If you’ve fallen in love with salsa dancing, you won’t need to stop while you’re traveling: salsa is popular throughout the world. Dancing is a great way to explore an unfamiliar place: you’ll get to experience new venues, a fresh playlist, surprising performances, and a new set of dancers with their own dance flavor. You could make new friends. So, how can you get plugged into a new dance scene?
Ask Your Dance Instructors
Start with your dance instructors! Your dance instructor might be familiar with the dance scene at your destination. If not, they can probably find a connection in their network (whether it’s an instructor or a friend) who can provide recommendations on the top instructors and dance venues for your upcoming trip. I have personally experienced the salsa scene in Australia, Chile, Colombia, Mexico City, New York City, Puerto Rico, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
Attend a Dance Festival
Most major cities throughout the Americas and Europe have an annual latin dance festival (also known as a “salsa congress”). These events feature 3 – 7 days of non-stop dance action, usually hosted at a hotel. Each day typically starts with 4 – 6 hours of dance classes by top-notch instructors, followed by a couple of performances in the evening, and multiple hours of social dancing at night, in two or more ballrooms. In the case of congresses in warmer destinations like Croatian Summer Salsa Festival and Orlando Salsa Congress, you can expect daytime pool parties.
An all-access pass for a congress typically costs $150 – $400, while a single-day pass is under $100. Why not sync-up your next vacation with a salsa congress? To find dance festivals, ask around, search online, or check this listing.
Find Facebook Groups
Most major cities have at least one communal Facebook group for listing latin dance events. Just search on Facebook using this template: KEYWORD + CITY, for example: “Paris Salsa“. Relevant keywords include: salsa, bachata, latin dance, and social dancing. Communal groups, such as Miami Salsa News, are used by multiple instructors, promoters, and DJs to list their upcoming events and classes. Other Facebook groups or pages are exclusively used by one dance company or promoter to list their own events, e.g. Miami Salsa Events is run by DJ Mike Calderon.
You know the drill: type “London Salsa” into Google to find all the relevant listings. But don’t be overly trusting of search results: the dance industry is notorious for having outdated information on their websites. While online guides such as danceus.org, Latin Dance Calendar and Go Latin Dance are good resources for your initial research, you should double-check the information on those guides with the venue or event organizer. The dance industry’s online presence is typically strongest on Instagram and Facebook, so we strongly recommend checking those platforms to find the most recent information on upcoming events and classes.