Salsa in Addis
By Saba Alemnew
Although, at times the slower pace of life in Ethiopia can be frustrating, there is a value in the time people take to enjoy spending time with others and having a macchiato in the afternoon. I have (slowly) grown to appreciate taking time to enjoy simple things and have also had the ability to engage in activities I never had time for back home.
I have (slowly) grown to appreciate taking time to enjoy simple things and have also had the ability to engage in activities I never had time for back home.
I’ve always wanted to learn how to Salsa, but I didn’t find the time. To my surprise, there is a large salsa community in Addis Ababa with at least seven different classes being offered around the city. I decided to join a class offered at Alem Fitness, and I was excited to see that the entire class was full of young locals. After my first class where I learned very basic steps, I started “couple” dancing, and I was hooked. I looked forward to each class learning a combination of different dance moves that increased in complexity each class.
After about one month of salsa lessons, I convinced some friends in my Salsa class to go out Salsa dancing. I was surprised to learn that there was a “Salsa Night” at a different venue every evening, except Mondays, in Addis Ababa. So we ended up going to the Cellar, and as soon as we walked in, the room was full of people actually Salsa dancing. Everyone seemed to be a professional, judging by the way they moved across the dance floor. I hesitated dancing at first, but through multiple conversations that evening I learned most of the people there had been dancing for at least three years. Knowing that eased my hesitation and before I knew it, I was out there dancing and enjoying it! Even though I was a beginner, I was even able to keep up most of the time.
When I sat to take a break, I noticed how some of the other people danced and it was like watching an actual performance. Not only was their dancing beautiful, but it was also very inspirational and pushed me to want to be better. Overall, the people I have encountered within the Salsa community in Addis seem to be passionate about it and are eager to see other people trying to learn. Salsa dancing in Addis is definitely here to stay!
Salsa dancing in Addis is definitely here to stay!
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ethiopian Diaspora Fellowship the organization and the leadership.