York may be a city paved with Englishness but amongst the quaint tea shops, the ancient ruins of British history and the typical soggy weather, York plays host to a collective dream of Cuba as by night many of its buildings come alive with the sound of salsa.
Salsa is a form of dance that has recently taken the British dance scene by storm and no more so than here in York. In the same way that the clubs, church halls and bars of the 30s and 40s were invaded by jivers, jitterbuggers and lindy hoppers, today’s latest dance hype is for the sexy and smooth salsa rhythms. And following the rip-roaring success of shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, it has been proven that dancing needn’t be left just to the professionals but that anyone can learn to step, flick and spin their way into a dance frenzy.
Salsa, like all forms of dancing, is a perfect part of leading a fit and healthy lifestyle that takes you as far from treadmills and dumbbells as you can possibly get. Dependent upon your weight and intensity of dancing, salsa can burn between around 250 and 500 calories in a one hour session. Defined by its sociability and rooted in a party atmosphere, salsa is also great for a more psychological and social sense of well-being. Not only does the physical exercise release those mightily-important endorphins, the need for a partner also lends itself to a happier, more confident you. The Cuban rhythms and rippling leg patterns also can’t help but transport you to some dim and smoky bar secreted in the sizzling hot streets of an exotic holiday hide-out.
If you’re concerned about never having danced before, salsa is also a brilliant way to introduce you to dance more generally, with just a few basic steps at its core that then allows you to improvise and create your own patterns as you wish.
The best way to catch the salsa bug is to begin dancing yourself, so to help you on your way to the fiesta, here’s a list of the best salsa sanctuaries in York:
If you want to be part of a big salsa community there’s lots of well-advertised salsa classes available:
- Salsa York offers beginners, improvers, intermediate and advanced classes along with salsa socials and the chance to be part of a wider community of salsa-addicts across the country.
- Encuentro Latino also offers similar classes as well as performances opportunities.
- Strictly Salsa also encourages freestyle dancing and the chance to dance outside the classroom.
For a more freestyle salsa experience, a number of bars and venues around York offer salsa nights, including Vodka Revolution off Coney Street which hosts ‘Revolución de Cuba’ for as little as a fiver. For a full list of other locations, click here.