Nina and Alfred headed to Lula Lounge this Saturday (Oct 14) to catch the live band Mapale from Colombia. We got there with a few friends just in time to catch the last fifteen minutes of the free lesson. The dance floor was packed with beginners learning the steps of merengue, and it looked a bit like an aerobics session set to merengue. We were with some non-dancers so they got a few merengue moves followed by the Nina and Alfred ten minute salsa overview.
The band started playing, and the salsa beat got us dancing in no time. The band was great, playing a good mix of the classics such as Carnival (Celia Cruz) and other Cuban favorites. Their repertoire that they went through included cha cha cha, cumbia and other varieties apart from salsa.
The dance floor is slightly on the sticky side and not the best to spin on but still very danceable. The layout is a simple rectangle surrounded by a raised dining area on either side and a raised stage at the end. The bar is easily accessible with friendly and quick bar staff. Likely due to their successful dinner/dance/band package there are a lot of novice dancers and simply people out for a fun evening. This makes for a slightly less than optimal environment for more serious dancers. There is also a larger portion of cuban dancers, especially cuban dancers who appear to be oblivious to the crowded dancefloor. So watch out for crazy huge steps and accidents waiting to happen. It appeared that the more sane non-cuban dancers stayed closer to the door. That was good for me, so we pretty much hovered around that area too.
We had a decent time and so did our novice dancing friends.
1585 Dundas St. West — 2 blocks west of Dufferin St.
Coat Check: $2 (Optional)
Fun Factor: 3
Overall: 14 (out of 25)