Dancing in Taipei, Taiwan?

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by evilquesadilla, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. Looks like I'll be going to Taiwan in mid April. I will be in downtown Taipei. Someone told me about this place called Brown Sugar. Where are some good places to go dancing at, and what nights?

  2. kerry.alder

    kerry.alder Sonero

    My first business trip of 2010 brought me to central and eastern Europe. My second major trip brought me to North America. The office is hinting that my next one could be to our east Asia partners, not confirmed yet, but I could end up in Taipei as well. I too am curious about the Latin dance scene in Taipei. If I end up going to Taipei in mid-April, I might see you at the club Quesadilla!
  3. Haha, that would be great if we could meet up in Taipei. My trip is going to be around April 23rd-ish. I was told Taipei has a pretty active salsa scene. Hopefully someone on this board could shed some light.
  4. kerry.alder

    kerry.alder Sonero

    Thanks for doing some online scouting and finding out about these two places! I read that Taipei is the biggest city and according to some online articles written by locals, Taipei is supposed to be quite similar to American cities and dancing is very popular there.

    My trip is not confirmed yet so we should touch base again in early April to see if we can meet up in Taipei or not for salsa. We should also find out how to say "salsa club" in the local language so we know how to ask.
  5. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    It has a huge B/room scene in social and comp. style ,so it usually indicates other styles are around .
  6. Well, I just came back from Taiwan. Over all it was a trip that turned out to be better than I had expected. I went there for family issues, and that's never pleasant. But the dancing and hanging out portion of the trip was great.

    Thursday - Roxy Roots. It's a pub with a dance floor. I was surprised to see someone teaching rueda there. I spoke to the teacher after, it's not something they do normally, since Cuban isn't popular over there. The dancing was pretty good, a mix of good dancers and some beginners. They weren't used to my Cuban style, but they were intrigued and they enjoyed it anyway. It was a good starter for me for being the first experience.

    Friday - Barbados, but I couldn't go.

    Saturday - Capone's. It's a Italian restaurant. They had a live cover band playing requests, from classic rock to old school Taiwanese songs. After the salsa class, the band took the stage again and played salsa/cha-cha songs, but rearranged for electric guitar, bass & drumkit. It was very odd. While I appreciate their musicianship, I couldn't dance to it. They played 3 or 4 songs, then the salsa teacher started DJ'ing salsa songs. I had the most fun time here. Everyone was really friendly. The ladies were not shy about asking me to dance, which was very nice. After the dancing they invited me to go out to eat with them. I made a lot of friends this night.

    Sunday - Brown Sugar. This was supposed to be the highlight. Fancy club, live band, the works. But I wasn't impressed, probably because it was built up in my mind too much. It's a nice place, but the staff had bad attitudes. They didn't care for, or even like salsa dancers. Other places I've seen, the staff would at least enjoy watching all the dancing that's going on, especially good dancers. These people just wanted us out of the way and pay up. But salsa people don't pay for a lot for drinks, and they don't pay for "expensive VIP tables". So I get the feeling they also look down on salsa dancers for being cheap. The band actually wasn't that great. Again excellent musicianship, but the only "Latin" instrument was the congas, and it wasn't amplified enough. They also didn't have a timbales player, instead, they had a guy on a drum kit. They were too light on the Latin percussion.

    Monday - No salsa, I couldn't have made it anyway, had things to take care of.

    Tuesday - Brass Monkey (2nd and 4th Tuesday of every month). This is a sports bar. They were showing hockey on the TV's, and there were people there just drinking or watching sports. It was pretty fun, but the floor was too slippery, and I was wearing street shoes because I don't wear dance shoes. Supposedly Brass Monkey normally isn't that great. But this night a bunch of people showed up, most of them people I've already met and became friends with. So I had a good time anyway.

    Some interesting observations.
    New York on2 is the currently popular style. There's not a big salsa population in Taiwan, so it all depends on which instructor decide to go there to teach at the time. Currently it happens to be NY on2. Cuban is virtually non-existent. The foreigners and teachers recognize Cuban, but a lot of the local follows there had no clue.

    I didn't see any cliques, everyone was very friendly, and seems to know each other. Probably because the community is small. Later a local salsera told me they do have cliques, but it goes by venue. So if you're with a certain teacher that goes to certain venues, you don't go to the competitor's venues. She was saying there isn't enough salsa dancers in Taiwan already, it shouldn't be split like this. But Taiwan is known for its entrepreneural spirit, it's imbedded in their culture, so everyone is trying to start their own thing, instead of grouping together.

    The dancers are excellent technically, but other than the top notch ones, they're missing the flavor. Even the music I hear there, somehow it's less impactful, maybe the DJs weren't cranking the lower frequencies enough. I don't think they realize how powerful and important the role of percussion play in salsa. But they are just as addicted to salsa as we are, and are a fun and friendly bunch of people. I had a great time.

    I exchanged some salsa stories with the locals, and one fellow salsero from Germany there for vacation, while we were up on the mountain kicking back and drinking tea. I find it interesting that salsa stories/happenings are similar everywhere, regardless of country or culture. Seems like salsa is its own culture. If you're in it, you will share this culture with someone you've never met half way across the planet.

    Anyway, that's my Taiwan salsa report. I'll be going back in the future.
  7. kerry.alder

    kerry.alder Sonero

    Quesadilla, thank you for the excellent in depth report on the salsa scene in Taipei. Anyone on this list not native to Taiwan, but planning to visit Taiwan, including myself, will find your trip log most useful!

    I like the key points like the best places to go, the fact that the salsa scene there is friendly for foreigners and that they mostly dance On2, New York style.

    You also said that at Capone's Italian restaurant, they mixed salsa songs with traditional Taiwanese songs? Was it hard to dance to that? Did any foreigners even attempt?
  8. Oh no, I didn't mean a Taiwanese traditional/salsa fusion song, that would be very strange but I'd be interested in hearing something like that. They played them as separate songs. When the band was playing, very few people danced. When I walked in, before salsa started, they played some rockabilly stuff and a few couples were dancing swing. I think it was by request. The band was good, they play a variety of songs. But the "Latin" songs were just not Latin enough, due to the lack of correct instruments. And the real salsa dancing didn't really start until the band stopped and the salsa teacher started DJ'ing salsa songs.
  9. syy5400

    syy5400 Changui

    Hi!Quesadilla, It was nice to hearing that you had great time in Taiwan,I'm Taiwanese,just came back from Australia last month for 2 years backpacker traveling and started learning Salsa over there since last mid-year, I am doing the same things as you now,trying every salsa dancing places in Taipei,I've been to Barbados,Brown Sugar,Brass Monkey ,8 Zone Hotel,but not yet Roxy Roots,Capone's and one more Alley Cat's that you didn't mention at,I agreed with you of some points,Taiwanese are friendly(Cuz I'm Taiwanese of course,ha ha~ ) and salsa is popular here,but some of them are made me felt that they are focus on technics not enjoyment, technics are important as we dancing on floor that we knew,But it does make me feel a bit stressful while dancing with guys here sometimes and so missing the happiest dancing time in AU or some countries else,I do really like dancing and enjoy Latin music and have fun whole night,wanna fly to South America right now,Ha Ha~Welcome to Taiwan next time again,maybe dance together then!
  10. Hi syy5400, I'll be going back again. I'll send you a private message here when I do. Maybe we can meet up in Taipei.

    Salsa is a very fun hobby. Glad you discovered it.
  11. mangomotion

    mangomotion Tumbao

    I'm heading to Taipei for some family bonding for the month of March. Anyone from there on the forums who can suggest/update the reviews? :)

    Much appreciated!
  12. I haven't been to Taipei since I posted about my trip. I'd assume the venues should still be the same. The salsa dancers there are friendly. Just find one place, make some friends, and they'll tell you about the other places.
  13. Nuance*

    Nuance* Changui

    Salsa Taipei

    thanks for the info! I am also going to Taipei this fall....can you tell me if they dance salsa on 2 or on 1? I can't dance on 2 just yet :)
  14. SalsaBoy

    SalsaBoy Changui

    Dancing in Taipei

    Cannot find any salsa for thursday and Friday.
    Barbados No more. Now the place called BED plus and it is for shisa smokers ... Not salsa dancer. Brown sugar confirm thier Sunday night salsa. I will check it out.
  15. philltx

    philltx Changui

    Please let us know how your trip went. I haven't danced there in 2 years and would be curious to hear how the scene is now.
  16. Jantra

    Jantra Changui

    Updates on Taipei

    Does anyone have any updates on where to dance in Taipei ?

Share This Page