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Are Salsa Holidays Worth Your Hard-Earned Cash?

Having fun with Key2Cuba, Havana, Easter 2014

You’ve seen all of those utterly tempting trips slapped across social media sites:

“Awesome Salsa holiday to Turkey- only 2 places left” or “Treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime dance holiday to Cuba!” And when the weather is this grotty outside, the festivities of Christmas are long gone and spring feels like decades away, it’s pretty tempting to flash the credit card and treat yourself to something to remember, isn’t it?

The trouble is, there are three things stopping you right now:

  •  Can I really afford it?
  •  Is it really worth all of that money?
  • Will it be as awesome as it sounds?

 As ever, it’s fallen to me to make the task of deciding a whole lot easier for you. You know you’ll thank me for it later. So let’s have a look at what to expect on a salsa holiday, what are the best bits, how to choose a great holiday, and whether you should go. Are you ready?

What to expect on a salsa holiday?

Lots and lots of dancing! And if not, then something has gone horribly wrong! But seriously. When you are on a dance holiday, expect the full-on party atmosphere. You’ll experience salsa like you’ve never experienced it in your home country and better still, it might even be on authentic soil! It could be the trip of a lifetime…

 Most salsa dancing holidays offer:

  • Intensive lessons with expert teachers
  • Special nights out dancing to special/secret places you might not otherwise find
  • Great party atmosphere and bonding experience for all
  • Sun, sand and salsa! Or sun, ski and salsa!
  • Access to amazing dance performances and live music
  • VIP treatment
  • Great added extras like language lessons, other styles of dance, music, photography, etc
  • Great friendly locals to dance with

 The great stuff about dance holidays

Does all of this sound good to you? It certainly sounds tempting to me right now as I sit watching the rain!

The best thing is, you don’t even need a partner, or even a friend to drag along with you. Your group will be there, waiting for you to join them and have a ball! Plus, everything is organized for you, so you can just sit back and relax. Well, kind of…The entire experience should be completely pleasurable, so what you learn in the salsa lessons is more likely to stick. Lastly.  you’ll return from your dance holiday absolutely buzzing from the whole experience. You dancing will be fluid, natural and ooze that ‘sabor’ everyone raves about.

The Key2Cuba dancers performing for the Bamboleo vid

But…

A salsa holiday might not be your thing after all. You might be a super-independent traveller who feels stifled by the support a holiday offers and not always want to join in with everything organised. Your itinerary might lock you into doing particular things, when there’s something else going on which sounds much more appealing to you. Plus because of the expert dance tuition, local guides and other great stuff, salsa holidays tend to work out slightly more expensive than other holidays. But you do get what you pay for.

Do I need to be an experienced dancer?

Nope.

How can I find a great holiday?

You’ll know when you are getting a great holiday: people will be singing the praises of the tour company, giving great reviews about the trips and returning for more holidays if they can. These are the ones to go with.

For a pick of the best, make sure you ask around to find out what holidays and companies people recommend. Don’t forget to visit social media sites and search online for other feedback and review. It’s also worth visiting the company websites and checking if they’re ATOL registered and insured. Are flights included? Are there any extras you need to pay for? Can you do additional activities if you want to? Can you leave the group and go to do your own thing if you feel inclined? All of this stuff really matters.

But most of all, when choosing a salsa holiday, go with your gut. It never lies.

Can’t I just go by myself and get the same experience for less?

OK, it’s confession time. I’ve been on plenty of solo salsa holidays and yes, I’ve had a fab time. The dancing was great, the people were fantastically friendly and the sun was also very welcome. But I don’t for a second claim that it was anything like an organised salsa holiday.

I did my own thing and it was completely awesome, life-changing and very much suited my independent character. But I didn’t have the group bonding or party atmosphere, I didn’t have an expert pointing out all of the best places to go, I didn’t have guaranteed dancers to fall back on if the local talent disappointed. These things might not be a problem for you either, or they might be 100% necessary for you to have a great time. I guess it all depends on what you’re looking for.

If you are looking for a compromise (if there can be such a thing with a dance holiday), you might like to consider a Salsa Congress. It’s quite likely that you’ve already been to one in your home country, so why not consider attending one abroad? It gives you the thrill of a dance holiday, salsa lessons are usually included and you’ll have a greater chance of some brilliant dances. Just a thought.

And one extra little bit of advice: if you decide to go to a place like the Dominican Republic or Cuba for the first time, I’d recommend you go on an organised tour, or at least with an experienced friend. Then you can find your feet for next time.

Are you tempted to pull out your credit card and book your next adventure? I hope I’ve helped to explain more about salsa holidays, what to expect, the best bits and some things to consider. Salsa holidays can be great fun, but so can solo dance holidays, and salsa congresses worldwide, so I hope you manage to take that trip that is right for you. As for parting with your hard-earning cash, that’s for you to decide.

 

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Comment COMMENT

Do you think salsa holidays are worth the money? Have you been on a dance holiday and lived to regret it? Share it all in the comments below.

 

Images © Kerry Ribchester & Key2CubaHeleneDancer,

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