Salsa Retreat is offering sustainable dance retreats and workshops with the goal to offer authentic learning experiences to the traveler while maximizing the positive impact on the local community.
We offer private dance lessons with professional instructors along with a cultural immersion program in our two destinations – Mexico and Cuba – to all travelers interested in music and dance.
Although recreational travel to Cuba is currently not possible for U.S. citizens and residents, Salsa Retreat has received a specific license to conduct legal educational people-to-people tours. Our group tours to Havana include an authorization letter issued to all participants for legal travel to Cuba and are consistent with current regulations. For our program in Oaxaca, Mexico, where no such regulations exist and individualized travel is possible, we welcome visitors from all over the world. Here we can offer customized itineraries that include all the activities our guests are interested in.
While our program in Mexico is focused mostly on dance – various Latin dance styles are offered – our program in Cuba includes lessons in both music and dance. In Cuba, we also dive deep into the history of music and visit various places that showcase the Afro-Cuban movements and rhythms that have contributed to modern day Salsa.
Salsa Retreat works directly with local dance studios with the goal to maximize the pay of our instructors. In addition we designed our programs to be sustainable in the sense that they don’t hurt the local dance community by converting dance schools that serve primarily locals into tourist businesses. We ensure that the schools we work with remain focused on serving the local community and our programs help to improve the facilities. In our Oaxaca dance studio we were able to replace a raw concrete floor with wood.
Our new program in Havana, Cuba, is equally designed to maximize benefits to the local community by working directly with small business owners, the owners of Casas Particulares as the local homestay option is called, and not with large government operated hotels. We also pay our dancers and musicians directly so that the money isn’t lost to the man in the middle.
For our guests our tours to Cuba offer the opportunity to experience Cuban culture in the most exciting way possible — through its music. Participants of this unique and inspiring program will learn about Cuban music and dance from renowned local musicians and dancers directly in Havana. During the day, our music and dance workshop will consist of music lessons with hands-on drumming and percussion, Afro-Cuban body movement lessons and Salsa dance lessons with local dance partners. In this exclusive format our guests will be able to engage with Cuban musicians and dancers and learn about their lives and work, culture and traditions. At night we will meet with Cuban musicians and dancers in an informal setting to build on what we have learned in the classroom during the day.
Salsa Retreat will start offering tours to Havana, Cuba in January 2014. Additional trips to Cuba including to Santiago de Cuba are planned for the coming year.