Salsa Cities - Australia

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Hock Siew, May 20, 2010.

  1. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Dear everyone,

    I managed to check out a few more places and just wanted to add them to the list. Also wanted to include some of the addresses and approximate times.

    I went to Azucar in the Melbourne city centre a few Thursdays ago. It`s a nice place, but it was absolutely packed. It was the first time I have ever seen a long queue waiting to get into a Salsa club! But then, the night I was there was the opening night for Salsa. Good for those who want to hang out but a bit too crowded for dance for me (but again, perhaps because it was the opening night). Really need to check it out again on another night to see what it`s like :)

    On another note, I heard that they might stop having Salsa at the Spot. Will update if I hear any more news.

    Thursday night:
    The Spot (Sydney Road, Brunswick)
    Quite a nice place with a live band on the night that I was there. Note that the staff will ask for a photo ID when you enter.

    Azucar (Silk Road, 425 Collins Street Melbourne)
    Social dancing starts at 9:30pm. They have classes before that. A very posh place right in the heart of Melbourne city.

    Friday Night - two choices:

    Conga Room at Copacabana (137 Smith St (Upstairs))
    Social dancing from 10:00pm to 2:00am. They have a classes before that.

    Sotano at Hilton Hotel in South Wharf (near the Convention Centre)

    The crowds are pretty much split in half for Friday night, but you will find some that try to make it to both venues. Mainly slot / linear styles, mostly on1. Old-school and Cuban sometimes make an appearance depending on who's there.

    Live bands on both venues, and the floors are good enough. Sotano at Hilton is larger and poshier but the band and DJ are better at Conga Room.

    [I heard conflicting reports here. I heard that the floor is smaller at the Sotano, but as I haven`t been there for Salsa, I can`t really say. Maybe the original post was referring to the club itself rather than the dance floor. Or maybe they have re-arranged the floor since the original post was made. Hope someone can shed some light on this :) ]

    Saturday night:
    Town Hall Hotel (288, Bridge St, Richmond)
    Starts at 9:30pm. Was quiet the night I was there. I was told by the DJ that there was another event on that evening, otherwise the club would be more happening. Need to check it out again another time.

    Sunday Night - now two places:
    Night Cat (141 Johnston St Fitzroy - near the corner of Brunswick St)
    Social dancing starts at 10:00pm. They have classes before that.

    Still the best place for live band, and increasingly turning into a dancers' joint. This is the place where some of the best dancers and musician will turn up - if you are lucky.

    All styles are seen here, including some fairly competent on2 actions. The floors are not the best, so be prepared to dance on any surface.

    The Provincial Hotel (299, Brunswick St, Fitzroy)
    A much smaller place than the Night Cat, but quite cosy. Starts earlier than the Night Cat (9:30pm) but ends early. I understand from some of the dancers that they typically finish about 10:30pm to 11:00pm; but that many of the dancers will move to the Night Cat after that. It is just down the road from the Night Cat.

    If anyone has any more places to add to the list, please go ahead. Or if you know anything that need to be ammended :) I know that there are still other places which I haven`t been to yet! :)

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
     
    #21
  2. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    But of all the days, that was the week-end of the Melbourne Swing Festival! :)
     
  3. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Last week, no zouk, I was there until...about 2 I think! See you tonight :D
     
  4. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Don't forget:

    Latin 24/7 at Brunswick Town Hall (two rooms), once a month. $15, including a bottle of water. Corner Dean Street and Sydney Road; no. 19 tram. These are the rest of the dates for 2011:

    Aug 20
    Sept 17
    Oct 15
    Nov 19
    Dec 3

    This is becoming the biggest party around now, since Ormond Hall has ceased and the space is big. The acoustics have also been improved, so it's easier to discern the beat and you can no longer hear the zouk from next door. However, the floor is still pretty horrid, as the hall is used so much for other purposes. Info at spincitydance.com?page_id=7

    Most people walk down to The Spot after it closes.

    We have the best system going here in Melbourne. Hock Siew checks out all of the parties and then emails me the scouting reports :D
     
  5. Tocador

    Tocador Son

    This coming saturday, we have Palladium on, i'm pretty sure it will be at the Factory Theatre in Marrickville.. that's where it's always been, anyway. Two live bands, lots of hot dancing.. I should be going :)
     
  6. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Yep Palladium is awesome! I'm looking forward to that this coming weekend. They used to have Palladium on 4 times a year but now it's dropped back to only twice a year which is a bit of a pity but on the upside the night should be a lot bigger as a result.

    Much like the Palladium Ballroom in NYC back in the day, the night really is about awesome jazzy NY style salsa all night long.

    Monday's here we have Pumphouse - again jazzy NY style music all night long, it's like being in NYC for real, the DJ, Graeme Haney, came from the UK ten years ago and IMHO there is NO DJ in Australia that comes close! He'll also be DJ-ing at Palladium whenever the band takes a break.
     
  7. Tocador

    Tocador Son

    Graeme has begun teaching with Latin Motion.. took a couple of classes of his the other day at our new venue.. such an awesome guy haha always gives great energy to the class. And of course he's a top notch DJ.
     
  8. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Thanks for putting this up. I wanted to add it to the list but I didn`t have the schedule. I knew that it is typically the third Saturday of the month, but I realised that there were also exceptions (Dec).

    Additional info:
    They start with a free workshop at 8:30pm (included in the entrance charge). It`s usually quite a basic workshop and may be of any dance. Social dancing typically starts around 9:45pm. They finish at about 12:30am or so.

    I agree with Azana that it`s probably the biggest party around in Melbourne. Also, easily one of the best :)
     
  9. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    I received confirmation that The Spot will be closing. Last Thursday was the last Latin night. They will be undergoing renovations and will be re-opened as a bar and restaurant. They have not confirmed any Latin nights. So we`ll have to drop The Spot from the list for the time being :(

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
     
  10. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    I wanted to add one more place to the list.

    IUAC Dance Studio Monthly Mixer
    (Last Thursday of every month)
    Address: 460 Lygon St Brunswick East 3057
    (entrance at the rear)
    Time: 9:30pm - 11:30pm
    Cover: $2/= (free if you are taking a class the same day)

    This is a pretty good party. It`s rather small with not that many dancers, and they finish quite early (I think because there are houses nearby). But the floor is good and fairly spacious, the music is OK, the standard of the dancers are quite high and, most importantly, the people are friendly :) I had a good time there!

    It`s supposed to be on the last Thursday of every month, but it may be a good idea to confirm before going over. A quick internet search should turn up their website (I`m not sure what`s the current convention here on Salsa Forums with regards to putting up commercial weblinks on the threads).

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
     
  11. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    New Tuesday (St Kilda) and Thursday (city centre) parties starting - yay! Info on the Melbourne Salsa website. They used to have a super, well-populated (and free!) Tuesday party which died when the original venue closed. I guess it will depend upon how good the new venue is. There's now a cover charge, so it can't be too bad. The advertised DJ is great, so much better than the Conga Room / Brunswick DJs with their bachata obsession and complete collection of about 25 songs, replayed party after party... This has been a guaranteed-good-party-only-once-to-twice-a-week-aaargh! city this year, so here's hoping...:)

    (I'll have to get Hock Siew to go and check them out and report back to me hehehe ;) )
     
  12. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Just wanted to update the list to include the monthly events. Have also re-arranged the list to include the reviews and comments and also include any additional information :)

    WEEKLY EVENTS

    Thursday night:

    Azucar
    Address: Silk Road, 425 Collins Street Melbourne
    Time: Social dancing starts at 9:30pm. They have classes before that.
    Reviews:
    "I went to Azucar in the Melbourne city centre a few Thursdays ago. It`s a nice place, but it was absolutely packed. It was the first time I have ever seen a long queue waiting to get into a Salsa club! But then, the night I was there was the opening night for Salsa. Good for those who want to hang out but a bit too crowded for dance for me (but again, perhaps because it was the opening night). Really need to check it out again on another night to see what it`s like"
    "A very posh place right in the heart of Melbourne city."

    Friday Night:

    Conga Room at Copacabana
    Address: 137 Smith St (Upstairs)
    Time: Social dancing from 10:00pm to 2:00am. They have a classes before that.
    Reviews:
    "Friday - the Conga Room - now why hadn't I had time to check it out earlier? That is one awesome party! Absolutely superb floor, and that always scores points with me (apparently the room, upstairs from a regular club, isn't used much, so the floor remains in great nick). $10 (with latinlover membership card) for a live band? All right! The room is fairly small and very crowded, but, when I thought about it, (a) it's about twice the size of my fave club, Salsa Caribe in Tokyo, with about half as many dancers crammed in and (b) the snobs/cliques were swallowed up by a mass of normal people and other awesome dancers. Buzzing...! It's also not difficult to decide when to leave. The music changed to zouk at about 1:30 and I was out the door hehehe"

    Sotano
    Location: Hilton Hotel in South Wharf (near the Convention Centre)
    Reviews:
    "The crowds are pretty much split in half for Friday night, but you will find some that try to make it to both venues. Mainly slot / linear styles, mostly on1. Old-school and Cuban sometimes make an appearance depending on who's there.
    Live bands on both venues, and the floors are good enough. Sotano at Hilton is larger and poshier but the band and DJ are better at Conga Room."

    Saturday night:

    Town Hall Hotel
    Address: 288, Bridge St, Richmond
    Time: Starts at 9:30pm
    Reviews:
    "Was quiet the night I was there. I was told by the DJ that there was another event on that evening, otherwise the club would be more happening. Need to check it out again another time."

    Sunday Night:

    Night Cat
    Address: 141 Johnston St Fitzroy - near the corner of Brunswick St
    Time: Social dancing starts at 10:00pm. They have classes before that.
    Reviews:
    "Still the best place for live band, and increasingly turning into a dancers' joint. This is the place where some of the best dancers and musician will turn up - if you are lucky.
    All styles are seen here, including some fairly competent on2 actions. The floors are not the best, so be prepared to dance on any surface."
    "The Night Cat - similar to going to a nightclub when you're 20! It's not well laid out and was so packed you could barely move (lucky I'm used to dancing in Tokyo), and the guys were pulling the moves and the pick up lines. It was a throwback in time for me, and actually just so funny! It was like being at a regular club, but where the music is Latin and the level of dancing is higher than usual. The guys are still trying to physically hit on you, and get away with it due to the crush. I was necked on the floor by a guy who must have been 10 years younger! And the guys siddling up to you, beer stubby in hand, reminding you of of all those flimsy pick up lines (that you tend to hear in Turkey...)
    The music was mostly reggaeton and the floor is small. There is a lesson (which didn't finish until almost 10:30 ) which on paper was 'intermediate' (but that means something different in Melbourne...) and the students stayed on the floor, which meant it was crammed with beginners, and you had to dance on the concrete by the bar. Luckily, people would make room for decent couples, and there were some very good leads there When the band came on, they would play mostly salsa, but the sets were short.
    So, very amusing and a fun night out, but not really a salsa spot and not somewhere I'd patronise."

    The Provincial Hotel
    Address: 299, Brunswick St, Fitzroy
    Time: 9:30pm
    Reviews:
    "A much smaller place than the Night Cat, but quite cosy. Starts earlier than the Night Cat (9:30pm) but ends early. I understand from some of the dancers that they typically finish about 10:30pm to 11:00pm; but that many of the dancers will move to the Night Cat after that. It is just down the road from the Night Cat."

    MONTHLY EVENTS

    Latin 24/7 at Brunswick Town Hall
    Location: Corner Dean Street and Sydney Road; no. 19 tram.
    Time: They start with a free workshop at 8:30pm (included in the entrance charge). It`s usually quite a basic workshop and may be of any dance. Social dancing typically starts around 9:45pm. They finish at about 12:30am or so.
    Cover: $15, including a bottle of water.
    Schedule: These are the rest of the dates for 2011:
    Aug 20
    Sept 17
    Oct 15
    Nov 19
    Dec 3
    (two rooms), once a month.
    Reviews:
    "This is becoming the biggest party around now, since Ormond Hall has ceased and the space is big. The acoustics have also been improved, so it's easier to discern the beat and you can no longer hear the zouk from next door. However, the floor is still pretty horrid, as the hall is used so much for other purposes. Info at spincitydance.com?page_id=7"
    "I agree with Azana that it`s probably the biggest party around in Melbourne. Also, easily one of the best"

    IUAC Dance Studio Monthly Mixer
    Address: 460 Lygon St Brunswick East 3057
    (entrance at the rear)
    Time: 9:30pm - 11:30pm
    Cover: $2/= (free if you are taking a class the same day)
    Schedule: Last Thursday of every month
    Comments:
    It`s supposed to be on the last Thursday of every month, but it may be a good idea to confirm before going over. A quick internet search should turn up their website (I`m not sure what`s the current convention here on Salsa Forums with regards to putting up commercial weblinks on the threads).
    Reviews:
    "This is a pretty good party. It`s rather small with not that many dancers, and they finish quite early (I think because there are houses nearby). But the floor is good and fairly spacious, the music is OK, the standard of the dancers are quite high and, most importantly, the people are friendly I had a good time there!"
     
  13. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    This city is weird...In Brisbane they dance bachata to cha chas (I know the beat allows it, but these were clear cha chas. I refused to dance anything but cha to them!) They also dance merenge to reggaeton music. Sometimes it's a merenge that the DJ has played as a reggaeton mix, but it's still reggaeton and it just looked ridiculous! Whatever...

    You can dance at Casablanca in Brisbane on Wednesdays and Sundays. Parties start and finish early. Wednesday no cover - make a charitable donation - small crowd, friendly, lowish level. Sundays are big (from 7:30pm, $4 cover), with a handful of very, very good dancers, hemmed in by wild ones. I was elbowed in the back (still hurts, and the girl didn't even acknowledge it :mad: Politics...), whacked from behind again, knocked in the head - it's a war zone! I don't know why the ability and influence of the good dancers/teachers isn't rubbing off on the masses... The floor is concrete but the grip isn't too bad. Aforementioned DJs play weird mixes in general...I engaged in some friendly arguments with the Wednesday guy! On Sunday one very sweet guy from Chiapas pulled me out of a corner insisting I was looking bored and this wasn't on with him (translation - DJ was putting on too much bachata), and danced a bachata and a frenetic Cuban salsa with me.

    Sydney was a blast! Mondays at the Pumphouse live up to the hype; superb venue and the DJ played some of my favorite SHOs. However, I really didn't get to test the regular places as some are closed for renovation (Coolabar, O2) and I attended the Australian Salsa Classic events on the weekend rather than the usual parties. The Saturday night I was happy to miss several songs just to sit and gape at some phenomenal social dancing. I managed to dance all six nights I was in Sydney and enjoyed it thoroughly. It was nice catching up in Brisbane with visiting dancers I'd met in Sydney, too. I'll leave advice for regular Sydney parties to the locals.
     
  14. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Ok I've been living here in Sydney now for a year and my recommendations for regular socials are:

    Monday nights: Pumphouse - yes as azana has alluded Monday at Pumphouse is a fantastic night, the atmosphere and the music is electric and the room is full of very good dancers. DJ Graeme Haney is originally from the UK, brought On2 to Australia, and imho plays the best tracks (only 1 zouk is played on this night and it's always at the same time).

    Tuesdays: Establishment on George St - it has a good vibe however it's not as hard core a venue as Pumphouse. The music is good, the vibe is good, the mix of dancers are a lot more casual and it feels a lot more like a latin party.

    Wednesdays: Coolabar is closed for renovations but salsa is still on at Tattersalls RSL. Imho not as good as Pump but still makes for a good night of salsa dancing.

    Thursdays: Cruise Bar at the Rocks. Good location however this is definitely more of a latin party than a salsa night.

    Fridays: Viernes Social at the LDA Studio - not a club per se but great music and dancing nonetheless. You also have Vivaz at the Rocks and this has a fantastic live latin band. The theme here is more latin party than salsa night, however.

    A good website for all the info is: http://www.sydneysalsascene.com
     
  15. tresto

    tresto Descarga

    So basically is there only one hardcore salsa night a week in Sydney ?
    You described all the others as "latin party"
     
  16. Jag75

    Jag75 Shine Officer

    Actually the more linear (LA,NY) dancers go to Pumphouse, Tattersalls on Wednesday and Viernes Social on Friday. These are more the salsa nights, and the others are more latin parties (they include cumbia and merengue).

    Monday nights at Pumphouse are the most hardcore nights but Tattersalls and Viernes Social are also pretty good.
     
  17. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tattersalls isn't bad - it simply depends on who turns up. The room is like a glorified stairwell landing :) but the floor is fine. It's a very friendly crowd and linear dancing, and there was a small core of excellent dancers when I turned up. The music is very timba / old school Cuban bands and could do with some mixing up. I met some very nice people there, and a couple who won a bottle of champagne came over and offered me a glass!

    Cruise Bar is okay but I did leave before 11... The music is excellent - highly danceable salsa dura tracks. However, the songs are toooo long! Dancing is mostly Cuban, mostly intermediate, which gets boring for me after 2-3 dances. Also, although the floor surface is good, you're dancing in the entrance way to a bar, so people are constantly entering and exiting! There are several ottomans and coffee tables in the dance area which they should just remove for the night. However, the view is great - it's on the water looking across Circular Quay to the Opera House. I imagine once the Coolabar / O2 complex reopens, there'll be some excellent options there.

    On Sundays there is a similar party at the Rocks Bar at Darling Harbor - good music, lovely setting, but the Cuban crowd mixed in with some good slot dancers. It was packed the night I went, but I recognised a lot of interstaters there for the weekend. It's a floor across the front of the bar - one of those awkward long floors which makes it hard to find people, and the surface gets sticky.

    Tresto, when the top Sydney dancers surfaced at the weekend parties and the Pumphouse - wow! Wish I could move there! I wish the Sydney DJs would drop in to Melbourne occasionally...

    It's good to get some non-Melburnian advice and perspectives on this thread. And thank you for the dance, O tall one :)
     
  18. Tocador

    Tocador Son

    Pumphouse is definitely great for salsa, I haven't been for quite a while though, due to other commitments.

    Bar Soulsa is on every fortnight, on Saturday nights I think, at the Spanish Club on Liverpool St. It has two levels, one for RnB and other kinds of music, the other for Salsa, Bachata, Merengue, etc. It was set up by Latin Motion from as far as im aware, i've been meaning to check that one out too when I get a chance. :)
     
  19. azana

    azana Super Moderator Staff Member

    Do - it's a terrific venue. I like the way the doormen greet you with "Buenas noches!" I is very jealous now of Sydney based peoples... :D
     
  20. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    woohoo, I will be in Sydney Sun (23rd Oct) and the Mon (24th).

    Pumphouse is locked in. I will probably check out the docks on Sunday night.

    Hope to see any SF members there so say hi!
     

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