BY STEPHANIE SANTANA
SEOMYEON- On the one hand, it’s a central hub of Korean culture: norebangs, PC Bangs and hofs all around. On the other hand, it also happens to be the central hub of a vibrant salsa community, with four clubs alone existing within the bright-lighted district. About a five-minute walk from the subway and right across the Cinus movie theatre, Caribe happens to be the newest and most centrally located of all the salsa clubs in Seomyeon.
For those just starting out at salsa dancing, this club is a welcoming place to visit. Although it’s smaller in comparison to the other clubs in the area, its cozy size is the perfect place for beginners to get to know each other. You can even talk about the salsa videos being projected on the wall behind the bar while ordering a cocktail or beer and resting your tired dancing feet on one of the many seats available. Another plus is the huge windows which will air out any night of a crowded room of sweaty salseros. The only con about this place would be that there were too many tables that greatly diminished the dancing space available.
The club is open every day, except Sunday, for social dancing at 8pm. Since it’s fairly new, it’s still generating a following of veteran salseros. However, on Tuesday, Friday or Saturday night, a cover charge of 10,000 won gets you a night of dancing and most often, unlimited draft beer. These nights are referred to as “meet-up” nights, which mean that there is usually a class right before the social dancing starts and therefore a guaranteed crowd that stays for social dancing.
On Tuesday, a bachata class is held from 7-8pm, on Friday, a salsa class is held from 7-8pm and on Saturday, there’s both an intermediate class (7-8pm) and a beginner class (8-9pm) hosted by the English salsa club. There’s even an option to take a free Korean class from 6-7pm through the English salsa club. When I visited the club for one of English Salsa Club’s parties (a special styling class was held), I enjoyed seeing the experienced Korean dancers gladly asking and teaching the beginners to dance. As the newest salsa club, this place has promise.
Happy Salsa Dancing!
Directions: Walk straight out of Seomyeon Exit 7. You’ll pass a Baskin Robbins on your left, and you’ll see a Cinus movie theater on your right. Caribe is across the street from the Cinus theater on the 2nd floor, above the Okudak (오꾸닭) chicken restaurant.
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