Cebu Salsa Nights: Young and Growing Salsa Scene in the Philippines

When I started dancing salsa a few years ago in 2012, there were plenty of misconceptions about latin dancing. Some people think it’s ballroom. Filipino men shy away from it because dancing is, uhmm, ‘effeminate’. In Cebu, where I’m based, salsa nights were then only once a week on Wednesdays at MAYA. There were only three men in the city who could dance salsa; and the only styles taught was the Cuban style.

Years later, everyone now knows about salsa. Cebu salsa nights became affectionately known as a ‘tita thing’, but the crowd they draw in is far from our beloved, high-class titas: seeing an international, hip and young crowd of diverse nationalities.

Salsa nights are now done three times a week in MAYA (among other places) and along with salsa dance festival such as the Cebu International Beach Festival held at Solea Mactan Resort every 4th weekend of January.

Why You Should Try Salsa Dancing

Still not convinced in trying latin dancing? We’ll give you five good reasons why we love salsa (and we’re not talking about the dip)

  • It’s never a sausage party.

In Cebu, at a female-to-male ratio of 5:1, it will never be a sausage party. Many Filipino men shy away from dancing because they think it’s a feminine activity. Because of this, women will flock and admire male leads on the dance floor. Men who can dance are extremely popular and it is actually the ladies who approach the men and ask them to dance with them!

In other countries, I never see this the case, sometimes there are even more men than women in fact. There are plenty of men who go salsa dancing–either they enjoy it so much or it’s an extremely way for them to meet women.

And men, hear this: it is only during salsa you would see the rare times when the woman actually listens to you!

  • You learn important life skills

Dance isn’t just about physical activity and music. A huge part of salsa is knowing how to listen (especially for the follow), and knowing how to communicate clearly (for the lead). As the follow, it’s key to understanding subtle body language, hand signals, knowing where to go, when to turn, and being in tune with your partner and yourself. It’s about fine-tuning intuition and understanding what they meant without even uttering a word.

  • You can do it wherever in the world!

Salsa is a very convenient hobby to do. There’s no need of heavy-duty or expensive equipment or outfit to get you into latin dancing. Plus, in every big city in the world there’s always a thriving salsa scene! All you need is to pack your dancing shoes and you are good to go.

It’s great to check out the latin dancing scene whenever you travel. Even if you do not know the language, dancing is a universal language and it is easy to make friends in the local dancing scene.

  • Go for the 2-in-1 specials.

If not for the dancing, check out Maya Mexican Restaurant’s 2-in-1 specials! They have 2-in-1 mojitos on the salsa nights: mojitos and cuba libres, depending on the day you’ll come.

  • No pressure for a superb socialization / communication performance

While I am quite social, but sometimes I just don’t like to use my head (especially after a long day at work!). Sometimes I really just don’t want to talk, I just want to be around people and good music, and there is no pressure for you to talk much, especially because music is loud and place is crowded.

Plus, if someone is bothering me and I’m not in the mood at all, I could just excuse myself to the dance floor and tell them I’m going to dance—and then afterwards place myself to the opposite end of the room. That’s not quite as easy as in the club or bar setting.

  • It gets you in touch with your inner sexual energy!

It gets you to harness your sexual energy, your inner sexual kitten, if you may. Salsa is sultry, sexy, and sizzling hot. It’s hot to see a man dance and know how to lead. And it’s hot for women to flip their hair and move their hips. It’s a rather seductive form of seduction!

Unique things about Salsa in the Philippines

But let me tell you the salsa scene in the Philippines is unique, such as the following:

  • More females than males in any social, for sure.
  • The scene is still nascent, dancers would be around intermediate level, with a few outliers here and there
  • A thriving D.I. scene. Women actually pay or ‘book’ male leads to dancing with them the whole night. These are usually dance instructors who are quite good at dancing already. That means no other women can dance with these guys except them. The women may or may not need to be students of these dancers.

If you would like to check out the salsa social events, come to Maya Mexican Restaurant. It is part of the Abaca group of restaurants and located in The Crossroads, Banilad. Come to Maya at Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays when the second floor transforms into a salsa dance floor.

Address: The Crossroads, Gov. M. Cuenco Avenue, Kasambagan, Cebu City
Opening Times: Open everyday, 5PM to 1AM
Average Cost: 2 drinks for 180 PHP for 2-in-1 nights on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Facebook: MAYA Mexican Restaurant


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