11 Gift Ideas For Salsa Dancers

Finding gifts for Salsa dancers can be a challenge. We’ve put together a few items we found. If you know of any others please let us know.

1. Me Gusta Bailar Salsa (I Like To Dance Salsa)

This stick figure Salsa Shirt design is available in many styles and is also available on a coffee cup. Drinking coffee or tea while wearing the shirt would make a cute picture for any FB profile.

Cost: Tshirt $26.95 – See details | Coffee mug $17.25 – See details.

SALSA T SHIRTS SALSA CLASSIC WHITE COFFEE MUG

2. Live Dance Love Shirt

This shirt looks best in a long sleeve but it’s available in many styles.

Cost: $30.20 – See details.

LIVE DANCE LOVE T-SHIRT

3. Hot Salsa Moves Loading… Tshirt

This is what every guys learning to dance imagines. Very funny shirt.

Cost: $ 20 – See details.

Hot Salsa Move Tee Shirts

4. You Can Lead Me Only On The Dance Floor Coffee Mug

This coffee cup is for the ladies. Spot on.

Cost: $9.95 – See details.

LEAD ME! Mug

5. Easily Says Yes When Asked To Dance Travel Cup

This 16 oz. insulated travel mug is actually unisex. I see more and more ladies asking guys to dance. And they say Yes, of course.

Cost: $19.95 – See details.

Says Yes when Asked to Stainless Steel Travel Mug

6. Live Love Salsa Tie

This statement piece goes well with a blazer or sports coat.

Cost: $35.15 – See details.

Live love salsa tie

7. Salsa Chic Tote Bag

Need something to carry your Salsa shoes in style? Look no further.

Cost: $11.15 – See details.

Salsa Chick Budget Tote Bag

8. Dance Socks

Place these socks over your comfortable sneakers and you’ll be able to spin with ease. Also available for carpet.

Cost: $10 – See details.

Dance Socks

9. I’d Rather Be Salsa Dancing License Plate

This high impact acrylic license plate comes with large vinyl letters that can also be reflective.

Cost: $12.99 – See details.

I'd Rather Be Salsa Dancing License Plate

10. I Love Salsa Money Clip

The last thing a gentleman needs to carry in his pocket when you go out dancing is a bulky wallet. Truth is, money clips are trendy and back in style.

Cost: $26.35 – See details.

I LOVE SALSA SILVER FINISH MONEY CLIP

11. I Love Salsa iPhone 6 Case

A little something anyone with a new iPhone can use.

Cost: $31.65 – See details.

I LOVE SALSA GLOSSY iPhone 6 CASE

Salsa Dancing In Portland

Hi Salsa Friends,

We just got back from Portland, Oregon and wanted to report back to you about our Salsa experience there… and the amazing food and sightseeing spots.

You won’t believe what we saw!

Before we dive into it, let me give you some quick demographics so that you can grasp one of the major differences between Salsa in Palm Springs and Salsa in Portland.

The city of Portland alone is estimated to have over 620,000 residents with about 7% Hispanic or Latino.

The entire Coachella Valley is estimated to have 443,000 residents with 51% Hispanic or Latino.

Keep that in mind. For now back to the story.

We got to experienced just how “unique” the people of Portland are.

Portland has lot’s of gardens, bicyclist, food carts, funky art throughout town and a very disorienting system of highways.

Click to enlarge pictures…

And on top of everything, they dress … how do I say this… different?

In any event, Salsa dancing in Portland seems to have a great following. We found (on the internet) scheduled lessons and dancing almost every day of the week including Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

This was not a surprise to us since Salsa is appealing to many, everywhere. And we figured Portland is big enough to sustain a decent Salsa group.

So we decided to catch a lesson and social on Friday night at a dance studio in northeast Portland.

We figured it would be a good way to compare what we have in the Desert.

The lesson was scheduled to start at 9 pm so we looked for a place to eat nearby.

On our way to the restaurant we drove by the dance studio.

It was early, around 8:30 pm. As expected, the place was empty.

So we drove to a restaurant called Radar, not far from the studio, to grab a bite to eat.

Radar Restaurant

We sat on that first two-seater table on the right.

We ordered a dish called Panzanella and also a dish with grilled squash. It was delicious!

We learned that the Painted Hills bavette steak we were served was organic. Organic food at restaurants is common in Portland too.

Most restaurants we went to served organic food.

By the time we were done with dinner and drinks it was past 9:30 pm.

Time to go check out the Salsa studio.

As we were driving back to the studio which was about half a mile away, we were talking about looking out for a spot to park.

The studio was located on the bottom floor of what appeared to be an anpartment building. It was on a street that did not allow parking in front of the building.

There were no open spots on the South side of the building either. As we’re driving to the other side we look over to see how big of a crowd is in the studio.

There were only about 6 people when activity should have been in full swing.

Hmm…

We were kinda tired from a busy day downtown and visiting Powell’s City of Books, the largest bookstore in the world earlier in the day, so we decide to call it a bust and try again tomorrow. No dancing tonight.

Saturday was a more relaxing day.

Lori picked berries every morning from the back yard

Lori picked berries every morning from the back yard.

We went to the International Rose Garden in the afternoon. Coincidentally, there was a free symphony concert being held there in the midst of acres of beautiful roses.

We decide to try Salsa dancing at the Aztec Willie & Joey Rose Taqueria.

On our way to Aztec Willie’s we find ourselves on an isolated street in northeast Portland. We see very few cars on the street and and very few people walking around.

We find the place and park right next to the restaurant. The taqueria is empty too.

The food reviews on Yelp weren’t so good for Aztec Willie’s so we walked a half a block down the street to another restaurant called Petisco.

There was only one other couple there.

Again, we get lucky with another great meal. This time we had asparagus ravioli and onion soup.

We asked our waitress about Salsa dancing and she says that Aztec Willie’s is packed every weekend. Even she goes there after work.

We finish our dinner and head over to Aztec willies expecting the lesson to be in full swing.

What do we see instead? About 10 people sitting around the dance floor waiting to see what happens. We go ahead and pay the $12 cover and walk in.

All the tables had been moved from the center of the space to the sides around the dance floor. The wood floor looked clean and ready for dancing.

The bar area was separated by a wall about shoulder high.

A few more people come in after us.  The lesson finally gets started, half an around late. Around 20 people take the dance floor.

The 45 minute lessons was lead by a gentleman who also appeared to be the DJ.

By the time the lesson was over there must have been at least 40 people on the dance floor. And many spectators too.

The pace of the lesson was slower than ours. The instructor was only able to teach the basic step, cross body lead and under arm turn.

When the lesson is over the dancing starts and the music is pretty good. They played a mix of Salsa and Bachata. All danceable stuff.

One of the things that really stood out to me was the number of Hispanics at this joint. There was a mix of Caucasians, a few Asians and Black people, and at least 80% Hispanic.

Remember, Portland has a 7% Hispanic population! They must have all been there.

There was one couple that really drew attention by taking up so much space with their jumps and tricks.

You couldn’t really say they were “dancing”. It was the type of dancing where others kept their distance to prevent personal injury.

He was flinging her all over the place into moves that looked more like gymnastics than anything else.

It certainly was NOT Salsa nor dancing. I wish I would have recorded it to show you what NOT to do on the dance floor.

In spite of that, there were probably newbies there that must have been mesmerized by their “talent”.

The truth is, this happens everywhere.

We danced ’til about 12:30 am.

On our way home, Lori was reminiscing about YOU, our Salsa friends. She’s says to me:

“I bet at least ¾ of our intermediate students would have been among the best dancers there tonight”

I agreed.

We sometimes don’t realize how well our students dance because we don’t have a basis for comparison.

Portland, like Nashville (read that article if you haven’t done so yet) probably have twice as many Salsa dancers as we do in the Desert. Both of these towns are much larger and offer many more classes and places to dance Salsa.

In spite of that, the caliber of dancers are far better, in our opinion, in the Desert.

It may have to do with the caliber of friendships formed that we see in the Desert.

This is not to say that Salseros in other areas are not friendly or welcoming, but it wasn’t apparently in our visit to Portland. We didn’t experience an atmosphere where most people seemed to know each other or were happy to see one another.

We miss you and will be back soon.

See you on the dance floor,

Luis N Lori

How Does Palm Desert Compare to Nashville’s Salsa Scene?

So we just got back from Nashville and, of course, during our visit we stopped by a couple of places that offered Salsa dancing. To our surprise, we found that the Salsa scene is busy. There seemed to be something going on every day. We decided to check out a local group named Diablos que Bailan (devils that dance), quite odd for a dance club name. Isn’t it? Anyway, they get together at a Puerto Rican restaurant near downtown Nashville called Salsa Restaurant… how creative. The group had just gotten started with the Salsa lesson when we arrived so we decided to order dinner while we checked out the class. They had a huge crowd of 4 people, including the instructors, which by the end of the class grew to 13-14 dancers. After the lesson they played two songs to practice the routine. By this time we were finishing up with dinner. To our surprise, the started a Casino Rueda circle. So Lori suggested we join them and we did. We learned a new step on the spot called Kentucky which resembled Cuarenta y cinco. It was fun.

I forgot to mention, when we arrived to Nashville the gal at the car rental place turned out to be a Salsa dancer and let us know about a place for Friday-Saturday night dancing called Ibiza Nightclub. Wow, we were in luck. Lori was a bit tired Friday night so we decided to try Saturday night instead. This place was a bit South of town, about half an hour away. As we were parking we noticed several people walking towards the club, all hispanics and one black man. Hmm. I got padded down by a security guard, and I mean “really” padded down. I paid my $10 to get in. Lori did not have to pay a cover since it was before 11 pm. Cool. We could hear the Merengue music playing from outside. We could also see the multi-color lights. They also had a smoker. Both of these thing are bad signs to me because dancers don’t really like them. Right?

We get in and see a sea of guys with their hands in their pockets hanging around and some ladies of course. Only three couples were dancing. They played some Bachata music after and a few other couples took the dance floor. After about 10 minutes a Salsa song was played. The floor cleared out. Unbelieveable!

What? No Salsa dancers? We forgot to take our dance shoes so I was wearing sneakers and Lori was wearing a pair of new boots she bought that day.  I looked over at her and said “Let’s do it”. “But I’m wearing boots” she says. “Who cares, we’re in Nashville” I responded. So we took the dance floor all to ourselves and did our “thing”. It turnes out you can really dance in boots! That was the highlight of our Salsa dancing at Ibiza Nightclub. They started playing some reggaeton and we decided to leave.

The night was not over yet however, because the Diablos que Bailan group also had a dance social scheduled so we drove another 15 minutes and found the dance studio which was hidden in a huge industrial area. We were the only ones on the road but it wasn’t spooky like in the movies. In any event, we arrived to the Barefeet Studio after 11pm, paid our $20 to get in and walked through a long and narrow hall to where the dancing was happening. Here they had less people but almost all of them were dancing. Yay! We took the dance floor until we’ve had enough. They played Bachata, Salsa and Cha-cha while we were there. I picked up a few songs on my Soundhound app which we’ll play at our dance party.

I was surprised to discover that our Salsa Dancing in the Desert group is so much bigger than Nashville’s, considering that our area is at least one third the size. We often get compliments from out-of-towners from Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Houston, etc. about how friendly and large our group is. Now we understand what they are talking about.

You guys are the BEST!

By the way, we had a great time in Nashville, a city full of history and Country music.

See you on the dance floor!

10 Reasons to Start Dancing Salsa Today

Lori and I both learned to dance Salsa as adults. You know what they say… it’s never too late, right? Well, we agree. Like most people, we’ve all been exposed to all kind of dancing in our lives. In movies, on TV shows and social events like proms, weddings and parties. Deep inside, we’ve all wanted to be the one’s who could bust the moves. You know what I’m talking about. In any event, the past is the past. Let’s focus on the NOW. Salsa dancing – and other partner dances – can bring a lifetime of enjoyment to our lives.

Here are just a few reasons you should learn to dance Salsa TODAY:

1. It’ll Boosts Your Confidence

Dancing is a skill. If you pay careful attention and attend consistently, learning the basics of Salsa will only take you a few lessons regardless of how bad a dancer you think you are. As with any learned skill, you will get better with practice and your confidence will also build up. This newly found confidence will spill over onto other areas of your life.

Jose and Nichole Salsa dancing

2. Make new friends

Dancing is the REAL social network. A dance class sets the stage for social interaction. Typically, you are instructed to dance with most if not all other students in attendance on a rotating basis. This makes is easy to meet people and inevitably, you’ll become friends with many of them.

3. Impress old friends

Most of us don’t “look” like dancers so when we finally show a side of ourselves our friends didn’t know about… Suffice is to say, they will see you in a different light. Not only will you impress friends who don’t dance, but also those who are dancers.

4. Gives you a fun excuse to exercise

Who doesn’t want to burn a few calories and have fun while doing it. Sure going to the gym might be fun to some, but dancing is fun for ALL.

Salsa Dancing in Palm Desert

5. Exercise your brain

According to the  the New England Journal of Medicine studies have shown that dancing increases cognitive acuity in individuals of all ages. In other words, it boosts your memory.

6. Makes a great date

Ladies like it when a guy takes them dancing on a date, even if they can’t dance. Ask any lady and you’ll see. Ladies… feel free to suggest dancing as a date. If he really likes you, he will comply even if he can’t dance.

7. Looks good on a resume

All resumes have a section where you list your hobbies. Smart employers want to know what you’re interest in so that they can get a feel for how active or socially connected you might be.

Jesus and Marina Salsa dancing

8. Relieves stress

It’s difficult to think about all your worries when you’re dancing to contagious music and working up a sweat. Try it! Also see study mentioned above.

9. It’s outright fun

When you’re out on the dance floor you get to challenge your own skills whether leading or following. The thing is… it doesn’t matter if you “nail it” or “fake it”, it’s always fun just “doing it”.

10. It’s cheap to learn

In big cities you’ll often find nightclubs where you can take lessons for free as well as, dance studios or club that offer lessons for a nominal fee. Why not start TODAY by joining Salsa Dancing in the Desert?

Getting to the first dance class is hard since you don’t know what to expect. It’s normal to have some level of anxiety over it. Hopefully, we’ve listed good reasons to overcome your unjustified apprehension or trepidation to not start dancing.

Please feel free to add your reason to start dancing today or questions below.

See you on the dance floor!

Luis N Lori

Salsa Dancing – How long does it take to learn?

One of the most common questions we get from new students attending our Salsa dancing lessons is “How long will it take for me to learn to dance? We’ve answered this question in a previous Salsa dancing blog post however, I’d like to address it again to those of you who have absolutely no dance experience.

It’s unpredictable until you get started!

In all honesty, is practically impossible to predict how long it will take you to learn to dance Salsa because everyone’s idea of “knowing how to dance” varies. We’ve had students come for 4 or 5 lessons and make a conscious decision to not come back because they felt they had “learned” to dance. Really? We have other students who have been taking lessons with us for over 10 years who are “still learning”. So that begs the question…

What constitutes “knowing” how to dance?

Here is our take: For leaders (gentlemen), it is your ability to communicate to your partner each step with clarity (leading), while dancing to the music (on beat). The amount of steps you can lead your partner into is almost irrelevant as it relates to knowing how to dance. Many leaders (male dancers) fall into the trap of thinking that executing more steps on the dance floor is better. It’s NOT! Ladies prefer to dance with a partner who can lead fewer steps with confidence rather than someone who tries to lead them into many halfway executed steps. NOTE: When you belong to Salsa club, group or class, it is expected that you practice your new steps. This is the only way you become a better dancer. However, do yourself a favor and practice the steps with a partner who also took the class with you until you are confident with it. You’ll have much more success then when you dance with a complete stranger – or someone who did not take that class with you. Remember, you should always practice these steps with someone your level or above!

In a nutshell, gentlemen “know” how to dance when:

  • They don’t forget their footwork when leading a step
  • They don’t think about where and when the feet and hands should be located during a step
  • They feel how his partner reacts to his commands
  • They dance to their partners level or their own, whichever is lowest

On the flip side, ladies who can follow the basic steps well don’t really know how to dance yet. The difference between following the basic steps well and knowing how to dance is not that great. The key to reaching that next level is learning to follow with confidence. And what that means is, having the confidence to relax and let your partner tell you what the next step is. It’s very common for ladies learning to dance to try to anticipate the next step. Don’t do it! Dancing is not about guessing what the next step is, but about allowing your partner to tell you when and where to step next.

In a nutshell, ladies “know” how to dance when:

  • They wait for the lead
  • They follow the direction of the hands
  • They follow through with their core, not the arms
  • They cross in a straight line unless lead otherwise

If you are just getting started…

For everyone just getting started it’s important that you listen to the music regularly. Dance as often as you can, even if it’s just in front of a mirror. Just do it and have fun with it. It takes time. In the beginning, it’s okay to have fun and fake it. After 14 years of dancing together, Lori and I are still learning how to lead and follow new steps all the time. One day, someone will dance with you and he or she will be so impressed with your ability that he/she will compliment you on how well you dance. Then you’ll know you’re on the right track. See you on the dance floor, Luis N Lori post-how-long-does-it-take