Thursday, January 29, 2009

The IndySalsero, closed (for now)

There will be no new posts from The IndySalsero, the Indianapolis Salsa Blog. The priorities of the editor's of this blog have changed and they are now focusing on other projects.

Jennifer Luna: Captain and Artistic Director of Damas Inspiradas!, SalsaIndy Dance Instructor

Chimere Cross: Performing

Marques Gunter: Manager of Damas Inspiradas!, Promoter of Latin Night @ Adobo Tequila Bar, SalsaIndy Dance Instructor, etc, etc.

Due to the fact that none of us are full time for salsa, when new projects are picked up, lower priority projects are sometimes dropped. We will leave the blog active so that readers can continue to read past posts.

If there is anyone interested in reopening this blog by becoming a salsa blogger for us, please contact us.

Till next time keep dancing!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dress codes in Latin clubs

The big question we ask ourselves before we go dancing is what should I wear? I have talked in the past about dance attire and I feel that what you wear tells people your mood and is an extension of how we express ourselves on the dance floor.

Recently Latin clubs have implemented more aggressive dress codes (targeted primarily on men). Every Thursday night I go out dancing at the Jazz Kitchen. Most of the time I put on a nice shirt/jean, but one night I decided to wear a t-shirt. It was a nice t-shirt (it cost me $50) and I had a pricey pair a jeans to balance it out. When I was leaving the club, the promoter inform me that t-shirts without pockets were not allowed. He was really nice about it and he waited till after I was leaving to tell me.

I have nothing against dress codes and I feel that they are necessary. My concern is when the dress code starts to affect how I am allow to express myself as a dancer. There are some nights that I want to "dress to impress" and other nights that I want to put on a comfortable t-shirt and jeans. I run the Saturday Latin Night at Adobo Tequila Bar and we try our best to enforce a dress code that keeps the environment classy, fun and relaxed. If you come to Adobo with a hoody or a basketball jersey then you might have an issue getting in. If you come in with a nice t-shirt (with or without pockets, no obscene graphics or text) and jeans you would be invited with open arms.

I respect that Latin clubs and promoters want to attract a classy crowd and having a dress code will help accomplished this. Keep in mind that the music the DJ spins will also influence the type of crowd in a club. So what do you think? Do you agree with strict or relaxed dress codes? Do you feel that men are targeted more then women?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Salsa in Washington DC

Recently I had the opportunity to travel to Washington DC twice, one week this month and one week last month. Washington DC is a beautiful and diverse city, but one aspect of the city stuck out in my mind: DC has a GREAT Salsa Scene!

Last month, I attended the Sunday monthly social. The venue is a restaurant that is nicknamed the Salsa Room, and it has a nice size hardwood floor, good seating areas, and a bar. There were many amazing dancers in attendance, and the energy was high the entire night. ClaveKazi was there and the ladies group did a nice performance; Shaka Brown was there also(didn't get to dance with him though...). Earl, from Stuck on Salsa, was nice enough to bring my friend and I to the event and introduce us to everyone there. Thanks Earl!

This month, I attended a regular club night. It was on a Monday night to Clarendon Grill, and was apparently by far the best night to go out (or so I was told by many people). The venue had a large wood dance floor, and a smaller dance floor (not wood). There were a lot of amazing dancers there, as well. I danced with a semi-famous dancer, Psyon, met some really nice people, and I was lucky enough to have one dance with a guy, who although I forgot his name, was by far the best lead I have ever felt!

Anyone who has yet to experiance Salsa in another city should go to DC for a great experiance! The quality and level of dancing is equal to what you will find at a congress, and the dancers have minute differences between them so no matter what you prefer to focus on, you will probably find dancers to fit your style. The Salsa experiances that I had in DC will definitely be a motivational factor to return to DC's dancefloors as soon as my life permits!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Oops! Why do I keep having wardrobe malfunctions?

Maybe it's the type of clothes you keep wearing out to dance in. Have you ever went out dancing and in the middle of a good dance, something comes untied, undone, falls out, or slips off? Ladies, I know you know what I'm talking about. This has happened to me many times before. Then I tell myself, "I'm never going to wear this again! What was I thinking?" So, lets talk about what we can wear out dancing and what we should be cautious of.

I know that we want to look our sexiest out there on the dance floor and that new dress or top that you just bought shows a lot of skin, but be cautious. Of course, you can wear whatever you want out in the club. This blog is just to help you be aware of certain garments that might cause a few problems on the dance floor.

Tube tops*** Man! Those things are annoying. I know the guys like them, but you will most likely be adjusting it all night long. Your top will be more of a hassle and might possibly ruin your night and after your first dance, you'll be hoping that nothing will fall out.

Spaghetti straps*** If these are not tight on your shoulders, then they can keep falling and you will be in the routine of constantly putting them back up on your shoulders all night.

Corsets*** Corsets are hot! But they can cut off your blood circulation and make it uncomfortable to dance or do certain styling. Again, you might be hoping that nothing will fall out during the night.

Strings*** Anything that ties up is taking a chance. Strings like to untie themselves or somehow you or the person that you are dancing with might accidentally undo the string. If you wear halter tops that tie up or an outfit that has strings in it, make sure to double knot for security.

Dresses*** Dresses are very sexy, but most dresses will have one of the above. Be cautious. Also, the dresses that flare up look very nice when you turn, but realize that you might end up showing your "goodies" to everyone in the club. If you're bold, then this won't bother you. If you really want to wear that sexy flare dress, then I would suggest some boy shorts or dance panties.

Mini skirts*** More than likely your goodies will be flashed most of the night. Hope you have some descent underwear on! Most likely you will be trying to pull down your skirt for the entire night.

Long Skirts*** Warning! Trip hazard! Long skirts can get stepped on and you might wind up on the floor or worse, your skirt might be pulled down.

Jewelry*** I personally stopped wearing jewelry. My cute earrings that I just spent $10 on always keep flying off and ending up across the room. I have so many unmatched earrings now. Just try to make sure that your earrings are secure. Every once in a while, I will wear studs in my ears. Dangling earrings are a no for me. Rings were also another problem. Men would complain how my rings were scratching them and making them bleed. I never wear bracelets, so I don't know what to say about them. I know that my hair has gotten tangling up in men's bracelets a few times in the past. So men, you might want to think about that. Hair accessories come out a lot too. Try to make sure that those are secure as well.

Ultimately, it is up to you what you want to wear. Try to wear something comfortable and sexy if you can. Jeans are always a great choice. Shorts, skorts, skirts, tanks, dress blouses/tops are good as well. I know that wardrobe malfunctions messed up some of my salsa nights by making me insecure about moving freely or have stopped me on the dance floor so that I could tie something back up. I try to look sexy every time that I go out and like to wear things that compliment my body. But, as I have found out, not all sexy outfits are made to salsa dance in.

If you know of any type of garment that I left out, please share or just share an experience. If you have any questions, please ask.

Keep it sexy on the dance floor!!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Since I moved to Indy last May, a lot has happened. On one hand the year seems to have passed quickly, and yet each week felt long in parallel. I am proud to be on my way to graduation May 3rd at Indiana University in Bloomington, majoring in Latin American and Caribbean Dance - History and Production through the Individualized Major Program. I figured as a conclusion to my current academic career, I would ponder not only on my college experience, but with my recent accomplishments in the "real world" as well.

First and foremost, inspired by my approach to my Final (thesis) Project for my degree (my first dance production), I decided to create my first business, Elegancia Productions and Promotions, LLC (commonly known as Elegancia Dance). When I moved to Indy, my plans and my dancing were interrupted with a severe case of Mono. But even in my slow recovery, I still managed to pair up with Marques for the local competition, do a bit of dance related travel, and became a business partner in SalsaIndy (now you might know why I am so busy all of the

Alongside preparing for and finishing my first dance production (and all of the school work that went along with it - which I wanted to quickly mention that I have received two grants for the project as well as a nomination for a departmental award), and alongside managing, teaching and performing for SalsaIndy - Marques and I, along
with 7 other dancers in the community, decided to create a Non profit
in Indianapolis, Salseros Unidos, for the benefit of the salsa community, in which I was later elected Treasurer.

I can only hope that the year to come can continue on the same road to
achievement, with dedication, hard work, practice, and somehow trying to make
enough money to cover my bills as a full time dancer. I know it is a
tough decision, and everyone I know is begging me to get a "real
job"... but I really feel that this is the path I should continue on.
My heart would not take to any other job at this time in my life,
because for me...even though dancing, teaching, performing and
business IS hard work - I love it! And that makes all the

Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Transit - It is never easy to say goodbye

Whenever I invite a friend for their first night of salsa dancing, a typical question I am asked is what should I wear? I tell them that it depends on your mood. If you are in a casual mood then wear jeans and shirt, if you are feeling ‘sexy’ then put on your hottest club clothes.

Dance attire for most salsa clubs are never homogeneous. I guess that would make sense because salsa it self is not homogeneous. Salsa dancers are given the freedom to express themselves though both their interpretation of the music and though the clothing that they wear.

For women finding the ‘right’ dress is easy, there are hundreds of clothing stores and thousands of choices, but what about the guys? While we have a selection of nice shirts and pants, our selection is somewhat limited.

For myself I like to be very expressive (surprise?), and I felt that a majority of men’s clothing stores in Indianapolis are too conservative. That change when I came across a store call In Transit. In Transit carries clothing that could be classified as metro-sexual. The best way to describe what this means are shirts and pants with unique artwork/design and have a more fitted look. I really liked the fitted look because a boxy shirt can mask body movement and isolations. Also In Transit carries a limited supply and refreshes their clothing line every other week, which limits the likely hood that someone else in the club will have the same shirt or pants as you.

To my disappointment I recently found out that In Transit closed both of its Indianapolis locations and the only evidence left of this great store is their company profile I found on the web. I never like to shop for clothing till I found this store and now it is gone. As I wipe the tears from my eyes, I say goodbye. I am not sure if I will find another store like this one, well at least here in Indianapolis. For now I will take my shopping online. Here are a few links that I have found, but I know there better links out there.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Possibly the worst salsa performance EVER! (April Fools)

I came across a video clip that I would like to share with my readers. This could possibly be the worst salsa performance ever. I posted the video clip below so that you can be the judge.

Update: For an explanation of the video for those who are not internet savvy click here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

DoingIndy at Riolo Dance Studio

DoingIndy recently posted a Podcast of Riolo Dance Studio (thanks to Tracy for contacting them). I was very impressed on the quality that was put into their podcast, it was very professional. The typical video Podcasts that I run into on the web are done with a hand held video camera and is edited on Windows Movie Maker.

Riolo Dance Studio is a unique studio, part ballroom dance and part social dance. We teach our salsa lessons at Riolo along with a handful of other independent groups that teach and train there. If you decide to take lessons at Riolo you have your choice of Salsa, Casino Rueda, Tango, Ballroom, Swing, Hula and more! Riolo also has a 2000 sq ft dance floor which is one of the best dance floors I have come across in Indy. While I can continue hyping up the studio where I teach, I will stop now and post their Podcast and let you be the judge!

For you salsa addicts there will be a Sunday Salsa Social at Riolo on Sunday, March 30th, 2008. See you there!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Work/Life Balance

As winter draws to a close and we are welcome by the warm spring air, I decided to start my spring cleaning early. This task is not the one where you clean out your closet and give your old clothes to Goodwill, but something deeper.

I have always lived a busy life; I cannot sit around and watch TV, life is too short to have that attitude. In the last 8 months I committed myself to a variety of projects. One is the startup of SalsaIndy, my decision to leave my old dance studio to start a new one. Another project I helped start was Salseros Unidos, a non-profit organization with the mission to build a strong Indianapolis salsa community. If you think that was enough to keep me busy, I work a day job (40+ hours a week), I develop and maintain a video bookmarking service and I am in working partnership with urban entertainment website.

Everything that I was working on has been moving in a positive direction, the websites are getting traffic, class attendances is increasing and I got a raise from my day job, but I was not happy. I never had the time to enjoy what I had, all I did was work. So I gave myself the difficult task of dropping on of my projects. After a couple of weeks of thinking I decided to drop my work with the urban entertainment website. This was a difficult decision because this was a paid project while my other free time projects are either not making money or a small profit.

The decision was based on what was going to make me happy and not what was going to make me the most money. Here is an inspirational video from Steve Jobs. It is a great video for those who want to pursued self employment while maintaining a happy life.

Do what you love and never work a day in your life.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Etiquette on the Dance Floor...?

The following are just my opinions... I feel like simple etiquette is not followed as much as it should be in the salsa clubs. I know it is a mixture of dancers and a bar crowd, but there are certain points of interest that I have noticed a number of times that I feel like need to be mentioned.

First off, I like being escorted on and off the dance floor. It doesn't have to happen every time for every dance, especially with good friends or when you are rushing to get on the floor for a good song. On the extreme side, however, when a guy just asks you to dance and leaves you in the dust while he goes and stands on the floor and has to make a point of waiting for you to get there, well that just sets the mood for the rest of the dance.

Secondly, ladies really should make it a point to dance with guys they do not know at least once, and guys you should try to ask ladies you do not know to dance, at least once or twice. If a girl declines politely more than two times in one night, please don't keep asking her throughout the night. At first she might feel bad for saying no, but by the end of the night she will be going out of her way to avoid you... usually the first "no" really means that the girl is tired (after all, we can't dance every song of the night) but if you get more than two "no" responses in a night, you might want to re-evaluate why. Most of us in the salsa community are NOT snobs, we will dance with almost anyone. So if we really don't want to dance with you, there is probably a good reason... it might be something like you hurt the person you are dancing with in some way when you dance... (This does happen to me, as not everyone realizes how what they do can affect the person they are dancing with...) or it could be for one of the following reasons...

While dancing socially, at least try to pay attention to the person you are dancing with. This goes for both ladies and guys... it's no fun for your partner if you try to critique their dancing (unless you know them well and you know it is okay), or if you ask them to teach you for the entire song (or night)... or if you try to use them as a tool to just show off. Also, you shouldn't be holding your cell phone, or using it in any way (especially texting), or holding a beer (this is not only inconsiderate of the person you are dancing with, but also for all the dancers on the floor, because the beer most likely will spill and then the floor is sticky for the rest of the night and it gets stuck in dancers leather soled shoes)...

Anyway, I don't feel like this happens with the majority of salsa dancers here in Indianapolis, but it DOES happen regularly enough in the clubs for me to take notice...

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Salsa Marketing 101 - What not to do

LearnSalsa is at it again! LearnSalsa is a Los Angeles based salsa business that uses 'sex sells' tactics for marketing salsa to the general public. I blogged about this group before and I agree that sex sells but these tactics will not attract serious dancers and would only be a shallow pickup joint (I can go the the local bar for that). While salsa is great for meeting new people and possibility of hooking up with someone happens all the time I would not recommend that you advertise your business like a 900 number date line. Take a look at their video ad.

Is this video a joke? No it is actually a real ad!

To be fair I am not going to judge the women's acting or looks and just focus on the delivery methods used in LearnSalsa. I like how the women mention that you will meet 50 hot guys when you come to their salsa bootcamp. What is define as hot? A six foot man with a body of a geek god or someone who looks like Steve Urkel from Family Matters? Sounds like deceptive marketing at work (same goes for the sexy women pitch). The ladies also mention losing 1500 calories and they show off their bodies as proof (rolling my eyes). While salsa does burn calories and fat, I would never tell my students that you will lose 1500 calories. Losing weight depends on how many classes you take and how hard you work at it. We also notice that calorie burn is at it greatest when you get to an intermediate/advance level where you can dance to faster songs and execute more complicate patterns.

Ok, I am done with my rant. Here is a treat (for the guys) , another LearnSalsa video ad of a woman in a two piece bathing suit. The poster titled this video Huge Breasts Awesome Breasts from sexy girl. I guessed that they wanted to attract educated and intelligent viewers to their ads (insert extreme sarcasm here).

Enjoy (no nudity, but not recommend for viewing in a work setting)

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Should Indy have salsa nightclubs?

I have asked myself this question so many times. I honestly don’t think that Indy should have salsa nightclubs, especially not on weekends. There are so few Latin nights in Indy and salsa is not priority. Not to mention that these clubs are too crowded and full of cigarette smoke. Let’s break it down!

Salsa nightclubs need a few key things to keep the typical salsa dancer’s interest. First, salsa dancers need a good hard-wood floor. Salsa dancers are very picky about this. We don’t want to dance on a floor that is too fast or too sticky. No one wants to have to be concerned if they will fall on their head trying to shine or do a right-turn nor struggle to use all of their energy to do a right-turn. Tile and concrete floors are just very hard to dance on as well and can cause damage to your knees.

Also, we need space! In order to get our total groove on, we need some room to dance. I hate bumping into other people on the dance floor. And when those people walk by along the side of the dance floor to get across the room for whatever reason, get an elbow to the head and then have the nerve to get mad like we did it on purpose. They have to know their chances of getting hit walking along the edge of the dance floor. Bumping into other people should rarely happen.

Finally, we need good salsa music. Most Latin nightclubs don’t provide this because they cater to the whole Latin crowd, which means that you might have to wait 6-8 songs until the next salsa song comes on and that song itself could be a terrible salsa song. I have nothing against Bachata, Merenge, Reggaeton, and ChaCha. I love them all but, as a salsa dancer I mainly want to hear salsa music. I think the Red Room is the only nightclub that provides this. Also, into regards to good salsa music, Indy needs to get with the times and get some better salsa. There are great salsa/mambo songs being played in major salsa cities which I would love to hear here in Indy.

My suggestion to resolve all of this is to limit salsa nights to dance studios only! Most dance studios already have the floor and the space; and if salsa dancers are in charge of the music, good music will be played as well as more salsa music. Dancers don’t have to worry about smoking or ridiculously drunk people dancing all over the floor; beginners and all ages would feel welcome; and for those students/dancers that don’t want to be in the nightclub environment or have to go to work the next day, can enjoy the studio’s environment. I guess I’ll just say this also, salsa dancers don’t want to spend a lot of money either, especially when they don’t get want they want out of their experience at the nightclub. Salsa dancers aren’t heavy drinkers so, in this case, the salsa community would not have to worry about the club closing down in 6 months because they weren’t making enough money at the bar.

Well, these are just my thoughts. Let me know what you think.