A fusion of jive and salsa, ceroc has become very popular in recent years. And it’s easy to see why: offering a great workout, as well as being lots of fun, it’s the ideal way to unwind after a day’s work. Ceroc London has venues across the capital, with one of the most popular being the Casbah, alongside the Natural History Museum.
Ceroc is a partner-led dance, which means that, if you’re a woman, you simply have to be led by the man. Most people go alone, and can dance with as many people as they want: ceroc etiquette is that you can ask anyone to dance, making it a very sociable evening. And London being London, there’s a wide range of nationalities and ages to partner up with.
The evening kicks off with a fun, relaxed beginner’s class at 8pm, where you learn three moves each week (there are 20 moves in total, to start with). You watch the teacher, Gary, on stage as you practise, moving on to a different partner with every move. It can seem a bit daunting at first, but you very soon pick it up. It’s a great feeling when you put all three moves together and realise you’ve just learnt a new dance routine! After about 45 minutes, beginners can go downstairs to practise in a small room with another teacher until they’re sure of the moves. More advanced dancers join the intermediate class in the main hall, which is certainly a step up, with moves like the pretzel and the octopus aimed at stretching your ability…
At about 9.30pm the hall fills up with around 200 people as dancers arrive for freestyle. This is the fun bit: beginners relentlessly practise their new-found moves with anyone and everyone, while more experienced dancers whirl you round… the better the man, the better you become. The lights go down, the music goes up – the DJ plays lots of current chart hits as well as rock and roll and salsa until 11pm. There’s a bar, too, for those of us who find that our dancing skills improve after a Peroni or two!
Once you get bitten by the ceroc bug (and believe me, you do!) you can go to other venues on different days, join in with the weekend freestyle events, dance on a boat on the River Thames and even enjoy ceroc weekends.
And in case you’re wondering, it’s a great place to meet new people. Although people go to dance, rather than flirt or meet a new partner, which makes it a very unthreatening experience, it’s hard not to enjoy dancing with some people more than others and, yes, relationships do happen…
£2 for life membership, then £9 per session
Image by m111er courtesy of Flickr