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Somoloco Salsa Immersion

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Frequently Asked Questions

So, what do you mean by an immersion?

An immersion is a mix of intensive dance education and cultural immersion with our community of local dancers. The idea is that through this experience, you will experience for yourself what latin flavor is — through dance, community, and exploring the best of what Medellin and the surrounding areas has to offer. We know the best people, experiences, and spots, and hook it up!

What's included?

Salsa, per week:

  • 15 hours private classes with Colombia’s best dance instructors.
  • 3 hours of group classes with fellow dancers.
  • 2 nights of social dancing with dance instructors in Medellin’s hottest salsa clubs.
  • 1 salsa percussion music lesson
  • 1 gourmet Colombian style dinner w local salsa historian (Week 1)
  • 1 visit to #1 Salsa radio station in Colombia with salsa historian and radio host (Week 1)
  • 7 nights beautiful accommodation in the best parts of Medellin with high-speed WIFI.
  • Access to local co-working space if you want to get some work done.
  • Transport to and from Medellin Airport with delicious mountain water to welcome you.
  • Local transport to and from Somoloco programming, when it isn’t walkable 🙂
  • 24-hour support with whatever you need – we got you!

Bachata, per week:

  • 15 hours private classes with Colombia’s best dance instructors.
  • 3 hours of group classes with fellow dancers.
  • 2 nights of social dancing with dance instructors in Medellin’s hottest dance clubs.
  • 1 bachata percussion lesson with local dance leader
  • 1 gourmet Colombian style dinner w local bachata historian (Week 1)
  • 7 nights beautiful accommodation in the best parts of Medellin with high-speed WIFI.
  • Access to local co-working space if you want to get some work done.
  • Transport to and from Medellin Airport with delicious mountain water to welcome you.
  • Local transport to and from Somoloco programming, when it isn’t walkable 🙂
  • 24-hour support with whatever you need – we got you!

Tango, per week:

  • 15 hours private classes with Colombia’s best dance instructors.
  • 3 hours of group classes with fellow dancers.
  • 2 nights of social dancing with dance instructors in Medellin’s top milongas.
  • 1 tango music lesson with local tangueros
  • 1 tour of Carlos Gardel focused Museo Casa Gardeliana with local tango historian (Week 1)
  • 1 special performance night with show, history, and delicious dinner (Week 1)
  • 7 nights beautiful accommodation in the best parts of Medellin with high-speed WIFI.
  • Access to local co-working space if you want to get some work done.
  • Transport to and from Medellin Airport with delicious mountain water to welcome you.
  • Local transport to and from Somoloco programming, when it isn’t walkable 🙂
  • 24-hour support with whatever you need – we got you!
What's a typical day like?

Immersions have 3 hours of private classes per day, Monday-Friday, either from 9am-12pm or 2-5pm, leaving half your day free to rest, relax, sightsee, or book some extras!  Night time is when we program the two weekly group classes, the two nights out dancing with your instructors, and the two experiences (sometimes we schedule this on Saturday day).  Sundays are never programmed and are meant for arrival, departure, or just plain free day for those spending more than a week with us in Medellin 🙂

What's the difference between Group immersions and Private Immersions?

Group Immersions occur only during listed dates on the Immersion page, while Private Immersions run all 52 weeks a year.   Group immersions and Private Immersions have the same programming and pricing, just that Group Immersions are shared with other participants just like you. So from the welcome dinner, to having buddies to go out for meals with in your down time, you’ll have peers to share the experience with. With that said we often have multiple participants during Private Immersion dates. And whether you come yourself on a Private Immersion or join a Group Immersion,, you will always be accompanied by us for all programming, along with 24/7 support via whatsapp 🙂

What are the details of the dance learning?

We teach Salsa (On-1, On-2, Cuban/Timba/Casino, Colombian aka Caleña + afrolatino styles like cha cha, pachanga and more). We also do Bachata (sensual + traditional) and Tango immersions!

Private classes are customized for you! Just let us know your experience and what you are looking to work on, and we will select your teachers accordingly. On day 1 of your immersion we will diagnose where you are at to co-create a plan that meets you where you are at. There is nothing cookie cutter about our private classes, though we have a tried + proven methodology to help you become more fluent + embodied in salsa.

Your private classes are 3 hours a day split into two classes of 1.5 each, one with a male lead teacher, the other with a female follower teacher.  We do this so you receive insights from both leader + follower, translating into giving you a better, more holistic understanding of your dancing.

Is it safe in Medellin (I’ve heard of Pablo Escobar and narcos)?

Tourism has been exploding in Colombia for the past three years, growing 13% per year and it continues to rise along with foreign investment in real estate and industry. Each year, holiday-makers, travelers and expats safely visit this beautiful city and it’s rich, diverse culture. As we like to say to visitors “The real danger in coming to Colombia is that you just might stay.” (Pablo Escobar died 25 years ago :-))

 

With that said, we make sure you are well taken care of. We accompany you for all programming including arranging transportation from the moment you arrive in Medellin to your departure.

 

The accommodation has 24/7 front desk security and we are always available via whatsapp for anything you need. Check out Allison’s recent review of her experience with us.

 

While we’ve never had any of our participants have a safety issue, we of course encourage everyone to practice good common sense and to not “dar papaya” which includes the two biggest culprits of being targets:

1) Walking alone drunk at night in sketchy places and

2) Meeting sketchy women online. This recent Reddit thread gives a fair and accurate portrayal of Medellin as well from real people’s unfiltered experience.

 

Medellin Guru has an accurate, in-depth article on safety in Medellin for further reading.

I’ve never danced salsa before, will I be able to keep up?

Yes! We have had many people dancing for the first time. Our instructors are patient and experienced teaching beginners as well as competitive dancers. They will make you feel part of the community and help you go from zero to social dancer in no time. See what Jay said here as a first time dancer.

I’m an intermediate/advanced dancer, can I join the immersion?

Yes! Our immersions are for all levels. With over 60 instructors, including several world champions, we provide private instruction personalized to your level and goals. Group classes bring together students with the same dancing style and level, for example intermediate Cuban salsa, or advanced bachata sensual.

What ages is this for? I don’t want to feel out of place…

This is for people of all ages and backgrounds! The minimum is that you are ready to be active and ready to dance! We actively encourage age diversity as it makes for a more dynamic group, and commonly have participants ranging from their 20s – 60s.

What are the payment terms?

-Payment made by Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, Wise, Revolut, or Credit Card
-Initial 50% paid up front as a Deposit
-Subsequent 50% paid 30 days before Immersion start date
-Deposit is fully refundable up to 30 days before trip with 10% service charge, afterwards it is not refundable

I hear they dance caleña salsa in Colombia, do I have to learn that?

No, you choose what style you want to learn. Caleña salsa originates from Cali in Colombia. But our community of teachers dance everything from On-1, On-2, to salsa casino and caleño. Not to mention bachata, kizomba, tango and several other Latin dance styles.

I don’t know what style of dance I want to learn, is that a problem?

Of course not! We will help you decide this based on your motivations for coming on the immersion 🙂  Check out our blog post on the types of salsa and how to choose one:

When does the immersion start and end?

Group immersion programming begins on Mondays and ends on Saturdays. Sundays are reserved for arrival and departure. For participants coming for 2 or more weeks, Sundays are also a free day!

Private immersion programming follows the same schedule, though we can tweak if needed 🙂

Why can’t I just go to Medellin and hunt for the cheapest dance instruction?

You could. But it would be a different experience. Immersions are designed to balance intensive-dance education, unique local experiences that only we produce or know about, and community. We make it easy for you to meet great people while you’re upping your salsa skills. Life is more fun when sharing is involved! You can also rely on us for 24/7 support – whether you have a dancing related question, or you just want to know where to find the best lunch in town, we’re here for you.

How much does food, drink and local transport cost?

If you eat like the locals do, a delicious lunch will cost $3-4 USD anywhere in town. 10-20x that if you want something fancier and international. For reference, the cost of living is between 1/5 – 1/20 of what it is the US. Uber operates everywhere in Medellin and costs $2-4 USD for a 15-20 minute ride from one neighbourhood to another.

Will David be there for the immersion?

He will be there in spirit and on WhatsApp only! David has setup the immersion with the rest of the Somoloco team to ensure you have an excellent experience, and  is involved behind the scenes ensuring everyone has an amazing experience both before, during and after your immersion. Your trip leader (probably Ale) will be your point person on the ground 🙂

Can I do an immersion in another Colombian city, like Cali, or Cartagena?

For now, we only run experiences in Medellin. But join our email-list to be the first to know when new cities open up.

Are there ATMs in Medellin / will my bank card work?

Most restaurants, shops and supermarkets accept VISA and Mastercard. Some of the smaller shops and cafes are cash only, but there are ATM machines everywhere in Medellin that work with international bank cards.

What’s the COVID situation in Medellin/Colombia?

As of Feb 23 2022, 81% of the population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, businesses and live events are back, and life is generally back to normal. Masks are required in public spaces like the metro or airport, otherwise optional. Proof of vaccine is requested by some events, restaurants, and businesses but not all. Check here  to see what type of rules your country has when traveling to or returning from Colombia.

Can I Airbnb my home to fund my trip, learn to dance salsa, have a blast and still have time to work remotely, relax or enjoy local tourism?

YES! What are you waiting for?

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