Salsa. Yorkville. Babaluu. Need I say more? This is an old haunt for many of Toronto’s best salsa dancers. If you’re wondering where your salsa instructors are dancing, its probably here. Tuesday nights is when you’re guaranteed to see them on the dance floor, pulling out all their moves and sipping apple martinis. But don’t be intimidated. There are dancers of all levels here, enjoying the night.
Jennifer and Giovanni give beginner (7:30 pm) and intermediate (8:30 pm) lessons here on Tuesdays ($10/class). If you’re bringing friends who are new to salsa, this is a good place to start. You can even learn a new turn pattern at their intermediate lesson.
As the lessons end and the music begins, you can be sure to see a steady stream of people file into this affluent nightclub. Coat check is mandatory ($2) but admission is free on Tuesdays. There is usually a slew of attractive people here, sharing the dancefloor as DJ Carlos and Juilo Cezar spin out their latin beats. Salsa, merengue, cumbia and vallenato music can be heard until the wee hours of the morning.
Now, a little about the nightclub itself. Babaluu is a restaurant in the day/evening and a salsa club at night. It’s a little underground venue with a central bar and small to medium sized dining room. At night, the dinner tables are removed and the space is turned into a dance floor.
Tuesdays are their busiest salsa nights so it can get pretty crowded and hot on these nights, especially in the summer. The crowd is mature, yet trendy. Average age is mid twenties to mid thirties. The dress code is pretty strict. But most people venturing to Yorkville are well dressed anyway (ie. dress pants and button-down shirts, dressy jeans, skirts, and nice tops).
The dancers are friendly and aren’t shy about asking girls to dance. And girls, for the most part, accept. A tip for girls: If you feel like dancing a lot (but are kind of old-fashioned like me and don’t like being the one to ask guys to dance), dress up, smile and look gorgeous on the dance floor. You’ll be sure to have partners the whole night.
See you on the dance floor!
36 Yorkville Avenue, Lower Level, Toronto, ON
Tuesdays and Wednesdays (Free, excludes lesson)
Thursdays and Sundays ($9)
Fridays and Saturdays ($14)
Tuesday (Beginner Lessons at 7:30 pm and Intermediate Lessons at 8:30 pm) ($10/class)
Wednesday – Sunday (except Saturday, Complimentary Beginner Lessons at 9 pm)
Coat Check: $2 (Mandatory)
Fun Factor: 5
Overall: 23 (out of 25)