El Suave: A More Spacious Place to Go Salsa Dancing

El Suave
El Suave (photo: David Lee)
El Suave
El Suave (photo: David Lee)

A friend just went to Cali recently.

I know, it’s not big news, but his trip to Colombia’s salsa capital coincided with my trip to a new salsa club in Medellín.

It’s called El Suave, a place on Calle Colombia, just east of Carrera 70, a place I didn’t know about and would not have found out about this soon if it were not for another coincidence.

I was walking home from a meeting and I ran into my friend Diego, someone I met at an event a couple of months ago.

“What are you doing tonight?” he said.

“Going to the Paisa,” I told him, referring to the Wandering Paisa, the Laureles hostel that is one of the best in the city.

A view of the dance floor from the second level at El Suave.
A view of the dance floor from the second level at El Suave.

“Ah, karaoke night!” he said. “Let’s go! Then after, let’s go to a salsa club!”

I smiled and nodded.

“Let me drop off my stuff,” I said, “and then we’ll go.”

When we got to the Paisa, it was already packed, a mix of Colombians and foreigners, having a great time together.

We didn’t sing. I need to be a little tipsy before I get up the courage to sing.

Most of the time, we were talking.

Shortly after we got there, we met a traveler named Megan, a girl from Columbus, Ohio, a place I’ve actually been. I think Diego was a little smitten by her blonde hair and blue eyes.

He convinced her to come to El Suave with us, so off we went.

Diego is a good teacher.
Diego is a good teacher.

I was surprised at how big the club is. Most salsa clubs are small. El Suave has three levels. That means more space to dance.

We danced a lot. I mean, a lot.

It was a great crowd, lots of people just out having fun, and we sure did after killing that half bottle of Guaro.

Diego gave Megan some lessons, and by the end of the night, she was dancing pretty well.

We met up with a couple of people there too, one of them a girl who is apparently in love with Diego and another, a girl from Seattle, who is staying with Diego’s admirer.

I wish I could remember their names, but I have always been bad with names.

I even danced a lot with the girl from Seattle, so it’s pretty sad that I can’t recall at least her name. Oh well.

Later, my legs felt like Jell-O.

I thought we would head home after that, but no, we made another stop.

We went to Son Havana, my favorite salsa club in the city.

I danced a bunch with Megan, and some random girl who grabbed me and pulled me to the dance floor with her, something that happens a lot when I go to salsa clubs. It’s a friendly culture.

I later thought about that night, about how I never would have gone to El Suave, and then Son Havana, if I didn’t walk home on that exact route at the exact time Diego was there.

You gotta love coincidences.

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