One of the best parts about dating someone here in Medellin is always having someone to go out dancing with. Anyone who knows me knows that I love reggaeton and usually only go out dancing in clubs that play reggaeton. I also like salsa but I’ve always been too embarrassed by my terrible salsa skills to go out dancing salsa in Medellin.
Since my first time living in Colombia about 3 and a half years ago, I’ve always taken the generic group salsa classes. None of them worked for me. I felt like they only taught me the bare minimum and I never really improved no matter how many classes I took. This made me really turned off by salsa classes and gave up trying to learn salsa.
Fast forward three years later and my boyfriend’s family FROM CALI (aka the world’s capital of salsa) is coming for Christmas, so now I have to at least learn to basics so I can even attempt to keep up. I started taking private classes and learned a thing or two about what options are available in Medellin to learn salsa.
Here are some different ways to find the right salsa class in Medellin for your learning style:
Sign up for a private salsa class in Medellin
Given my lack of experience and timidness of dancing in front of others, private salsa classes were the best option for me. I plan my private salsa classes here in Medellin through Salsa Classes Medellin which I love because I just use their Facebook Messenger bot to schedule the type of class I want (when, where, which teacher, which level, etc). The teacher comes directly to my house and we have the classes there. Plus there are options for couples classes in case I want to force Mario to take dance classes with me 😉
Their instructors range from semi-pro to master (dancers who actually compete) and you can even get a cheaper rate if you’re a super-beginner like me!
Pros: Private salsa classes mean classes that are tailored to you. You can focus on your pain points, plan classes around your schedule, and if you’re a beginner (like me) a private salsa class might be a good way to break out of your comfort zone in a private setting.
Cons: Depending on your budget, private classes might be out of the picture. However, if you pay for multiple classes up front, you can get a discount and sometimes it can be even cheaper than group classes!
Here’s a funny timelapse video of part of my first class:
Plan a group salsa class
Learning is more fun with friends! There are a few dance studios that you can go directly to and plan a group class. Also, most Spanish language schools in Medellin have relationships with dance studios for people who want to take salsa classes in Medellin. If you’re attending a Spanish classes at a school, it might be helpful to chat with an activities director to get in touch with a dance studio in Medellin that teaches salsa in groups.
If you already have a group of friends here in Medellin that want to take salsa classes together, Salsa Classes Medellin also offers privately organized group classes.
Pros: Learning with friends is fun! Plus after your class you can all hit the town together and practice your moves amongst the locals.
Cons: Group classes are fun but you don’t get the personalized attention you do with a private class. For example, I’m fairly confident with my ability to remember the different steps, but moving my hips and keeping a good posture is more difficult for me, so I’m able to focus on that in my one-on-one classes.
Learn salsa in Medellin at a salsa club!
Learn from the locals! There are plenty of local clubs for you to learn salsa in Medellin that are perfect for people who are eager to practice. Some include: Guaguancó, DanceFree, El Suave, Rumba Club, Salzumba Bar, El Eslabón Prendido, Son De Timba, Buena Vista, Erre Bar, El Tibiri (one of the oldest and most famous salsa bars in the city), La Loma, and Cuchitril.
Pros: Practicing your salsa moves in a traditional salsa club in Medellin is probably one of the most authentic Colombian experiences you can have.
Cons: Like the group classes, learning how to dance salsa via clubs in Medellin doesn’t provide the most personalized attention. But, it is a great way to practice the moves you learned in your individual classes.
Cali, Colombia is the world’s capital of salsa and it’s very close to Medellin. Once you learn a few moves, take a trip to Cali to practice with the best in the world!
Pros: Learn with some of the best dancers in the world! Seriously, you won’t find dancers like this at a normal club back home.
Cons: Just the obvious – it’s out of town and you’ll need to take bus ride (around 6 hours) or a plane (about 1.5 hours) to get there. Also, Caleños are the real deal, it’s a great place to learn but you might want to learn the basics before you go.
Have you taken any salsa classes in Medellin? Which were your favorite? Where do you go to practice? Comment below and remember to send this post to any of your friends in Medellin who might need some dance help 😉