Why Is This Popular: Salsa, the Dance
by Janne Sørensen
Yep – the dance, not the sauce, although the name salsa covers the fact that the dance is a mix of several different styles. Salsa together with soccer is the national sport of Guatemala and a part of the Guatemalan culture. There is a lively salsa scene in Xela and not only for the locals. Lots of travellers also end up getting sucked into this passionate dance without having a clue that it would happen when they left home.
It’s good exercise
While being in Guatemala you might miss your usual fitness center, your soccer team friends, biking around town or whatever type of exercise you normally do. But don’t worry, there are other ways to get your exercise than climbing volcanos every other week! Salsa is not only fun, but also gets your pulse up, so it’s a great way to get rid of some of the calories from the sugary Guatemalan food.
For the girls
Well, let’s face it: dancing is fun and actually being able to dance “a dance” is really cool. Don’t worry too much about your current salsa skills – just being a foreigner will get you lots of good dance partners, so just have fun, spin in circles and feel pretty. The dance floor is a great place to meet new people and maybe a Guatemalan boyfriend if that is what you’re looking for.
For the guys
Get up from the dusty corners of the discos and out on the dance floor – the girls love it! Trust me guys; there is nothing more impressive than when a foreigner can really move his hips and dance salsa. There’s a reason why salsa has been called “sex on a dance floor”, so get out there and get some.
Everybody started from scratch
Salsa might look really difficult at first, but once you have the basics steps, you’ve already made it a long way. With a few classes, some courage and the ability to laugh at yourself and you’ll blend into the dancing culture of Guatemala.
If you’re already a fan or just thinking about trying salsa, there are plenty of opportunities around town. Xela has several good dance schools where you can take classes for an affordable price, not to mention the free salsa classes at La Parranda every Wednesday at 9pm.