Cuban Salsa Holidays a Hit with Sting and New Year Revellers

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Celebrities are embracing the Salsa craze with appearances on TV shows like Strictly Come Dancing and, in the case of Sting and Trudie Styler, trips to Cuba's capital, Havana, to learn Salsa at its roots. Now, thanks to travel company Captivating Cuba, holidaymakers have the chance to follow in their (ever so graceful) footsteps by travelling to Havana to bring in the New Year Salsa-style.

Seinfeld knew why people had started eating a certain spicy condiment in such great quantities - it was 'because people like to say "Salsa"!' Just the word tripping off the tongue conveys a little bit of sizzling energy - a little bit of a beat and a promise of something exciting. Perhaps that's why, since the same term (- it's Spanish for 'sauce') was coined for the Caribbean dance in the 70's, Salsa dancing has exploded onto the scene with such force.

Whatever the reason, Salsa dancing is now firmly established for us Brits as a classic first date icebreaker, guaranteed TV ratings booster and, most recently, a hit New Year holiday theme. And where to go for the best possible Salsa holiday but Cuba's lively capital, Havana? After all, Salsa is Cuba's national dance. The latest converts are Sting and Trudie Styler, who recently flew to Havana for a two-week crash-course in the dance. According to Cuban Salsa dance tutor Angel Santos, the couple 'went away with a lot of Cuban flavour.'

The wave of interest in Cuban Salsa dancing, though, is not confined to the world of celebrity. It is for this reason that Cuba holiday specialists Captivating Cuba are now offering a specialised Salsa holiday to Havana for those looking to put some Salsa spice into their New Year break. The Cuba holiday includes 14 nights in Havana and lessons from world-class Cuban Salsa teachers (the full itinerary is listed below).

Captivating Cuba's managing director Emma Lelliott says the offer has already generated plenty of interest from adventurous Cuban Salsa fans. 'We wanted to create the sort of Havana holiday which would allow people to let their hair down and bring in the New Year with a bang,' she said. 'It seems as though we've really hit the jackpot with this holiday. Salsa has never been so popular and people are picking up of the fact that Cuba is the most fantastic place to party!'

According to Lelliott, celebrity interest is also a factor. 'Watching glamorous celebs hone their talents on Strictly Come Dancing has really whetted some people's appetites for Cuban Salsa and for dancing in general', she said, 'and the idea of following in the Sting's footsteps might also encourage people to book this holiday.'

In Cuba, Salsa teachers are hearing from more and more tourists keen to improve their dance steps. Even so, Angel Santos, who taught Sting on his recent Havana holiday, was surprised when, in January, the famous rock star asked him for help to reach his goal of being able to dance Salsa 'Cuban-style' over a period of two weeks. 'I never thought I would give classes to a figure of international music,' he said, 'it was a great pleasure.'

In order to give Sting the best chance of getting to grips with the basics of Salsa dancing, Santos suggested he use his wife, Blanca Perez, as a dance partner. According to Blanca, Sting 'picked up the rhythm very easily. He was a good student.' Santos added that because he is a musician, Sting 'has the feel for any type of rhythm.'

So is it really possible to learn Salsa in two weeks? Fortunately there are plenty of Salsa dancing courses going on in the UK for anyone who finds their 14 days in Havana insufficient to totally perfect their skills. So travellers taking advantage of Captivating Cuba's New Year break can relax and enjoy the full Cuba holiday experience.

The itinerary for Captivating Cuba's 14 nights in Havana is as follows:

  • 10 Nights in the heart of Old Havana, in Hemingway's classic hotel.
  • 4 Nights all-inclusive at a Paradise Beach location in Havana, 20 minutes from the Havana night life.
  • Direct flights with Virgin Atlantic plus airport meet and greet and transfers.
  • 21 hours of tuition at 4 levels. Beginners to professional level welcome.
  • World class Cuban teachers from the Raices Profundas company.
  • Salsa, Son, Rumba, Body movement, Rueda, Partner work, Afro Cuban Orishas and Reggaeton.
  • A totally off the tourist track itinerary, ensuring a unique entry to the heart of the Cuban Salsa scene.
  • Led by Kerry Ribchester (winner of the top British Salsa teacher award) and her team of bi -lingual tour hosts, celebrity Cuban teachers, and the most celebrated dance legend in Cuba, Juan de Dios.

About Captivating Cuba

Captivating Cuba is a Cuba holidays specialist offering Cuban Salsa holidays and other holidays to Cuba: Havana, Varadero and many resorts in Cuba. Captivating Cuba has great local knowledge and expertise so they can tailor a Cuba holiday to suit your needs. See http://www.captivatingcuba.com for details.

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Emma Lelliott
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