You have a bevy of excuses this time of year to skip salsa class, not make it to that dance party, and otherwise turn into a full-blown couch potato. During Thanksgiving’s four-day weekend, you deserve some down time, some indulgence, and of course plenty of time with family and friends. However, just because some salsa clubs may be closed and “holiday hours” at the salsa studio might not fit with your schedule doesn’t mean salsa’s off the table.
If you’re traveling during this time of year, start researching salsa options immediately. Travel is a great reason to check out new salsa studios, clubs and even congresses. In fact, some cities are hosting major salsa festivals during the holiday weekend! The 10th Annual San Diego Salsa, Bachata, Kizomba Festival takes place throughout Thanksgiving weekend, the Seattle Salsa Congress is famous for giving you options to work off that turkey dinner, and in New York, the Smiling David’s Salsa Lover Thursdays at Fuego Fuego Lounge never shuts down.
For those who are in new territory, try these approaches to finding some salsa joy:
- Check out drop-in rates and specials at studios: Remember how exciting it was the first time you stepped into a salsa studio? It may have been awhile since you were a newbie, but you’ll get those butterflies all over again when you feel like the new kid. Some studios may even be open Thanksgiving day, but otherwise you have Friday, Saturday and Sunday to research drop-in classes, dance parties, and maybe even holiday specials
- Watch for legendary salsa parties at clubs: Clubs, bars and lounges know that long weekends are ripe with out of towners looking for entertainment. Increasingly, “Thanksgiving Eve” has become an epic night for going out. Check out salsa clubs and lounges, or if you’re in a non-urban area, look for bars and Latin restaurants that host “salsa nights.”
- Seek out major festivals: Big cities are famous for hosting salsa events on holiday weekends. Thanksgiving is a holiday that sends people home, and festival planners are all about tapping the homecoming crowd. If you’re lucky enough to be in a metro area, there’s a chance you might be close to a major party.
Not everybody travels for the holidays. If you’re staying home, whether keeping it low key or hosting out of towners, don’t get discouraged if your go-to studio or club isn’t open on Thanksgiving weekend. This is the perfect nudge you need to check out other options in town. All salseros get into the habit of sticking with the same parties and same studios. Try out some new places you’ve never been before, or re-visit clubs, bars and studios that you visited once (long ago!). They might have changed for the better.
You’ll not only explore new venues, but you might meet some new salsa friends. Start planning early, and you might even have enough backing to encourage “your” bar or studio to have a special holiday dance party. Many dancers have a craving to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner, and having a myriad of dance possibilities is impossible to resist.
When You’re Truly Salsa-Less
Going home for the holidays can be a bit unnerving—especially when you discover there are truly no salsa dance options. Don’t worry! If you’ve never tried an online salsa lesson before, now’s your time to shine. You can choose from videos sorted by style, level, length or instructor. You can sign up for “private” salsa lessons via video conferencing, or you can try a little of both. Choose a free trial membership, and enjoy the zero commute, no intimidation factor. Just like any at-home workout like yoga or calisthenics, video-based salsa dancing helps those who don’t have access to traditional studios still get their dance on.
You might discover that taking lessons online is a great complement to your usual classes—or you might prefer it altogether! The Digital Era has ushered in brand new ways to learn to dance, whether you prefer pre-recorded tutorials where you can pause and go back on a whim, or you like the intimate one-on-one setting of private, video-based lessons, there’s an approach that will work perfectly for you.
This Thanksgiving, be thankful for the push to move outside your comfort zone and experience salsa in a new environment.