We cannot deny the fact that, each of us, when we are in a foreign country, try to reassure ourselves by trying to find a point of reference close to what we are through our cultural affiliation. In order to take over the site and to enjoy.
I am Sindy. I live in Paris and I am a French native of Guadeloupe, a small French island in the middle of the Caribbean. Having a great influence of the Latino Caribbean ambiances (salsa, bachata, merengue, reggae tone etc), I wanted to find these musical sounds when I arrived, to feel more comfortable in Valencia. Therefore, I expected to take bachata clases. During the preparation of my departure, I let myself believe it would be easy to find places to practice (bar etc.) or take classes of Caribbean Latino dance. These are songs whose language is Spanish (salsa, bachata, merengue). However, I quickly became disillusioned. It would be much more difficult than it seemed. I quickly realized that people in Valencia are not fond of the Latino Caribbean dances.
However, I was well in Spain, in Valencia for 3 months. But I couldn’t imagine that a city as Valencia, opens to the world, is not offering places for the Latino Caribbean ambiances. So I began my quest. To embellish things, I called this quest: Looking for hot ambiances!
This quest is separated in 3 stages.
At first, despite numerous research (internet), I found some deals that offered only salsa lessons, but not full courses of bachata.
This first stage was a little bit annoying. I did not miss any opportunity to request information from everything and anyone. People told me often remarks such as: “But salsa and bachata, it’s the same!”. It sounded to me like: “But a motocycle and a bicycle, it’s the same!” or more “A car and a truck, it’s the same!” But at this stage, I was still having my overflow motivation … nothing could stop me!
And then one evening, during a language exchange, one of my dialog partner from Valencia told me about a poster he saw in the street which offered (by chance) Latino Caribbean dances. So I gave him my e-mail adress and the next day, I received this famous poster which you can see on the photo. We are now in the second stage of my research. Bingo!
I took my first dance class with “FusionArt”
Everything seemed to be perfect: price, distance, clases. I was confident and proud to be lucky. But disillusion. I am not a beginner and this course was not at all what I expected. There were no courses with different levels, the association proposed a single course.
In addition, you should know (for those who do not know at all) that these dances are practiced in pairs. And tough luck! During the classes we had not enough men. I was compulsory to dance with my friend “girl” who kindly accompanied me on this adventure. Fortunately, the first course was free!
I want to emphasize that if you are a beginner / elementary, this course can match you. And what I mean by beginner is that you do not know the basic steps or even musical sounds. If you want to have an overall idea about the Latino Caribbean dances, this course will be adequate for you!
We are now in the third stage. So I continued my research on facebook and I found “Agora”. Without hesitation, I wanted to discover this place. Having learned from my last experience, it was better to get detailed information before entering the classes. I wanted to see the place, courses and get information before considering taking lessons.
Huge was the surprise. Agora is a very nice and completely new space, giving the impression of being at its opening week! Without a shadow of doubt, I decided to take salsa, bachata cubana rueda courses accompanied by two friends. Yes! 3 hours dance non-stop! Que bueno! I was so excited after what I had seen and indeed, I have not been disappointed.
3 hours flew by too fast. The teacher was excellent and he really knows his job. His explanations were clear and understandable by all means. He was attentive with his students, he a repeatedlysked us if we clearly understand his explanations knowing that we are not Spanish. I enjoyed this little attention.
The classroom was filled with men, so no problem to find a dance partner! In the end, I really enjoyed and my friends too!
Beautiful space, good courses, affordable price … but fly in the ointment … Agora is 30 minutes away from where I lived. Of course, this would be not a problem if in those 30 minutes, there was not a 10- minute walk from the metro station. (Yes, yes)
Another difficulty was that the classes ended late (23h/00h), and there is unfortunately no metro at these times anymore, and you cannot walk home. And the bicycle? Yes, the bike could be a solution, of course! But after 3 hours of dancing, and not necessarily hot temperatures at night, to do 40 to 50 minutes of cycling in a city that you know a little, it quickly could become hell! And taxi? Yes, but spontaneously for one night! But not twice weekly for three months.
Therefore, with a huge heartache I had to give up Agora! And that was the case for all other followed options. Beautiful spaces, high performing teachers, affordable prices but the distances can’t fit into a routine when you do not have a car. The larger dancing schools are usually located outside the city center…
But, I recommend Agora to everyone! To have dance classes with quality in a pleasant space with caring teachers, just do it!
In the end, I was not fully satisfied, but I discovered pleasant places .
Here are other places for you where you can practice the Latino Caribbean ambiances. And with a little bit more luck (than me); maybe, these places are more accessible to you:
– Cachao …
For addicted (like me), you can also follow on facebook different events of bachata/salsa across Spain:
Now it’s time to: ” BAILA BAILA BAILA !”