Nostalgia: Part 1 The Zum Grünen Kranz Era (March, 2015 - July, 2016)

The COVID-19 pandemic has had this strange way of warping time. Various lockdowns, curfews, crowd, and movement restrictions have stripped calendars of their most sentimental and memorable days: cinema outings for blockbuster films; Friday nights out with friends; Saturdays filled with outdoor sport; or family-filled Sunday braais—these things seem as though they come from another world. Without these activities it has felt as though time has been moving slowly.

For The Salsa Club—where time was marked by its yearly intake of new dancers, each week of exciting and energetic classes, and its monthly salsa parties which brought together a diverse crowd of Windhoekers together—it has felt as though time has stood still.

But it has not.

A whole year has passed since the world started its long battle with the coronavirus. Twelve slow and frustrating months have lapsed since dance floors everywhere closed.

What was hoped to be a pause, a temporary track skip before the music resumed again, became a stop. Winter, spring, the Christmas and the December holidays, New Year’s Eve, and Valentine’s Day have come and gone. The routine which has followed the disbandment of the local social dancing community threatened to overshadow another milestone.

You see, it is March, 2021. Six years ago—in another March quite unlike this one (O! Sweet nostalgia!)—The Salsa Club was born.

Back then, operating as Salsa Windhoek and, later, as The Salsa Windhoek Social Club, the small band of salsa enthusiasts roamed across Windhoek without a permanent home. Eventually, some stability was found with a long tenure at the Zum Grünen Kranz Steakhouse in Macadam Street (now home to The Wolfshack). The first of many indoor parties would be hosted there, each with interesting and memorable attendances.

Some parties were big and loud. Some were not. Sometimes the sound failed. Other times the air-conditioning quit on a crowded room of sweating dancers. Once, there was a power failure. Sometimes, the crowd was all-Namibian. And other times nationalities from around the world would be represented—Cubans, Peruvians, Argentinians, Mexicans, Venezuelans, Brazilians, Spanish, Italians, Americans, Greeks, Croats, Angolans, Kenyans, Congolese, and South Africans to name but a few. There are some parties that will forever remain the stuff of dance floor urban legend, talked about only in company sworn to secrecy.

There were all kinds of parties.

Therein lies the nostalgia: there were parties.

While there will come a time when social dancing will once again be safe to pursue, for now a stroll down memory lane will do. Here are some memorable posters from salsa parties past.

Nostalgia, Part 1: The First One That Got A Strange Review In A Local Newspaper. March, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where Three People Showed Up. April, 2015.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where It Was Almost Too Cold To Dance. July, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One That Made Us Respect Peruvians. August, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where The Air-Con Stopped Working. September, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where Namibia Had Its First Hurricane Warning. October, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where We Had To Place A Quota On Ochos. November, 2015. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where We Played Too Much Romeo Santos. February, 2016. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One That Might Have Upset Some Christian Folks. March, 2016. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where If You Know, You Know. April, 2016. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The One Where The Speakers Nearly Gave Up. May, 2016. © The Salsa Club.

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Nostalgia, Part 1: The Last One Of An Era. June, 2016. © The Salsa Club.

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All artworks are the property of The Salsa Club and may not be reproduced without prior permission.

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