Dancing in Atlanta?

Discussion in 'Member Reviews' started by xalidad, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. xalidad

    xalidad Changui

    Hi all,

    I will be in Atlanta next Friday night (April 22nd), and was curious what venue you would recommend? Online, it looks like Havana Club, Tongue & Groove, Loca Luna, and La Rumba 2 are all Friday night options. Any preferences? I'm a social dancer, and have been at it for 3-4 years...I'd say I'm intermediate level, just looking for an excuse to get some dancing in while in town for work. I'm intrigued by the name of the Havana Club, as I love Cuban casino and rueda, so would probably gravitate to a venue with that flavor.

    Thanks for any help! I did a quick search on here first, and it doesn't look like anybody else has asked about the Atlanta salsa scene.
     
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  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    My dance "home " for many many years .( My daughter is a radio and club DJ there )
    Theres one name missing. Sanctuary. IF it's still going on ( in Buckhead ) that's where you will find a total latino crowd .
    T and Groove is a very mixed collection of dancers and "lookers " on
    If its the same Havana club, its misleading. It was a combo of a cigar club with a small dance floor, did not attract salseros.

    I doubt you will find any casineros,but there are a few rueda types .
    The majority of dancers are linear types on "1" . Most of the DJs play a 3 and 3 set..Sal/'Merg and some Bachata .
    The latino mix is heavy on PRs and Colomb. some Cubanos and Brasileros ( who did have their own club ).There are numerous other latin countries represented there ( latino pop. is over 500,000 )

    If parking in B/head be careful of the tkt trap and no parking zones they do tow!
    Most clubs open at 10pm close 2/3am.. $10 entry is common.
    Go to the Atlanta salsa scene on the net,, they do a lot of ads .
    Luv to hear your impression of the DJ.. Music and dancers.
    In some instances, you may find dancers who do not speak English...
    Last, it is quite safe to walk around the club areas..
     
  3. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    PS... If you come across a DJ Tito ( he is a pretty big guy ) well known in Atlanta, mention my name and say hello from me .He plays the best music for dance out of all the DJs
     
  4. xalidad

    xalidad Changui

    Thanks for the feedback, terence! I was going to PM you my questions anyway, as my search for Atlanta salsa brought your name up a few times :).

    That is great to know, especially about the Havana Club being misleading. I think I would have been very disappointed.

    I tried searching for the Atlanta salsa scene online, and while I didn't find it, I did come across salsacasino.com, which is a site dedicated to Cuban salsa in Atlanta! Apparently there will be a Cuban salsa party on Friday in the "party room" of Taverna Plaka, a Greek restaurant (2196 Cheshire Bridge Rd. NE). That sounds like the place for me!

    And if not, I will definitely follow up on your other suggestions, and will look to see if the Sanctuary still exists.

    Many thanks, as I might not have found this place without your lead! I will post a review after.
     
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    The location for the Casino, is much better for parking ( if you are driving ) and not as hectic as Buckhead . You are only a 5 minute drive from there if you decide to checkout other clubs .Downtown is NOT good for parking.. very strict towing laws..
     
  6. xalidad

    xalidad Changui

    At long last, my review for the Cuban dance party at Taverna Plaka.

    In short, it was excellent, in my opinion. The party is something put on once or twice a month by the SALSAtlanta group (http://www.salsacasino.com/). I would check out their website and/or their Facebook page for a calendar of events. They are also putting on the BAILAtlanta Cuban salsa congress in June.

    These guys are a school/performance group/Cuban enthusiasts in the Atlanta area, and have been doing things since 1999. SALSAtlanta is run by Julian Meija, a Colombian-turned-casinero. I arrived a bit early and talked with him as he set up. Super nice guy, as were the other instructors I met (Jae, Steve, Renata) who happened to be there that night.

    The venue is in back of a Greek restaurant, in the 'party room', and they had valet parking. If I remember right, doors opened at 9 or 9:30, and the cover was $5 before 10, $10 after or something. I was the first one there, and at first was afraid it would be a small turn-out. But around 9:30 people started showing up, and Julian gave a complementary class to a good 20 or 30 of us, starting with footwork, and then partnerwork, and ending with a simple pattern.

    After maybe 45 min or an hour, social dancing started, and ran for several hours. At its peak, I'm guessing there were a good 50 people there. The dance floor was nice, and spacious enough for everyone. I ended up leaving around 1, as I had a flight to catch the next morning, and by that point most others had left, too. I can't imagine it continued much longer.

    Julian was the DJ, and mainly played timba (at least I assume so...my ear doesn't always know the difference). A few cha chas were also played, although the dance floor was taken over by one of the instructors (Steve), who led a bunch of dancers in styling...I'm assuming most of the dancers had been in a class of his. I don't remember any bachata or meringue. They had a birthday dance for one of the girls there, too, which was nice. Surprisingly, they only had 2 or 3 rueda wheels...I would have assumed more for such a Cuban-centric place, but maybe that is typical?

    The community was wonderful. From the moment I walked in I felt welcome. I was invited by multiple people to attend their congress in June (which I would love to do, but won't work out with my schedule this year). I think the ratio was a bit unbalanced...I never stopped dancing, but it seemed like a fair number of ladies were always sitting out. There was the full range of dance ability, with a handful of beginners through a handful of instructors, and everyone else in between. Lots of good dances!

    The thing I was most struck with was that everyone there was dancing casino! This was wonderful for me. Where I dance in Colorado, very few people dance casino, or even know what it is. I love it, but find I have to dance a hybrid of slot and casino, and keep my casino fairly simple. At this party it was so liberating to finally immerse myself in full-on casino, though even then I was gun-shy, and it took me awhile to trust that my follows were familiar with the peculiarities of casino.

    Anyhow, it was great, and I would encourage anyone in the Atlanta area to check out SALSAtlanta for events in the area, particularly if you like Cuban salsa!
     
  7. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Glad you enjoyed the nite.. Yep.. Julian is a very nice guy.

    Also, I was not aware that ,you preferred Casino from your request (salsa clubs ) .
    Julian teaches a regular rueda every Wed. nite at Tongue and Groove ( that is if its still on ) .
     

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