Friday, April 21, 2006

Bar Risa

Shame I missed the launch night of Bar Risa, but I hear it got off to a really good start with plenty of space and plenty of dancers. I'm looking forward to the bachata workshop on Thursday.

There are plans to make it a Cuban night - with rueda - once a month, which I think is an excellent idea.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I said things were looking up on the salsa front, and now my favourite dance partner's back on the scene. I danced with her at the Wharf on Sunday for the first time for months. She's a demon spinner with a sense of humour (which she needs for some of those experimental moves I try out on her).

Unfortunately she couldn't make Fiesta Havana last night. I'm afraid that once again I found Nicolai and Helena's class a bit frustrating: they teach really good moves, and they're nice people and great dancers, but the sequences are too long. When you're learning unusual new leads you really need more repetition.

I did have fun in the free dancing, though if I hadn't gone with Lisa I'd only have had two or three good dances - the standard wasn't that high. Maybe it was because of people being away for Easter. It was pretty friendly though. Good music and good atmosphere, and it was nice dancing with women who didn't already know all my moves.

Salsa Celtica again

For anyone who didn't get enough of a fix this time round, they're playing the Wychwood Festival at the beginning of June, with demon fiddler Eliza Carthy. I imagine this will involved dancing on mud, though.

They are also at St David's Hall on 1st July as part of the Worldport festival.

Friday, April 07, 2006

¿Que Pasa?

Things are really looking up for salsa in Cardiff. Bar Risa opens the week after next, with Que Pasa moving to Wednesdays (and getting an extension to 1am) so the only non-dance night in Cardiff will be Fridays.

I'd been avoiding Que Pasa since the refurbishment but Debbie told me the other day that the atmosphere was really good. So I ended up checking it out last night. The plan was to try the Spanish conversation group that meets in Chapter and then nip in for an hour's dancing after the classes ended. But after dropping off daughter and boyfriend in town at a quarter past eight the lure of the dancefloor was too much.

The interior is a lot smarter than it was before. Bar staff are friendly. The intermediate class gets the dancefloor in front of the bar. Yes, it is stupidly crowded, but the class was still useful.

Debbie was right about the atmosphere and if you choose your spot (I tend to dance in corners or between pillars because they can't kick you) you can have plenty of fun. Best thing was dancing with several people I hadn't seen for ages (and with a couple of my favourite dancers from the Wharf).

High point – apart from meeting a couple of nice new dancers – was a cracking long dance with someone who'd just emerged from hibernation. One of the kind of dances I used to have around midnight in the Toad: relax and jam, forget about the elaborate moves, give her space to play and show off, throw in some cheeky stuff, chuck in some spins, concentrate on communicating and playing with the rhythm - what dancing should be about. I went home with a smile on my face.

Monday, April 03, 2006


I hear La Tasca was remarkably busy with people who'd been to the Salsa Celtica gig. Shame I missed both (I hear there was a surplus of women dancers).

I got to the Wharf after a late night with a bit of a hangover. If I'd been sensible I'd have stayed at home but there are a few people who only come out at weekends who I didn't want to miss dancing with for another week (particularly with the lack of a good midweek dance night in Cardiff at the moment).

Started off well - probably because I danced with people like Laura and Lisa who it's impossible to have a bad dance with - but that lasted about twenty minutes before the heat and tiredness took over. I usually reckon that if I have one dodgy dance with a good dancer it could be her that's not on form, but two in a row means it's time to go home.

Bar Risa

At last we have a launch date for Andy's new Thursday night venue. Bar Risa (next to the Millennium Stadium) will launch on Thursday 20th April. Unfortunately I'm away that week, but I should make the 27th April for Tony Lara's bachata workshop.