Where to Go Salsa Dancing in Miami


The Pineapple Stage at Ball and Chain

cubaocho car

1950s car in front of CubaOcho


Fun with friends at Ball and Chain

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By: Shayne Benowitz

Dance the night away at these spicy salsa dancing hotspots.

Miami is particularly alluring to travelers because of it’s sultry Latin culture. And there’s no better way to experience it firsthand than at a sizzling Latin dance club.

Options for salsa dancing and music abound no matter what you’re looking for. Whether it be lessons, a performance or to join in the action in a club/discoteca, Miami is an American salsa hotspot.

Ball & Chain in Little Havana

The historic Ball & Chain bar and music venue was revived in 2014 after sitting dormant for decades. Famous for performances by Count Basie, Billie Holiday and Chet Baker in the 1950s, the Ball & Chain is back. Reviving the nightlife scene on Calle Ocho, the venue is designed in a sexy, wood-paneled setting with green leather banquettes and palm fronds reminiscent of its heyday. Live music is once again the focal point with acts ranging from legendary Tito Puente to Latin house party DJ sets or salsa lessons and competitions to live jazz sets by local bands like Palo! Make sure to go out back to the pineapple band shell to be a part of the music. This nightspot also serves a tempting tapas menu and delicious craft cocktails created by Cuban mixology impresario Julio Cabrera.

Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana

Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana is a destination for authentic Cuban music, drinks and of course, dancing. If names like Celia Cruz and Benny More don’t ring a bell, then you’ll get an education in the Cuban music greats here. Fun fact: the movie, Chef, starring Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara, filmed a scene here.

CubaOcho in Little Havana

Part-research center and art gallery, part-rum bar with live music, CubaOcho is a true Little Havana treasure. During the day, explore the collection of antique artwork and furniture from 1850-1958. Ask the owner to show you pieces formerly owned by Frank Sinatra. It’s a place for locals to congregate day and night over cigars in the outdoor courtyard. Head over to the bar and sip from a huge selection of rum (arguably the most extensive rum bar in Miami) that would make a pirate king proud. Weekend evenings come alive with live music ranging from jazz to salsa and everything in between. Get on the dancefloor yourself or just sit back and watch the locals play in this intimate setting.

YUCA 501 on South Beach

YUCA, an acronym for “Young Urban Cuban-Americans,” serves up contemporary Cuban and Nuevo Latino dishes downstairs and on the sidewalk at this Lincoln Road restaurant. The upstairs ballroom is the location for salsa lessons on Wednesday and Friday nights starting at 8:30 p.m. It's an inspiring setting to test your salsa skills, with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking passersby on Lincoln Road and the Miami night sky. Expect live music or a DJ and stick around after your lesson to work on your moves with the local Miami Beach crowd.

Salsa Mia on South Beach

Salsa Mia runs the show at Mango's on South Beach every night of the week. Come and enjoy a one and a half hour class for all levels, followed by practice dancing and party. The atmosphere is friendly and inviting, whether you choose to grab a partner and show off your own moves or simply want to watch others while sipping a mojito. Visit salsamia.com and sign up to get your Salsa Lessons & Party Pass ticket which gives you VIP club entrance until 4am.

La Covacha in Doral

In Doral, La Covacha is a local spot with great Latin music ranging from Spanish music to house and even disco. The welcoming backyard, tiki-style bar draws a crowd ready to move on the dance floor. Join in for a night of exciting Latin beats.

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