A Salsa Dancer Travels: Another Great Night of Salsa in Philly

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Hello once again from the East Coast, Philadelphia, PA.

I opted once again to repeat a good thing and went back to the club I visited the night before, Brasils in Old City Philadelphia .  Although similar to my first night of salsa dancing, there was a different studio hosting the lessons.  Led by Mike Andino of Estilo Dance Studio , the lesson was a refreshing and upbeat event that consisted of some nice moves being taught.  I included a video from Mike’s website here so you can meet him and recognize him if you ever come to Philadelphia for salsa dancing.  My special thanks goes out to him for extending a welcome to an outsider like myself and making me feel welcome.

The night I have to say was even better than the previous night’s outing.  Not only was there a different crowd (I believe there were at least 2 bachelorette parties in attendance that night) but I was able to meet some really nice Philadelphia residents like Katie (thanks for all the great dances!).

I have to admit that I am running low on energy today.  The only thing I have to do at this point is go to Mass at a local Catholic Church and get some rest.

Oh yeah, I may go out yet again tonight…still unsure on that.  I know of at least one place I could go to tonight, Alfie’s that Mike suggested I visit.  More to come later…

John ;-)

A Salsa Dancer Travels: Brasils in Old City Philly

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Greetings from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Last night I had the opportunity to visit Philadelphia’s Old City area and it was a great experience.  For those of you in San Diego, California the Old City here in Philly is reminiscent of the Gaslamp Quarter downtown .  I included a video here so you could get a better sense of what I mean.

In terms of Philly salsa dancing, I visited a nice little venue called Brasil’s .  The club, located in the colonial part of the city, has a decent size dance floor on the second level and pretty good drink specials ($3 for a Corona before 11pm).  There were good lessons given by La Luna Dance Studio too (learned a new move called the susie Q).

Philly salsa is danced On1, so it wasn’t too difficult for me to meet some folks and get some good dancing in early on in the evening.  The city is also pretty diverse as I was able to dance with some residents that were originally from Hungary and other exotic locations around the world.  Although there was only a DJ and no live band, the DJ did a good job of mixing salsa with an occasional merengue and bachata.  I could have done without the Regaton though.

Overall, it was an excellent night out on the town here in Philly.  I have some other places to check out tonight but my feeling is I might make my way back to a good thing at Brasil’s again.  I’ll let you know how it pans out.

From Philly,

John ;-)

Brasils dance floor

A Salsa Dancer Travels: First Impressions of Philadelphia, PA

Friday, July 11, 2008

Philly Skyline

Hello from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania!  I arrived safely yesterday and enjoyed my first morning outing here in the "city of brotherly love".  It’s always interesting when you travel to a new place and how the sights and sounds capture your attention.  Philly is no exception as there is definately an old world feel to the city and a particular style to its residents.  One thing that surprised me is how hot it is here in the summertime!

I’m excited to go salsa dancing tonight and Saturday, still trying to decide which spots to visit.  Being already in the city, I’m inclined to visit some of the local spots including Brasil’s .  I’ve been informed of another club in New Jersey (for those of you not familiar with the layout of Philly, New Jersey is super close to where I am now too) that I may consider visiting.

Wherever I end up, I know I’m in for a great time in the Philadelphia area.  Take care and look for my next update!!!

A Salsa Dancer Travels: Philadelphia, PA

Monday, July 7, 2008

Philly Picture

If you’ve followed Ritmo Bello for some time now, you know that I love history and enjoy traveling to places rich in history. You would also recognize that I love salsa dancing in the places I visit.

Well, I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia, “The City of Brotherly Love” , this week for an exciting weekend visit.

I’ve done some research online and found a varied assortment of places and activities to check out while I’m there. First, using my connections through Meetup.com I’ve been able to find out about the 28th Annual Latino Festival that takes place this Saturday. The Philly Salsa Meetup group has organized an event to meet at the festival and I’m going to try to connect with some members from the group.

For nightlife I have a number of options that include these three venues:

Club Heat at Brasil’s: http://clubheatphilly.com/brasils/

North by Northwest: http://www.nxnwphl.com/

Center City Salsa: http://www.masterjmoves.com/gpage8.html

You can bet I’ll be doing some more research on places to visit for salsa while in the city and of course I’m open to any of your suggestions you might have for salsa clubs to visit.  Whatever places I do visit I’ll be writing reviews like I did with other places I’ve visited .

I’ll write some more about my trip later this week but until then I leave you with a quote from St. Augustine :

“The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Time to read some pages……….

A Salsa Dancer Travels: The King King on Hollywood Blvd

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Hello everyone once again from Los Angeles! I went out last night for some Tuesday night Salsa at the King King on Hollywood Blvd.

Located on the famous blvd of stars , the King King reminded me of the speak easy establishments of years gone by with its entrance in the back rather than the front. The Asian themed venue, with its concrete floor and red allure can be best described as "gritty." Emphasizing the virtues of "music, love, happiness, and peace", the decor at the King King counterbalanced this starkness to make for a nice venue.

The dancing itself had a slow start but dancers started coming in after 11pm. Many of the people who I met did not appear to be salsa dancers at first, especially with their Andy Warhol looks and different hair styles (I thought this one women’s hairdo was going to cause me some damage with all the hair spray spikes she sported.) Most came in casual garb (jeans).

Although there was no band, the DJ played some pretty good older salsa songs that I recognized. All in all it was a good night.

Special thanks to Karla Long, booking agent/manager at the King King, for the VIP treatment.

That’s it from Los Angeles. See you all again in San Diego soon!

John ;-)

A Salsa Dancer Travels: Night out at Zanzibar for Tumbao- Salsa Dura in Los Angeles

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


Greetings once again from Los Angeles! I’m having an excellent time here and was fortunate enough last night to go salsa dancing in the City of Angels. The venue was called Zanzibar and the night was Tumbao – Salsa Dura . Located not too far from the 3rd Street Promenade , Zanzibar was the perfect place for some Monday night salsa. The venue itself had an old brickhouse feel, complete with rustic wood floors that gave an ambience of middle eastern flavor. Most people in attendance were casual as expected for a Monday night sporting jeans (of course I went looking like I was ready for Saturday night salsa dancing but hey its my style).

I arrived early in the night to observe the lessons being given by Cristian Oviedo , who competently and with his own unique flair taught a bustling group of eager salsa dancers. After the beginning and intermediate lessons, the general dancing began and true to the name Tumbao there definitely was a great latin groove in motion. For a Monday night there was a great turnout that rivaled many of the most frequented locales in San Diego on busier nights (imagine a Cafe Sevilla on a Thursday night but filled with great dancers and space to dance). Personally I had a great time dancing and appreciated a venue that strictly played salsa songs (with an occasional cha cha cha) as the main form of music.

As with any salsa venue, the management and staff have an important impact on how a night turns out and I’m happy to report that I was treated with the utmost respect. Special thanks to Destiny at Zanzibar for the VIP treatment and opportunity to enjoy a salsa night in Los Angeles.

I’m here for a couple more days and I might go out dancing once again while here. If I do you can read all about it here. Until then, keep dancing and God bless!

A Salsa Dancer Travels: Los Angeles

Monday, March 3, 2008


Greetings from Los Angeles!

I’ve taken a short trip to our northern neighbor and hope to take advantage of the time here to go salsa dancing. Specifically, I’ve found at least three different venues that I can choose from for tonight. They include Zanzibar in Santa Monica, El Floridita in Hollywood, and Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill on Sunset Bvld. I’ll keep you posted on which venue I attend tonight and will write out a complete review. Until then, I’m going back to checking out the scene here… Hey, I think I just saw Jim Carey!

John ;-)

John F. Bello

Meet John ;-)

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