By Danielle Martin , eChinacities.com

Are you looking for a new hobby? Do you want to meet new people and make new friends in Hangzhou? Are you looking for like-minded individuals who want to do something that little bit different? Then why not take up salsa dancing and tone your body, work those legs and get seriously fit in no time?

Embrace the Latin Spirit: Salsa Dancing in Hangzhou
Photo: Vincent Jarousseau

During the last few years, salsa dancing has come into its own in Hangzhou and has expanded tremendously; yet it still retains an air of mystery, especially amongst foreigners. It doesn’t appear to be marketed or advertised in a way that is generating a buzz, yet it is popular enough that there are a number of venues offering not only salsa lessons, but also salsa parties. So dust off those dancing shoes and go learn some sexy killer moves. You don’t need to be a professional, just be enthusiastic and the rest will come naturally!

So, where is the salsa a-happenin’ in Hangzhou?

Where to learn

Let’s start with the classes. Very conveniently, the gym located in Huanglong Sports Center on the 3rd floor offers a variety of classes ranging from Beginner to Intermediate level. Not only can you learn Salsa dancing, but also Rumba, Tango, Latin, Modern and Jazz. The beauty of learning at Huanglong Sports Center is that the tutor is an American guy by the name of Mike. This of course is extremely helpful if you speak no Chinese since Mike is the only native English speaking Salsa tutor in Hangzhou. He also coordinates the classes in Chinese with his co-teacher Jasmine - his Chinese dance partner - for those who would like to learn with a Chinese friend or dance partner.

Add: Huanglong Stadium, 1 Huanglong Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
地址:杭州市西湖区黄龙路 1号
Tel: 0571 8763 0503
Website: www.hlsports.net

To contact the tutors directly and enquire about times and prices or any particular classes that may interest you, then add Michael on WeChat at michaelnice or by email at mikenicedj@gmail.com or check out his website at www.salsalounge.com.cn.

Lesson prices start at 400 RMB for eight classes of Salsa and Tango or if you are more committed there is a salsa package available at 1800 RMB for 6 months. At this price the offer allows the learner to choose a combination of five classes to learn.

You can also contact the manager Vincent, by adding him on WeChat at RenyiX. You may need a Chinese friend to help with this since Vincent speaks little English. He can advise on other classes offered such as Samba and Ballroom for which there are other non-English speaking teachers available. Lessons offered range from Beginner to Intermediate, so there is no need to be apprehensive about how much you know. Remember: everybody else in the class will likely be in the same boat and a little embarrassed about shaking those hips!

Below is the current schedule of classes offered at Huanglong Sports Center until June 30 2014. After this date, the schedule will be updated for the next semester so will be different to the one shown:

Embrace the Latin Spirit: Salsa Dancing in Hangzhou 

You can also check out Kevin Dance Studio or Bailando Latin Studio over on the East side of the city. There are also a variety of classes available at these two locations but these are given in Chinese with no English translation available. Conveniently located in the same building, both venues offer free trial classes and a variety of course packages so the best way to figure out what you want is to try it out, then discuss lessons and prices with the school. Trial lessons must be booked in advance.

Kevin Dance Studio 周宁拉丁舞蹈工作室View In Map
Add: Room 805, Zhonghe Tower, 159 Qingchun Lu, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
地址:杭州上城区庆春路159号中河大厦805室
Tel: 0571 8791 1450
Opening hours: 13:00 – 22:00

Bailando Latin Studio杭州白兰朵舞蹈工作室View In Map
Add: Room 1017 , Zhonghe Tower, 159 Qingchun Lu, Shangcheng District, Hangzhou
地址:杭州上城区庆春路159号中河大厦805室
Tel: 137 5518 8898
Opening times: Monday, Friday and Sunday 19:00-21:15

Salsa Parties

After learning the key steps, what better way to use them than to go to one of the Salsa parties currently taking place around the city? Head over to Homestead Pub on Thursdays and Fridays. Thursday hosts a Tango party starting from 21:00 until around midnight and is free to attend whilst Friday hosts a Salsa party at the same time. Here, a live band plays Salsa music and with a dance floor complete with dim lighting, the mood is set to sway in time.

Homestead PubView In Map
Add: 3/F, Liyuan Mansion, 88 Jiaogong Road (corner of Wensan Road), Xihu District, Hangzhou
地址:杭州市西湖区教工路88号立元大厦3楼
Tel: 0571 8785 9889 or 0571 8785 9779

Of course, if Thursdays or Fridays are unsuitable for you then head down to the Spanish Tropic Sunday party hosted at Coco Bar. These parties are held every Sunday at 21:00

Coco Bar (next door to Coco Jeff Club, beside the Bailisha Hotel)View In Map
Add: 262 Wantang Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou
地址:杭州市西湖区万塘路262号 百丽沙酒店旁
Tel: 135 8845 7566
Opening Times: 19:00 – late

So, armed with this information what are you waiting for? Off you go, let your hair down and revel in becoming a ‘salsero’ because after all: Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain. 

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Keywords: Salsa dancing in Hangzhou Latin Dance Classes in Hangzhou

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