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A woman and man dancing salsa in a club

Why did I book a dance holiday when I had never danced before?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Ever dreamed of going on holiday to learn to dance in Cuba? Leanne recently returned from a group trip with Caledonia in Santiago de Cuba for their Dance Holiday in July. In this post, she tells us about her experience as a complete beginner in Cuban dance and joining the holiday as a solo traveller:

“There were two factors that led me to booking the Cuba Dance Holiday.  One –  I was looking for a holiday that would combine fitness and wellness with a bit of fun. Two –  I always fancied travelling to Cuba but it was not a place I wanted to travel to alone, as I wanted to experience the vibrant night life and from previous experience of travelling solo – I don’t always feel comfortable exploring the night life alone.  When I came across this holiday, it ticked a lot of boxes for me.

The holiday was based in Santiago – ‘the second capital city’ of Cuba and from the moment I arrived I was put at ease with a seamless transfer to my homestay and pleasant and welcoming people at each stage of my arrival.  This just really put me at ease and allowed me to just enjoy my surroundings and relax.

As I met the others I was sharing accommodation with it become clear that a lot of thought had gone into who was sharing with who.  I met two women at a similar stage in their life to me, with so much in common, and we fast became friends.

Girl dancing with dance teacher in red vest top. Other dance couples in the background

Leanne in group dance lessons with instructor

The dance lessons started at 9.30am the next morning.  I was a little apprehensive as from the people I had met so far, I was the only person who had never danced and thought I may have signed myself up for something way over my head.  The dance programme consisted of three hours of dance lessons per day, split down into 3 x 1 hour lessons for a different style of dance, two of which were the same every day – so you really had intensive tuition.

I was put at ease when the dance instruction started, the atmosphere was full of fun and very positive.  I was allocated a dance partner for each dance and they were allocated to me for the next two weeks.  The dance teachers and the individual dancers were more than helpful and very patient.  I was provided with one on one attention and tuition and they made it fun to practice.  It did not seem like exercise at all.  On the first social nights I went out I had no intention of dancing as I was not at a level to dance in public, but I was encouraged to do so anyway by the dancers, and they helped me feel more comfortable with that and encouraged me to just enjoy the music and the atmosphere.  It was very inclusive.

A group shot of dancers and dance holiday participants gathered in the dance studio in Santiago de Cuba

Caledonia July Dance Holiday group shot

The two weeks flew by in a wonderful blur of dancing, music, friendship and fun.  It was everything I was looking for in that holiday and more.  I enjoyed dancing so much, on my return home I looked up salsa classes in Cardiff and joined a beginners’ class.  It was at this point I realised how much I had learnt in Cuba as I stayed for the advanced class. I think I would have needed to attend for nine months to have the type of practice and be at the level I was after two weeks on my dancing holiday.

I really hope to be able to go back one day and have started saving already!”




Interested? For more information on our upcoming Cuba Dance holidays or to book a place, take a look at our Cuba Salsa Holiday page on our website. Or contact us on info@caledoniaworldwide.com or 0131 621 7721


About the Author:

Leanne Owen travelled with Caledonia to Santiago on the Dance Holiday in July 2017. She is currently based in Cardiff where she works as an accountant and likes to travel and explore in her spare time.