Review/Recap. With its stellar reputation for awesome music, quality salsa pros, and welcoming vibe, I don’t know HOW IN THE HECK I’ve only just made a visit to the Baila Dura Social in Cleveland for the first time since it has been on my radar for a good little while but I made up for lost time yesterday and had a FREAKING BLAST at their 8th Yr Anniversary!
Baila Duro Social serves Salseros of a discriminating palate in the Midwest region covering Cleveland where it is located, Columbus, Pittsburgh, Michigan, and other points west. The event is organized by a collective of individuals including DJ Efrain ‘Frankie’ Flores, Chika Aizu, and others who desire to offer an alternative to the rote salsa latin club scene in Cleveland. Their aim is to elevate the dance level and the musical tastes of its patrons with monthly socials and special events. They often bring in outside pros, DJs, and workshops to inspire Salseros to dig deeper into the music, history, dance, and the culture while maintaining a friendly non-snobby environment so all people feel welcome regardless of level or what timing of Salsa they dance or prefer.
There were workshops during the day that I only caught the tail end of because of our travel but they looked excellent and were taught by the always wonderful Mambero, Panchaguero, & Bachatero Extraordinaire Garry Portugal and the up and coming Salsanatti Dance Company. After the workshops, the social opened out of the gate with RIGHTEOUS music from DJ Efrain and DJ Sugar Ruiz! The dancefloor is AMAZING and I was assisted by the fast floor spinning like a top! People are very friendly and I didn’t detect any hierarchy, dancers corner, or things like that. People danced with everyone and the crowd was pretty diverse in age.
After the announcements and the shoutouts where Mr. Mambo’s was shown much love (THANK YOU EFRAIN ♥), there were 2 Dynamic Performances by the Los Panchagueros and Salsanatti Dance Company debut and then it was back to non-stop dancing! There were some great leads there and I definitely got a good follow workout that was worthy of my strict focus and attention! While every dance was OH SO Delightful due to the unknown quality of dancing with someone new paired with some pretty darn good technique, I must say that my Best Dance(s) of the night were with the Multi-Talented Kizombero/Zoukero/Mambeo Marc Brewer- HEAVEN! Great neighborly vibe at this social and I made some new dance friends. It was also great seeing some familiar faces who are family to me like Jon Treviño, Sarah K., Samantha Gilbride, William S. Harrison III, & Omar Saadeh who I haven’t seen in a while!
Bottom line, this social was worth the 12 hour round trip drive- enough said!
Written April 7, 2014