Sluggish Caterpillar to Butterfly - The first time I came here was on a dare/challenge/joke, one of their free Thursday group classes. Let me preface that I was an absolutely miserable dancer, one of those sweaty, nervous types whose go-to club move was marching in place, hence the joke aspect of attending a salsa class. It would be one of those things looked back on and laughed about get the picture. But it was pretty alright. Crowded, given it was Thursday(free group class) but I learned how to move my feet semi-correctly at least. The general vibe was great, beer was cheap, and people watching prime. Really, the people there in general were pretty easy-going and fantastic, both the staff and the regulars. Intriguing enough to come back again, no? After thinking on it for a moment, I returned a week later and signed up for a dozen hours of private classes and a monthly membership to their group evening classes, as I lived right down the street and didn't really have much else to do outside of the regular, rowdy Poblado routine. It would be funny, right? Entertaining at least? It actually turned out to be pretty fantastic. For one, everyone I've met on staff is absolutely rad. So patient, encouraging and laid-back. Great energy. Anna at the reception makes me so happy every time I see her. Every one of my instructors was an absolute pro, not only in dance but also in the art of teaching impossible cases like myself. Even with the slight language barrier, within a mere two weeks they managed to shape my rigid, bumbling self into a pretty darn alright salsa/bachata dancer. Within two classes, I stopped having to warn people before "busting out a move" and within a week, dancing started to feel natural. They work some strange magic there. I don't understand it, but it's awesome. What's beautiful about learning how to dance is that it's a skill that grows on itself. It opens up your world that much more. In class, first you get the basic steps. Then the refinement and some fancy moves. Then that sexy swagger, with the hips and hands. Suddenly I was competent enough to hold my own at salsa bars and found myself confident enough to start further exploring the local dance culture of Medellin, somewhere I never thought I'd venture with my previously heavy steps and bad posture. This new world of dancing was now accessible. Almost every time I go out, I learn something new from some random partner met on a sweaty floor. Even after my classes ended, the learning still hasn't stopped. It's a great community that gathers at Dancefree, so many new friends to be made. There are folks from all over the world (including Medellin) dancing at all levels. Even with my previously violent and flailing ways, I never felt particularly judged by anyone. We're all learning here, and that's a-okay. It has always been a welcoming and safe place. While I'm trying to avoid sounding like a salesperson here, coming here was one of the best decisions I've made in recent memory, definitely the best money I've spent in a long while, and if you're thinking about taking a class (even as a self-depricating joke, like me) I'd say go for it. You never know, it could be great!! Keep in mind that the free classes on Thursday are one level and a bit wild and claustrophobic, which is fine if you're up to it. But the non-free group classes are much smaller, with three levels, more instructors, and I think entrance is only 10.000 or 15.000 COP. Prices are surprisingly reasonable all around, though I can't remember specifics right now. But the skills and continuing experiences I've gotten out of my time there have been so valuable, priceless even, that I'd recommend looking into the place, especially if you're in the city for awhile. You never know until you try :) - Brandon H., January, 2019

AuthorBill Pryor