Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Location: The centre of the Universe, so far :)
|Posted: Thu Aug 02, 2007 10:48 pm Post subject: Salsa clubs in London, Paris, Amsterdam & Brussels?
Can anyone recommend me please some good clubs in London, Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels? I'll be staying a few days in each of those big cities in the next weeks, so I am very curious about Salsa culture there. I've found lists of many clubs on the net but it's hard to find out which ones are really good.
Joined: 15 Oct 2006
|Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:39 pm Post subject: Salsa in Europe
|Salsa is huge in Europe, here are a few places I've been that are not to be missed!
Just up from Leicester Square, it's an awesome spot with large wooden dancefloors. Plenty of dancers of all levels here. Monday's is my favorite as Super Mario teaches club classes there on that night. His patterns are very leadable and the classes are super fun!
There are very many advanced dancers in Holland. There are tons of salsa parties ranging from intimate clubs, large dance spaces, to even dancing on the beaches in Den Haag. Here are some of my favorites:
This is a bar with two dance floors with a lively atmosphere. There is free dancing nightly except for special parties. Best nights are Thursday-Saturday nights. This is where Alfred first started learning salsa from Extremos dance school that teaches out of this location.
Happens the last Sunday of every month, this is the party to never miss. The best dancer show up in sexy outfits to dance the night away. With three dance floors, with the main room having salsa on a huge dance floor and an an expansive space that once was a church. Arrive early, and get your tickets in advance a it sells out and get's packed.
If you're into cuban, this is the place to be. Nice atmosphere, but it's a small space and the ventilation isn't great so bring a towel.
For more, check out the link http://www.xs4all.nl/~ehautus/salsa-clubs.html I moved back from Amsterdam almost two years ago now, so I'm sure there are some new places, let me know if you check any of them out.
46-48 Faubourg St Antoine
Métro : Bastille
If you're heading to one place for salsa in Paris, this is the spot. Owned by the same owners of the famed Buddha Bar, this restaurant, bar, nightclub is close to being word famous. World class DJs spin there, and plenty of fantastic dancers.
8, boulevard de Strasbourg
Métro Strasbourg Saint Denis
Info Line : 01 44 84 04 91 / 06 61 83 13 08
Doors open at 7pm for club classes on Latino Saturdays.
Brussels, I don't recall dancing in Brussels, only Antwerp, so google for it and let us know where you ended up going and whether it's any good.
Joined: 26 Nov 2006
Location: The centre of the Universe, so far :)
|Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 12:49 am Post subject: Salsa in Europe
|Well guys, here are my impressions from a few salsa clubs I visited while I was in Europe a month ago.
In Amsterdam I went first to "El Centro" (112 Borgerstraat). Entry: 5 Euro ; coat check: 0.5 Euro.
Big nice space(it seemed as big as Acrobat in Toronto to me). It was on a Sunday night at ~10pm and there were only a few couples on the dance floor. All of them were dancing On2 when I got there. However I found ladies who knew On1, lucky me :) Strange thing for a Sunday night, people were still coming at 11pm when I left.
After about 20 minutes I got to "Cantinero" (Marie Heinekenplein 1072). Entry: Free ; coat check: 0.5 Euro. The first thing I noticed was that a lot of people were smoking. The space didn't seem well maintained, and as a lot of people were wearing dark clothes the atmosphere seemed quite gloomy to me. The club has 2 dance areas in the back of a restaurant. The first area is quite small, and unfortunately separated by walls from the rest of the club. The problem is you can hardly see what's inside of that area from outside of it (because of the walls). And you can't get inside of the area if it's packed :-\ Well, the music sounded like salsa, but don't ask me what styles they were dancing there :)
The second area is bigger and I really liked what I saw there that night - they were amazingly dancing zouk (I think it's the Brazilian style of zouk). Well, before that I didn't know what zouk is, but that night I was lucky to find there someone very experienced who showed me the basic step :)
Next city, Brussels. Those guys in Brussels have a peculiar habit: they start partying towards midnight :) So on a Friday night, at ~ 10:30 pm when I got to "Cartagena" (70 Rue Marche aux Charbons) I found just 3 people at a small bar. They told me to come later, after 11pm when the people were supposed to start coming. However I don't think it would have been a big crowd, as the place was really small, with a tiny dance area. I continued my journey and in a few minutes I got to "La Salsa" (9 Borgval). As "Cartagena", "La Salsa" is a salsa bar. A very small dance area and a bar. Incredibly, at that late hour a few couples were taking a salsa lesson there.
Soon I headed out in search for the next club: "Los Romanticos" (5-7, Quai aux Boix a Bruler). Entry: Free ; coat check: 2 Euros.
This is definitely a salsa club, probably the most famous in Bruxelles. Very nice interior, kind of a classical decor, fairly big space. There were many couples on the floor, but it wasn't crowded yet (however people were still coming). Most of them were dancing On1, but that was strange, as a lady told me, because she came for an On2 lesson that finished an hour or so before. But I can't complain, the next lady I talked to was an On1 lady :)
Next, Paris. Hmm...
First I got to "Barrio Latino" (46-48 Faubourg St Antoine). I was very curious about it after I read Alfred's recommendation.
Unfortunately I didn't get inside of that club. Imagine, on a Friday night, at about 11pm, they asked me 20 Euros for the cover! Why? Because it included a main course meal :-/ I couldn't convince them that I just wanted to dance, not to eat!
So I went to another club: "Diablitho" (45, Rue St. Sebastien). Almost the same story: 15 Euros cover, because it included "a buffet and 2 drinks". I didn't like the idea, but I thought, if that's the way in Paris, let's just do it. I skipped the buffet, cursed their washroom, got a beer and for the next half an hour just watched the people there dancing merengue, bachata and reggaeton. The dance floor was big and packed. I noticed there were so many people smoking in there, even on the dance floor... that's definitely not good! When it came to salsa, I saw all the people on the floor were dancing Cuban salsa. It was worth watching them for while. I tried to ask a lady if she knew the On1 style, but my French was too poor for that kind of conversation :)
On a Wednesday night, the first club I wanted to see was "Ruby Blue" (1 Leicester Place). The guys at the entrance there told me a night before that Wednesday was going to be a Salsa night. But surprise: now some other guys at the entrance were telling me they were having a Lambada and R&B night, and that the club was no longer hosting Salsa nights. Strange!
Then I went to "Bar Salsa" (96 Charing Cross Road). Cover: 4 GBPounds when I got there, at about 10pm (I think the cover was 5 or 6 GBP earlier).
Well, that club is an excellent place for salsa. It reminded me of "Montana" in Toronto, as it is quite big, with 3 dance areas. The main area was packed, and almost all the people were dancing On2, but I found On1 ladies without searching too much. I had a great night there and I definitely recommend that club. It simply has a good vibe you can feel as soon as you enter there, well at least that was my impression :)