In its quest to nurture a love for rhythm, The Salsa Club’s approach to music curation is adventurous. While respect is paid to the traditional Latin American music of the cultures and countries from which its dance offerings originate, exploration of new or foreign music territory is encouraged.
At any of The Salsa Club’s classes, it is normal to segue from salsa dura to Afrobeats, or from a Prince Royce bachata song to a funk-filled 1970s disco tune. The aural journeys traversed in each class—from Colombia to Congo, from Kenya to Cuba, or from the most recent chart-topping pop hit to an obscure folk rock song—are designed to foster a greater sense of comfort with traditional and non-traditional genres of music that can play host to Latin American dancing.
This methodology—where convention is respected and exploration is encouraged—provides a dancer with the most fundamental and cultural aspects of salsa, bachata, and cha-cha dancing, and a musical vocabulary that is understood all over the world. But it does one more thing; it provides a roadmap into the ever-expanding world of music by posing the following question to each dancer: if something can be danced to one song or genre, can it be transposed onto another?
Experimentation, cross-pollination, and adaptation—this is how many of the world’s most popular dancers were created. It is this practice that The Salsa Club continues with one of its teaching mottos: it provides the key, what each dancer unlocks is up to them.
To borrow from Dr Seuss:
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose…
…And you know what you know.
…oh, the places you’ll go…
Any dancer with few bachata steps has enough footwork to dance to anything with a 1-2-3-4 beat. All it takes is listening for the steady rhythm (often played by the drums or baseline) and adjusting footwork to each song’s tempo—some are slower, some are quicker, but all of them provide an opportunity to discover new dancing territory.
In The Salsa Club’s ongoing Gold School series, The Buggles, ABBA, Bee Gees, Boney M., Donna Summer, Michael Jackson, Everything But The Girl, Basement Jaxx, Kylie Minogue, Ronan Keating, and Earth, Wind, And Fire are an eclectic collection of disco, electro, and pop jams from bygone days that provides the listener with some surprising dancing outlets, whether they are strutting down a city sidewalk, cleaning and dusting the house, or cooking in the kitchen—any space becomes a dance floor with the simple 1-2-3-tap, 5-6-7-tap rhythm.
Oh, the things you can dance bachata to…
Video Killed The Radio Star—The Buggles
Gimme, Gimme, Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)—ABBA
Night Fever—Bee Gees
Hot Stuff—Donna Summer
Let’s Groove—Earth, Wind, And Fire
The Way You Make Me Feel—Michael Jackson
Missing (Todd Terry Remix)—Everything But The Girl
Spinning Around—Kylie Minogue
Life Is A Rollercoaster—Ronan Keating