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One Hot & Spicy Friday Night in Cali, Colombia

With some of the cast of Cabaret!!!

Without a doubt Cali, Colombia has completely blown us away. As some of you know, we are here learning how to salsa dance…and soon I hope to report that our moves are of the hot & spicy variety to which I’m referring to in this blog. However, we took a night off from trying to get our moves down pat on the dance floor to watch how the professionals get it done…and I think you’ll all feel the heat when you watch a few of these videos.

Cali is known as the salsa capital of the world. It’s a city full of energy and funk…there seems to be a fiesta or holiday every second week and Caleños begin their weekend on a Thursday taking it all the way through until Tuesday when they finally have a small, two day break to recuperate. They say there are over 200 salsatecs throughout the city and at any of these venues you will find even your average Joes moving to the rhythm in ways that those of us from North America (ie. Gringos) could never imagine. We are so “stiff” back home…but for Caleños rhythm just seems to be inherent.

This is how Skott sees himself when he is 60


On Friday night we were lucky enough to find out about a cabaret that one of the dance schools, Swing Latino, was putting on. The tickets were a little expensive for a backpacker…100,000 Colombian Pesos (which is just over $50 Canadian), but we had been looking for an opportunity to check out what all the hype is about because you always hear about how amazing the pros are but they usually cannot be found in the dance clubs we go to. (We now understand why because in talking to one of the dancers we found out that they practice for 8 hours a day, everyday and are simply too exhausted after that).

The night was a late one for us…the first show started at 10pm and the last ended at 2am but it was worth it. I have NEVER seen dancing like this before. The quickest feet…amazing, colourful costumes and an energy that left us on a high well into the next day. Maybe it meant even more to us  because we’ve been taking lessons and learning how difficult the mechanics of salsa truly are…but whether or not you’ve ever had an appreciation for salsa before, I think you’ll have one now!  Take a look..here are some of our favourites:(and bear with us because this is using our little camera).

Things started off in the jungle:

And then they got super cute (the two little kids in the centre are only six-years old!):

Couple in Green #1:

Couple in Green #2:

Group Number:

The Finale:

Are you sweating yet? We can’t even believe it is possible for a person to move their legs this quickly! We loved so much that we will probably check them out again when we head to Bogota next week!

We never would have thought that dancing would have been one of our favourite parts of this RTW trip but for us it is definitely becoming one of the highlights. Way back in January of 2011 when we were concocting this idea we were inspired by a fellow traveler,  Dancing Matt from “Where the Hell is Matt”….he has essentially danced his way around the world. Since that time he’s done a whole new tour, dancing with people from every corner of the earth and we find ourselves appreciating his video even more now. Thanks Matt for always leaving us with a smile and a whole new inspiration for travel!!!

Jairo Varela-His heart has stopped, but his music will live on forever.


On one final note, we have to share with you the music of one of Cali’s finest salsa and folklore musicians who sadly passed away last week…a crushing loss to the world of music. Jairo Varela, part of Groupo Niche, is a legend here and even we felt the sadness after quickly finding some of his tunes to be our favourite to practice to…

And on a final FINAL note – check out our latest interview with A Couple Travelers, a new and inspiring travel couple nearly as pretty as us. Thanks so much for the interview Dave and Vicky!

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5 Responses to “One Hot & Spicy Friday Night in Cali, Colombia”

  1. Mom & Dad Hughes August 20, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    After watching that i am really owrried about Skott. If he gets thos long legs going like that they may get into knots that cannot be undone!! Looks like so much more fun that our usual standing and shuffling hey?? Great videos thx

    • Shawna August 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Glad you guys enjoyed it! From what I saw it seems the trick is to think of your legs as spaghetti. Might take us a little while yet to pull off some of those stunts but we’ll see what we can do ; )

  2. Kelly Laycock August 21, 2012 at 7:23 am #

    Hi guys,

    So fantastic that you are in Colombia, a country close to my heart! I spent 6 months there a long time ago, and fell in love with it too! Just wondering when you are planning to be back in Regina, cuz I’m moving back there Sept. 1, but will be heading over to do the Camino Frances and explore a bit of Europe from mid-Sept. until Christmas. Then I’m home and would love love love to get together to share a bottle of wine and a million travel stories! Have really loved following your posts. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog, even: thelonelyscallop.blogspot.ca. Espero que el resto de su viaje les da mucha felicidad! Con carino, Kelly

    • Skott August 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm #

      Hey Kelly – we are also pretty thrilled that we managed to make it hear to Colombia. Although we will only have the opportunity to experience a small sliver of what there is to see this time around, it is definitely on our ‘countries to return to’ list!

      That is awesome news that you are moving back to Regina, and I am sure we can take you up on that bottle of wine offer sometimes when you get back. That’s an amazing idea!

      Equally important though… you are doing the Camino!!!!! So incredible…. seriously, if you have ANY questions, please let us know…you will love it!!

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  1. So You Think You Can Dance | Get Up and Globe - August 24, 2012

    [...] to believe. People here don’t walk. They dance. If you don’t believe me, check out this professional salsa show we saw last week.It’s maddening really.Especially for me, because some days I have enough [...]

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