I visited Istanbul for a week, from 2nd till 9th Augustus 2013.
I have to say that it was a particular period of the year, as it was between the end of ramadam and the beginning of eid, one of the big Muslim celebrations but also holidays time for non religious people.

This means that there were less people than normal dancing around, anyway this is my report from Istanbul Salsa scene.

 

Saturday: Fresco

Location: Fresco, Technical university, Taksim area.
Entrance fee: 15 tl.

WOW! My first contact with the local scene left my very impressed.
This is a nice club with a rather big outdoor area, perfect for the hot but windy summer days.
It wasn’t crowded, leaving everyone enough space for dancing and shining.
And people were shining big time!
I found the level very high, with mainly on2 dancers on the floor.
Most of the couples were alternating fast and energetic partner-work with shines (pasitos) and improvisation.
I had a good time with few dances with friendly girls, everyone was very nice and I met few tourists as well as locals.
I also appreciate the music, the dj was alternating mambo, Salsa, cuban Salsa, bachatas and every now and then a chacha.
Even popular numbers were presented in some different version, bravo!
Highly recommended but… don’t get intimidated by the level!

 

Wednesday: My House

Location: SIRASELVILER CAD. NO:35/1 TAKSIM Area
Web: http://www.taksimmyhouse.com/
Entrance fee: 20 tl.

I arrived there quite late, around midnight, and in complete desabille’ – meaning sandals.
I  told them I just wanted to have a look, plus it was late so I got in for free.
It was my first time dancing on sandals and it went pretty OK 🙂
The level there wasn’t as impressive as Fresco, but people were having fun and I easily invited few girls.
Some were trolling me that they were beginners but dancing with them I had a different impression…  so, talking around I realized that Turkish have a long dance tradition, from belly dancing to sufi rituals.
It all made sense then! They were beginners in Salsa but already dancers.
Dancing is not engrained into Italian culture, unfortunately.

 

Thursday: Topless Club

Roof Salsa dancing

Roof Salsa dancing

Location: Topless club, ?stiklal Caddesi No12 Kat6 , 34435 Beyo?lu
Entrance free: 25 tl, including one drink.

This club has a top location, literally!
It sits on top of a 6 storeys building right next to Taksim square.
From this top-roof bar the view over the city is fantastic, add good Latin music and people dancing in the summer breeze over Istanbul, to have one of the best location I’ve seen!
It wasn’t much crowded, that was a pity, but people were friendly (Turkish Salsa girls generally don’t say ‘no’ to a dance) and I invited them with my new Turkish language skill: danc edermisin?
One local girl didn’t believe that I was a bloody foreigner even after I switched to English! 🙂
The music was similar to Fresco, so I suspect the same DJ or there will be a new wave of great Salsa DJs coming soon from Istanbul!
Another highly recommended place.

 

Where to dance Salsa in Istanbul
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Written by Daniele
Hi, I’m Daniele! In April 2012 I quit my full-time IT job to pursue entrepreneurship and a location independent lifestyle.