Perspective on Salsa in London, Ontario

Reading websites such as LB: Your Nightlife Source for London, Ontario! , J. learnt that the main salsa dancing place was Old Chicago at 153 Carling Street on Wednesday nights. J. also heard good things about Orlando Valencia & The Pachanga Band, the in-house live band. So he went to check out the place on a Wednesday night.

The music was very good.

J. doesn’t think he’ll be going back there anytime soon. Maybe not ever.

Good thing is that there was no cover charge. J. arrived at 9.30pm and spent half an hour sitting down watching the free trial class and drinking a small bottle of Heineken (CA$6.00).

The all-male band played a generally even mix of salsa, merengue, bachata and cumbia music in contrast to the predominantly salsa music of most salsa clubs/events in Singapore. It’s probably a reflection of the audience’s preferences. The songs were fairly long at probably at least 5min each, but the music had great beats, rhythm and vocals, making it very enjoyable to play with. The band was good, and probably the main thing worth going back for.

The style of salsa being danced is a bit strange to J. Their basic step is like an On1 LA style step with the lead’s left foot and follower’s right foot backwards on 1, and vice versa on 5. However, it also seems a bit cuban or rueda-ish. Peculiar, but not difficult to adapt to. This is not a major problem at all.

What bothered me was how the majority of dancers on the floor stayed on the floor with their original dancers. It was very difficult to ask anybody to dance because people don’t stop dancing with their partners. For someone who’s visiting the place alone, it’s difficult.

Anyway, it would be worth going back there with a small crowd of friends to take advantage of the spaciousness and live band. Since J. doesn’t have a crowd of latin-music-loving friends in London, he’s unlikely to return to Old Chicago.


5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by cheekysalsera on April 20, 2007 at 12:46 am

    Awwwwwwwwwwwww… what a pity!


  2. Posted by jon on April 20, 2007 at 12:54 am

    hey dude!! dropping by to say hi… good to know tat you are doing well!


  3. Hey, jon, how’s it going? Glad you could drop by, hope everything’s going well for you.


  4. Posted by actionaday on March 8, 2009 at 6:12 am

    Looking for Salsa Rueda classes in London Ontario: anyone know of any?


  5. Posted by CMarie on June 18, 2011 at 6:57 am

    I’m originally from London and have plan to visit Old Chicago’s for the Latin night. I have been dancing Salsa (Cuban and NY/LA style) and Bachata for a while now and will be performing salsa next year. Sad to hear that this scene hasn’t developed more in London yet.
    I live in New Orleans now and there are places to dance every night of the week, all styles etc, and all people are willing to dance with one another.
    Although there are not so great reviews about it, I’m still going to go and hopefully it has picked up a little bit.
    How many people came out to dance?



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