USA Today: Salsa Dancing in Los Angeles


usa today SalsaUSA Today: Salsa Dancing in Los Angeles

Los Angeles is home to making movies, international cuisine and top salsa spots! Are you ready to dance the night away but not sure you can StepUp to the moves? Cristian Oviedo, who teaches in Los Angeles Monday through Thursday, has twelve international dance championship titles and is a caring and kind teacher who will get moving to the beat from your first time on the dance floor. Miguel Maganda and Nicole Gil teach twice at week at Monsoon and when class ends, a live band begins so you can show off your new styling! Pick any spot on this list and learn the moves to feel comfortable on the salsa scene.

If you already know how to strut your stuff, your styling and moves will be vastly improved with these great teachers and classes. Come meet new friends, enjoy live music and show off your steps. I cannot wait to see you moving to the beat on a dancer floor in Los Angeles.

Thank you to all the members of the Muntuno team, Judy Romanik, Cristian Oviedo, Nicole Gil and Miguel Maganda for sharing their favorite spots to dance the night away! We are all waiting to dance with you!

10 Olivia Restaurant
Looking for a intimate restaurant with family style Mediterranean cuisine and entertainment? This is your place and Thursday night is the time to dance salsa in Burbank with a full bar, lounge and the talents of teachers, Mike and Christina. This location has many perks besides being one of the only locations for salsa on Thursday night. The restaurant is open until 10pm and this site has free parking! If you want to take the 8pm Basic Salsa Class and/or the 9pm Intermediate Salsa class, the charge is $10, if you come at 9:30 for the salsa social with DJ Mic it is only $5. (818-556-5299)

9 The Warehouse
If Marina Del Rey is your favorite part of Los Angeles, get ready to move to the beat on Fridays with the sounds of Salsa and Bachata. This location welcomes dancers from 18 and up. Cover charge is $8 and includes a group lesson at 9pm. There is free parking if you can find it and there is always valet available. Enjoy the music by DJ Charlie and you can always step outside for the view of the Marina. Some people think the theme is Hawaiian tiki but I think it is more 1970s fisherman’s wharf. The drinks are not cheap but draft beers like Kona Longboard and Lagunitas IPA are on special during happy hour. (3108235451)

8 Hacienda Hotel
It is not easy to find a place where all levels of dancers can share the multiple dance floors. On Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, enjoy Salsa dancing in El Segundo, CA at the Hacienda Hotel. Salsa and Cha Cha Cha instruction with Yesenia & Raul Santiago starts at 7pm. For new students and first time visitors, class is only $5.00. No partner required. Raul is a teacher who knows that “each student learns in a different way.” Just do it! You might like it. A very friendly crowd struts their steps at this lively location which does not have live music but does keep the beat on three separate dance floors! (310-615-0015)

7 El Floridita
Wondering where to go for a Cuban experience that is worth the wait outside in line? Enjoy the fantastic drinks, great food and a place where people will appreciate your dancing! The music is live on on Monday and Saturday. My teammate Carina loves to dance here and show off her steps! Tempt your tastebuds with Cuban-style mojitos and Brazilian caipirinhas as well as Ropa Vieja and Churrasco! Check the website to see what the live music will be and make sure to make a reservation. Started in 1987, it is renown in Hollywood for the legendary live band line up including Johnny Polanco y su Conjunto Amistad, Orquesta Charangoa. ((323) 871-8612)

6 Steven’s Steakhouse
Steven’s Steak House has entertainment every night with concerts, dance competitions and special events. My teacher, Miguel Maganda, told me that Stevens Steak House is a “very important salsa spot. It has been open for decades. They have classes, competitions for dancers and have been an important part of keeping salsa alive in Los Angeles!” Don’t miss out on this spot which opened in October 1952! Whether you want to dance the night away, eat a great steak or both, this is your place. There are seven private dining rooms so Steven’s Steak House is ready to host your business dinner, graduation, special event or post salsa swoon. (3237239856)

5 Wokcano – Santa Monica
Happy Hour on the open air patio is one of my favorite things in Santa Monica. I love the chicken dumplings, vegetable tempura and Chicken Lettuce Cups. I also surprised myself by loving the brussel sprouts! The outdoors is basically a rooftop party in Santa Monica. Street Parking in many areas is free after 6pm so read the signs and search for a great spot. Tuesday nights show up for a great selection of appetizers and salsa dance lessons! The cover charge includes both the beginning (8-9pm) and intermediate (9-10pm) salsa lessons. Like all the clubs on this list, no partner is necessary! (3104583080)

4 The Granada
The Granada has something for everyone with a wide range of classes and styles. Be transported back in time with their 1930s style decor and enjoy over twenty five classes a week! Check out Salsa & Latin Nights on Tuesday, Bachata Tropical Nights on Thursday, and Salsa on the main dance floor on Friday and Saturday nights. You can sign up online to have your name on the guest list and they take sign-ups until 5pm the day of the event. Find the full list of classes, events and bands on the Granada website. They teach all types of dance as well as Latin music lessons with classes for violin, flute, piano, congo and bongos. (626-227-2572)

3 Zanzibarlive
Zanibar is the place for Salsa on Monday nights. The teaching is exceptional and very welcoming. I first took class with Cristian Oviedo at this club. There is a salsa lesson and a Bachata class. I highly recommend his teaching style and welcoming lessons. You do not need to bring a partner and there is plenty of parking. After class, the crowd has dancers of all levels and is very friendly. Remember to check your purse at the door and bring your dancing shoes. This club has a different musical theme every night. While the address is on 5th, you enter through the door on Arizona. (310-451-2221)

2 Monsoon Pan-Asian Bistro
Walking into Monsoon Cafe on Third Street Promenade, I instantly feel transported to another place, it is almost like taking a trip as the decor is so exotic. Enjoy happy hour on the patio, dinner in the spacious room or walk upstairs for salsa and bachata lessons on the excellent dancer floor. Nicole Gil and Miguel Maganda teach a beginner class at 8pm and intermediate immediately after on both Wednesday and Saturday nights. After class, have a cocktail and enjoy the live band while you dance the night away with your newly learned skills. As it gets later in the evening, more and more talented dancers show up to show off their skills! (3105769996)

1 The Salsa Salsa
The Salsa Salsa classes are small sized and well worth the reasonable price. Cristian Oviedo teaches Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights at Born to Play Studios but Thursday night class is only $5! After an hour and a half of instruction, music continues for practicing and dancing all night long. This is a great place to dance and get more comfortable in front of each other and the mirror. Members of Cristian’s beginner, intermediate and professional teams are in attendance sharing the floor and their knowledge. I recently joined one of the teams and I cannot wait for our first performance! (323 217 6360)

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver is an award-winning travel expert who has explored 102 countries and six continents. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, she worked on cruise ships for seven years and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of the website WeSaidGoTravel which is read in 235 countries and was named #3 on Rise Global’s top 1,000 Travel Blogs. Niver is represented by Chip MacGregor of MacGregor Literary, Inc. Look for her memoir in Fall 2023 from Post Hill Press/Simon and Schuster. With more than 150,000 followers across social media, she has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on Twitter and listed on IMDb, and is the Social Media Manager for the Los Angeles Press Club. You can find Lisa Niver talking travel on broadcast television at KTLA TV Los Angeles, Satellite Media Tours, The Jet Set TV and Orbitz travel webisodes as well as her YouTube channel, where her WeSaidGoTravel videos have over 1.7 million views. As a journalist, Niver has interviewed Deepak Chopra, Olympic medalists, and numerous bestselling authors and been invited to both the Oscars and the United Nations. She has been a judge for the Gracie Awards for the Alliance of Women in Media, and has run 15 travel competitions on her website, publishing over 2,500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. For her print and digital stories as well as her television segments, she has been awarded three Southern California Journalism Awards and two National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards and been a finalist twenty times.   Niver has published more than 2000 articles, in more than three dozen magazines and journals including National Geographic, Wired, Teen Vogue, HuffPost Personal, POPSUGAR, Ms. Magazine, Luxury Magazine, Smithsonian, Sierra Club, Saturday Evening Post, AARP, AAA Explorer Magazine, American Airways, Delta Sky, enRoute (Air Canada), Hemispheres, Jewish Journal, Myanmar Times, BuzzFeed, Robb Report, Scuba Diver Life, Ski Utah, Trivago, Undomesticated, USA Today, TODAY, Wharton Magazine, and Yahoo. Awards National Arts and Entertainment Journalism Awards 2021 Winner: Book Critic: Ms. Magazine “Untamed: Brave Means Living From the Inside Out” 2019 Winner: Soft News Feature for Film/TV: KTLA TV “Oscars Countdown to Gold with Lisa Niver” 2019 Finalist for: Soft News, Business/Music/Tech/Art Southern California Journalism Awards 2022 Finalist: Book Criticism 2021 Winner: Technology Reporting 2021 Finalist: Book Criticism 2020 Winner: Print Magazine Feature: Hemispheres Magazine, “Painter by the Numbers, Rembrandt” 2020 Finalist: Online Journalist of the Year, Activism Journalism, Educational Reporting, Broadcast Lifestyle Feature 2019 Finalist: Broadcast Television Lifestyle Segment for “Ogden Ski Getaway” 2018 Finalist: Science/Technology Reporting, Travel Reporting, Personality Profile 2017 Winner: Print Column “A Journey to Freedom over Three Passovers” Social Media Presence YouTube Channel: We Said Go Travel (1.7 million views) Short form video:TikTok, Instagram Reels, Facebook Reels, YouTube Shorts Twitter: lisaniver (90,000 followers) Instagram: lisaniver (24,000 followers) Pinterest: We Said Go Travel (20,000 followers and over 70,000 monthly views) Facebook: lisa.niver (5,000 followers); We Said Go Travel (3,000 followers) LinkedIn: lisaellenniver (9000 contacts)

One response to “USA Today: Salsa Dancing in Los Angeles

  1. Great review of the hot Salsa spots in Los Angeles. La Granada is an amazing local spot to go. I will have to check out The Salsa Salsa next time I am in town!

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