you live in the Bay Area you pretty much know where to direct your salsa
dancing shoes. But if
you are a beginner, a tourist, or you've been out of the scene for a while,
So, it's the most boring day of the week and you don't know where to chase
your blues away. No sweat. ALBERTO'S nightclub in Mountain View features
Monday night salsa.
Since Cafe du Nord is now defunct, the only game in town on Tuesdays is
THE GLAS KAT which became popular as soon as it opened. The nice atmosphere,
friendly management, tasteful decor and many special promotions including
free drinks and ladies' nights, appeal to a broad range of people.
There is a live salsa band at the tiny PIER 23 every Wednesday. (Call
to confirm) This is the only club in town that does not charge a cover
for its salsa night. And in spite of its small dance floor and the competition
from ROCCAPULCO and CARIBBEAN GARDENS (both with DJ only) PIER 23 keeps
its faithful following.
In the East Bay, KIMBALL'S CARNIVAL continues its Wednesday salsa dancing.
The ELBO ROOM offers live salsa, but not every week; you have to check
their schedule. JILLIAN'S is a huge restaurant with a large dance floor
and three big video screens. It attracts mostly young crowds. The most
popular club on Thursdays (and Saturdays) remains CAFE COCOMO which did
not lose its following even after the initial success of Jillian's. The
owners keep improving the decor; a fairly large dance floor was extended
to the bar and a smaller floor was added on the balcony; a multitude of
special promotions including no cover nights with free food (great Indian
and multicultural delicacies) and friendly attitude towards customers
assure the return of salsa dancers of all ages. In July COCOMO will break
the back wall and the adjoining hall will almost double its space which
will alleviate crowding as its popularity keeps increasing.
ROCCAPULCO used to be the only game in town on Fridays in San Francisco.
However, you won't see a lot of very good dancers here in spite of it
having the biggest dance floor in the city. KIMBALL'S CARNIVAL offers
salsa on Fridays . With improved sound and warmer decor it will become
much more attractive to salseros. For South Bay residents there is CARIBBEAN
GARDENS in Burlingame. If you are up in Marin, check out club FUSETTI'S
in San Rafael. If you don't mind driving or if you are near Mountain View,
your best bet is ALBERTO'S.
Those who live in the East Bay might favor KIMBALL'S CARNIVAL in Oakland
or MAIKO'S in Berkeley. But you should see CAFE COCOMO on Saturdays: it's
packed! People line up at the door even after midnight. If they put speakers
in their nice courtyard some folks would dance there, guaranteed! (see
Thursday for additional information about COCOMO). From about May to November
THE RAMP in San Francisco offers salsa dancing with live bands on Saturday
afternoons from 4 to 8pm. Dancing in the fresh air attracts a lot of people
in spite of a small cracked concrete floor. Besides, who can beat the
$5 cover charge?
JELLY'S has been a San Francisco hangout for ages. It has its faithful
clientele who like a relaxed atmosphere for the afternoon salsa. However,
a small floor and crowded, poorly ventilated environment deter many skillful
dancers. For salseros of all sexual orientations EL RIO has salsa on the
patio from 4 to 8pm from April to November.
Not tired of dancing yet? Want to shake your booty before going to work
on Monday? Then the ALLEGRO BALLROOM in Emeriville is another choice.
It's not a club, they don't serve liquor, but the $6 cover charge ($10
if you want the lessons) includes DJ dancing and snacks.
Besides these main salsa clubs, there are others that offer salsa music
along with other dancing styles, such as the SOUND FACTORY and others.
These clubs attract primarily younger crowds.
you're serious about salsa and want to take lessons you're in luck. Almost
all the clubs include free lessons in their cover charge. There is a great
variety of instructors with unique styles that complement each other,
so you might as well try them all and see which ones you prefer. Always
innovative Ricardo, who comes up with many interesting moves, teaches
at Alberto's and The Glas Kat. Also at Alberto's on Tuesdays the multi-talented
John and Liz might show you
some "head-dropping" tricks (literally!) A legend in California's
salsa scene, Alex DaSilva gives lessons at Roccapulco on Wednesdays. Winners
of multiple salsa competitions, Ava and Luis offer their classes there
on Fridays. Butter smooth Jake and his partner Techi teach at Cafe Cocomo
and Kimball's Carnival. Talented (and boyishly charming) Joseph Gallardo
takes Jake's place at Kimball's Carnival on Wednesdays. Joel and his gorgeous
partner Sorcy give lessons at Kimball's Carnival on Saturdays. The Allegro
Ballroom offers 2 hour lessons (beginner and intermediate) with Garry
and Isabelle who also teach at Maiko's.
the clubs directly to confirm all dates and times, or check their websites.
Visit again for updates!