The life in the Dominican Republic is inseparably associated with the sun, beaches, Latin rhythms and dances. Dance is an integral part of the Dominican culture. That’s why there are so many types of dance, such as bachata, merengue, tipico, perico ripiao, salsa, etc. There is absolutely no way not to witness Dominicans dance in the streets, colmados, gas stations, bars or basically any place. So it seems time has come to overview main dance studios in the area where you could learn some ‘pasitos’ (Spanish for dance steps).
Dance studios in Sosua
Emily Watson Dance School
Location: International School of Sosua, la Mulata, Sosua
Dance types: Ballet, Hip Hop, Tap Dance, Modern Dance, Salsa, Bachata, Dancercise.
Rates: Free first class. Monthly rates from 1200 RD to 4300 RD depending on the frequency of classes per week.
This dance studio in Sosua is run by Emely Watson, an English expat who has been living in the Dominican Republic for over 15 years. Back in Cornwall, Emely studied at the Pamela Darlington School of Dance, part of the British Ballet Organization. Her husband, Carlos Francisco, helps her to manage the studio. He is a highly recognized and respected salsa dancer who has worked with choreographers such as Gertrudis Grandales, Carlos Colon, Chiqui Adhad, Rafael Brito and others. Together, they have created a wonderful dance studio where people of all ages discover passion for dance. Their unique offering is dancercise. It is a creative combination of dynamic music, Latin dance moves, cardio workout and aerobic exercises.
Besides, they organize summer dance camps to keep children active and entertained while learning new dance rhythms. So if you are in Sosua or Cabarete for a summer vacation and look for children activities, Emily Watson Dance Studio is definitely a place to check. Though the school’s audience may seem very young, adults are also welcome. After all, Carlos is Dominican. And what is a better way to learn Dominican salsa and bachata other than from a Dominican?
Fred Astaire Dance Studio
Location: Duarte street, El Choco entrance, Sosua
Dance types: Merengue, Bachata, Salsa, Tango, all other Latin dances.
Rates: 5000 RD per package of 6 classes for 2 people.
This dance studio in Sosua represents a famous global franchise. It’s the only school in the Caribbean by the Fred Astaire official name. The franchise was created in 1947 when the founder decided to open a chain of dance studios to make sure that his dance techniques could be preserved and passed onto the public. The school in Sosua respects these traditions and help people of all ages realize their dancing goals in a friendly and inspirational atmosphere. But naturally enough, here in the Dominican Republic, they focus more on Latin dances and music. The classes are mostly given on an individual basis, rather than in groups. So it’s a perfect solution for those who feel timid or shy to learn dancing in groups. Moreover, the instructors will help you prepare a dance for the wedding or another special occasion. Besides, yoga workshops are a nice addition to the classes.
Dance studio in Cabarete
Alma Libre Dance School
Location: Millennium Resort, Cabarete
Dance types: Cuban Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, African dance
Rates: 2500 RD per month for 8 classes.
This dance studio in Cabarete has become very famous over the last years mainly thanks to its founder. Half Russian and half Cameroonian, Ninafrika Kameroruskova has a very bright personality. Her dance background is a mix of basic ballet, contemporary jazz, African Dance, hip-hop and Latin dance. Besides, she is the founder and choreographer of a local healing & fire dance troupe Yemaya Tribe. Her classes at Millennium have helped hundreds of foreigners overcome their shyness and feel confident on the Ojos dance floor. Speaking of Ojos in Cabarete, Alma Libre dance studio stars there every Thursday on Latin music nights. Apart from regular master classes and workshops, the school can boast having organized even salsa boat parties. So taking classes at Alma Libre not only gets you an upgrade of your dancing skills, but also new cool friends.
Dance studio in Puerto Plata
Avanty Academy of Art
Location: 33, Manolo Tavarez Avenue, Puerto Plata
Dance types: Salsa, Merengue, Bachata, Classic ballet, Hip-hop, Belly dance, Caribbean dance.
Rates: 2000 RD inscription fee. 2000 RD per month for 8 classes.
The dance studio is more oriented to children who want to learn ballet and modern dance. The founder, Madelaine Ledesma, started the Academy in 2008 to promote the traditions and techniques of the Cuban ballet. That’s why the main dance room is named after the Cuban ballet star Alicia Alonso. Nevertheless, the dance studio offers classes of Latin dance for adults too. It only takes to find a minimum of 5 like-minded people to start a group. So if you stay or live in Puerto Plata and would like to learn salsa or bachata, Avanty is a good solution.