The first thing to say (and what always seems necessary to say) is that salsa dancing is nothing like strictly come dancing, or any other popular ballroom dancing show. There are no feathery costumes and skintight-clad men in glitter and fake tan. Salsa is just a way to learn how to dance with a partner socially, and one of the best scenes in the UK resides in Birmingham.
Most people go to classes for a while before they feel comfortable enough to get out on the dance floor and ask a stranger to dance with them, but one of the best things about dancing salsa in Birmingham is that there is none of the snootiness or judgement that you tend to find in London, and less cliques to push you away.
Latin Motion is the company that runs the majority of the salsa nights, and from huge scale Xmas parties to weekly smaller events, there is always something going on. You can visit Birmingham on almost any day of the week and find a salsa night in one of the local clubs. Bars like Players, Risa and Bournebrook Social Club all host nights most weeks.
Whilst many people aggressively underrate Birmingham as a modern city, during the years that I lived there I found it packed with friendly people, willing to socialise (unlike London) and happy to introduce you to their friends. It is also packed with culture, with new opera, theatre and music shows constantly appearing. Another fantastic feature of the salsa scene in Birmingham is the connection the adult dancers share with the students of the city. The student salsa society was founded by the same person who runs the main salsa events company in the city. This means that the mix of students learning from and mixing with older and more experienced people creates a brilliant atmosphere for progressing and for fun!
Birmingham is a rapidly developing city with beautiful architecture, modern shopping and great restaurants. Walking down the historical canals that have been the same way for more than a hundred years after an evening of salsa is the best way to really appreciate the entertainment, charming people and beautiful spaces that Birmingham offers!
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