Famous salsa club Hot Salsa! In Birmingham has announced it will be closing its doors after running out of different, innovative ways to sell its dance classes. Despite a large, ever-changing variety of salsa classes aimed at every section of the population, numbers have fallen and continue to dwindle.
Classes in the past have included Aerobo Salsa, Hip-hop Salsa, Breakdance Salsa, Combat Salsa, Circus Salsa, Salsa for Kids, Salsa with Attitude (for the LGBT community), Salsa on Ice, Salsa Singles, Yoga Salsa, Football Salsa, Islamo-Salsa, Roller Salsa, Naked Salsa, Fetish Salsa, Line-dance Salsa, Ski Salsa, Wheelchair Salsa and Salsa for Pets.
The problem lies with the fickle nature of the public, says Bruno Cortez, instructor at Hot Salsa! “In Puerto Rico salsa is a legend, it’s a way of life,” he said. “We dance with passion. We dance in a frenzy of erotic energy until our feet bleed. Every man woman and child takes hold of salsa and squeezes it until it drips salsa juice down their open-to-the-waist, brightly coloured cotton chemises. In Britain, they dance for one hour on a Thursday before going to the pub. And they come once, maybe twice.”
The management of Hot Salsa! admits it has possibly stretched the salsa craze way beyond its natural life. “The problem is that once the divorcees work out they’re not going to sleep with the instructor, or get to look like Jennifer Lopez, they kind of lose interest,” said manager Gordon Riley. “We’ve tried to keep our classes modern and relevant but there’s always something new. I remember when Capoeira started to take off, and then there was knitting. There are too many things for single women and gay men to do in the evening.”
Previous attendees at Hot Salsa! explained that salsa hadn’t led to the life change they were expecting. “I read in the Birmingham Evening Post that salsa burns 600 calories an hour and tones your waist and upper arms,” said Evie Barncock. “I thought it would be a whole lifestyle change for me, that I would suddenly become a sensual, Latin woman with inner confidence and snake-like moves. But I’ve been three times now and I’m still just me.”