Five Ways To Offend a Salsa Club

Having too much fun? Meeting too many new people? Or maybe your just too polite to excuse yourself from getting dragged along with your friends.
Fear not, for I’ve compiled a list of the worst advice which will enable you to make a splash and make sure you are remembered!

 

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Smell Awful

Going out for food beforehand? Make sure to pick an option with garlic. Bonus points for coming straight from the gym, or keeping the same clothes on after a long day at work.
Its better to arrive 20 minutes late and smell like a flowery meadow, than to engage in aromatic warfare with your partner.
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Arrive Drunk

Remember that drinking is a competition, so don’t get left behind! You can get a head start on the competition – and avoid those expensive restaurant prices – by getting tanked up beforehand.

Drunk is loud and loud is fun. Your charisma and coordination only improve with every additional unit of alcohol. So bottoms up!

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Wear Offensive Footwear

I have genuinely seen men in motorcycle boots. These offer fantastic protection for your feet. In particular it will shield your delicate heels from the abrasive and hard toes of other dancers.

Ladies, heels that are as tall and narrow as possible. If you do topple, you can regain your balance by spearing another dancer through the calf muscle. Not only will this add unique styling, but will prevent anyone from outshining you.

Don’t Learn Steps

Why spend your hard earned cash on classes, when you can badger other people for free? If no-one is offering a free tutorial, simply grab someone at random and pull their arms as hard as you can.You’ve seen people do this in the movies, how hard can it be?

Maybe you dance Jive and find yourself at a Salsa night, or only know cross-body but want to try a Kizomba night?

Just power through every track with the steps you know, everyone else is wrong. While you’re at it, you might as well bust out the Macarena during the cha-cha track.

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Be Really Really Serious

Your face should show that your here to win. Your not a child in need of friends. Second place, is first loser.

Assert your dominance over your partner by staring through them. Tut if they make a mistake. Steer them through each move, and repeat moves they got wrong until you have fixed them.

If the serial killer death stare is not your style, then could always be the cool edgy one who refuses to talk, smile or even look at your partner. A free hand can be utilized to check your phone.

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[Bonus] Remember That Everyone is Judging you all the time

Everyone is judging you from the moment you walk through the door, till the moment you leave.We actually was already watching on our network of spy cameras and laugh at every mis-step and botched move.

We not only laugh, but we write them down in a register. If you look like your having too much fun, we’ll report you to the Salsa police who will Shimmy their way through your living room one day and take you to Salsa prison – where your only sustenance will be the fruit you can eat out of the cocktails, dance everywhere and have to spend the remainder of your years wearing sequins.

So you want to start your weekend on Thursday?

Are you at a loss for somewhere to go on a Thursday, with no option but to save yourself till Friday?

Sometimes I just wanted a place to let my (proverbial) hair down, drink a few cocktails and enjoy some music. I was enjoying the classes dotted around the city, but my favorite part of these events where the social hours at the end. Most notably, the free styling, reggae-ton and of course just kicking back and watching the other dancers.

I really do believe that dancers who attend classes, but not socials, are missing out on proving their chops in a live environment… as well as embracing the most fun aspect of the scene as well!

Whether you’ve been taking classes for a while, or you still think Salsa is something you stick doritos in, Latin social nights are really for everyone.

If you don’t know the steps, someone will show you. That’s if you want to. Many geordies just let the lager does its work on their inhibitions and break out their own choreography.

Harry’s Bar’s Salsa night starts at 2000. its free entry and has half price cocktails to boot.

Any other socials you’ve stumbled across? Or maybe you’re also a fan of this one?

Let me know in the comments!

Cuban Shines and The God of Iron

In a workshop, or even a social, you might see a shine that looks like the movements shown in this video.

I like these movements because they’re eye catching and interesting… so I did a little digging in to what I called (mentally) “the angry axe chop dance shine”.

Its actually a religious dance.

The religion in the spotlight is Yoruba, which primarily comes from South West Nigeria. This culture spread to Cuba as a result of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Yoruba comprises of many deities called Orisha, the one I’ve seen to date in Newcastle is called Ogun.

Not physically, of course (Not to play down the no-doubtful chiselled and impressive physiques of the social salsa crowd in Newcastle). I mean in spirit.

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Ogun

The religious dances of the Orisha are a little more than aping the steps of a an other-worldly macarena. The come from a spiritual practice of inviting the Orisha to take over the body of an individual who enters a trance.

Ogun is portrayed as a large muscular man with a big weapon. He fights for injustice, invented the worlds sharpest axe, cleared forests and was a hit with the female Orishas.

So I can totally understand why people would desire a little bit of Ogun inside of them.

There’s an abundance of information on the mythos around Ogun and the culture that bore him. So pay a little thought about the Main Man and what his movements represent next time you’re cutting some God-like shapes in Bar Rumba.

Who, What, Why, When & Where

There seems to be a little confusion as to what this is all about. So I’m going drop some truth bombs that will have you leaving a little more enlightened in regards to my devious agenda.

Who

My face is on the sidebar. Its your friendly, neighborhood Clint. I’ve been an enthusiast ever since I stumbled into my first Salsa night.

What

After hearing of many events through word of mouth, I thought someone ought to list these nights somewhere in one easy to read format.

For now my main focus is just covering all the great nights, and then hopefully the great personalities on the scene.

Why

A lot of fun people seem to be blissfully unaware and miss out on fantastic nights, simply because if you don’t pick up a leaflet or someone tells you there’s no way of finding out besides wandering around Newcastle listening for latin music.

Or Google.

When

I’ll try and put something together every week.

Where?

Here!
I’m only covering events and people who are regularly active within Newcastle. 
There’s a lot of other great nights in other places, and probably a lot of great blogs writing about them!

Yersin Rivas

This has become my regular class, If you’ve met me at a social, you’ve probably already heard me big it up.


Authentic

I’ve yet to encounter a teacher in Newcastle with the experience and passion that this man has. His style is super-literate, interesting and authentic.

Easily the most enjoyable and physically demanding classes on offer – in my humble opinion – in Newcastle.

Don’t just take my word for it, though…

If you keep your eyes peeled on Facebook, he offers free taster sessions for beginners.

It may be of interest not just for people who are new to Salsa in general, but those that know cross-body and want to know more about that Cuban stuff you’ve seen at socials.

I feel that the style encourages the student not to simply memorize a sequence of moves but to feel the music and build a connection between leader and follower.

Yersin’s classes are very animated and physical, and are injected with lots of culture to give the moves context.

Regulars are friendly and chatty. Once you’ve got the basics down as a smaller class, you can expect to be challenged and pushed to improve.

About the main man…

Yersin Rivas was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba. He’s performed in in shows across Cuba and even toured South America.

There’s a lot more on his site over on salsafro.co.uk.

Where to find him

Yersin can be found every Wednesday night teaching in Kommunity. For the more vigilant on social media, you can can find his workshops and parties on the weekend and his Cuban classes at the Black Swan.