Are you coming to visit Amsterdam and you can’t wait to check the local Salsa scene?
If you’re a Salsa addict like me, every occasion to travel for work or pleasure is good to go out and dance some Salsa, trying to figure out the local scene, the best clubs and the parties around 🙂
The Salsa scene in Amsterdam
The Salsa scene here is rather small but quite active, even if in the last years things got a bit more quieter.
You can dance Salsa in Amsterdam almost every day of the week, and more seriously from Wednesday to Sunday.
For the tourist coming to Amsterdam can be disappointing realizing that there are not many Salsa Clubs… this is because here, like in other cities, it’s more popular to have parties and schools socials that are not easy to find.
About the dance styles, here every Latin dance is popular: Salsa on1, Salsa on2 (more popular with advanced dancers), Cuban Salsa, chacha, bachata, merengue (thanks to the influence from the ex colonies of Antilles), kizomba and even Zouk (that was already known here 7 years ago!).
I should mention a sad story: in February 2010 the legendary club Cantinero closed down, leaving all us, Salseros in Amsterdam, without what we used to call our “second living-room”… but life goes on and even if no place could replace Cantinero, we eventually got some alternatives.
Beware of clubs with names that can deceive you, like La Rumba, El Punto Latino, Brazil Bar… let me say it: if you’re looking for a Latin Club with people drinking and looking around with little dancing, then you should head there.
If you’re looking for a Salsa place where you can dance, socialize and relax then keep reading 🙂
Location: De Kroon, Rembrandtplein
Located in the super central Rembrandtplein, it became the most crowded place in town. Parties are Wednesdays and Sundays. Music is often terrible but there are lots of dancers: go there around 10pm before it gets too crowded!
Location: Eerste Sweelinckstraat 10
If you dance Cuban style, this is your place! The Cuban club in the city – very hard to spot NY or LA dancers there!
Salsa is on Wednesday but check the schedule first, as they have concerts too.
Location: ‘Club Lite’, Jan van Galenstraat 24A, 1051 KM Amsterdam
Web: Club Lite
Entrance Fee: FREE
Just outside of the center, this is a cool social party from the school Extremos, one of the best in town. On Thursday evening there’s the Master Class till 11pm and then the party starts, many students stay so there are definitely good dancers around!
They recently moved here, make sure you check on the website before showing up there.
Location: Westergasterras, Klönneplein 4-6, Amsterdam
Web: Summer Breeze
Entrance fee: FREE
This is THE party in town, but only during summertime, that they think is from May till September but actually because of the Dutch weather is only one day per year 😉
The place has a pretty cool outdoor area that gets crowded, plus an indoor area that gets even more crowded. So get ready to see and meet lots of different people from the random drinker to the professional Salsa dancer!
If you’re planning your trip, make sure you arrive in time for this party.
Location: Spaarndammerstraat 460a
Entrance Fee: €7
News! This location is now CLOSED. The party will start again in September 2015 in a new location not yet announced… stay tuned!
This is home of the popular school Salsa4Fun, and it’s fun indeed but I do warn you, level will be low and age high 🙂
Location and dance floor are great, so are the owners that are very passionate and every now and then invite international Salsa musicians for memorable concerts.
Location: Willem Fenengastraat 12
Web: Copa Cabana
Every second Friday! This popular party is outside of the center and you will need a taxi, but there are lots of dancers and it last till 3am. It has a Colombian touch as the party if organized by three Colombian brothers teaching there.
They have a big room dedicated to Zouk dancers too!
Unfortunately there are no regular parties on Saturday… but if you follow the schedule above, you should be tired by now so go out and enjoy all the sins that Amsterdam has to offer!
Lately Amsterdam lost some Salsa in favor of other Dutch cities that now have amazing parties…. the best for me is Utrecht (40km from Amsterdam, 30 minutes by trein).
If you really want to check out the Dutch scene, don’t miss those parties:
- Salsa Casa Loca (last Saturday of the month): this is the best party around, IMHO, best location (in the stadium), best dancers and best music!
- Winkel van Sinkel (first and third Sunday of the month): excellent place and dance floor, the level of the dancers is not too high but it’s worth to try! Watch out: it closes at midnight so make sure you’ll arrive at Dutch time (super-early).
Salsa Schools in Amsterdam
Few readers contacted me asking about Salsa schools. If you just moved to live in Amsterdam or if you’re spending only few days in the city don’t worry: you won’t need to learn Dutch to get good Salsa lessons!
Below my favorite schools that provide English lessons.
This is one of the oldest schools in Amsterdam, and still one of the best. Founded by Ivan Poschi from Uruguay, it’s famous for quality teaching aimed for people that really want to improve their level quickly.
The school is also organizing the Amsterdam International Salsa Congress held in November.
Beginner classes are focused on good technique, while for advanced dancers there’s a Master Class by Ronald – one of the TOP Dutch performers that spent one year training with Yamulee in NYC.
You can see Ronald and his partner Vivienne in action here:
This school is pretty new but it features a friendly and fun atmosphere. Rodolfo from Chile and Janneke from Netherlands are both professional dancers and experienced teachers.
Rodolfo has an impressive knowledge about Latin music, not only about dancing but about music, artists and history.
All the classes are in English and beside Salsa and bachata they offer unique pachanga lessons.
For more parties and events I recommend you to check this great page: Salsa.nl Agenda.
It’s in Dutch but you should be able to figure it out.
If you’re coming to Amsterdam, drop here a comment or contact me and I’ll be happy helping you with the planning.