Shall We Dance?
Dancing is huge in Puerto: salsa, cumbia, and samba, not to mention African dance, even interpretive movement. And where there is dance, there are dance classes.
Joaquin de Esesarte Montes has been teaching salsa, cumbia and merengue at Dance Studio de Esesarte (3a Poniete between 4a and 5a Norte) since 2005. Joaquin is also one of the key organizers of Puerto’s annual Carnival held in February. This amazing event, with its floats of intricately costumed dances, is modeled after the Brazilian Samba schools. It’s not to be missed.
Just down the street at the Academia de Baile Los Bravos, Diego Armando Ramirez Ramirez offers nightly classes. Diego is the founder of Salsa Fest – two nights of world-class competitive dancing in an elegant ballroom setting in November. Salsa Fest also includes workshops and a social dance; a welcome new addition to the Fiestas de November.
If interpretive dance is more your thing, Puerto is also home to an African dance group. Started a few years ago by Sandra Tapia and now being led by Veronica Ocampo, weekly practices are held at various studios around town. Complete with a group of African drummers, they also do performances at parties and events. You never know when they might show up, but be prepared to be wowed. They are always looking for new members. Contact them on Facebook at Danza afro en Puerto Escondido.
It’s always a pleasure when Caitlin Padgett is in town. She gives dance and movement classes of a less conventional kind. She’s currently offering Danzah Fusion, which gets you sweating to simple steps set to great beats, plus her Puerto-style version of The Bar Method: isometric strength training, combined with deep stretching, affirmations and shivashana. In late March and April she will be initiating her Glow Sessions, weeklong wellness experiences with a strong focus on dance, movement, selfexpression, play and adventure.
Hopefully this will be the first in a series and will put Puerto on the map as a dance destination, a place to come and feel good, get fit, and experience the joy of movement. If you’re ready to show off your moves on the dance floor, then it’s time to hit the clubs. Wednesday nights the action is at Congo on the Adoquín, Puerto’s premier club for live salsa and cumbia. Even with it’s recent expansion, owner Maía Facen has built up such a following that the dancing often spills out onto the street. Saturday nights belong to Kabbalah on Zicatela.