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Salsa Savannah: Dancing the Night Away
Salsa Savannah is the place to be on a Tuesday or Thursday night...swaying hips move to the rhythm of sultry salsa, merengue, and bachata music, ladies & gents come dressed to impressed, and some of Savannah's most classy and upscale, yet funky night clubs' floors aren't just stood on - they're danced on.
Salsa Savannah is a social group of International Salsa enthuasists who have brought about a livelier salsa community awareness to the Low Country. Whether dancers have two left feet or are fluent in the language of Latin rhythm & dance, it doesn't seem to matter as the floor feels the soft suede sole of the dance shoe. From those who have never stepped onto a dance floor before to those who compete in local shows, Salsa Savannah offers a wide array of people to dance with - no partner is necessary at these hip places to get your dancing groove on, though it also certainly makes for a great date night.
The best part about Salsa Savannah is that there are lessons, not only for beginners, but also advanced dancers as well. Students can spend 4-8 weeks in each class, progressively moving through the levels until they're almost a pro, or just drop in from time-to-time to take a class and test out the waters. Both men and women of varying ages and skill levels attend classes offered almost 7 days of the week at various venues. Tuesdays Beginner-Intermediate salsa classes are at Tantra from 7-9pm, Wednesdays there's salsa lessons at Lava Fitness from 8-9pm, Thursdays there's bachata lessons from 7-9pm at Saya Lounge, and Saturday there's salsa lessons from 11:30-1:30pm at Fitness Body & Balance. The cost for lessons is affordable at $15 for class, or there are class passes available which bring the cost down to $8.50-$10 per class.
THE NIGHT CLUB VENUES
Once students are confident in their abilities, or just ready to practice all they've learned, they can stay for the free open floor dancing at one of these awesome venues:
Tantra Music Lounge, Tuesday Nights 9pm-2am
Tantra Music Lounge is nestled amongst hanging red lanterns on above-ground Broughton Street. It's here that beginner through intermediate salsa lessons are offered on Tuesday nights, followed by open floor dancing.
Tantra features $3 drink specials and serves food all night long ranging from Wings, Chicken Fingers, Cheeseburgers, Quesadias,Thai Spring Rolls, Cozy Shrimp, Crab Ragoon, and much more.
Saya Lounge, Thursday Nights 9pm-1am
Deep beneath Broughton Street lies an underground club that not everyone seems to know of - Saya Lounge. Recently the recipient of an interior decorating upgrade, the posh ambience wouldn't be complete without its silver Buddha, arched seating areas, and golden art decor giving it an Asian-influenced flair.
On Thursday nights, dancers can be found on the dance floor dancing bachata, merengue, and of course, salsa. Rated the best martini lounge in Savannah, there are also $5 drink specials.
MEN, HERE'S THE SECRET TO MEETING WOMEN: DANCING
A well known fact among all those in the dance community, but apparently not among the general population, is that a man who can dance or even just attempt to dance is a prized commodity. The above venues are frequently overun by the female population so men, if you're single, I just let you in on an awesome secret about where to find women. Even if you have two left feet, most of the women will just be happy to have someone to dance with. Don't be shy, head out to the floor and sweep a woman off her feet! And women, be sure to dress to impress while making sure those heels are something you can comfortably move around in.
THE DIFFERENT LATIN NITE CLUB DANCE STYLES
The videos found at the links below are of advanced level dancing. You can learn how to dance like this after just a few months to a year of lessons, depending on how quickly you pick it up and how regularly you dance. Be inspired, not intimated!
Salsa dance has origins in 1930s Cuba, and movements have strong influences from Spanish and African cultures. Today, salsa is typically a partner dance, although there are recognized solo forms (suelta), and Rueda de Casino (groups of couples exchanging partners in a circle). It is popular throughout Latin America as well as in North America, Europe, Australia, and some countries in Asia and the Middle East. It is one of the most complex, yet beautiful styles of Latin dance with dips and turns as the video linked above featuring a professional pair of dancers shows.
Bachata dance originated in 1950s Dominican Republic. While it's danced all over the world, most widely in the Caribbean, the styles vary. One of the more sensual Latin nite club styles of dance, this one is danced very close with the knees of partners together and hips move in Cuban motion. In this video, the couple performs the more open, less sensual style of bachata widely seen at competitions. The nite club style is closer and pictured at right.
Merengue dance orginated in 1800s Dominican Republic. A Dominican folkloric dance, it is widely spread and considered by many as the Dominican national dance. Often called the walk-step dance, this is one of the most simple forms of Latin dance to learn. This video is of a DOG dancing merengue, proving that anyone can learn it!
I hope you enjoyed this peek into the world of Salsa Savannah. Be sure to check out their website if you need more information and see you on the dance floor!