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Going to Cuba...Salsa clubs?

 
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lindiloo



Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Wed Jan 03, 2007 2:38 pm    Post subject: Going to Cuba...Salsa clubs? Reply with quote

A group of us are planning a trip to Cuba next month and I was wondering if anyone has checked out the local salsa scene there. Any info? Where do the locals go to salsa? Where do the tourists go to salsa? Just wondering about the vibe down there...I've never been, so I'm super-excited!
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msjaye



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

where in cuba will you be going?
i have gone several times all around the country and can give u the scoop on what i know
Very Happy
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lindiloo



Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Still in the works of specifics, but we're thinking Varadero and Havana.
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David Charing



Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got back from Varadero 2 weeks ago... The happening Salsa club down there is called the Mambo Club, which is next door to a 3-star resort called Club Amigo (I didn't stay there but I hear the staff is friendly, but the food is not so great)... there's also place called Mediteraneo, and a few other regular dance clubs. If you want decent chow, eat out or go to a 4-star resort.

Varadero is a 20 km long peninsula with a never-ending & amazing beach shared by about 40 or 50 resorts, but it’s essentially tourist apartheid, meaning that it’s all tourists there other than the staff, but on the plus side it’s very safe at night. I have a feeling that Havana has a bigger Salsa scene with more Cuban-style dancing. I spent 2 days and a night in Havana (didn’t get to go dancing there), but be warned you must be vigilant with safety in Havana (especially at night).

Hope you a great trip wherever you decide to go.
Cheers,
Dave
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msjaye



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As David said, Varadero is mainly a tourist place. The resort we were at took us to the mainly tourist clubs but we managed to find a few "local" salsa clubs. We loved the Mediterráneo- all salsa and alot of South American tourists (who don't speak english-lol!!) We also went to Mambo Club and La Rhumba- both places played a good mix of latin music and Mambo Club had a salsa band in the early evening. If you're looking for english clubs Havana Club and Pirates Cuervo are really good.

There are plenty of salsa clubs and cafes in Havana and you won''t have any problems finding the hot spots. We were able to check out Café Cantante and Casa De La Musica - the prices were high but it was alot of fun!! I also heard that there are spots you can go to in the afternoon for dancing.

If you are considering other places in the country, Santiago de Cuba has a good salsa scene.


Last edited by msjaye on Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:54 pm; edited 1 time in total
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David Charing



Joined: 01 Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Location: Toronto

PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey msjaye, I wish I could turn back the clock and had your info before I went... looks like I missed some really good spots... I guess I'll just have to go back and check them out! Very Happy Even still, I had an awesome time Cuba, and I'm sure you will too lindiloo! Dave.
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Toby



Joined: 04 Nov 2006
Posts: 74

PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2007 11:54 pm    Post subject: cuba Reply with quote

Wow - Toronto Dance Salsa should plan a trip to Cuba! Our next outing???
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MissChievous



Joined: 09 Oct 2006
Posts: 107
Location: North York

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely, I think there could be quite a few people who would like to go. I would Smile
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msjaye



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 10:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I will be going to cuba (most likely havana) the 2nd week of april if anyone is interested in going- let me know!!
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lindiloo



Joined: 11 Oct 2006
Posts: 62

PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 7:10 pm    Post subject: Salsa in Santiago de Cuba Reply with quote

msjaye wrote:
where in cuba will you be going?
i have gone several times all around the country and can give u the scoop on what i know
Very Happy


So we're booked to go to Santiago de Cuba...just about 20 min outside of the city...have you been there msjaye? If you have, what salsa venue is a must? We may check out a local salsa school www.cubanrhythm.com but where is the place to go for good social dancing?
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inder



Joined: 20 Jan 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jan 20, 2007 6:33 am    Post subject: Cuban Style Classes/Instructor Reply with quote

Slightly off topic here.. but can anybody recommend Cuban style Classes/Instructor. I did Casino Rueda last year and loved it
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msjaye



Joined: 05 Dec 2006
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2007 11:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went to Santiago on a day trip from Holguin but wasn't able to go dancing. I saw alot of cafes and bars that had music and bands so you shouldn't have problems finding places to go. A friend who went there last year said that Casa de la Trova and Café Cantante were really good places to dance. He also said that you will be able to find places if you walk around and talk to the locals.

Aside from salsa, there are alot of things to see and do in Santiago- it is a beautiful place and people are friendly. Where are you guys staying and when are you going??
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timbero1



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:10 am    Post subject: salsa in Cuba Reply with quote

I don't know who told you that Havana is not safe at night ? Probably a taxi driver looking for a fare. I would bet that Havana is the safest city in Latin America and probably as safe as Toronto. Some Cubans joke that are 11 million Cubans on the island and 7 million are police. Sentences and fines are higher for Cubans if the crimes are committed against tourists. I can't tell you how many times I have walked in Havana around 3 or 4am and nothing has happened. Don't be afraid. Just because they are some guys hanging out on the street doesn't mean that they will bother you.

Did you know most Cubans are not allowed in Varadero ? So, if you are looking to have an authentic Cuban experience I would never go there. You can stay in Havana and go to Varadero whenever you want taking a bus $10 each way. Moreover, everything tends to be more expensive in Varadero.

A lot of people go to Cuba without having a real contact with Cubans or Cuban culture. Instead of staying at a hotel, stay at a "casa particular". It is like staying with a Cuban family. It is cheaper around $30 a night and all the casa particulares are run by the government. You can even get your own private "casa particular", which is like renting your own apartment with your own private entrance.

Some nightclubs to visit in Havana are Cafe Cantante (I think there are 2 now) and Casa de la Muscia (there are two), and Salon Rojo. Cafe Cantante and Casa de la Musica have 2 groups everyday: one in the evening (matinees 4pm to 10pm) and one at night (11pm to 4am). I would suggest going in to the matinees because they are just as good and they are cheaper. Most of the groups are especially geared to tourists, because most Cubans can't afford to them. The more famous the group, the more expensive it will be. If you go to Cuba, don't miss seeing Pupy, Manolito, Adalberto Alvarez, Los Van Van. They may be more expensive than the other groups but it much more cheaper than seeing them outside Cuba. If you want to go and see more Cubans go to Rumba places like Las Vegas and there is street rumba thing on Saturdays I forget the name and another rumba place on Tuesdays run by a writers' association.

If you want to see the best salsa dancers, it is harder to find, because as I told you most Cubans can't afford to go these places. Try a place that has a year as its name I think it is called 1832 or something like that. They have Casino night every Sunday. Also, someone told me there is something happening at the Casa de la Amistad. To find these places and if you can speak Spanish, it is better to ask some of the locals.

Cuba has the best salsa groups in the world. On any given day in just Havana even on Sundays, there are about 10 world famous groups playing everyday and this is not including the tens of smaller local groups in the city (probably your hotel has its own salsa group which will be probably better than any group in Toronto). I can`t think of any city in the world with more salsa music. As a matter of a fact, I can`t think of a more musical city than Havana.

If you want to learn how to dance Cuban style, I wouldn`t recommend a salsa teacher from a hotel or in Varadero. Most of these dancers are cabaret dancers or show dancers (well, if you like LA style you might prefer these guys, but they are not respected by real Cuban dancers). Try to find Isaiah rojas in Havana. Here is a video clip from him from youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXeQTFafK5U
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SalsaConvert



Joined: 03 Apr 2008
Posts: 142
Location: Dancing is Portable:)

PostPosted: Fri May 16, 2008 10:59 pm    Post subject: salsa in Cuba Reply with quote

So, lindiloo, msjaye, anybody else, who returned from your vacations in Cuba, would you like to update us on your Cuban salsa endeavours?
We'll go in December, before Christmas, so any information would be helpful.
Thanks in advance!
_________________
Music is my religion, salsa is my confession
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timbero1



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat May 17, 2008 5:27 pm    Post subject: salsa in Cuba Reply with quote

If you guys learn the names of the groups and their songs from Cuba. It will improve your experience in Cuba 100%. Go to the Pupy concert this Friday in Toronto.
Download music from www.muchoswing.com.

Take Cuban salsa lessons from somebody who really can teach it like Vladimir Aranda
at LURIN TAPAZ at 1032 St Clair Avenue West at Oakwood and Dufferin.
It is a small Peruvian restaurant above a fish store. A rueda class with Vladimir
starts at 5pm for beginners and 6:15pm for advanced every Sunday.

He is a respected teacher who has been around for longer than most of the salsa teachers in Toronto. Even Sharon knows him. Ask her.
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