Virtual Dance Class: Travel from Colombia To Mexico through Cumbia

It’s Fall season, when spirits are said to come back to roam our realm. In honor of the Mexican holiday of “Dia de los Muertos“, our founder Ale will be offering a virtual Rumbaterapia dance class on Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021 at 8pm EST / 5pm PST to commemorate our ancestors through dancing Cumbia. This begins “Travel through Dance”, a new virtual dance class series where we explore different cultures in this unique way.

She will lead a 1.5 hour session beginning with a trip that starts in Colombia during colonial times when folkloric Cumbia was born on the Caribbean coast. Join her as she travels to land in Mexico to see the progression of the dance & music of Cumbia throughout Latin America. Of course, no such event can go without honoring La Santa Selena, Techno-Cumbia Queen.

Participants will be encouraged to prepare an altar honoring their ancestors (and/or Selena) before the dance class begins, and close to where they will be dancing. We will start with an introduction to the theme of the class, stretching, music & dance progression from old school Cumbia to modern Cumbia, and then we will end with a ritual to honor our ancestors, a breathing exercise, and then close out with a meditation. Feel free to dress in folklĂłrico outfits, Selena impersonation costumes, and/or overall get as creative as possible to celebrate the dead through dance. It’s suggested to load up on incense, candles, sage, palo santo, or anything that you would like to incorporate into this dance therapy ritual.

There is a minimum $10 donation required for this class since all funds raised will go towards the Mochila Fundraiser to help us monetize our website. Send your payment with your email, and we will send you the virtual class link. Accepted forms of payment are: 1) Venmo @Travel_Latina, 2) Paypal, or 3) Zelle

Ella lo que quiere es Salsa!

Let’s talk Salsa in Colombia. Salsa is one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Colombia. A mi me encanta la salsa but unfortunately is it my weakest area when it comes to dance. Only because I am not great at it does not stop me from trying to dance it anywhere and everywhere I go. I always learn a thing or two from a new dance partner. Well here I am in Cartagena thinking, “oh! I know the basics…I’ll be okay. Right?” Wrong! Salsa en Colombia is on another level. We got most of our Salsa dancing on at “Cafe Havana,” located in Getsamani. We loved that place so much that we moved hostels to be closer to it. There was a live band every night that we went on the weekend. The cover to get in was 15,000 COP (~$5 USD) which is actually considered expensive to someone that lives in Cartagena. After learning about the expensive part it explained why the club was made up of an older bougie crowd. At Havana I got my first glimpse of Cali style Salsa. It had me so dumbfounded that I sat down at the bar and observed how people danced it for almost an hour. After a few daiquiris I asked one of the girls to teach me. She was a great instructor but I was a horrible student. I could not get the double- front- back step down. She taught me other dance moves  and commented that I was really good but I think she was just being nice. Nonetheless the nights spent at “Cafe Havana” were very memorable. The club is dimly lit, decorated with pictures of Cuban Salsa legends, a big bar, and a small stage up front where the Salsa bands play. Not once was I disappointed by the live music!

salsa 2

Other Salsa clubs we visited were “Quiebra Canto” and “Donde Fidel.” Both locations were also very unique. Quiebra Canto had a mixed crowd. It was a very colorful location, with cool decorative art, and some tasty mojitos. The club was made up of two dance floors and the best part were the balconies. My friends and I danced all night on the small balconies with the clock tower view in front of us.

Source: El Universal

Source: El Universal

“Donde Fidel” is located within the walled city. Right by the clock tower entrance. This salsa club was recommended to us by all the locals and I could see why. Salsa clasica clasica clasica! Como dicen en Colombia, un lugar bacano! The crowd at this place was a lot older but everyone there had clean dancing skills. The place is so far from a being a hip bar that the lights are all on. Not that there is anything wrong with a place not being new and hip. You could really tell that “Donde Fidel” is highly appreciated and loved by the locals. There are dozens and dozens of photos of the famous salseros that have visited the bar.

donde fidel

I don’t have video of myself dancing Cali style Salsa (thankfully) but here is a good clip of an awesome couple on YouTube. Maybe one day I will get it down.

Cafe Havana – Esquina, Cra. 10, Cartagena, GetsemanĂ­, Colombia – Open till’ 4 a.m.

Quiebra Canto – Carrera 5, No.17- 76, Cartagena, Colombia – Open till’ 4 a.m.

Donde Fidel – Cra. 4, Cartagena, BolĂ­var, Colombia – In between De los Coches Square and Aduana Square – Open 24 hrs? haha!

How I relate to Brigitte Bardot…



-Mambo scene from Et Dieu…Crea la Femme

(Apart from portraying a promiscuous wife in the movie, being slapped by her husband in the clip, and being quite racist in real life…)

You see the Cuban Mambo (or Latin) musicians playing for Brigitte, a French character, to dance to.

It is inverted for me. This next year, my life in France symbolizes my dance floor, the constant yet incomprehensible French spoken around me will represent the music played for me, and this time I (the Latina) will be enticed to proceed no matter what tries to intrude.