Cambridge Cuban Salsa club

Tag - DJ Sacha

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Monday, October 28 2013

Live Salsa Night: Osvaldo Chacon in Cambridge, Sat. Nov. 9th 2013!

When: Saturday March 2nd, doors open 8pm, band on stage 9.30pm
Where: USC (University Social Club), Mill Lane, Cambridge CB2 1RX

[Direct link to ONLINE BOOKING]

Yet another fantastic salsa event brought to you by Cambridge Cuban Salsa:

OSVALDO CHACON Y SU TIMBA live in Cambridge!

Cambridge Cuban Salsa means quality, this is a top professional band with verifiable credentials:

Originally trained as a music teacher in Havana, Osvaldo Chacón began his musical career with some of Cuba's top salsa bands, including Paulito FG and El Medico de la Salsa. In 1995 he joined Bamboleo as lead male singer and was featured on their seminal CD "Te Gusto o te caigo bien" released in 1997. He also wrote some of the songs including the title track, which won Chacón a prize for "best debut work" in Cuba's influential annual music awards Cubadisco 98. Chacón was also featured in the performance of the longest son ever played in the world, officially registered in the Guinness Book of Records, as part of the 1997 line-up of Cuba's leading popular orchestras at Havana's famous Salon Rosado de la Tropical.

In 1997 Chacón came to London to form his own group and rapidly established himself as a leading exponent in the UK of the new and exciting sound of Cuban timba. While developing Chacón y su Timba., he continued to be in demand as a singer and solo artist, and has been invited to perform alongside the likes of Adalberto Santiago, Azuquita, Tito Allen (Fania All Stars) , Roberto Pla, Herman Olivera and Eddie Palmieri (at Ronnie Scott's and later Queen Elizabeth Hall), the great Latin percussionist Giovanni Hildago (at the Queen Elizabeth Hall), Chick Corea as well as the supreme luminaries of Latin song Celia Cruz, Oscar d'Leon, Ruben Blades and Alberto "El Canario".

Chacón y su Timba includes a line-up of the UK's foremost Cuban and Latin musicians. The band has played at a variety of leading Festivals, arts centre and nightclub venues around the country, including a rousing session at the Barbican Centre's ¡Cuba Presente! Festival in 2000, the Clerkenwell Festival in 1999, the World Beat Festival in Morecombe Bay in 2000, Musicport in Whitby in 2001; and around London at the Millenium Dome, Africa Centre, Cargo, O'Neill's Leytonstone, Smollensky's, Turnmills, with regular invitations to appear at Momos. Other UK touring dates included the Bath Festival, Colchester Arts Centre, Bristol Old Vic, The Jazz and Roots Club at the Buttermarket, Shrewsbury, the Black Bottom Club, Northampton and Southhill Park Arts Centre. They delivered a fantastic live concert at the 2013 edition of the London Cuban Congress, and anyone who was there will definitely want more.

In early 2001, Chacón went back to Havana to record his first solo CD Salsa Afro Cubana with top-ranking Cuban artists, performing all his own compositions and arrangements. The album was released later that year on the UK-based ARC record label and the lead track Mi Vicio (My Vice) was included in the recent MANTECA compilation Salsa Timba. His song “Cumbia pa’Colombia” is featured in the book “The AQA GCSE Anthology of Music” and is used as an example of Latin music for students studying for music exams.

It is a chance and a honour to be able to welcome such an accomplished artist in Cambridge for this danceable concert and party, without having to drive miles away to enjoy his music.

The night will also be spiced up by the two DJs who are setting the salsa trends in Cambridge: DJ VISH, who has been running CLUB SALSA EVENTS for the past 15 years, and DJ SACHA of CAMBRIDGE CUBAN SALSA, who brought the Cuban spice to the city. They will pull out their best tunes to take the party to a level that you have rarely seen in Cambridge.

An exciting salsa concert and party with quality musicians and DJs, but without the extra miles: we're definitely going!

Doors open 8pm, band on stage 9.30pm, party ends 1am.
Prices: advance booking £15 (NUS £8), at the door £18 (NUS £10).

NEW: The ticket includes a free after party until 4am at the 12A Club on Market Square, just 5 minutes walk from the concert venue! Please show your concert wristband at the door to get free access. That makes it even better value for a fantastic Salsa night out until the break of dawn!

Advance booking at the discounted price can be done:

  • Directly with DJ Sacha on Thursday evenings at the Cambridge Working Men's Club, Sunday evenings at the Sunday Salsa Lounge (details on;
  • Online with the PayPal button below. Please note:
    • You do not need a PayPal account to book online, just use a credit card by clicking "Don't have a PayPal account?" on the checkout page.
    • We operate a ticket-free scheme. Your name will be registered on our list at the door. Please print your PayPal receipt as a proof of purchase.
    • Please bring your student ID if you booked at student price. We reserve the right to claim the difference or to refuse access to the workshop if a student ID can't be shown.

But no worries, it is possible to buy your tickets at the door! :-)


We hope to see you there! :-)

- Cambridge Cuban Salsa

Monday, June 24 2013

Deconstructing Casino: the 12 basic moves of Cuban salsa

The PDF document attached to this post is the result of a bit of reflection led while defining my Cuban salsa/Casino teaching programme at intermediate level. It also covers some of the material I teach at intermediate level during a few salsa congresses in the UK.

At beginners level, we usually teach some basic steps and Enchufla/Dile que No/Vuelta, with lots of emphasis on making people feel comfortable, welcome, confident and entertained, and only limited emphasis on technicality. Then, at intermediate level, the question arises: what tools should you give your Cuban salsa students to help them learn the longer routines more efficiently once they reach the higher levels? What is going to help them for the rest of their salsa life?

Through observation and analysis, the following list of 12 moves came up, which cover a large proportion of the "situations" met in longer routines. Learning them allows to approach Cuban salsa as a foreign language: while beginner's moves are like a basic alphabet, the 12 moves are like the words which would be used to compose longer sentences at higher levels. From the learner's perspective, knowing these moves does help to "decode" longer routines more efficiently by training the perception of elementary moves in longer routines. From the teacher's perspective, each of the 12 moves is also an occasion to focus on one particular technical skill such as space awareness, leading/following, particular turn techniques etc.

This list of moves is given here as a handout to help Cuban salsa students remembering the classes, but it is also hoped that it will help other teachers defining their own syllabus. This list is probably neither exhaustive nor perfect, and certainly does not aim at defining any rigid truth about Casino. I would actually be highly interested in your feedback and comments (cf instructions below on how to leave a comment on this website). Is that an adequate list? Should other basic moves be added to complete this list of "Lego blocks" to construct and de-construct Casino moves while teaching or learning Cuban salsa? Please tell us what you think! :-)

The handout can be downloaded from this link: The 12 basic moves of Cuban salsa, PDF handout

To leave a comment, please click on the title of this post. This will lead you to the post's page. Please scroll down: the comments fields are located at the bottom of the page. Then fill the form, press preview and then press send. Please note that the comments will be reviewed and moderated, and we reserve the right to accept or reject their publication on this website. Thanks in advance for your contributions! :-)

-DJ Sacha

PS: Yielding to popular demand, here are some youtube links. But:
PLEASE NOTE / DISCLAIMER: These videos are only here to give a rough visual impression of the move, which is more effective than a textual description. We do not guarantee that the execution depicted in these videos is standard or even "correct": that's only whatever we could find on Youtube. Please do consult with a qualified teacher to verify and polish your moves.

1) Enchufla and 2) Dile que No

3) Vuelta a.k.a. Hecho a.k.a. Pimienta

I usually teach these moves as "4 moves for the price of 1": vuelta led with left hand, or led with right hand, or vacilala (no hands) or sombrero (two hands) are essentially the same move with hand variations.
Vuelta a.k.a Pimienta:


Vuelta Vacilala:

4) Enchufla Ronde low/high

6) Paseala al Frente

6) Sacala / Exhibela

7) Paseala por Abajo y por Atras

8) Adios con la Prima

9) Cubanito, Cubanita, El Uno, El Dos

Cubanito/Cubanita are pre-requisites to El Uno/El Dos:

El Uno:

El Dos: essentially Cubanito followed by a full Sombrero:

10) Enrocate

I usually teach Enrocate as a pre-requisite to a "safe" Coca-Cola, and to help people to get the directions right:

11) Coca Cola

12) Siete a.k.a. Panque

Thursday, June 13 2013

NEW! 8 WEEKS Cuban salsa Beginners/Improvers course


8 weeks beginners/improvers Cuban Salsa course
Every Wednesday, July 3rd - August 21st 2013
19:30 - Beginners
20:30 - Improvers/Intermediates

Organised by the Cambridge Dancer's Club
and taught by DJ Sacha from Cambridge Cuban Salsa

This is a fantastic chance to make your first steps in Cuban salsa in a relaxed, fun-filled and private environment, with a group of like-minded people. Give it a go and tell us what you think! The course is structured over 8 weeks to achieve constant progress at your own level, and to give you all the essential basics in Cuban salsa that will make other classes a breeze for the rest of your salsa life. It is also open to dancers who would like to strengthen their basics, transfer from Cross-Body or deepen their understanding of Cuban salsa in a structured way.


Venue: StColumba's Church, Downing St, Cambridge, CB2 3EL. CENTRAL!

Time: 7:30pm–8:30pm Cuban Salsa Beginners
8:30pm–9:30pm Cuban Salsa Improvers/Intermediates
Each session is a 50' class+10' social dance.

Price: CDC Members 1 class £3, 2 classes £4, membership £20/year, students £18/year. Non-members any class length £8. CHEAP!

Please note: because the StColumba's venue is strictly available for 2 hours only, the classes will start on time. It would be a shame to miss out!

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