CAMBRIDGE — The room temperature dropped considerably when I walked downstairs to the dance floor of Club Salsa, a few blocks from the railway station.
The air conditioners were blowing full blast as if anticipating the body heat to come from another night of dancing. Every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the club provides salsa lessons for those wanting to learn the upbeat Latin moves or broaden their dance skills from the robot and the electric slide.
Students began to file in at 7:30 p.m. on a recent Monday for salsa lessons taught by London’s Latin Collective team. They were 18 and older and ethnically diverse. They came alone or with friends, but shared one goal — to look good on the dance floor.
The dancers were split into three groups — absolute beginners, beyond beginners and advanced. At the first level, students mainly practiced the basic moves of salsa, which include mambo, Cubanos, rumba and back basic. The advanced dancers could be seen performing the specialty moves.
Susie Garlick has been attending salsa classes for about six weeks and is currently learning the advanced moves. On this night, Garlick twirled around with a succession of partners. Even though students may come with a companion, everyone will change partners throughout the night.
“I absolutely love it. It’s a nice way to relax and socialize,” she said.
Some people may be hesitant to try salsa dancing. They may think that they won’t be able to stay in step or that they’ll look funny on the dance floor. Vishal Gokool, manager of Club Salsa, said people shouldn’t be intimidated.
“As long as they can stand up, they’ll be fine,” he said.
Garlick agreed when she said, “It doesn’t matter if you ever have danced before, they’ll teach you the basic steps.”
An hour into the two-hour classes, sweat beaded off bodies and the room became hot and muggy. No one seemed to mind, though, as they mingled during a small break, talking about what they’d just learned.
“It’s a friendly atmosphere. You can go out, dance and meet people without feeling uncomfortable,” said Danielle Street, the club’s bartender.
Location: 1 Station Road, Cambridge (a few blocks west of Cambridge Railway Station).
Ambience: Several nights a week, the club provides salsa lessons for all skill levels.
Cost: One class is £5, which includes entrance to the dance club afterward.
Service: The salsa instructors are skilled and will get you looking good on the dance floor in no time at all.
Drinks: The club has a small list of bottled beers, wine and spirits. Water is the best option when you start dancing.
Web site: www.club-salsa.co.uk