I went again on Wednesday for the first time in a while. Normally on Wednesdays I have to take the bus and since I don’t do the first class anymore (it is a real beginner class), it means arriving around 9h30 and leaving again at 11h50, which just isn’t worth the two and a half hours on public transportation. Anyway, it was nice to see some of the people who don’t come on Sundays again, and great to see the progress they’ve made.
The last two Fridays I met Christophe and his friends at El Diab’litho. It is a cool bar, friendlier than most in Paris, with a young crowed and good dancers. On Friday nights they have two courses, beginner and intermediate starting at 8h30 and 9h30 (verify times if you go because I’m not 100% sure). I did the second course. It was fun lively cuban rueda style. The teachers dance really well and they have a man and a woman working together which I always find really helpful.
They also have a buffet which is surprisingly good. And it has a VEGETARIAN OPTION. Wheee! Good veggie food is rare enough in Paris that I would love this place for that alone, but it is also a really fun spot to dance.
The entry is 10€ which includes either the soiree, buffet, and a drink or the classes and the soiree.
EL DIABLITO LATINO
46, rue Saint Sebastien
Tel: 01 43 55 18 78
Youssef promised that if I tried salsa dancing for one month twice a week by the end of the month I would be able to dance more or less. And he was right. Who would have thought? I’m so maladroit I don’t think I really believed him, but its so much fun that I didn’t care.
My favorite place to dance is L’Atelier in Noissy le Grand. The atmosphere is great, the people are nice, and the dancers are really really good. It also doesn’t hurt that generally there are more men than women, so they are more tolerant of so-so female dancers. Of course, I will continue to go to other venues when its convenient and I’d still really like to go to the Quai and dance outside by the Seine. Fingers crossed for decent weather one Saturday night in Paris.
I went back to l’Atelier this Sunday, and I completed the advanced course that I was so ashamed of screwing up the first time I went dancing. It is still incredibly hard, and I have a long way to go before I stop looking like I’m stumbling through, but I could start to see some of the details, and that must be progress. In the ladies room a woman asked if the teacher thought he was doing millitary training, its that tough.
If it weren’t for goofy guys hitting on me by telling me “I inspire them”, the place would be perfect. But that kind of ridiculousness can happen anywhere. At least here I can play dumb and pretend my french isn’t good enough to understand.
Last night I went to a gym, le Moving, where they have salsa nights on Fridays and Saturdays. Classes started around 9h30 though I think they were slated to start at 9. The entrance fee was 12€ plus 2€ for the vestiare. Drinks and snacks were included in that price. Watery sports drinks or sugary water, crackers, candys, and nuts. Also, coffee and tea. The hall is also non smoking which is very refreshing if you’ve spent any time at concerts in Paris.
I took two classes, the first a Puerto Rican style beginner class, which, like the other classes of that style that I have taken, progressed more slowly, and with lots of attention to detail. It was taught by a woman, who focused on foot work, general tips for learning salsa, and a few basic turns.
- Listen to latin music at home and walk around doing the pas de bases (basic steps).
- If the man doesn’t push you hard enough to do something, don’t do it, you aren’t helping him by cheating if you know the combination.
- Keep firm arms, so that you can be guided, the elbow should never go behind the back.
- Keep your fingers in a U-shape, so that the man can take your hands to guide you whenever he would like.
- It you aren’t sure what to do, do the pas de bases in place and wait to be guided.
- Keep your hands above waist level, it will automatically make your dancing look better.
I’m sure there were many more tips, but these caught my attention.
The second class was a begining Cubano class taught by an incredibly tall man. We progressed very quickly through several spins, and variations on the “Dile que no !“. Cubano classes progress so quickly, you will never be bored, but only a couple of the guys in the class had understood leading enough in a basic way to make the dance work as it should. I have to admit I cheated a bit and did my steps without being guided. There was also a girl in the class learning to do the part of the man. This seems really useful, as, at this particular club, there were a lot more women than men. A fair bit of time was spent waiting to be asked to dance.
After the classes were finished they turned on the funky lighting and lit up the vegas style palm trees. A DJ played a mix of music, from normal salsa, to hip hop and classic french music with a salsa beat interposed. There was also two other kinds of music, which required two other ways of dancing, but I don’t remember what they were called. One required three quick steps in place and then a hip movement (more or less upward), then repeat in the other direction. The other seemed to be mainly steping back and forth from one foot to the other and doing salsa type moves in slow motion. It made me feel dizzy, oddly, since the spinning was so much slower.
Elvis and Marilyn are here, and larger than life.
Club MOVING de THIAIS Belle Epine
3, Rue des Alouettes
94320 THIAIS Belle Epine
Manager Daniel SOIRAT
RER C – stop Pont de Rungis – Aeroport d’Orly
It is a 15 minute walk from the RER station. I would be aware walking at night though as it is a very deserted area. I saw people living in trailers parked on the street, lots of broken glass, a smashed car, and young people driving like I used to drive when I was 16. Not a pretty sight. I didn’t feel unsafe, but I got a ride home, so it was still light out when I walked the route.
I believe it is every Friday and Saturday night classes starting at 9h, dancing starting at 11h. But call ahead because I believe last night was the last class until after a summer break of 1-2 months.
Hier soir, je suis allee a la Coupole pour faire deux cours du salsa avec Seve et Mouaze. Le premier etait un vrai cours debutant. Nous avons passes une heure entier sur les pates base. A la dernier minute il a rajoute un tourne super simple s’appelle la “Dile que no !“, que on a fait aussi a la Pachenga. C’est un style different, s’appelle le porto. Avant j’ai essaye le cuban. J’ai l’impression que le porto est plus raffiner. Ils sont tres attentioner au details du danse.
Il y a deux prof, un homme et une femme, et je trouve que ca aide beaucoup. Les autre studio sont que un homme qui traite primairement ce qu’il fait l’homme. Le prof parle tres clairment le francais (avec un peu des mots anglais rajouter), et ca aide enourmement mon comprehension.
Pendant le deuxieme heure, il fait un cours intermediaire beaucoup plus simple et attentioner au details que les autre studio. Je crois que c’est ici que quel’qun apprend dancer accord aux regles. Mais le cuban est surtout plus facile pour les filles qui sont beaucoup plus fortement guider que dan le porto. Un mec avec qui j’ai danser n’a pas compris le difference entre les deux style alors il m’a fait des corrections incorrect.
Tous les Mardi, 19h30 debutant, 20h30 intermediare. Apres c’est ouvert pour danser jusque tard. 10€, un boisson compris, et 2€ le vestiere mandatoire. C’est entre metro Edgar Quinet, Monparnasse, et Vavin.
Dancing de la Coupole
102, Boulevard du Montparnasse
Mardi et Vendredi
Entree, Cours, et Consumation compris