There’s no denying it: Tuesday nights can be pretty boring. The weekend is long over, and the next seems like an eternity away.
A group in Durango is trying to take a fairly ordinary evening and spice it up. For the past four months, Salsa Dance Durango has been offering classes and a social night Tuesdays at the Balcony Bar & Grill, 600 Main Ave.
“We started it in the very beginning of January, and it was packed,” said Salsa Dance Durango co-founder Louvelle Zinser. “We didn’t realize how much of a need there was for people to want to come out to salsa dance and to come to an environment where it was fun and relaxed and there’s no pressure.”
Zinser and her former dance partner, Noah Chutz, started Salsa Dance Durango because they were looking for a consistent place to dance and to pass on their love for the style by teaching it to others, Zinser said.
She said they were surprised by the initial turnout.
“We thought 10 people were going to show up, and we showed up on the first night and 35 people were here,” she said. “We were stoked by how many people came, and everyone had a great time. We didn’t even envision we’d moved on to a second level; we just wanted to bring people out to dance, and people were really interested in moving on.”
The evenings begin at 6:30, when the space is broken into two class levels and taught by longtime Durango instructors. Level 1, the beginners, is taught by Zinser and Wendy Graham, and the intermediate group, which is taught by Suzy DiSanto. After the classes, the space is open for social night at 8 p.m., which is free and open to the public. The Balcony also offers dinner specials until 8 p.m. and drink specials throughout the evening.
The music played during the social portion of the night isn’t just limited to salsa: You may also hear merengue, cumbia, bachata and reggaeton, Zinser said.
And the students are dedicated to their classes.
Ashley Micikas and her fiance, Pedro Gonzalez, who were taking the Level 1 class with Graham on Tuesday night, are planning to use some of the skills they learn at salsa night in their wedding on July 2.
“This is our fourth week now, so we’re just starting,” Micikas said, “It’s awesome. I feel like we’ve learned a lot, They’re awesome teachers. We’ve got a little ways to go, but we’re working on it.”
For Salsa Dance Durango, the point is to spread the love of salsa to Durango.
“We just wanted to be able to a) find a place for us to dance, and b) be able to pass on our love of dance to other people,” Zinser said.