This is part of Dance Spot series highlighting different places to go dancing in SF Bay Area.

Dance Spot: Rodchata Mega Party
Price: $10-$20 (depends on event)
Time: 4th and 5th Saturdays of each month 7:30pm-late
Location: Allegro Ballroom, 5855 Christie Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608

My friend, Michael, asked me to join him Salsa dancing at Allegro Ballroom in Emeryville this past Saturday. Typically, Rodchata’s Saturday Mega Party costs $15, but it was $10 this day as their “Customer Appreciation Night.” So I grabbed a few other friends to go together.

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As we came in to Allegro Ballroom and paid $10, we each got a wristband. Then we were directed to a very large Grand Ballroom inside — there were a dozen tables ore more around the dance area. At 10,000 sq.ft., it was the largest ballroom I’ve ever seen. Although we arrived at 8pm, the Salsa class had just began. It started with very basic footwork, but quickly progressed to a routine with more complex variations such as cradle.1

Many people I met in the class were fairly new to dancing — some were here for the first time, others a handful of times. An hour later, Batchata class started in the same room, also starting with very basic footwork but progressed to much more complicated routine:

Around 10pm, social dancing began to Salsa music. After a while, I decided to explore a bit, and found out there was a small room for Kizomba. There’s also a Ballroom Dance Party in the Main Ballroom by the entrance to Allegro, with the dances listed on the screen. I excitedly joined dancing in this room as I found out my wristband gives me access to this party as well!

The Ballroom Party is less stuffy than the Salsa room because of the breeze from the entrance, the stronger A/C, and fewer people. So I would alternate between the two rooms to enjoy the fresh air inbetween Salsa dances. As the night goes on, the music picks up in the Salsa room, but the Ballroom Dance Party ended at midnight. My friend also recognized several Salsa dancers who dance all the time around different spots in the Bay Area. As we left after a great night of dancing, Michael raved about the Salsa music,”the DJ was killing it!”

1 The Salsa class started with everyone facing the stage to practice footwork, then we paired up for basic salsa steps – – forwards and back, left and right. The complex routine taught included barrel roll, cradle, and cross-body lead.

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