Salsa Cities - Australia

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by Hock Siew, May 20, 2010.

  1. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Hello everyone,

    I am going to be in Sydney sometime in June and perhaps Melbourne too. I was wondering whether anyone here can point out a few good places to dance. There are several places that are on the web. But it is always good to hear from other dancers :)

    Thanks! :)

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
    #1
  2. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    1. You will have a great time :) Most people are friendly if you come in with a good attitude and LOVE to dance :)

    2. Yay for you :)

    3. Sydney oh joy. Pumphouse Monday nights (in the city) is my favourite night around. Search websites for the other places and chat to the locals on Monday.

    4. Melbourne: I just went to the socials every night I could. Don't know of any special nights. Did not a significant cuban scene in Melb though. (Linear too of course :) )

    Have fun
  3. Tocador

    Tocador Son

    Pumphouse on monday nights is definitely a good night

    We also have friday nights at Illuminati bar (which is in glebe, i think) which are also worthwhile going to. Also if you're here in june, come check out the australian zouk championships, which are on 13-14 june (i think, i need to double check). :)


    edit: there's also a salsa night at Coolabar (in the city) on wednesday nights :)
  4. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Thanks very much for the info! :)

    I might be arriving in Sydney on Monday itself. That means I may still be able to make the Pumphouse; but I`m not sure whether I`ll be too tired. On the other hand, I`m not sure when I`ll be going back to Melbourne before flying out. So I may or may not be able to make the Illuminati bar. However, I can always try out the Coolabar and some of the other places. Anyway, thanks very much; I will certainly keep them in mind! :) I do hope that I will have time to check a few of these places out :)

    I`ll be going to Australia again later in the year - this time for a longer stay! So, I`m sure I`ll be able to visit these clubs the second trip as well :)

    Any more feedback from other readers are appreciated. I`m looking forward to the trip already :)

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
  5. Jag75

    Jag75 Rhythm Deputy

    Hi Hock Siew!

    You'll LOVE Sydney - so many amazing dancers and very friendly people.

    Yep agree Pumphouse on Monday nights is great - there's an even mix of on1 and on2 dancers, but you won't find as many cuban dancers on that night. The DJ - Graeme Haney (DJ Mambo G) is fantastic - his music is ideal for dancing (esp for the linear crowd). He's always very welcoming and when I go up with some of my friends (the "Canberra Crew") he never fails to mention to the other dancers the presence of us Canberrans (he always yells out "Canberra in the house!") lol.

    I've never been to Coolabar but my gf (she lives in Sydney) tells me it's really good, and that Martini on Sunday nights is also good.

    I'll be up for a week in June (from the 7th - 14th) so I might see you there if you make an appearance then!

    I've never been to Melbs though so don't know much about that - I've heard that it's much more cuban-heavy than Sydney though.

    Smiling - when are you going to be in Sydney next? Salsa solo comp? I go up to Sydney quite a lot these days.
  6. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Thanks! I appreciate all the feedback :) From the way it looks, I`m sure I`ll like the dance scene in Australia.

    I`ll only be arriving in Melbourne late at night on the 20th and should be travelling up to Sydney the next day. So looks like you`ll have gone back by them. But anyway, I`ll post again the next time I travel to Australia. So maybe I`ll catch some of you then :)

    Pumphouse sounds good. I mostly dance On-1, but I think a number of followers can dance both styles. Can anyone tell me about the public transport there? Are they trains or buses going to, and most importantly, coming back from the area? I`ll be staying with friends in Castle Hill, so it`s quite a long way to the Pumphouse. But I`m interested in giving it a visit :) Same for Coolabar.

    Tks and Rgds,
    Hock Siew
  7. Jag75

    Jag75 Rhythm Deputy

    I'll be going to the Zouk championships to check it out - hopefully they'll play a reasonable amount of salsa...

    Hock Siew - I'll be in Melbourne from Fri 18th - Mon 21st. If there's a salsa thing on I might see you then!
  8. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    I`ll actually be arriving in Melbourne only on the 19th itself. My flight comes in pretty late, so I don`t think I`ll be able to make it if there`s anything going on :( However, I will be coming to the country again later in the year - to stay. So, there`s a good chance I`ll catch you at some stage later on :)

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
  9. salsachinita

    salsachinita Nuevo Ritmo

    Hi Hock Siew... hi all

    Sorry to have found this thread so late (not around SF as much as I should be these days).

    Melbourne scene is still busy though a lot of the advanced people have stopped going social dancing for one reason or another (they are either busy with life outside salsa or teaching, from what I can gather).

    Friday Night - two choices:
    Conga Room at Copacabana (Smiths St, Collingwood)
    Sotano at Hilton Hotel in South Wharf (near the Convention Centre)

    The crowds are pretty much split in half for Friday night, but you will find some that try to make it to both venues. Mainly slot / linear styles, mostly on1. Old-school and Cuban sometimes make an appearance depending on who's there.

    Live bands on both venues, and the floors are good enough. Sotano at Hilton is larger and poshier but the band and DJ are better at Conga Room.

    Sunday Night:
    Night Cat (Johnston St, Fitzroy - near the corner of Brunswick St)

    Still the best place for live band, and increasingly turning into a dancers' joint. This is the place where some of the best dancers and musician will turn up - if you are lucky.

    All styles are seen here, including some fairly competent on2 actions. The floors are not the best, so be prepared to dance on any surface.

    I shall check out a few more venues and report back with the latest update shortly.....
  10. smiling28

    smiling28 Moderator

    HURRAY!!!

    You are back - woohoo!

    Hope to dance with you soon :)
  11. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Dear Salsachinita,

    Thank you very much for your feedback :) I really appreciate it!

    At the moment, it looks like I might not be stopping by Melbourne on the way out from Sydney (sorry!). But the information is really useful. I plan to be in Australia again later this year. And I`ll probably be in Melbourne at some stage. I really hope to be able to visit those clubs when I`m there :)

    Thanks again :)

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew

    P.S. Sorry for the late reply myself; I don`t stop by as often as I`d like :)
  12. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Dear Salsachinita and everyone else,

    I managed to check out a few clubs recently. I have only recently arrived in Melbourne so I have been to the clubs I mentioned here only once. Maybe when I have been here longer, I can give a better description of them :) Anyway, here are the updates (edited from Salsachinita's original post). Apart from the three clubs I added to Salsachinita's list, I also managed to go to the Night Cat.

    Thursday night:
    The Spot (Sydney Road, Brunswick)
    Quite a nice place with a live band on the night that I was there. Note that the staff will ask for a photo ID when you enter.

    Friday Night - two choices:
    Conga Room at Copacabana (Smiths St, Collingwood)
    Sotano at Hilton Hotel in South Wharf (near the Convention Centre)

    The crowds are pretty much split in half for Friday night, but you will find some that try to make it to both venues. Mainly slot / linear styles, mostly on1. Old-school and Cuban sometimes make an appearance depending on who's there.

    Live bands on both venues, and the floors are good enough. Sotano at Hilton is larger and poshier but the band and DJ are better at Conga Room.

    Saturday night:
    Town Hall Hotel (288, Bridge St, Richmond)
    Starts at 9:30pm. Was quiet the night I was there. I was told by the DJ that there was another event on that evening, otherwise the club would be more happening. Need to check it out again another time.

    Sunday Night - now two places:
    Night Cat (Johnston St, Fitzroy - near the corner of Brunswick St)

    Still the best place for live band, and increasingly turning into a dancers' joint. This is the place where some of the best dancers and musician will turn up - if you are lucky.

    All styles are seen here, including some fairly competent on2 actions. The floors are not the best, so be prepared to dance on any surface.

    The Provincial Hotel (299, Brunswick St, Fitzroy)
    A much smaller place than the Night Cat, but quite cosy. Starts earlier than the Night Cat (9:30pm) but ends early. I understand from some of the dancers that they typically finish about 10:30pm to 11:00pm; but that many of the dancers will move to the Night Cat after that. It is just down the road from the Night Cat.

    Will update further if there are any new developments :)

    Thank you!

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew
  13. azana

    azana Shine Officer

    I just remembered next Mon is a national holiday :D Maybe will go Night Cat on Sunday - ? It's usually a no can do with my long work commute. Anyway, will definitely go Brunswick Town Hall the next Sat, bad floor and all...it closes at 12:30 so there will still be plenty of trams back to the city ;)
  14. azana

    azana Shine Officer

    The Night Cat - similar to going to a nightclub when you're 20! It's not well laid out and was so packed you could barely move (lucky I'm used to dancing in Tokyo), and the guys were pulling the moves and the pick up lines. It was a throwback in time for me, and actually just so funny! It was like being at a regular club, but where the music is Latin and the level of dancing is higher than usual. The guys are still trying to physically hit on you, and get away with it due to the crush. I was necked on the floor by a guy who must have been 10 years younger! And the guys siddling up to you, beer stubby in hand, reminding you of of all those flimsy pick up lines (that you tend to hear in Turkey...)

    The music was mostly reggaeton :rolleyes: and the floor is small. There is a lesson (which didn't finish until almost 10:30 :confused: :mad:) which on paper was 'intermediate' (but that means something different in Melbourne...) and the students stayed on the floor, which meant it was crammed with beginners, and you had to dance on the concrete by the bar. Luckily, people would make room for decent couples, and there were some very good leads there :D When the band came on, they would play mostly salsa, but the sets were short.

    So, very amusing and a fun night out, but not really a salsa spot and not somewhere I'd patronise.

    Provincial was not on last night (no salsa) and apparently there is also Sunday night bachata at Destino in Chapel Street (ah...too far!)

    Saturday nights - the word is there have been live salsa bands playing at the Conga Room (Smith Street, Collingwood), but it isn't a permanent fixture.

    Looks like I'll be in Australia for the time being, after going to Japan for winter break, so will make the most of the scene :D

    (Hock Siew, who had been bugging me to go salsa all week, decided to go swing dancing instead - thought I'd shame him publicly ;) ) :D
  15. TwoLeftFeet

    TwoLeftFeet Shine Officer

    Hmm the Night Cat... what you put doesnt tally with the night i had there, but I was there last October and a bit of a beginner at that point.

    I do agree there are definitely some sleazy guys there, but I didnt have problems with dance space.

    There seemed to be a pretty good ration of females to men, i would even go as far as to say an abundance of ladies. When I was there they had a live band which i thoroughly loved, I dont know if that is a regular thing?

    All in all if i get chance to visit australia again i would definitely drop back there for some salsa.
  16. azana

    azana Shine Officer

    They weren't sleazy, just amusing! The salseros there were pure gentlemen - but good dancers were in the minority. It was clearly the place to be for anyone out on Brunswick Street/Johnson Street - there was a long line and 4 bouncers on. The ratio was fairly even, there was just no space to breathe. Perhaps 50% of the music was salsa, getting smaller as it got later; the rest was reggaeton and one sloooow cha; no bachata or merenge. Waiting for 40mins of reggaeton to finish...yawn!!! The band were excellent, but would only play 5-song sets, and with the band in the middle of the club, a small dance floor in terrible, slippery condition - there are better places here for salsa!

    Did you go anywhere else in Melbourne? Last Oct...I was most likely busy studying/working, but I may have been at Ormond Hall or out in St Kilda...
  17. TwoLeftFeet

    TwoLeftFeet Shine Officer

    Sadly I was in melbourne just one week. Well I had only done a small amount of actual social dancing prior, I did do one lesson in St Kilda as well which I enjoyed but the social after it was completely dead :( The night i had at the Night Cat really inspired me to start learning Salsa seriously. Sounds like it has got a lot busier there since i went though and perhaps more quantity over quality from the sounds of it.

    As per my sleazy comment I was with two lovely girls, and on girl got asked to dance by some guy, she said no she needed a break so he stood next to her for a full 10 mins following her around till she wanted to dance, which made her very uncomfortable.
  18. azana

    azana Shine Officer

    Sorry I missed you! The St Kilda social used to be great, with the best floor I've come across here and a good DJ - then it changed venue and died...

    I'm guessing with the Night Cat it depends on the night, the band, and so forth. Both times I've been there the salsa proportion has been paltry and there's been a lot of public, staged showing-who-you-know political nonsense. Others have reported good nights there.

    By the time a very good lead asked me, I was expecting another bad pick up line and almost didn't take him seriously - luckily we danced, he was great and the crowd parted and watched. The necking (!!) was very much a show of gratitude for a fun dance - unexpected, but made me laugh more than anything :)

    Happy to know you caught the bug down here! :D
  19. azana

    azana Shine Officer

    Friday - the Conga Room - now why hadn't I had time to check it out earlier? That is one awesome party! :D Absolutely superb floor, and that always scores points with me (apparently the room, upstairs from a regular club, isn't used much, so the floor remains in great nick). $10 (with latinlover membership card) for a live band? All right! The room is fairly small and very crowded, but, when I thought about it, (a) it's about twice the size of my fave club, Salsa Caribe in Tokyo, with about half as many dancers crammed in and (b) the snobs/cliques were swallowed up by a mass of normal people :) and other awesome dancers. Buzzing...! It's also not difficult to decide when to leave. The music changed to zouk at about 1:30 and I was out the door hehehe ;)

    The problem with getting back into dancing after a few months forced absence - blisters! aaargh! ouch! and I wanna go running tonight!
  20. Hock Siew

    Hock Siew Son

    Well, you didn`t miss much. The place closes at 2:00 am and they let us move downstairs to continue (I know you`ve been there again since, but not sure what time you stayed until :) ). However, the club downstairs is not really having Salsa (at least it wasn`t both times that I was there). It was just like a normal club - and it was fairly quiet. BTW, before the Conga Room closes, both the clubs are seperate; that is, entrance and everything else is considered seperate.

    For those who haven`t been there, the Conga Room is the Salsa club upstairs from a restaurant called Copacabana. They have Salsa on Fridays. I understand that they also have Salsa at Copacabana itself on some of the other nights but I haven`t been before.

    Rgds,
    Hock Siew

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