To cha-cha, to mambo, to salsa, once you hear any of those, then you know you’re in Latin dance territory. Have you watched gentlemen and ladies on TV wind, wiggle and groove their waists like they got no problem with the world? You then wonder why you can’t be like them, but worry no more. Latin dancing refers to ballroom dances that have an origin in Latin America. They includes dances like: salsa, cha-cha, Bachata, Tango, Paso-doble, samba and many others.
Do you have the passion to Latin dance but have given up the idea because you can’t seem to find where to start from? Have you watched shows like; strictly come and dancing or Dancing with the stars and looked on with envy or wonder of whether those couples had the same skeleton system as you. You could become them if you pushed a little harder! You could download a few dancing tutorials online but remember, it takes two to Tango, so you’d better be in the company of another person. Here are some of the places you could go try Latin dancing.
Cayenne lounge, Bukoto. This houses the dance every Tuesday evening from 6:00pm till late. It has an outdoor dance floor to reduce on the heat that comes with being indoor. It starts with a two hour class of either salsa, Bachata or Kizomba and you can either find a dance partner here or come with one. Many of the persons that dance from Cayenne are usually on intermediate or advanced level so you got to look hard to copy and learn their movements. There is also a dance break for a Rueda de Casino routine. You will pay about shs.5000 at the entrance and this buys you some refreshment from their bar.
Imperium bar at Garden city rooftop. This hosts the Latin dance every Wednesday and Saturday, with the Wednesday one at completely no cost. This is a tiled, indoor dance-floor and has a more vibrant crowd where you will practice from the moves you have been watching on television. Here, you’re also assured to break a sweat because of the deejays satisfactory music selection.
Gekko bar and lounge at Mackinnon suites. On a Wednesday evening, you could shed off the sweat of the day’s stress with a midweek fun night at Gekko. This place is under the management of Next step dancing which runs several Latin workshops around Kampala. Because this is a bar setting, there are people watching and this will be enough push-factor for you to improve their dancing technique. “You don’t want to be the one who looks sluggish on the dance-floor.” Not that it’s not a place for beginners but you’ve got to show progress. It also offers dance classes before the social dance starts.
L’atmosphere Lounge. Here you will witness the sensuality of Latin dancing. L’Atmosphere hosts Kizomba, Zouk and Bachata nights every Thursday. These three dances are one of many dances you would never wish to watch your partner rave with another because of the intimacy they portray. Kizomba is one of the most shunned dance styles if your keen to notice from the different dance venues but if you maintain a presence at L’Atmosphere, be sure to be a centre of admiration soon.
Casablanca Bar in Mukono. This happens on Saturday and its biggest crowd are the students of Uganda Christian University (UCU). The place is still in its baby steps and that means you will meet fellow beginners to guide you through your Latin stardom journey, but don’t be shocked if you see the faces you have found at Kampala venues also there. There is also a Salsa class before every social dance.
Jazzville Bugolobi. This is hosted by the same group from Gekko and is a chilling point on Sunday. Before you start dancing, you will be inspired by the jazz music exhibition at the bar. Before the start of a social night, there is always a fitness workout session, followed by a dance class usually of intermediate level consisting of different dance shines. Its free entrance but you usually contribute a minimum of shs2,000 for venue maintenance.
Rock bar at Speke hotel. This has one of the best Latin dance floors and hosts some of the biggest crowds every Sunday. Like the others, social night starts with dance classes usually themed on a monthly basis. There is always a beginner, intermediate and advanced class and wherever you fit, be sure to have your needs catered for. Rock bar also claims some of the best Latin music and usually the floor is packed from start to finish. Entrance is shs3500 which comes with a drink.
There also other places you can go to for more personalised classes like; in motion dance studio at forest mall, National theatre and Kampala dance studio among others. Now that you know where to go dancing, it’s also important to know the etiquette of Latin dancing because just like society, there are rules that govern the dance and it’s better to know them before you fall victim.
- A lady never asks a man for a dance but rather a man politely asks the lady.
- A man leads the dance. Lady! never turn yourself before he does so.
- It’s impolite to turn down a man and immediately accept another. Wait at least after one song then move to another partner.
- Practice good hygiene. No one wants to dance with a smelly partner.
- Do not have conversation while on the dance floor with another person other than your partner. It is very disrespectful!
- Do not wear sandals because they are very inconveniencing.
- Its improper for people of the same sex to dance together, if you are a lady, wait for a gentleman.
- Wear comfortable dancing attire. Because of our African background, be descent.
- Rough guys are usually avoided by ladies.
- Make yourself available. It’s hard to ask a lady who seems preoccupied with her phone, friends or any other business.
Something to know about Latin dancing is that all the dances follow a similar count and some of them may seem similar thus learning one makes it easy to dance the other. You got to have passion if you want to learn the art of being a Latin dancer because it comes with some benefits like:
You keep fit because you will break a sweat and plus you can’t do a split when your unfit.
Economically, you can earn from it because once you’re good, you will get gigs to perform at ceremonies.
Most Latin dancers are like family and you will get adopted into a new family.
Latin etiquette guides one on the proprieties of society for example proper hygiene. No one likes a smelly partner.
In case you didn’t know what your talent is, you earn one.
With all that information, get your groove and dancing shoes ready and go try some samba or salsa.