As we post more entries, I’m sure we’ll start to get some frequently asked questions. In the meantime, I’ve thought of a few that I’m sure are bound to come up and will answer them in advance.
- How do you pick the venues that you review?
- I want to suggest a club/party/workshop/etc. for you to review, how do I do that?
- How is the rating at the end of each review determined?
- How is the overall score determined?
- What does the scoring tell me?
- How objective/subjective are your reviews?
- I can’t believe you gave me favorite club such a low score!
- Why do you do this? Are you professionals?
1. How do you pick the venues that you review?
We’d like to say we have some sort of science; however, there is no science. The venues we review are picked quite randomly sometimes depending on how we feel. That said, we get suggestions from other salsa-holics and love trying new things.
We can’t guarantee a review, but we can always use suggestions. Drop a comment into a recent blog entry or email us at correspondents (at) torontodancesalsa (dot) com.
You’ll find that at the end of each entry, we summarize the details of the venue with their address, typical price of cover, coat check, and a score out of five for five attributes: dancefloor, ambiance, music, dancers, and fun factor with a final overall score. All five attributes are rated on a five point scale, with the final overall score being the addition of the five attributes for a possible maximum overall score of 25.
- 1 – Poor excuse for a dancefloor, the only way to get this score is if the dance floor is made of volcanic rocks with tar spread over it.
- 2 – Dance floor is substandard for dancing, but still danceable. Usual ailments would be: too sticky and difficult to spin on, or has an uneven surface with danger of tripping.
- 3 – Average dance floor, not bad but not spectacular
- 4 – Great dancefloor, consistent surface that is clean and easy to dance on
- 5 – The king of dancefloors, think of a grand ballroom with a newly polished floor where one can find no fault
- 1 – No ambiance at all, think dancing at a bright school gymnasium
- 2 – Some ambiance, but maybe the wrong ambiance. For example the venue is full of drunken partiers not interested in dancing and takeup dancefloor space by standing around talking and drinking on the dancefloor
- 3 – Decent lighting, a decent crowd, but maybe lacking that something special
- 4 – Nice ambiance, where you feel the energy and vibe of the crowd and the venue is conducive to mingling and dancing.
- 5 – You’ve magically been transported to another world where salsa is life and life is salsa.
- 1 – I swear it said salsa party on the poster/website/ticket, so why is there no salsa?
- 2 – A poor mix of music, where typical complaints are the merengue/bachata/cha cha cha and/or reggaeton sets run too long, or that a lot of the salsa songs are not danceable. Everyone loves fast songs, but three hours straight of fast mambo is not a good mix unless you’re at an aerobics workshop.
- 3 – An average mix of music, with a good variety of salsa
- 4 – A fantastic mix of songs with variety of danceable songs and a unique selection of merengue/bachata and/or cha cha cha.
- 5 – Professional DJ, where the DJ knows the crowd and plays remixes of classics, fresh new tunes and knows when to speed up and slow the tempo as per the energy level of the dance floor.
- 1 – You’ve obviously either shown up on hip-hop night, or the rest of the crowd wasn’t aware that it was salsa night. No salsa dancers to be seen from here to Puerto Rico.
- 2 – Some salsa dancers, but either not interested in dancing or all dancers are skewed to a particular level and are not interested in dancing with others.
- 3 – A good crowd with a mix of all range of dancers
- 4 – A fantastic crowd where everyone wants to dance
- 5 – You’ve stumbled upon a salsa mecca, where the room is filled with expert leaders and followers and they all want to dance with you
- Fun Factor
- 1 – I think we mistook a lecture on particle physics as a salsa party.
- 2 – Venue was just missing that spark of life
- 3 – Fun for a good majority of those trying
- 4 – Everybody having a good time
- 5 – Venue was so fun that nobody wanted to leave
- Overall – Out of 25
- 5-10: Not a recommended venue for salsa
- 10-15: Something is missing for us, but maybe you’ll have a better experience
- 15-20: A recommended venue for salsa
- 20-25: A star location that others venues can learn from
The overall score is simply the sum of the scores from the five attributes: Dancefloor, Ambiance, Music, Dancers and Fun Factor. Each of these are given a rating from 1-5 giving a possible maximum overall score of 25.
The scoring gives you a slightly more objective breakdown of things you might consider as the makings of a good salsa venue when compared with our more lenghty writeup. When I say slightly, please keep in mind that this is solely based on our opinion of the event or day that we attended. Things could vary depending on the day of the week, time and crowd, so we will post multiple reviews for the same clubs to give you a better overview over time. Please let us know if our scoring on a particular occasion appears out-of-date and we should give it a re-review.
Our reviews are as objective as we can make them by honestly scoring relative to other venues and reviews. We treat each visit as a new venue and try not to let past experiences cloud our judgment. With that said, our reviews are completely subjective in that these are the feelings of Nina and Alfred. We try our best to be fair, but if you think we’ve given a place an unfair review or that we simply were there on a “bad night” let us know and we’ll do a re-review.
Everyone is subject to the bad days, and salsa venues are no different. It could have been that the particular day of the week skewed our review. We aim to be fair, and if you think we reviewed a venue on an atypical instance let us know or better yet take us with you on a fun night and show us how wrong we were. It’s all about the fun!
We do this because we love salsa. Sharon at Toronto Dance Salsa invited us to this opportunity and we took her up on the offer. There are other sites that do reviews, and we’re hoping that we’re helping Toronto Dance Salsa students and other dancers out there with some opinions of good venues to practice and have fun dancing salsa. All the time and effort we all spend in class is rewarding and worthwhile with the fun you have going out to dance. Neither us are currently professional dancers, we dance for fun and want to share our experiences with you. We have day jobs that are not salsa related.
See you on the dancefloor!