Washington DC Salsa Dancing

I need to learn how to salsa as quickly as possible, somewhere in DC or Maryland. Money is no object. Any recommendations?

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Anonymous
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Anonymous
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Dirty Dancing Havana Nights

KassyK
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KassyK
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AH, I have a few friends that took lessons, I’ll find out. They were couples classes but I’m sure they did singles too.

Roissy
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Roissy
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habana has the best instructors and most congenial atmosphere. forget clarendon grill. it’s a mosh pit.

Mandy
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Mandy
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Yay! You’re learning salsa!!!

There’s nothing sexier than when a man knows how to salsa.

Shaka Brown
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Well, Salsa is what I do for a living, so I guess I would be able to make some recommendations. There are clubs you can go to and try to learn to dance, but what you’ll probably end up doing is taking the lesson beforehand, standing aroudn when the music starts playing and waiting for a beautiful woman to come swoop you off your feet and the magic will occur.
Not gonna happen.
2 ways to learn as efficiently as possible. Assuming that you have a modicum of either rhythm, or timing (2 different things), then taking a group class that has a clear syllabus, and instructors that can explain what you want to do will give you the most direct path. If money is truly no object (People so often say that, then when you give them a price…they object), then takign private lessons intensly will be the fastest way to get your back off the wall and onto the dance floor.
Trying my best to not make a blatant advertisement for self. google “shaka brown salsa” (w/o quotes of course) and best of luck.
I’m interested…why do you need to learn as quickly as possible?
sGB

me
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me
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there are several dance studios in Bethesda where you can take classes- Arthur Murray and there are several others.

Alex
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Alex
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Besides learning Salsa, there is an added benefit: taking a lesson at places like Habana Village is the fastest way to meet many, many girls. It’s contact dancing so a degree of intimacy is established immediately, and at Habana they make you switch partners with each dance during the lesson.

You just don’t wanna become like the skeevy guy I remember from the time I was taking lessons who was posing as a beginner, but was obviously not one, and was blatantly there just to pick up chicks.

Jewcano
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Jewcano
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Connecticut. Foxwoods. BB Kings, any Thursday night. The place crawls with latina cougars that are willing to put up with any amount of foot-stepping-on gringo awkwardness if it will get them that hot hot taller-than-5’2″-and-no-moustache action. If you get stuck with a chunky ‘instructor’ just pull the old bathroom and bolt routine.

Shaka Brown
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Is the goal to meet latin women, or is the goal to learn to dance salsa? Is the goal exposure to the music and dance of the latin community? I ask because when(if) you go to Havana Village, you will hear Salsa, Cha-Cha-Cha, Bachata, Merengue, and even reggaeton. Do you know what the differences are, or do you even care? If you want to learn all of the above, then it’s goign to take more than just going to the club and winging it. Regarding Authur Murray, there is a difference between the Salsa that you will learn from the franchise and the salsa that’s danced at Havana. It’s hard to give direction without knowing what your goal is. If you just met a hot latina and she goes out salsa dancing all the time and you want to be able to hang, then going to authur murray will be a step in the wrong direction (and very $$$)
Keep in mind that the question wasn’t “Where can I go Salsa Dancing in the DC Area?” As the answers would then be: Clarendon Grill(VA), Barking Dog(Bethesda), Zanzibar(DC), Havana Village(DC), Southbeach(Bethesda), Caribbean Breeze(VA), or the clavekazi social 1/ce month (DC).
But knowing where the places are and being able to dance once you pay your $0-$10 to get in are two different things.

Sudamericana
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Sudamericana
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Are you travelling to Latin America again? Really looking forward to reading the stories…

Shaka Brown
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In that case, you want to be abl to appeal to the widest group of dancers. There are a few ways to approach that animal, most important thing is understanding your target. The dancers of Puerto Rico will not dane the same as the ones in Cuba, or Venezuela, Spain, etc. There are different types of Salsa Dancers around the world, if you can recognize the different styles, and either dance them, or look for people that know a style you’re comfortable with then you will have better luck on the dance floor. Start with the simplest step, in which you would rock back on every down beat, which lends itslef to a more cumbia style that is generally danced by folks that are just getting into it, as it’s symetrical and easy to turn on the rebound. From there you can move to understanding the Cross Body lead (which is importat in going from a basic dancer to a more accomplished dancer), and the moves that you can incorporate with it. The most important thing is knowing who you’re dancing with. If you are dancing with someone that doesn’t know how to do a CBL, then you want to be able to still do something. Things like musical interpretation (you don’t have to speak spanish to interpret the music), open work, etc come with a developed passion for salsa.
Of course, being able to dance isn’t going to gurantee getting dances. I’d suggest balancing the salsa classes with some spanish classes too.
sGB

lion
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lion
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shaka knows his stuff. he and his group are known.

for you to learn to dance on the 1 and/or the 2 and be able to get on the dance floor in all these different countries and hook up with women in front of the men from their countries is going to take you a lot of time and energy to reach that level.

it would be better to learn spanish.

otherwise private lessons with an instructor who dances in the style of that country is quickest way. keep in mind most private lessons start at $65 per hour.

beledy
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beledy
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Definitely go to Habana Village – you can combine the learning from the lesson (at 9pm or something like that) with the practice you get dancing with women later throughout the night.

First tip: most women won’t mind dancing with a novice partner for a song or two, but if you’re still learning and kind of awkward, be gracious and let her go nicely after two max songs, and don’t make her have to be the one to break free so she can go dance with someone who isn’t stepping on her feet.

Second tip: I think a stronger lead will be more universally acceptable than what I seem to see a lot of Dominican guys doing, which is a loose elbowy thing that looks cool but can be tough for some women to follow.

beledy
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beledy
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And Alex’s comment reminded me of something. Yes, I agree salsa dancing can be a great way to meet people because it is “contact dancing”. However, guys who are new to salsa should be aware that since it is contact dancing and you need a partner, the simple fact that a woman is willing to dance with you and is having a good time does NOT necessarily mean that she is attracted to you. You’re going to have to look for other signs. Women will salsa dance with a lot of men that they have no sexual interest in.

gringa
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gringa
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I think that if you watch any amount of spanish television (for instance, last night was Bailando por la Boda de Mis Sue?os) you should be able to copy what they are doing to some extent. I find that cumbia is actually one of the hardest to learn because people dance it so differently. Salsa can be complicated but has some very basic steps, but it’s a lot harder to be the man in this situation because you have to actually lead and have some idea what you’re doing.

Or try this first and then go wing it in a club:
http://www.mysalsaonline.com/

tomhanks
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tomhanks
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salsa dancing? sounds like you are no longer an alpha male. beta male takes lessons and needs to know how to dance. alpha male stands in the middle of the dance floor and attracts girls with his manly scent. duh!
p.s. they aren’t salsa dancing in the dark corners…