Hips and Salsa

By bogotapost December 22, 2014
Salsa Bogota, Punta y Taco Bogota

Londoner Eli Verth dancing to Hector Lavoe with teacher Marcela Orozco

The year comes spinning to an end with Punta y Taco’s end of year party

What do a London-born teacher, a Costa Rican PhD student, a Mexican engineer and a French soldier have in common?

None of them had a single dance step in their repertoire when they arrived to live in Bogota, but all can now boast they’ve shown off their moves on a stage in front of a 200-strong audience thanks to dance school Punta y Taco.

A family affair run by Jorge Orozco, his wife Gloria and his sister Marcela, Punta y Taco has been the go-to destination for new arrivals in Bogota — as well as hundreds of loyal locals — keen to improve their dance floor skills for over a decade.

La Noche de los Mejores is the school’s end of year party, including several performances by the students and teachers. Unlike most dance school shows in Bogota, Punta y Taco’s annual show is not trying to produce championship-winning pro dancers but rather to defy the old idiom and show that “no one is born with two left feet”, in Marcela’s words. Indeed, for Marcela, the “mejores” are not necessarily the most talented students, but “those who dance with the best attitude and most passion”.

The party included students of seven nationalities and all levels of experience throwing themselves into their dances and showing no small ability in performing salsa, tango, bachata, merengue and cumbia choreographies in groups or couples.

Though Jorge’s experience includes judging international salsa competitions as far away as Puerto Rico, his school’s focus — in both the private and group classes on offer — is on turning his students into confident social dancers for whom getting out on the floor is a joy, rather than the terrifying experience it is for many of us upon arrival in Colombia.

It seems to be working, as last week in downtown Bogota even those who did not venture as far as performing for the crowds twisted the night away until the early hours.

No worries if you missed out: every Friday at 8pm there’s a free class for newcomers at the school’s home on Calle 85, where you can discover what the fuss is all about.

For more information:

Jorge: 300 218 7199 / Marcela: 301 370 5319 / Gloria: 300 567 4307

Website: www.puntaytaco.com

Facebook: /Punta y Taco

Twitter: @Puntaytaco @BailaConMarce @BailaConJorge @BailaConGloria

By Oli Pritchard