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Miami Salsa Report

By: Jeremy Sammons

I just spend 4 days in the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale area, and I wanted to share with you what I experienced in case you ever find yourself there as far as Salsa goes.

First, as soon as you get your rental car or whatever, turn it to 98.3. All salsa, all the time. A lot of fun to hear a radio station that's purely salsa.

I found most of the clubs I went to from

Friday night I hit a place called Cafe Mystique in Miami. There is some smoke in many of the clubs in Florida, so you'll have to get used to that. Not many gringos there, but the salsa at first was great. A decent crowd, a few folks to dance with, but nothing special. I did not find it as hard to dance with people in Miami as I thought I would. Not many people dance straight up NY Style, but I didn't run into many people who were only dancing cuban-style. I think there is a Miami style called casino-style, but I didn't run into a lot of people dancing in such a way that they could not follow me.

The thing is, most of the "clubs" in the area that play salsa play some salsa, then Merengue, then Reggaeton and maybe some Samba thrown in for good measure. This was disappointing, to say the least. So when they stopped playing Salsa and went to Reggaeton I left, because I knew it'd be another half hour before they switched to Salsa again.

Next I went to La Covacha, a place highly recommended. Or rather, drove by it, because there were a bunch of cops outside and a bunch of people outside too, like something bad had just happened. Supposedly it is a great place, but the crowd did appear to be rather young. No police action for me, so I went next to a place called Mojito's, which was given an F in the ratings in the SalsaPower page.

Mojitos was quite cool if you brought someone with you. Basically it is just like a big mexican restaurant in a galleria-style mall with a big dance floor. The place was packed, and the music was excellent. They gave it an F in the review because the place couldn't accomodate 20 people at one big table; this place is too busy for that sprt of thing, so I wouldn't trust the review. As far as salsa goes, its a fun place and shouldn't be missed. The band played live salsa and samba and some other styles I couldn't quite put a finger on.

The next day, Saturday, I went to a place in Margate, n of Ft Lauderdale, called the Palladium. I spent a while here, and the salsa was great. People danced multiple styles, and there are two dance floors. One side seemed to be taken up by younger dancers and the other side an older crowd. It was quite mixed. Maybe 60% salsa, and the rest Merengue.

Sunday night I went to a ballroom style place called the Gold Coast ballroom in Coconut Grove, outside of Ft. lauderdale. It is similar to that one place in the east bay on sunday night for social dancing. I danced for hours there...from 5-8 pm is almost pure salsa, and the dancers were great great great. Then they switch at 8pm and the older folks take over the dance floor, because they switch to the Waltz, foxtrot, hustle and a bunch of other dances. It was fun to watch the salsa dancers switch to other styles. I'd love to learn the hustle, because I find myself in dance clubs all the time where there is House, and I'd love to learn to dance salsa to House, and that apparently is what the Hustle mostly is.

After a few hours I left, had dinner and went home...but on the way I was involved in a 4 car accident and hit head on. :-( Two idiots hit each other then me as I was waiting to turn, jumping the median and slamming into me. Fortunately I was not injured. But I walked away from the car at the right in the attached pic.

Morals of the story 1) Turn it to 98.3 if you are in the Miami area 2) try to bring someone with you if you go to clubs in the Miami area 3) Hit the Goldcoast Ballroom if you can 4) Look out for idiot florida drivers. They are everywhere. :-(


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