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Maybe you’ve recently visited a Latino country and have the salsa-bug, or you might have started learning salsa and Latin-style dances in the US and want to practice your new skills. There are several cities in the US that are home to a sizzling salsa scene where you can dance all night to Latin beats. From Cuban-style salsa bars, through to Dominican restaurants-come-clubs and great salsa schools — if you consider yourself to be a salsero here are the best salsa dancing cities in the US.
New York City
Any serious salsa aficionado will know that New York City claims to be the birth-place of modern salsa, which came to the streets of NYC in the 1970s. And with such a prized title, NYC is certainly home to its fair share of salsa clubs, bars, and Latin dance schools. Areas such as Queens, Harlem, and the Bronx are home to large Hispanic communities, and you can find small bars playing a variety of salsa, bachata, and reggaeton beats. Summertime is when the streets really come to life, with music wafting down streets and ad-hoc dancing outside local Latin bars.
If you want to let loose at a bar or club with space to dance, check out Gonzalez y Gonzalez, which draws amateurs and experts alike and has regular group classes; Club Cache, which is an elegant salsa dancing venue in Midtown Manhattan; or Guantanamera, which is a Latin-music dance club home to some of the sauciest salsa nights in the city. The latter plays mainly Cuban-style salsa.
New York has its own salsa style, known as ‘salsa on two’ where the salsa dance steps start on beat two instead of the traditional beat one start-style. Even if you’re already a good salsa dancer, it’s worth taking a ‘salsa-on-two’ specific class beforehand so you can pick up the New-York-salsa style easily.
Hot on New York’s feet is the city of Los Angeles, which is also home to its own spicy salsa scene. With a large Hispanic population, it’s no wonder the LA tries to win the crown as the best salsa dancing city in the US. In Los Angeles, the general trend is dancing the traditional version of salsa, which starts on beat one. In Los Angeles, you can find more traditional salsa styles found in Colombia, Peru, and Mexico, alongside Cuban salsa bars.
Head to Granada, which is one of the most sizzling salsa bars in the city for a night of non-stop dancing, or El Floridita, which runs several salsa nights weekly. Club Mayan is another one of the city’s top spots and it’s home to two dance floors, with all forms of Latin music being played throughout the night.
San Diego is another city known for its large Hispanic community, and as with any city home to a Latino community, you’re going to find tons of incredible salsa and Latin dancing spots.
Majesty in Motion dance studio is a great place to pick up the basics if you’re in need of some training before hitting the clubs. The studio also runs classes for more advanced dancers.
Many of the club nights in San Diego feature a mix of Merengue, Bachata, Reggaeton, and Salsa music, and they switch between styles throughout the night. The salsa nights in San Diego are often based in bars or restaurants and run on a weekly basis. Some of the best options are Salsa Tuesday at Torch, Bachata Wednesday at Sevilla, and Chula Vista’s salsa night on Fridays.
Washington DC is also home to its own lively salsa scene, with several bars and clubs in the city providing sweet Latin beats and a variety of salsa styles. Some of the best salsa joints include Casta’s Rum Bar, where you can get down to Cuban beats while drinking fine rum, and Cafe Citron, for salsa dancing, cocktails, and free group salsa classes.
In theme with fun and entertainment, Las Vegas is another city that’s also home to a hot salsa scene. Firefly is a tapas-style restaurant with low-lighting and stylish decor. It’s home to some of the city’s best salsa nights, which get packed with locals looking to shine their salsa dancing shoes. For classes, check out Broadway Hall or Rhythms Dance Studio.
Miami is another buzzing salsa city, thanks to its huge Hispanic community and Latin influence. Miami Beach is home to the largest Cuban-American community in the United States and with this comes authentic, atmospheric Cuban salsa bars that will have you feeling like you might be in Havana or Santiago de Cuba.
Some of the best salsa dancing spots in the city include Hoy Como Manana, which is a lively bar in Little Havana that celebrates Cuban culture, and Club Tipico Dominicano, which is a Dominican-run restaurant-come-club with live Latin music on the weekends. If you want to brush up on your skills, head to one of the classes at Salsa Lovers. Miami can be an expensive city to visit and dancing salsa is a great, cheap activity to do — so you have no excuse to miss out!