I have always felt extremely alive and free when I dance. Be it the few times I tried my hand and patience at Indian classical dance or when I let my creativity flow and discovered the style of dance I most enjoyed, it was dance that flooded me with pure joy, freedom and relief. The energy that slowly spreads through my bones allowing me to express myself through a synchronised movement of my body matching the tune of the song playing, makes me feel powerful and confident, all at the same time. So when Dipa planned a night out dancing, I was the first one to jump on board.
The place we decided to go visit was called Bar Salsa, a bar and dance studio quite close to Tottenham Court Road. Decked up and ready to shimmy, my friends and I reached there right when the party got started. People all around me were dancing different routines and styles and each one of those routines was so mesmerising to look at, I couldn’t help but gawk.
We all joined the dance floor and started to sway to the music, thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Some of the people there, extremely proficient in the dance styles, would come up and request to dance to a song or two which turned out to be such a fun experience. It doesn’t matter if you know the steps or the style. As long as you let lose and allow your partner to lead you, you’re all set. I got the opportunity to dance with one of the dancers and can I just say, it was the best routine I have ever danced to.
We took a break from dancing, to sit down and chat (which was a little difficult seeing as we were seated right next to the speakers) and also cool down since we had started to sweat and were quite breathless, having danced non stop for quite some time. We ordered drinks and sat enjoying the music, watching people all around us dance. It was at this point that we all noticed one couple dancing, oblivious to all the attention they were receiving. They were such a brilliant pair. Every movement of their’s was effortless and they were so in sync with each other, it seemed like they were one. I was staring at them shamelessly, my mouth wide open, the straws of my drink glued to my lips making me look like some weird and deformed walrus. None of my friends could keep their eyes off the couple and it was only when they stopped, that we snapped out of it and came back to reality.
We then went back to the dance floor and spent another good hour dancing and enjoying ourselves. Finally the pain kicked in from wearing heels and our stomachs started grumbling, cause honestly, dancing is a form of exercise and I think we had worked out way too much for one night. So we decided to head out and look for a restaurant that would feed our hungry mouths so late at night. Before we left, we agreed on having a group picture taken. Unfortunately, thanks to the dark decor and genius photography of the man taking our picture, the photograph turned out to be very blurry with our faces almost barely visible. Anyhoo, here it is.
We stepped out into the cold and trudged or rather hobbled on the cobbled streets towards Balans Cafe, a place we had visited before. Thankfully, we were seated right away and without wasting a moment, ordered our favourites from our past experience in the cafe. Soon enough we were served our food and we dug in.
We had ordered two plates of Chicken Quesadilla starters that were made out of flour and served with Mexican cheese, sour cream and salsa fresca. For the main course, we ordered two plates of the Rigatoni which was served with peas, broad beans, bacon, mushroom, parmesan and cream.
While the tangy spice of the Chicken Quesadillas were perfectly balanced out by the sour cream and were the perfect amount of crispy and soft, the Rigatoni was silky smooth once popped into the mouth. The grated parmesan on top worked brilliantly with the fried bacon and salted mushrooms.
Having cleaned out the plates, big smiles plastered on our faces, we decided to call it a night. The entire experience was so much fun and it couldn’t have ended on a better note. If any day, you decide to cool off or just have a good time with your friends, I would definitely suggest trying out Bar Salsa. Whether you know how to dance doesn’t matter cause once you’re there, you will find yourselves tapping your feet and moving your hips to the rhythm of the music. And if you find yourselves starving after that, you can always take a trip down to Balans and savour their delicious food.