BUSAN, South Korea – The decades-long phenom that is salsa dancing has also made its way to the Korean peninsula, and the dance floors here in Busan are heating up with the Latin groove. Salsa dancing originated in the 1920’s in Cuba, and has steadily made its way around the world — most recently, Asia.
Busan alone has at least six salsa clubs, three of which are in Seomyeon. My favorite is Latin Fever Salsa Club, located next to Champion night club in Seomyeon, which is renowned for its high level salsa dancing and wide range of classes offered. The club has the largest dance floor, great DJs, clean bathrooms with free toothbrushes and toothpaste (to help prevent bad breathe when you’re dancing close) and special sinks to wash your feet.
Admission usually runs about 10,000 won with free drinks included. The atmosphere is festive and welcoming regardless of where you are from. Foreigners are always gladly received, and there are quite a few patrons who speak English. When the music stops at 1 a.m., you may be invited out for a late dinner, where the partying will continue till the wee hours of the morning.
The owner of Fever, Dae Ho Kim, a.k.a. “Mo Ja” ?? (Hat in Korean) has been active in the Busan salsa community for the past seven years and is the leader of the Salsa Dream Performance team.
“I see it as my mission to spread the passion of salsa all over Busan and Korea. I want to be like a salsa crusader, if you will,” he says.
Kim doesn’t limit himself to spreading a passion for salsa exclusively to Koreans; he would also like to introduce salsa to foreigners who are living in Busan.
Diana Park, Kim’s dance partner, thinks the future of their group is more than just about dancing.
“We are looking to go the next level and create a cultural experience for people from different backgrounds. Dancing is an amazing way to bring to cultures together. You don’t need to speak, just dance.”
Fever offers a wide variety of performance training classes which concentrate on Ballet/Pilates strengthening, ballroom dance styles like Rumba and Jive, social Cha Cha and Salsa classes for beginners (on1) and advanced students (on2), Bachata, and men’s and women’s styling classes. Weekend workshops are offered by renowned Korean professional Salsa dancers and international salsa stars such as Anya Katsevman and Luis Aguilar, current World Champions.
For more info on salsa night you can email Patti here.
Also, Neo Starface in Haeundae has lessons every Saturday night.