to Bar Salsa on Charing Cross Road on a Monday. 

The beginners class was £5 for an hour (7-8pm) after that there are intermediate and advanced classes (8-9pm). We spent about three weeks in the beginners class and then moved onto the Improver class for one week. The teachers are great, however it is quite busy and sometimes a bit hard to hear. Our teacher handed out a leaflet suggesting we try a course with Super Mario (who is the boss man and teaches the advance lessons at Bar Salsa) in a studio in Kentish Town. It was £10 for a month (four Thursdays) so we gave it a go.

Literally the best £10 I've ever spent. The classes are so much better as you get to know the group of people you're dancing with. You are also taught by Super Mario. He is AMAZING. He's taught in over 70 countries and is always off at the weekend teaching at salsa events all over the world. The good thing about having Mario as a teacher is that he breaks the moves down and makes it feel simple. Google him. Make sure you type in Salsa after Super Mario though or you just get this guy.

We did the beginners course for four weeks, which is structured as footwork at the beginning (dancing on your own and learning moves that help during partner work) and then partner work. The boys stay in the same spot and the girls move partner after every new move learnt, or after the end of each song etc.

It means you get to dance with everyone and there is no being singled out and not picked like in teams at school! 

Here we are on our second lesson (I think). I don't look very happy! I think we are all a lot more smiley now, especially as we've all become friends!

We then went on to do the improver level which we did for two months (£30 a month I think) and then now we are in the intermediate group (£40 per month).

It is a million percent worth the money. In the intermediate group we have about an hour of footwork at the beginning with our teacher Gormack and then half an hour of Bachata and then an hour of partnerwork with Mario.

Gormack is a bit more hiphoppy than Mario (I'm sure he won't mind me saying that :P ) so he is good at all the solo footwork stuff. 

Bachata is a dance which still incorporates eight counts (like salsa) but you step on every count. It is much closer than salsa and I really like the music. Apparentlyyyy I like Bachata because it's like standing up cuddles...LOL. Sounds about right.

The moves we are learning are getting more complex, but it is so satisfying to feel like we can actually dance now. We usually go to Bar Salsa on a Monday (when Mario is teaching) and social dance there. This means that we get to dance socially with people we don't know and also practice the moves with the guys from our class who come. Plus its two for one mojitos on Mondays! Never a bad thing.

We actually went to Bar Salsa for my sister-in-law's hen do on a Saturday night and that was really fun too. Generally I would recommend a Monday though. Here we are at the hen do. She is now officially a part of the family and the wedding was insanely beautiful!!!

If anyone wants to learn salsa I highly recommend going to the Salsa4Fun classes with Mario in Kentish Town. £10 for four weeks...what have you got to lose!

I've now made the decision to invest in some salsa shoes... most of them look like this:

Really bejewelled and tanned and ugly.

Even the majority of the black ones have glitter or jewels on them. I've found these ones:

They are plain and should hold my feet in so I like them. Salsa shoes have suede bottoms so you can spin better so I'm looking forward to see whether it helps. We are doing double spins at the moment and I'm sure we will move onto triple spins soon so I need all the help I can get!!!

If you've got any queries just leave them in the comments below. I cannot rave about salsa enough!

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