Salsa Heat: Where the dancing doesn't stop until 2 a.m.
ORLANDO, FL - If it's possible to have three left feet, then that's what I have.
Get enough drinks in me, however, and I'm practically Fred Astaire...or at least I think I am.
Salsa Heat in east Orlando on East Colonial Drive is one of those places where the people on the dance floor actually know how to dance. Not like your Aunt Ester trying to dance at your cousin's wedding, but they really know how to salsa and bachata.
Years ago, when I was a reporter with the Orlando Sentinel, I spotted the sign for Salsa Heat while driving around looking for interesting stories. It was one of those places I put in the back of my brain under the "Story to do later" file.
"Later" ended up being 5 years, but I'm glad I finally got a chance to step inside and meet the owner, Mike Barbieri. He's been teaching people how to dance the salsa and barchata for more than 20 years.
On most Friday nights, Salsa Heat hosts a dance social for dancers of all skill levels. (Entry is $7.)
The night starts at 7 p.m. with a class for anyone who needs to brush up on their salsa skills. The real dancing begins at 10 p.m.
When I shot the video for Orlando 60, I was struck by how many people were on the dance floor and how good they were. But I was more impressed that everyone seemed to switch partners after each song.
Mike explained that the socials are meant to be fun and most of the dancers know each other from the classes, so it's not awkward to ask someone who you didn't show up with to dance.
And the dancing didn't stop until 2 a.m.
Salsa Heat also has locations in Kissimmee, Maitland, Melbourne and Poinciana.
Address: 10685 E. Colonial Dr.Orlando, Florida 32817 Website: www.salsaorlando.com Phone number: (407) 275-0943