The crowd was truly international; Latin and Salsa enthusiasts and dancers had gathered at this inner-city local Salsa club at La Topa Bar Cali, to catch a glimpse of Salsa and Bachata by true Caleño residents aka. "Cali style salsa."
The fast pace and mesmerizing footwork lend credence to the myth of this town being the capital of salsa. Personally, I had attended salsa lessons in many cities as I traveled around the world but the lessons this Monday evening at la Topa had something peculiar and special. The over a hundred globetrotters from multiple countries like Germany, France, Ireland, USA, Belgium, Netherlands, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Chile and many more;-even locals were present, meticulously followed the instructions of Brenda and Rubredo- emulating that unique local genre of Salsa characterized by electrifying footwork; quick rapid steps and skipping motions and turns which all the more added an air of excitement, curiosity, and awe that warm Monday evening of March in Cali.
The introductory lessons had just begun and the crowd was taking turns to follow the instructions of the chic, beautifully dressed and seductive dance instructor and her charming male partner.
It was fun dropping one's guard as we all spun around, turned, held hands even with strangers who all so bonded in their love and passion for this Latin and sensual yet electrifying salsa genre ala Caleños.
The night was just warming up, albeit after over 90 mins of practice: Our accomplishments ->soiled shoes, failed turns, pinpointed toe-stepping on multiple dance partners' legs ....then the highlight of the night unfolded. The sensual and seductive dance instructor would pair up with her charming male partner to give a competition level show.
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As mesmerizing and interesting as the dance was., It was just a reminder of how steep the path to mastery was ahead. Not anyone of the over hundred dance aficionados present held their head down though, on the contrary, there was actually much consolation in being able to be part of this passionate, lovely and friendly crowd and a great honor personally as a Latin dance enthusiast to have set foot at Cali Colombia- the capital of Salsa. A city not only consumed by its diversity and beauty albeit not so often visited due to its violent past but also the air of cool, vibrancy and pride the locals carry themselves in their daily affairs.
The many experiences, friends, and locals encountered during the journey let continue a reverie of a lovely and diverse city worth discovering and exploring.
Cali yo te extraño !
Narration by Marcopera - el viajero
Blog post and travel contributor to Affordable Travel Gear.
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