A Beginner’s Guide to Learning Salsa in Havana


If you’re planning a trip to Havana and looking for a new and exciting experience, why not try learning salsa? As the birthplace of this lively and energetic dance, Havana is the perfect destination for beginners looking to learn salsa. In this beginner’s guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to get started, including the basics of salsa, finding a good salsa school, dressing for salsa, learning salsa etiquette, attending salsa events, practicing regularly, and exploring Havana’s salsa scene. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to immerse yourself in the vibrant world of salsa in Havana!

Understanding the basics of salsa

Before you start learning salsa, it is essential to understand the basic steps and movements. Salsa is a partner dance that involves quick, rhythmic steps and body movements. The dance is performed on a count of eight, with the first step taken on the first beat and the next three steps on the second, third, and fourth beats. The last four beats are used to perform various moves and turns.

Finding a good salsa school

Havana is home to several dance schools that specialize in teaching salsa to beginners. These schools provide a fun and relaxed atmosphere where you can learn salsa at your own pace. Some of the most popular schools in Havana include Salsabor a Cuba, SalsaSuarez, and SalsaTropical.

When choosing a school, it is essential to consider factors such as the quality of instructors, the size of classes, and the overall atmosphere of the school. You can read online reviews and ask for recommendations from locals to find the best school for your needs.

Dressing for salsa

Salsa is a dance that requires a lot of movement, so it is essential to wear comfortable clothes and shoes. You can wear lightweight, breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen, which will keep you cool and comfortable during the dance. It is also important to wear shoes that are comfortable and provide good support.

Women can wear a dress or a skirt with a comfortable top, while men can wear casual pants and a shirt. It is also essential to bring a towel and a change of clothes, as you are likely to work up a sweat during the dance.

Learning salsa etiquette

Salsa is a social dance, and it is important to learn proper etiquette to have a great experience. Some basic rules include:

  • Before dancing with someone, always get their permission.
  • Keep your movements within your partner’s personal space.
  • Maintain eye contact with your partner while dancing.
  • Respect your partner’s boundaries and avoid inappropriate behavior.

Attending salsa events in Havana

Havana is home to several salsa events that are held throughout the year. These events provide an opportunity to watch professional dancers perform and socialize with other salsa enthusiasts. Some of the most popular events in Havana include the International Salsa Festival and the Havana Salsa Congress.

Attending these events is an excellent way to immerse yourself in the world of salsa and learn more about the dance. You can also participate in workshops and classes held during these events to improve your skills.

Practicing salsa regularly

Like any other skill, learning salsa requires regular practice. You can practice at home or attend practice sessions at your salsa school. It is also essential to attend social dance events and practice with different partners to improve your skills.

Exploring Havana’s salsa scene

Apart from attending salsa classes and events, you can also explore Havana’s salsa scene. The city is home to several salsa clubs and bars where you can dance the night away. Some of the most popular clubs include Cafe Cantante Mi Habana, Casa de la Musica de Miramar, and La Gruta.

Exploring Havana’s salsa scene is an excellent way to experience the local culture and meet new people. You can also try different types of salsa music and dance styles to broaden your knowledge.


Learning salsa in Havana is an unforgettable experience that offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the rich culture of Cuba. By following the tips and advice outlined in this beginner’s guide, you can start your journey toward mastering this lively and exciting dance. With the abundance of salsa schools, events, and clubs in Havana, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice and perfect your skills. So why not make the most of your trip to Havana and sign up for some Havana salsa lessons? Whether you’re a seasoned dancer or a complete beginner, learning salsa in Havana is sure to be an experience you’ll never forget.