Friday, October 31, 2008


Oops, I'm not going to make the Hallowe'en party tonight. The plan was to only stay until 11 last night to save my energy, but that didn't work out: I was having too much fun.

Last week the music had been good but a lot of my favourite dancers weren't there. But night there were some very welcome returners, including Sara R who hasn't been out for months. She was just as much fun as ever and doesn't seem to have forgotten anything.

It was Lee's last night dancing in Cardiff so I had several nice dances with her. This included introducing her to bachata, which she'd never encountered having been off the scene for a couple of years.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I didn't really feel like going out last night but I decided to check out Misael and Sabina's class at the new venue. It was pretty popular, and it wasn't too hot as it had been sometimes for Kate's classes in the same venue: this weather does have some advantages. Sabina was away so Misael was doing the class on his own, fighting a cold (and having had that cold for a couple of weeks I sympathised).

I joined in the advanced/rueda class. Misael wanted to start by introducing a complex arm-wrestling Cuban move, but unfortunately everybody except me voted to go straight for the rueda. A shame, as I'd really like to learn some elaborate Cuban turn patterns and 'beso complicado' looked like fun.

But it was a really useful class and I learnt (or re-learnt) several moves, including noventa, quedate con sacala and the rather indecent enchufla con mambo con vacuna. ('Vacuna' is the rude bit. It literally means vaccinate, but you can imagine what it means - it originates in the original Afro-Cuban dance guagauncó).

I had several nice dances after the class. It's quite a friendly and youthful crowd there. There aren't many experienced dancers there but there's a lot of ability and potential; and I found myself remembering several half-forgotten moves. I'm definitely going to try to get to this class as often as I can.

On the walk back to the car I encountered a fox at close quarters (just a couple of metres away) in front of the museum, which was a nice end to the evening.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Back in action

Really frustrating to miss three nights salsa because of a cold last week. I dragged myself out on Monday but I wasn't really dancing well, though I had one cool dance with Becky - I think her dynamism was just what I needed. Misael was away so there was no funky rueda. But I really like what Charlotte is doing with the classes, teaching short introductions to different Latin dances rather than yet more salsa turn patterns. Last night was the end of their bachata course and I learnt some new stuff.

A blast to work and back on the bike set me up for Risa last night, though, and I had a really good time. I was talking to someone on Monday who told me she doesn't like the music Stevie plays at Risa, but I'm really glad to hear some varied and unexpected music: a lot of it is stuff I would choose to listen to even if I wasn't dancing to it. Standout track, I thought, was Adamy Coly by Les Quatre Étoiles, a Congolese band. (You can tell it's Congolese by the guitar - you can't keep pianos in tune in the jungle so Congolese musicians have developed a beautiful ringing guitar style to replace Cuban piano).

One good piece of news is that Andy's got a new Sunday night in the Purple Lounge on Bute Street, starting on November 2nd (details here). I used to really enjoy the Wharf so I'm looking forward to this (I live in Penarth so the Bay is really handy for me). But I won't make the opening night as it's my elder daughter's birthday.

Kate's got a charity salsa night on Hallowe'en which I'm going to get to if I can (and which is going to feature rueda). It's a shame she's not doing a regular Cuban class now - my younger daughter Lowri, who's at uni now, told me that going to other salsa classes at uni has made her realise what a good teacher Kate is.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Three weeks

I think three weeks is how long it took for me to start feeling like my old dancing self again after the holiday break: I finally started getting a bit of subtlety and spontaneity back in the last couple of dances last night. Enviably, Lee - who hasn't been dancing for about two years - didn't seem to have forgotten anything: it was a real pleasure to dance with her again.

Kate's birthday and Sarah's leaving were celebrated in the usual way, and Kate called a large rueda before starting on the birthday drinks. Not that many people there, but I did have a really good time. I was pleased to see that Margot was back, and Vania was on great form - she complained that her feet were killing her after being out every night, but she was a bundle of fun and hugely entertaining to dance with.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Salsa Technicians

This looks interesting, particularly if you live in Bristol. Stevie of the late lamented Salsamania is starting a new night specifically for intermediate and advanced dancers, with instructors from around the UK. Salsa Technicians launches 27th October at the new Jesters venue (135-137 Cheltenham Road, Bristol BS6 5RR) and will be every Monday from then on.

Intermediate is 8.15, advanced is 9.15, then Stevie's on the decks from 10 until 2. More information at

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Well, I didn't manage to find a partner for the advanced class (I couldn't get to Bar Risa on Thursday so I didn't have a chance to ask anyone). I'm not too disappointed as I'm enjoying Monday nights so much at the moment. Last night I got roped in to the class for the third week running due to a shortage of men - this time it was bachata. The level in the class is pretty basic but the teaching is good and clear.

Shame they haven't fixed the air conditioning, though: I was soaked in sweat after half an hour of the free dancing. I had a good time, and I was just about to leave (early start this morning) when Misael started one of his funky ruedas, so once again I had a later night than planned.

Looking forward to Thursday in Risa: Lee (that's Lee the scientist, not Lee the artist), who I haven't danced with for ages, is finally coming back on the scene, and I'm off Friday (as I'm working Saturday) so I can afford a late night :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Partner search and Hallowe'en

Anyone looking for a partner for Sunday's four-week advanced salsa course? My usual partner can't do it as she's away half the month.

Kate's organising another charity salsa event, this time at Hallowe'en. It's at County Hall on 31st October, for an ME sufferers' support group. Only a fiver. I enjoyed the last one. She wants people's opinions on what kind of classes she should run (LA-style, Cuban, shines, styling). I'd vote for Cuban or rueda myself. You can email her to cast your vote.