Our top three dancing holidays

Something that’s really important to keep in mind when considering a dancing holiday is that you don’t need to already be an experienced dancer. Obviously if you do know your Rejection from your Suave in salsa that’s going to give you extra confidence, but enthusiastic amateurs are just as welcome on these trips. Beginners will find their abilities rapidly improve with the assistance of patient, dedicated instructors giving one-on-one advice, and there’s also a lot to be said for the motivation that comes with being part of a small group of mixed abilities. Our top five dancing holidays will give you a little more detail on what you can expect...

Salsa & Spanish in Granada, Spain

Get into the rhythm of local life by pairing your salsa lessons with Spanish language lessons in the Andalusian city of Granada. Classes concentrate on teaching you the steps of New York and LA style salsa (as opposed to the couples-led Cuban salsa). All learners, from beginners to advanced, are welcome. You’ll also get a choice accommodation that ranges from hostels and student-friendly apartments to homestays and hotels.

Our top selling trip: Learn Spanish and salsa in Granada, Spain

Salsa in Santiago, Cuba

Music and dance are the lifeblood of Cuba, making the Caribbean island a wonderful place for a dancing holiday. You’ll stay in casas particulares – private homestays – taking lessons in dance, percussion and perhaps also Spanish during the afternoons so that your evenings are free to explore the legendary nightlife of Santiago with the rest of your group and your instructors. One must-visit is the famous Casa de la Trova, where many of Cuba’s greatest bards got their start.
Our top selling trip: Cuba salsa dance holiday

Contemporary dance in Puglia, Italy

Like any good performer, the definition of contemporary dance is tricky to pin down. Dating to the mid-20th century, it borrows from many styles including classical ballet and jazz to create an eclectic, improvisational and expressive form of its own, that may seem unstructured to the uninitiated but is actually very reliant on technique. Contemporary dancing holidays in Puglia leave you plenty of time to explore the towns and culture of this magnificent region.

Dancing holidays advice

Kath Bateman from our supplier Caledonia Worldwide explains what to expect from dance holidays in Cuba and Cali:

A homestay from home

Casas particulares give a much more personal experience than staying in a hotel; the food is invariably a million times better and you have a friendly face to welcome you on arrival. Also, the location of the homestays we work with in Santiago de Cuba means that we are within very easy walking distance of the dance class venue and also for going out at night. Many of our clients specifically ask to return to the same homestay as before when they book again (around 30 percent come back!) as they have formed a good friendship with their hosts.”

Dance partners

“None of the clients is dancing with another client as everyone has a professional Cuban dance tutor/partner, but we change the partners for each class; there are three classes each day, so three different partners. We also swap during the class so that everyone has a chance to dance with a range of Cuban tutors.”

Nights out

“In Cali there is a range of late night venues, some with live music. Included in our one week dance holiday in Cali are two nights out with your dance instructor and two informal nights out with other students and the teachers from the dance school. In Santiago de Cuba, we all go out as a group, clients plus Cuban teachers, on five or six evenings during the two-week trip, to a range of live music venues, letting you put into practice what has been learned during the lessons. It also lets our clients hear some fabulous local live bands, see how Cubans can let their hair down and dance without any embarrassment.”

Son shine

“It is son that led to salsa, as it is known now, in the 50s when Cuban son musicians went to the US to join big bands. Cuban son is absolutely gorgeous to dance – a counter rhythm, smooth style of dance. We include an hour of son lessons every day on the holiday because it is so important in Santiago, as this is the city where son originated.”
Travel Team
If you'd like to chat about Dancing or need help finding a holiday to suit you we're very happy to help.

Tips from our holiday reviews

At Responsible Travel, we think the best people to advise our travellers are often... other travellers. They always return from our tours with packing tips, weather reports, ideas about what to do – and opinions about what not to.

We have selected some of the most useful dancing holiday tips that our guests have provided over the years to help you make the very most of your holiday – and the space inside your backpack.
Classes were intensive and comprehensive as well as informative about history and culture.
– Ethel Kojman on a Learn Spanish and salsa holiday in Granada
“The team at the salsa school were so welcoming and friendly, loved it! Very well organised, incredibly welcoming and friendly team at the dance school, definitely recommend.” – Samantha Bobba on a salsa holiday in Cali, Colombia

“The dancing was amazing, hilarious, fun and depending on how much you put into it - painful due to bad shoes! But totally worth it. The people there - I can't describe how warm and welcoming they are. The dancers, the guides.... everybody I met in fact. Be prepared to live like a local. This is not a luxury hotel thing - this is real life for those who work there, but you are a tourist. You will get the most out of this if you just relax, be thankful for everything you get, and bring the right type of clothes. Shoes! Think comfort - not fashion.” – Britt Voll on a Cuba salsa dance holiday

“If you are into salsa dancing, try a salsa class or two (or ten) - you usually get your own personal and skilled teacher, and because of this one-on-one teaching you learn a lot of new things in a short amount of time.” – Anniina Simula on a Cuba salsa dance holiday
Bring comfortable dance shoes and don’t expect much sleep.
– Adriana Macovei on a Cuba salsa dance holiday
“The best part of the holiday was the dance lessons. The instructors were great. Very patient and enthusiastic. The dance program again was well put together. The night outs with the dance instructors was great too – helped build confidence around what we had learned during the day. Helps to have some basic interest in dancing. Carry comfortable clothes and shoes – Santiago de Cuba is very hot and humid. Do carry some gifts along for the dance instructors/guide etc - even items like nail polishes, deodorants, perfumes, cosmetics etc will be much appreciated.” – Ujwala Rao on a Cuba salsa dance holiday

“My wife and I had never danced before and we speak no Spanish so the patience and understanding of the dancers was fantastic! It was hard work in hot temperatures but it was great fun too. Learn a little Spanish, be prepared for tiring dancing lessons and enjoy the cocktails! A simple way to help people is to take a lot of ball point pens which everyone is happy to accept. Try the independent restaurants but be patient as service can be slow.” – Keith Armstrong on a Cuba salsa dance holiday
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: amaral] [Tango - Argentina: Juan Antonio Segal] [Cuban salsa: Laura LaRose] [Havana - Cuba: Pedro Szekely] [What to expect: Caledonia Worldwide] [Quote 1: Caledonia Worldwide] [Quote 2: Caledonia Worldwide]