Learning to salsa dance in Cartagena, Colombia

If there’s one thing those hip-shaking Colombians are famous for it’s their slick dance moves. So what better place to learn how to salsa, than in the heart of vibrant Cartagena?

There’s a great spot in the Old Town just a couple of blocks from the Clock Tower appropriately called Crazy Salsa, which offers both private lessons and drop-in group classes several times per day. For 20,000 pesos (around $10), participants will learn how to salsa and merengue–aka the only steps you’ll need to hold your own at one of the city’s several nightclubs.

colombia-cartagena-salsa

We showed up to the second floor studio which overlooks a narrow street below and were greeted by the teacher, Willy. There happened to only be one other woman in the class, so we basically got a private lesson- which we sorely needed!

Willy started us off by demonstrating the salsa steps, which we repeated over and over until we were ready to work in extras like turns and pairing up with a partner. While the class was taught in Spanish it wasn’t too big of a problem for us gringos: music is the universal language, after all!

Basically as long as you can count to eight in Spanish, you’ll be fine. We also learned the ‘Cubano’ version as well as the ‘Colombiano’ moves- so watch out, Cuba!

Check out that form! (not)

Check out that form! (not)

Once we mastered–err, managed to get through–a whole song, we moved on to merengue, which was decidedly easier. Basically it’s more about swaying your hips than fancy footwork, so we were able to fake our way through it!

Class ran an hour and a half, which is actually a long time when there is no air conditioning, so don’t forget to bring  your water (lesson learned). All in all we had a fantastic time, and are eager to show off our new moves. Watch out, Dancing with the Stars!

YOU MIGHT ALSO ENJOY:

Why Cartagena is Colombia’s treasure

Bogota, Colombia: Top things to do in the sprawling city

Colombia’s Taj Mahal: A trip to Jaime Duque Park

IN PHOTOS: Colombia

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