Bay Area salsa

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About

This page contains resources I collect on the topic of salsa / Latin dancing the bay area (all around San Francisco bay) - particularly around silicon valley where I work at Google.

For information about Salsa dancing check out my dancing pages:


Websites

  • Salsa by the Bay - appears to be the best resource out there for listing salsa [events] and [venues].

Albertos

Alberto's nightclub is my favorite place to Salsa! I've been going for four years now - almost always on Thursdays salsa night - and most of my best friends I met there. It's a really lovely group of people. They have a schedule as follows:

  • Mondays: Tango / Salsa on 2 (never been)
  • Tuesday: Salsa (less crowded generally)
  • Wednesday: Batchata (sexier dance)
  • Thursday: Salsa (bit crowded, finally thins out towards midnight, so I stay late!)
  • Friday: Salsa (less crowded, but varies)
  • Saturday: Espanol rock (very hispanic crowd with more banda dancing)
  • Sunday: Tango (too pretentious a dance for me!)


  • Cost: $10 most nights I believe (definitely for Thursday)

Since Thursday is the day I know best, I have this advice for new dancers! Show up early to the introduction (7pm), the teacher, Pantea, is a heap of fun and she'll teach the basics. Then it goes into a beginner lesson, then an intermediate lesson where you'll learn a little routine. These are usually really great routines! All these sessions you have the option to "rotate" which I recommend. Basically the girls stand in a big circle, and the guys rotate clockwise every few minutes... this is good practice to help lead or follow with people of different skill, styles and heights!

Around 10pm, free dancing starts. This is intimidating for new people, because all the good dancers suddenly show up, but if you stick around and actually chat to people (it's loud but possible) and are friendly you'll find someone to help teach you. There are almost always more men than women, so for women it's possible to find a few good leads. Most of the guys there are a bit selfish in terms of only wanted to dance with the girls who are most attractive or best at dancing, and will stay with the same girl many songs. I'm not a huge fan of that, I like to dance with everyone, but if you do get *rejected* when asking for a dance don't take it personally - some people really do only want to dance with better dancers so they can get better. Just hunt around for nice people who enjoy teaching... like me !  :)


Salsa Venues in the Bay

WARNING: These websites are a bit outdated, notice most of these places are now closed (I moved to the bottom), so please do your own background check!  :(


Name Location Evaluation / Times

SILICON VALLEY (SAN JOSE, MOUNTAIN VIEW)

Everything in the San Jose/Mountain View area

Alberto's (salsa studio & ultra lounge)

*****

736 W Dana St
Mountain View

Evaluation: Only seen inside when empty, but looked like a very nice venue.
Open: tues & thurs: beginner:7 int:8, social:9:30 ...
friday "hot salsa": beg:8, int: 9, social: 10


SAN FRANCISCO

Bit far for me to go, but maybe sometimes

[fuegoclubsf.com Club Fuego (space 550)]

****-

550 Barneveld Ave
San Francisco

Evaluation: Big venue with a huge salsa floor and fairly big bachata area too. Surprisingly crowded for such a large space. Good live latin bands sometimes... who play very long songs.
Open: Live salsa band every Saturday night.



Bissap Baobab

****-

3372 19th Street
San Francisco

Evaluation: Crowded, but lots of fun! Incredible music... went once, wasn't salsa, but amazing African beats.
Open: Every Wednesday for salsa I think. Their calendar is not clear.


SAN JOSE

Closest to me'

Gordon Biersch

****-

33 E San Fernando St
San Jose

Evaluation: Lovely little crowd.... during winter they put over a cover, but otherwise it's an outside area. Girls may find it hard to dance on account of it's on a brick surface, so you may not want to wear heels.
Open: Every Wednesday for salsa I think. Their calendar is not clear.



Old Venues

Name Location Evaluation / Times

[http://www.cherylburkedance.com/MountainView/ Cheryl Burke Dance / Mountain View
<b>CLOSED
]</b>

**---

260 S. California Ave
Palo Alto

Evaluation: Is actually not really for Salsa! They mostly do swing, but some night are latin ballroom I believe. Nice venue though - three dance floors, so often different stuff playing each dance floor. Very well lit and really designed for learning.
Open: Mon-Thu 11a–10:30p, Fri: 11a–1:30a, Sat: 10:30a–1a, Sun: 3–11p


Roccapulco

HEARD BAD THINGS

3140 Mission St
San Francisco

Evaluation: Haven't been, but I do know it's a "superclub", so probably gets crowded some nights.
Open: unknown


[http://www.cafecocomo.com/ Cafe Cocomos
<b>CLOSED
]</b>

***--

650 Indiana Street
San Francisco

Evaluation: Big venue with small bar and area upstairs to watch. Dance floor at bottom is pretty big and the live bands are pretty darn good too. Covers a little expensive I think ($20) but it's become the main place to go in the city I've heard.
Open: Every night... salsa: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday.... Monday = tango, Wednesday = bachata.


[http://www.agendalounge.com/ Agenda
<b>CLOSED
- now Avery Lounge]</b>

***--

399 S 1st St
San Jose

Evaluation: Lots of fun, only Salsa on certain nights though.
Open: unknown



Maps

A map of salsa venues by "salsabythebay.com" (not to scale)

Links