is a great and unique city that has an ever growing
population of adults who refuse to grow up in the traditional sense. We
refuse to settle. We refuse to get married just to get married. And
most of all, we refuse to stop going out. So what are we going to do? We want
to be out but don't want to party down like we used to. We want to be
around like minded, sophisticated adults and develop connections
without being "on the make." Many of us are interested in culture and
developing new skills.
In other words, there are many of us out there that don't want to go to
bars and sit and drink with little hope of meeting someone other than
who we came with. We also don't always want to be shouting over
incredibly loud DJs or dancing around the floor by ourselves. Some of
us prefer activities that are, well, active...and interactive.
Salsa dancing offers a solution to all these quandaries. I assert that
it is like learning a whole new language. It has a distinct vocabulary
in which the more well versed you become, the better and more freely
you are able to express yourself. It also promotes cooperation,
nonverbal communication and manners in a way that has been overlooked
in our society for a great while. It creates a space for grown folks to
socialize with a different focus. Does that sound refreshing?
has a large and varied Salsa dance community with many
subcategories. You may hear the terms "on one," "on two," "Cuban style" or
"casino rueda." All these styles differ a bit from each other and have
core communities that surround and swear by them. There are also a
whole lot of people who are not particular to one style or the other,
but still love to go out and just dance. If you intend to seek
out a class, you'll most definitely be confronted with these
As a dance studio owner, I am pleased to be able to offer classes in
all these styles from some of the best, most informed instructors in the
Here are some words from each of them to help distinguish the styles
and help you decide where you might want to start.
Nick Van Eyck:
After over 14 years of martial arts and movement
instruction, partner dancing and salsa was a natural
progression for me. I started teaching Cuban Salsa 8
years ago. My unique teaching method incorporates
concepts of martial arts, such as connection, fluidity, and balance.
Cuban Salsa is called Casino and it is usually more circular and
playful than other styles, such as ballroom or Mambo and is perfect for
today's salsa clubs. Unlike other styles of salsa, it is a partner dance
that can be danced in groups as well as in pairs. When danced in a group,
it is called Rueda de Casino. In Rueda de Casino, couples form a circle
and follow the caller, one person calling out moves.
Presently I teach club-style Salsa, Rueda de Casino, Cha Cha Cha, Son,
and several martial arts forms. I combine decades of Cuban tradition with
modern movement concepts of space, timing, and flow. I have trained and
taught all over the U.S., including extended periods in , ,
and Austin. I have also taught in and throughout .
I have performed and choreographed for demonstrations,
festivals, instructional DVDs and movies.
Classes at Studio Gracia:
Wednesdays at 7:30pm, Cost: $10.
Private lessons, performance, and choreography are available for weddings,
parties or other functions.
Gabriel Romero has been teaching and performing Salsa in
for over 10 years. He teaches a classic nightclub style that
is based on the Cuban Clave, and covers everything from solo footwork
to sexy partner turns and combinations. Every Saturday afternoon you
will find Studio Gracia filled with Salsa dance students sweating and
moving to the Latin beat! Men and Women of all ages are welcome in this
open and friendly dance environment.
Classes at Studio Gracia: Saturdays at 4pm Open Floorwork
5pm Partner Combinations
$12 for one class $18 for both
Ricardo Tallez began teaching Salsa in , in
November 1998. Since then, he has expanded his classes to the Glas Kat
(Club Karamba!) in on Tuesday nights, Studio Gracia in
Mondays and Fridays.
Ricardo has been teaching at Studio Gracia for over a year and has been
performing in the San Francisco for the last 7 years with his two
different salsa teams. He also teaches workshops around the country.
Ricardo travels to teach Salsa Workshops in , , and throughout Europe.
Ricardo has an integrated approach for teaching ON1 and ON2 Salsa
simultaneously and emphasizes developing a well rounded dancer. Ricardo
teach all patterns and footwork ON1, the prevailing time signature for
beginners in San Francisco . Immediately after the ON1 map is taught, the
ON2 version is taught. This integrated approach draws attention to the
differences and similarities between time maps, and promotes the
ability to switch seamlessly between the two styles.
Ricardo recently started a Same Sex Salsa Lesson in the Studio Gracia every
In this extraordinary city of there are many wonderful
studios to learn in as well as venues to go out and dance. That said, let's
go out and dance... together for a change.
Salsa Dancer & Studio Owner
San Francisco, California
image of Gabriel Romero courtesy of www.albertos.com