Adventures of a foreigner in the south of Brazil.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Salsa in Porto Alegre

This is something I've been planning to write up for some time, as the places to dance here are hard to find unless you know your way around.

The Salsa scene in Porto Alegre is small, lively, relaxed and fun. The predominant dancing style is Cuban, with some L.A. mixed in. Currently I am the only Mambo dancer around, but I'm working on it. My preferred place for going out is the InSano on Sundays, as the place has a good atmosphere, a good crowd, smokers are banned to the gallery on the upper floor, and I love the jazzy style of Tonda y su Combo.

Some of the links below are to Orkut pages, for which you will have to register. Orkut is about 90% Brazilian, and just about every Brazilian I know is in there. If you want to find information about things to do this is definitely the place to start. Streets in Porto Alegre are numbered in meters from the beginning of the street. Two adjacent buildings can well have street numbers differing by 10 or 20 or more. The InSano and Sierra Maestra (see below) are in fact only two blocks apart.

Places to dance:
  • InSano: Featuring Salsa every Sunday with Tonda y su Combo starting at 22.30. Entry charge 10R$. Rua General Lima e Silva 601, Cidade Baixa. This is a dance club, very definitely.

  • Sierra Maestra: Featuring Salsa every Thursday with Salsa 3 starting around 22.00. Entry charge ???. General Lima e Silva 763, Cidade Baixa. This is a restaurant where you can also dance.

  • Dado Bier: Since April 07 Tonda y su Combo are playing there irregularly. Best check out their home page for details. This is one of the best-known places for going dancing in Porto Alegre, and features a different crowd from the hardcore Salsa scene. The place is a microbrewery and also good for just having a beer. The stage is separated from the restaurant, and both are rather large. It is located inside the Bourbon Country shopping center, 1st floor, Rua Antônio Carlos Berta.
  • Tonda y su Combo: very good mixture for dancing leaning towards Latin Jazz, with great solos for anybody who loves shines. They are in the InSano on Sundays, and have started playing in the Dado Bier now. Their homepage has a few songs you can listen to.

  • Salsa 3: leaning towards Son/Son Montuno. I like the music a lot for listening to, but it is not my cup of tea for dancing. They are in the Sierra Maestra on Thursdays.
Further information:

I am not going to recommend any teachers here. If you are looking for one best go to the InSano and have a look at what's going on. See whose style you like and ask them about it. You can also check out the Salsa in Porto Alegre community.