Tuesday, January 27, 2009


This Friday is the first of the monthly dancing-only nights at O'Neills, with Henry Vina DJing. Starts 9pm, costs £4.

Monday, January 26, 2009

And here's one of me...

Saturday a week later in La Tasca, dancing with the lovely Susannah. Judging by my hand position and the look of concentration on my face, it looks as if I was about to attempt 'sombrero doble complicado'.

Just got my ticket for Los Van Van!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

La Tasca

Good night in La Tasca, as you can see. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

Friday, January 16, 2009


So much for Stevie giving up Salsamania - he's back with a new website (www.eldj.co.uk) and he's restarting the high-end Salsa Technicians night on Sundays in Bristol, starting February 1st with Mamboleo. (But he's had to let the beginners in rather than keeping it intermediate/advanced.)

Good news for anyone in Bristol, and anyone who misses trips to Bristol for dancing.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

How to make yourself unpopular, part 1

If you're a male salsa dancer, there are a few things you need to know not to do.

Number 1, in my book, is lecturing women. It's a particularly stupid thing to do if you're not the greatest of dancers anyway, but for some reason these are the guys who are most likely to do it. Case in point: the other night I complimented a woman in the class on being such a good follower. She wasn't an experienced dancer - in fact she didn't even know what I meant by the word 'following' - but she had ability and a great light style. What did I see later in the free dancing? A guy who couldn't dance in time telling her how to dance: not just quietly giving advice but barking out instructions like a PE teacher drilling a pupil. Unfortunately there's something about the leader/follower relationship that brings out the worst in some men's attitude to women. It's not big and it's not clever.

Even if you're an able dancer it's something to avoid. I encountered a very good woman dancer quietly fuming at the bar recently: she'd had a dance with someone who should have known better, and he'd criticised her dancing twice in one dance. As she said, he'd asked her for a dance, she hadn't asked him for a private lesson.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Jumpin Jaks

Debbie and I were first on the floor for the free dancing after the lessons in Andy's new venue.

It was a good night all told - Kate led a series of cracking ruedas, best I've danced for a while (and I managed not to get too confused by the difference her calls and Misael and Sabina's). Even though not everybody knew all the moves there were no duffers there and everyone was dancing on time :)

I was relieved to find myself dancing much better than I was managing in Risa before Christmas - I've got some subtlety back into my lead. Some particularly nice dances, particularly one with Jo (Paul G-S's wife) who hadn't been out for a while.

Impressions on the venue: it's big but doesn't feel too big, and even though the fake American/Wild West decor is a bit cheesy it makes for a nice ambience (better than Risa). The floor is ropy, acceptable but not great in parts. (The stage looks smoother but I couldn't persuade anybody to get up there). The lighting is mellow but bright enough to see by. Everybody seems to like the atmosphere and the bar staff are friendly. Thumbs up in general.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

New stuff

Andy's starting two new regular Monday classes at Fahrenheit Dance Studio. 7-8pm will be for beginners, and 8.30-9.30 will be a choreography class for intermediate (and above) couples. Start date for the choreography class is TBC, either the 12th or the 18th. Watch the Dancalatina site for updates.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Happy New Year

La Tasca was fun on Saturday - three dances in a row on an empty floor with Patricia was an excellent start to the dancing year, and then the caffeine kicked in for a very dynamic dance with Vania. I've been doing a lot of Cuban-style lately but those dances reminded me of what's so great about LA-style.

I couldn't stay that late as I was on Dad Taxi duty. My daughter couldn't resist a dance when she turned up with her friends - the atmosphere in La Tasca is like that. Looks like she'll be coming on Wednesday for Sabina's class as well.

One reason I enjoyed it so much is that I've been able to keep the dancing going over Christmas as Andy kept La Tasca running throughout the holiday period. Much appreciated. I went on New Year's Eve before going on elsewhere: a good move, as it meant I didn't start drinking until 1am and avoided a hangover on New Year's Day. But one dancer there must have suffered. I've never danced salsa with anyone that drunk: it felt as if she had rubber arms.