Salsa dancing in Havana with Que Bola Havana

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Salsa dancing in Havana with Que Bola Havana

One of the first thoughts that comes to mind when talking about Cuba, is the passionate Cuban salsa dancing. Anywhere in Cuba, you will see Cubans swinging their hips on the rhythmical sounds of salsa music. The island is basically one big dance floor, which makes it the perfect setting for tourists to pick up some salsa moves. When we arrived in Havana, that is exactly what we did, with the help of the professional dance teachers of Casa de Sono.

Salsa class in Havana

When we arrived in the salsa school, Bart ran off straight to the bar to order a cocktail. As a shy dancer having never done salsa before, he hoped to find courage in his Cuban mojito. Unfortunately for him, there was no time to tarry, as our two dance teachers showed up and invited us on the dance floor. The good news for him is that we’d be having a private dance class, which kinda lowered the pressure on him.

I realize our teachers never mentioned their name, so for the sake of the story, I’ll call them Carmen and Antonio :-) When they informed about out background, I explained I had learnt some basics in the past whereas it was all brand-new for Bart. Given that our levels differed, it was decided that Carmen would initiate Bart while Antonio taught me.

As a follower with basic experience

Antonio started dancing with me in order to assess my level. We skipped going through the basic steps and instead, he focused on my attitude. “Take smaller steps." “Relax." “Stay on the same spot." “Don’t try to take over, I’m the leader." Those were just a few of the many remarks I got. Antonio wasn’t kidding, he took this dancing seriously and he wouldn’t stop on pointing out the smallest error until I got it right. After all, he was right to insist, as a good attitude is essential to any dance style.

Maybe it wasn’t, but I chose to take it as a compliment when he mentioned that I could become a good dancer IF I practiced a lot.

As a novice leader

Carmen was a bit more indulgent with her pupil, though not less demanding. For half an hour, she went over the basic steps with Bart until his position and steps were perfect. In the next half hour, he learnt how to combine the moves he’d just learnt. At the end of this intensive class, he had mastered about ten different steps.

In the last five minutes of the class, Bart and I were reunited to dance together. To my utter amazement (and probably his own too) Bart was leading this dance. Thanks to this intensive flash course, we were ready to enter the dancefloor and improve our newly acquired skills.

Salsa class in Havana

Conclusion

The one-on-one salsa class from Casa del Son is short, but really intensive. Even as a complete beginner, you’ll be able to do some basic salsa dancing after the one-hour class. You won’t be the star of the dancefloor (yet), but you’ll know enough to have fun in a salsa bar.

If you already have some experience, you’ll learn how to correct or perfect your moves. Ideally, it would be best to come back for a series of classes, after which I’m sure you’ll be able to bust some serious moves. As we were travelling around, we weren’t able to do that, but thanks to this introduction, we got more out of Cuban parties. It also enabled us to skip the basics and go to the next level during our second dance course in Trinidad, where we learned a full combination of steps.

Practical information

  • We booked our salsa class via book a class via their website or by sending them an e-mail on contact@quebolahavana.com

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