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Salsa in the City


Salsa has no cultural boundaries and is enjoyed by people of all ages, all over the world. For those who want to broaden their salsa horizons and inject some international flavour, we look at our Top Ten Salsa Cities in the world.

1. Havana
No words needed for this one; Havana is the heart and soul of salsa and the dance seems to define the Cuban people. Practically every bar and club in Old Havana resonates with the sound of a salsa beat and there are even salsa matinee clubs for those who can't wait until the evening to dance.
2. Barcelona
Europe's salsa capital, Barcelona is home to one of the biggest salsa scenes outside Havana. Cuban is the most popular style in the city, originally championed by ex-pats from South America and now an integral part of Barcelona's nightlife. If you’re serious about salsa, check out Mojito Club on Thursdays when the best dancers in the city come out to dazzle the spectators.
3. New York
So big the city invented its own style! New York (or On 2) is danced on the second beat of the music and the follower steps forward on the first measure of the music, not the leader. Inseparable from salsa in New York is the legendary Palladium Ballroom, a dancehall that was influential in popularising Latin music and dance during the 1940s and 50s. Today, salsa in New York has never been more popular.
4. Bogota
Salsa music was born among Puerto Ricans and Cubans, but soon spread to Colombia. Native salsa groups like Fruko Y Sus Tesos and Joe Arroyo emerged, inventing a distinctively Colombian form of salsa music and dance. In modern day Bogota, among the European House and techno clubs, salsa still reigns supreme and its popularity shows no sign of waning amongst the cool, young and stylish crowd.
5. San Juan (Puerto Rico)
The refrain "Salsa is in our blood" may be heard more than once on a visit to Puerto Rico. And there is no more hallowed institution of salsa in Old San Juan than the Nuyorican Café. This smoky, intimate, bohemian alleyway club has been attracting outstanding salsa bands for decades. The small stage, checkerboard dance floor, and loyal crowd make it the quintessential place for salsa in the city.
6. London
Salsa's growth shows no signs of abating in London. Thousands of students continue to learn salsa and new students take it up every day. There is a real mix of styles in London and Cuban is just as popular as New York and L.A. styles. Salsa classes, congresses, clubs, parties and festivals are all regular features on the city's calendar.
7. Los Angeles
L.A. style is danced on 1, in a slot, with a measure of easiness and adaptability to it. It is strongly influenced by the Mambo, Swing, Argentine Tango and Latin Ballroom dancing styles. L.A.'s scene is lively, energetic and very diverse. The Granada LA is just one of the popular venues, with live music and always a big choice of dance partners.
8. Caracas (Venezuela)
In addition to the ever-popular salsa, merengue and bachata rhythms and the thumping pulse of reggaeton, bossa nova, jazz, reggae and rock are all popular in Venezuela's capital. However, Salsa dominates in the dancing scene, where competition can become fierce in the top clubs.
9. Milan
Apart from holding one of Italy's biggest congresses in April (The On 2 Salsa Congress) Milan has a thriving scene with a choice of clubs for every day of the week. Tropicana Club Latino is an institution in the city, with salsa every night and always crowded.
10. Berlin
Not traditionally associated with Latin rhythms, Berlin boasts an impressive salsa scene. Most clubs are dominated by Cuban style and for many years now, club Havanna has been the meeting place for all Berlin salsa fans to swing their hips to the rhythm of Latin American music.