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Salsa is fun, salsa is caliente, salsa is life and where else than in the country where music and dance are uppermost: CUBA

The concept of viaDanza is that we combine both culture and dance, and that we understand what our customers want. viaDanza organizes salsa dance holidays to Cuba since the year 2000. Our experience in Cuba and the fact that we have been able to open a dance school as one of the first Europeans in Havana make us unique. Our dance school is situated in one of the most beautiful areas of Havana next to Rio Almendaris, this also the location of Club Salseando ChĂŠvere, where every Wednesday you can enjoy a wonderful evening filled with authentic salsa music and dancing.

Whether you travel alone or with a partner, our viaDanza dance school in Havana, Cuba provides each participant with a private certified dance partner. Under the guidance of our salsa dance instructor you will teach the intricacies of Cuban salsa. You will learn during our balanced program new salsa figures, like lady styling and you'll often join one of the best forms of salsa dancing, the Rueda de Casino.

viaDanza Dance Travel to Cuba offers you the ultimate pleasure of dance. For this, we have compiled a travel program of salsa, beach, and above all lots of music and dance for you. We will take you to concerts of the most famous Cuban Salsa / Timba bands and to the best salsa venues in Havana / Trinidad and you will always be guided by our dance partners so that we can assure that you will have the time of your life with us We offer salsa dance classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced.. At each level you can enjoy this exciting dance. Besides salsa dancing you will also be able to visit the beautiful palm beaches in Cuba. We offer various types of tours where you can enjoy Havana and Trinidad.

Salsa is more than a dance, it's a feeling. With our own dance school in Havana and our professional dance team, we will give you the opportunity to experience the passionate Cuban lifestyle and maybe adopt it into your daily life. viaDanza is accessible to everyone, young and old, with or without a partner, and from beginners to advanced. For each participant, there's a dance partner who will accompany you during the lessons and many parties.

City of Havana

Travel and dancing with viaDanza means that you deal with all facets of this fascinating country The culture, history, music, dance and the current political situation makes Cuba a much discussed and fascinating country. viaDanza gives you all the space and freedom, outside the classroom, to give your own interpretation to your personal travel needs. We offer cultural tours, but you are free to make other choices.

yourself sitting in the sun on a terrace with an Cuban cocktail while enjoying the sound of salsa that seems to come from every building in the city you will know you are at the right place .

In short: víaDanza offers an unforgettable journey consisting of four facets.

Because we organize group holidays we often get the question if our trip is suitable for singles. Our answer will be YES! We organize the trip, we guide our customers and activities and we can tell you a small secret: About 90% of all our customers are people traveling without a partner. authenticity: With víaDanza you will get to learn the country, the people, the culture and the salsa. You will get to know the inhabitants, you will talk and dance with them and will experience the culture with all your heart. competence: With víaDanza and its long experience with traveling to Cuba, you will be assisted by professionals with years of experience. Salsa-hotspots: With víaDanza you will only visit those places where salsa is danced as, what we call, it’s been cooked. You will travel to areas where the salsa feeling is part of its roots. Dream trip: With víaDanza you will only travel to those areas that are authentic. When you can imagine

We not only offering you “Just sun, sea, and beach” more than that we offer you an unforgettable journey that will exists out of an exciting, fascinating, beautiful and unforgettable experience. We will let you experience the salsa in a new and original perspective. Only this way víaDanza will be full of excitement and gives you the great highlights of this amazing and beautiful country.

Our trips are filled with a variety of dances from the Cuban culture but of course with salsa, lots of salsa! Cuban Salsa, which is characterized by restrained steps, comes directly from an African slave dance. In the 15th century Cuba was

colonized by Spain.. The original inhabitants, Indians, were not found suitable for the heavy labour. This is when they decided to get strong black slaves from Africa. During the months of traveling from Africa to Cuba the slaves used to sing and dance as hard as possible to silence the horrible and monstrous sound of the sea and also calm the super natural forces which they believed in. The feet of the slaves, however, were shackled with iron rings so they could make only small steps The result of these retained steps are characteristic of the Cuban salsa.

The sauce is dripping Soon this music was called salsa (sauce). Named was givenby the legendary Willie Colón who was contracted by the record company "La Fania". It is believed that the name recognition has come from the “Son” hits "Échenle salsita Salsa “en “todo el mundo" From the beginning the victory laps. The salsa conquers North America first and then all of Latin America. Then it crossed the ocean to Europe and then on to what is left of the world. From Honolulu to Vladivostok, from Cape Town to Helsinki: Millions of supporters dance onto, hear and enjoy the world of this peculiar music.

New York fifties: A new sound inspires the people in the clubs It all began in the fifties and sixties. Cuban emigrants in moved to New York and brought their music with them. Especially the Mambo, Cha-cha-cha, Rumba and Son. Not long after that the Puerto Ricans came to the Big Apple. They too had their instruments and music which is recognized as the sound of Plena, Bomba and Pachanga. It is inevitable that these two fluxes not long afterwards merged into the nightclubs of New York. At hotspots like "The house of Mambo" and the legendary "Latin Quarter" the rhythms mingled with influences of Cuba and Puerto Rico, along with the music from Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and the North American jazz.

The salsa lives Since then, the Salsa has come a long way. New Salsa styles emerge, new dance directions are added. It is strange that there is almost no other music and dance, with so many facets, styles and trends, such as salsa exists!

Small history of Cuban salsa Salsa has different dance styles. "free style dance" Salsa is still evolving and will continue to innovate. The dance is based on non-verbal communication such as body language, eye contact, and music. Below is a description of some Cuban dance styles.

creative figures with the partner developed. The salsa was born! Because of it’s origin the Cuban name for salsa is Casino. Casino is loved by several generations and is still being danced. It is the basic dance for Rueda de Casino and is currently a popular dance among the young. The salsa was taken to the USA by the Cuban musicians who emigrated. Besides Son and the Casino there are also styles and rhythms from, among others, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Dominican Republic and Latin Jazz from the U.S.

Santaria: a hidden religion in Cuba

Danzon Danzon is an older (20th century) Cuban dance style. It is performed by an elegant couple dancing. This dance is a 100% Cuban and you could say the first step to the salsa. The music originally is only instrumental, no vocals.

Son The son developed roundabout the same period as the danzon in places that were know as Casa de la Trova and originated in the east of Cuba, mainly Santiago de Cuba. This kind of music is known worldwide because of one of the most famous groups “Buena vista social club� The Son is considered the grandmother of the salsa.

Mambo & Cha Cha Cha In the 50's, a for that time very modern form of dance is the Mambo. The dance is especially popular in Mexico. while also arose the Cha Cha Cha, which made the typical movements of the Cubans world famous.

Cuban style salsa At the end of the 50's in the neighbourhood El Casino Deportivo, Havana, a severe young and urban dance style, characterized by dancing

Santaria, Catholicism in an African jacket During te time of slavery Catholics Spaniards forbid the worshipping of Yorubas and their African gods, the Orisha's. Under pressure of their masters the slaves acted as if they turned to Catholicism but in reality every Catholic saint were silently renamed to one of the many Orisha gods. In this way the slaves were able to celebrate, in secret, their own religious festivals

and worship their own gods. This way the spirit of their gods, their religion could not be caught and thus survived all the horrors of slavery.

*Santaria, Orisha’s explained There are more than 400 known Orisha’s but in Cuba they worship around 20 of them. Every Orisha has its own symbol, own colours which can be found in many Yoruba accessories like necklaces and bracelets, and music and dance rhythms. Wondering around the streets of Havana you will see many shops containing atributs for rituals like sea shells, coco nuts, cups, candles, herbs and coloured necklaces.

Santaria, religion and lifestyle, dedication to Santero The dedication to Santero requires the necessary preparation. In order to determine the Orisha of the believer the ”babalao'', the highest priest of Santeria religion throws palm nuts on a wooden board and depending on the position of the nuts the babalao knows which Orisha to appoit to the new Santero. After this the focus will be on cleaning the interior. Following a ceremony the head of the initiate is to be shaved, and the body is completely enveloped in a white dress. The white dress, a symbol of cleanliness and purity should be worn for a whole year. After this year a final initiation rite will take place. During this ritual, future Santero is blocked for seven days from the outside world. During this period they are accompanied and cared for by a babalao and his assistants. While already initiated Santeros fueled by compelling drumroll singing loudly calling their Orisha depletes the future Santero will get into a trance. The Orisha creeps into the body of the initiate and will be present during the ceremony in this way. To propitiate the Orisha's there will slaughter goats and chickens. The Orisha will put a life path in front of the initiate and on the basis of this decision receives the new Santero be presented a set of rules which must be lived

by the of his life These rules imposed from above are individual and can range from not eating chocolate or corn to never misuse water by swimming in rivers and seas. After initiation, they may call themselves Santero or Santera. The Santero will also get to hear whether he will ever have the power to become a babalao, a highpriest. For women, the priesthood is not an option.

Santero, financial bloodletting The rituals of Santeria in practice are quite expensive. Initiation to santero or Santera can cost up to 15,000 pesos. The babalao and his assistants should be provided with many and expensive food and drink. The Orisha can be very greedy and demanding and ask for many sacrifices. When you consider that a Cuban average wage is not more than 300 pesos per month it is understandable that a decision to be Santero is a decision that you take with the whole family because without their support, it is an impossible thing to do. But also for advice about, for example money matters, health and relationships can a request to a babalao be very expensive. When you want more information about this Afro-Cuban religion we advise you to visit when in Havana:

Casa Africa – Havana vieja Museo de los Orisha’s – Havana vieja Calejon de Hamel – Havana Centro At the Callejon de Hamel the play every Sunday Rumba music and are birthdays of Orishas celebrated. Entrance is free.

During your trip you can always ask us for more information about this Cuban religion.


Our trip FROM DAY TO DAY After all the information about this amazing country, we like to bring you back to our salsa dance holiday to Cuba. The program covers the following trip HAVANA & TRINIDAD. In our Havana pure (15 hours) and travel plus (24 lessons) program you will stay in the wonderful city Havana 21 hours classes Havana Pure is the base of all our dance holidays in Cuba. In week 1 you will have a intensive dance course at our dance school in Havana. In the 2nd week you will have the choice to spend time in Trinidad or to stay in Havana. The last 3 days we will all be back in Havana, where we will spend the next 2 days at the dance school to get it truly right and end the trip with a big Fiesta Cubana.

first lesson will start with rhythm and dance classes.

Day three; Lessons at the dance school in Havana After breakfast you will go to the dance school in Havana where you will participate the lessons from 10:00 am till 1:00 pm. In the afternoon you can bring a visit to the “Castilla de la Fuarza”. This Castilla is the oldest fortress of Havana. Here you can look at the famous statue “La Geraldina”. This female figure is the symbol of Havana. You probable recognise her from the Havana Club rum label.

Day four: A visit to the rum museum and a salsa matinee In the morning you start off with your daily three hours dance classes. Afterwards you can join one of the tours through the rum museum at Havana. In the afternoon it is possible to join the group to visit a salsa matinee at one of the Casa de la Musica”.If you decide to do something different this day, we like to suggest a stroll at the “Malecon”, also known as the boulevard of passion.

Day five and six: The dance floors of the sparkling nightlife of Havana Day one: Arrival at Havana Arrival in Havana and transport to your hotel

Day two: Start dance classes and for every participant an own dance partner. In the morning we start off with an welcome drink and a short explanation of the dance program. After this you will get a short tour through Havana Vieja (the old town) mainly to show you where you can find the important shops and the bank. In the afternoon the real dance program will start. The team of viaDanza will give you demonstrations of dance styles and tell you about the history of the Cuban music and dance. Afterwards every participant will be appointed an level of experience in salsa and you now will get your own dance partner. The

Good morning! First you will start off with another three hours of Salsa classes. In the afternoon you have some free time on your hands. We suggest you could go to the nearby beach “Playa del Este”. This is day four of your salsa trip, and you are now able to enjoy the rich nightlife of Havana. The team of viaDanza will keep you informed of the daily agenda concerning salsa and dancing. Of course when there are enough participants, viaDanza will arrange a taxi and dance partners to join you at the nightlife in Havana.

Day seven: On our way to Trinidad You had a few wonderful days in Havana, but today is the day that we take the air-conditioned shuttle bus to Trinidad. On the way to Trinidad you can enjoy the wonderful view of the Cuban landscape and absorb the beautiful nature. After arrival in Trinidad we take you to your

accommodation. The rest of the day is your, you will have still enough time to explore this sparkling city that was added to the world heritage list of Unesco in 1988.

Day eight: Enjoy and explore Trinidad and its surroundings

lady of the Caribbean". The rhythm of the city will once again feel like magic. We definitely will let you enjoy this magic and take you out for a evening tour and let you enjoy another Caribbean night.

Because Trinidad is surrounded by many cultural and natural places you could go to the “Toppes de Collantes” 775 meters high, and about an hour’s drive from Trinidad city.You can make a beautiful walk through the misty forest that leads you to the waterfall “Salto del Caburni”. In the evening you can enjoy the lively atmosphere of the inner-city with many bands that play at the Plaza de Mayor.

Day nine & ten: Trinidad

Day twelve:

Trinidad has many interesting museums that are definitely worth visiting. Or you can just walk around the old city with its cob stones that was once named the "Pirate City" because this was the home to many pirates. A few centuries later the city belonged to the sugar lords because of the many sugar cane plantings. Many of the pirate and sugar lord houses are restored and look like you are still in this exciting era.

In the morning you will have another salsa lesson and you will get all the space to perfect your salsa figures.

You could also visit Cuba's biggest church the cathedral "Iglesia Parriquial de la Santisma Trinidad or have a visit to the “Valle de los Ingenios” where you will find numbers of ruins of sugar factories. There is also a 44 meter high watch tower where they used to keep an eye on all the slaves that worked the field. We have to warn you that this tower is not suitable for people that are afraid of heights. Once you have climbed the tower you will have a magnificent view of Trinidad and its surroundings. Another thing you could do is to take a (coco) taxi to the closest beach " Playa de Ancon". This is relaxing on its best! Whatever you decide to do these few days, you will not get bored!

Day eleven: Adiós Trinidad and Buenos dias Havana Today you arrive back in Havana " The grand

In the afternoon you are free to 'yet again' explore Havana city and visit all those places that you have not seen yet (and believe us you are still not able to see all that Havana has to offer).

Day thirteen: Farewell party at the Finca Salsa, salsa and yet again salsa! we will take you by bus to the countryside where you will enjoy a day full of Music, dance and when you wish a dive in the pool. You will be served a typical Creole barbeque. In the evening you will go back to Havana. At this Point you will say goodbye to the viaDanza crew.

Day fourteen: Last day in the city of Havana and back home again Today is all yours. You can enjoy the city of Havana for the last time. Maybe buy those last souvenirs to take home or have a city trip in one of the tourist busses going around Havana. Later this day your transport will arrive to take you to the airport. At this moment it is "Goodbye Havana" We, the team of viaDanza, hope you had a joyous trip and hope to see you again!.


Hotels in Cuba viaDanza is extremely selective in choosing hotels and Casa particulares. We have selected the best hotels in their class for you. These hotels are in our standard package. If you prefer another hotel we can offer them too.

Hotels in Old Havana (Havana Vieja) Hotel Valencia ***(1) Formerly owned by someone of the council (in the 18th century), today it is a very stylish small middle class hotel. The exceptional style of the hotel has drawn for years many artists and writers. Characterising for the hotel is the ideal position, exactly between the two most imposing squares of Havana, "Plaza the San Francisco" and "Plaza the Armas". The hotel lies in the middle of the old centre of the capital, directly beside hostal el Commendador, Shops, historical construction work and museums are within walking distance. Facilities: Small reception, that serves also the reception for hostal el Commendador. The hotel has 2 bars, among other things "bar Nostalgia", where mainly typical Cuban music from the 50s is played by live-musicians, A tobacco shop where Cuba's finest cigars are sold and Spanish speciality restaurant "La paella". The restaurant has successively won for the past two years the main price at the international paella's Contest in Spain.

Accommodation: The hostel exists from 12 very well looked after chambers, which are around a small and sociable promenade with

plants and seats. The chambers are stylishly arranged, very coloured and provided with bath/shower, mini bar, safe and TV. The chambers have no air-conditioning. Special: The cocktail of the house: ' White Sheets ' is a real must

Other hotels in old Havana (Havana Vieja) Raquel ****(4) Old Havana A stunning work of architecture, the Raquel contrasts dramatically with its not-sopicturesque surroundings, a rather humble residential area whose one, redeeming virtue is its proximity to the Plaza Vieja and other sites of interest in the Old Town. The hotel’s ornate and eclectic facade is well matched by the interiors, which are likely to make a powerful first impression: shining marble floors, polished columns and posh period sofas surround you in the kind of palatial luxury you might expect to find in a presidential mansion or highclass art museum. The most striking feature of this grand lobby is doubtless the curved fanlight which crowns a high atrium past the reception desk, which lets in soothing tones of yellow and draws many glances skyward. This "lavishness" is not the only delightful peculiarity which sets the hotel apart from others in the Old Town. The Raquel is also known for its references to Jewish tradition and faith, which consist of various decorative items

El Tejadillo ***(2) In the middle of old Havana, near a cathedral you will find this small and sociable hotel . The institution is colonial style and the original style of this hotel has been preserved. The beautiful chambers look out at the green patios

Position: This hotel lies in a quiet part of Havana vieja (the old city) In the surroundings of this hotel you will find a lot of shops, bars and restaurants facilities: 32 chambers Shop Internet Café (against payment) 2 patio’s Accommodation: There are 15 rooms with double bed and 15 double rooms with single beds. All rooms have a bathroom/shower, tel. and a satellite/cable television further a kitchenette, mini bar, magnetron, two persons - or king-size bed, air conditioning, rental-safe and a balcony or terrace.

Florida **** (2) 1st class hotel. Build in 1836 and was inhabited till 1885 by a business man. Position: When you enter the hotel you find the small reception. At the promenade you see several arcs and several seats. Florida has two bar's. Bar "Florida" and the piano bar "Maragato".Hotel Florida has a cafeteria “Las Columnas” and a restaurant "La Floridana". Also you find a

souvenir shop and an excursion counter in the hotel. In the immediacy of the hotel there are parking places. Accommodation: The hotel has 25 beautiful chambers and suites all arranged with a colonial character. The chambers have two 1person beds or 2person beds, and air conditioning, Cable-tv, tel., safe, mini bar, room service, small terrace or balcony. Bathroom with bath/shower, toilet, bidet and hair drier. Some chambers have connection doors. The 4 suites are identically arranged and have an extra space with television, seat and sofa bed Special: Guest will get a welcome cocktail and also get 10% discount in the restaurants of other Habaguanex hotels.

Casa Particular If you really want to know , we can tell you that a "Casa Particular" is an ideal accommodation to experience among the Cubans.

Accommodation: a Cuban version of a bed and breakfast (pension). Often it is a room in someone's home, but it could also be that the whole house is subleased. The advantage of staying in a "Casa Particular" is that you actually experience Cuba and i

and you have the same advantages as in a hotel. Every day a clean room and a key to the house so that you can decide when you come home (that's the feeling). Details: Cubans are allowed with permission to sublet a room to tourists. ViaDanza Casa particulares are all located in the old town (Havana Vieja) and close to the bars, restaurants, shops and other entertainment venues.

ts inhabitants. The rooms are very good and you will be welcomed like you are coming home. The host / hostess will make you feel completely at home

The rooms are very well maintained. There is also the possibility to order diner (often asked in the morning) and stay in your own comfortable environment. Often there is lobster on the menu, but of course you must indicate which meal you eat and most like to eat.

Afterwards every participant will get a certificate of viaDanza

NOS VEMOS EN CUBA! (See you in Cuba) We hope that you have become enthusiastic about what the country Cuba and especially Havana and Trinidad has to offer after reading the information on our dance holidays And of course that what connects people "SALSA" viaDanza has years of experience in organizing salsa dance holidays. This is what makes our tours unique. We only work with the best organizers and accommodations. Quality is our main focus not quantity.

colophon viaDanza dance holidays / Spirit of Havana Karen Beerends & Minou Spits Klaprozenweg 94 1032 KX Amsterdam k.v.k. 34238563 0000 (Chamber of commerce) Registered in Amsterdam E-mail: Homepage: Telephone: 00 31 (0)624368975

If you want to know more about us and our dance holidays (including prices) please visit our website (just click on the English button for your information) Feel free to contact us, without any obligation, for further information at or just phone us or send us a text message and we will get back to you within 24 hours 00 31 (0)624368975

viaDanza Head quarter Helena Gomes Bernardo en Ulrich Fichtner OHG Am Glockengarten 23 73733 Esslingen Tel: +49 711/48907003 Fax: +49 711/48907004 E-Mail: Homepage:

Club Salseando ChĂŠvere Pedro Rodriguez Diaz

Photos/Copyright: Minou Spits Homepage: We really want to tell you more about our holidays. That is the reason we say: NOS VEMOS! Team viaDanza, Karen en Minou

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Brochure viadanza dance holidays to cuba  

Dance salsa and experience the "salsa holiday" of your lifetime in beautiful Cuba! This trip is absolutely perfect for the so called " sals...