Last Thursday, I answered the siren call of a Lelayna, a UK couchsurfer excited to go out salsa dancing.
I had a sense she’d be good from her CS profile, but she turned out to be far better than just “good.” I invited Alejandra along, and we all met up at Cien Fuegos around 10:30 pm.
There were about 20 people there, and the live band was in action, but it lacked the vibe and crowd of a full-blown Saturday night.
On the plus side, there was no cover charge, and no minimum to drink if you wanted a table by the dance floor. Plus, from 8-9pm they offer a free dance lesson (Fridays too).
Lelayna arrived with her male couchsurfing host, who wasn’t much into the dancing, and a friend of a friend who was half Swiss-half Colombian, and currently living in Medellin.
Watching Lelayna dance with her friend was a real show. She was doing triple spins like a ballerina, stopping on a dime, and throwing her hands around in various stylish movements.
She had flair – A LOT of it. And her friend was leading her perfectly through intricate combinations that blew away anything I’d seen by a foreigner in this city the last 4 months.
Alejandra and I chatted about the difference in style between Lelayna and the Colombians, who tend to be more reserved in their gestures and combinations. But there was no doubt Lelayna can dance!
We decided to head for a bar in Parque Lleras which also featured a live salsa band on Thursday nights.
The G-bar, a gambling-themed bar I’d walked past a million times, was definitely filled with a younger crowd.
There was a small open space in front of the stage, but as with most places, you simply push a few seats out of the way closest to your table, and risk stepping on a toe or two when dancing around.
The band was playing salsa music that Alejandra and I enjoyed more than at Cien Fuegos. I found it easier to dance to…however the quality and sound were not as good. But, there was a fun ambiance that was desperately lacking at the cavernous, more upscale cabaret.
I’d place the venue in the middle between underground El Eslabon Prendido and upscale Cien Fuegos. For that reason alone, I’ll be heading back.
Once Lelayna got up and started dancing with her friend, she began to draw the attention of the Colombians in the bar. It wasn’t the tourists taking photos, but the Colombians! And even the bar’s owner, who was happily getting drunk with his friends in the corner near our table, took notice.
In fact, he gave them free drinks, and Alejandra even managed to enjoy one as a result. We danced some more, and eventually left around 2:30 am.
Another late, great night of salsa dancing in The City of the Eternal Spring!
Editor’s Note: Cien Fuegos closed as of April 2013, and G-bar no longer hosts live salsa bands on Thursday nights.