I had no idea that dancing was so common in Frankfurt until I found that I had lots of time on my hands during corona. Ironically when many other events and venues were shut, dance classes (albeit so long as you bring your own partner) still went ahead. There were even 2 metre squares drawn on the floor to help couples keep there distance.
So I am specifically referring to ‘social dancing’ here and so far I have managed to explore Ballroom (called Standard und Latein Tanz), Salsa and Bachata, and Argentine Tango. Amazingly, each one has its own active community, dance schools and dance parties. For tango and salsa/bachata, there are even outdoor dance meet ups when the weather is good. There are also two sides to dancing, certainly if you are single or if your partner doesn’t want to join you, then finding a partner is half the problem. I am going to start with finding a partner and learning salsa/bachata. Hopefully I will find time to write about other dances soon…
Finding a partner
It is possible to contact a dance school and ask if there is someone who is looking for a partner or even just to ask around to see if any friends what to try, but having tried both, I know that this is highly unlikely to end in success. Finding a partner is tricky, as you will learn that height and shape matter when finding a partner you are comfortable with. Unfortunately, personality also matters if you are going to spend hours dancing close together, and so does coordination. You only figure out the last two after meeting and doing a trial class together. Trust me, its easier to find a regular date than finding a reliable dance partner!
There are fortunately two key websites that work in Germany for finding a dance partner. These sites work for pretty much any dance: Tanzpartner and Dance now. These are both relatively straight forward and work much like a dating site so the logic is easy. Unfortuntely you will also notice that some people use these sites purely for dating purposes but the majority of people I have spoken to are really just there to dance. Tanzpartner requires that one of the two parties at least has a paid profile. Any attempt to put contact details in the profile will be blocked. Most annoying is that you don’t know if the other account has a paid profile, so if you get regular membership, many people don’t/can’t answer. So you need Premium so that even free members can answer you. It is only €2 more so it is worth it. Dancenow allows you to message anyone for free, but with a 10 day delay on any messages! Its rather amusing, but if you are patient, then it is fine. I just put an email address or phone number in my first message and normally get a message back after 10 days. If not you have to wait 20 days for an answer and hope there is a phone number included…
Probably the most popular and easiest to start with is Salsa, followed by Bachata. If you go to Conexion you will also see Kizomba is available, but this is rarer and I haven’t seen it offered elsewhere. Conexion is the biggest club in Frankfurt, and is based in Hausen. They many classes from beginner to expert and teach mainly cuban salsa with some advanced classes in New York salsa. Also every Saturday evening there is an open party from 9:30 until late. Before hand is a trial class for beginners/intemediates from 8:30. Conexion is great because of the space and frequency of events. Definitely top choice. After this is Monika Bauer in Bahnhofsviertal. They teach everything including Bachata and New York salsa. There is also a party once a month with separate rooms for different styles. However, the rooms are a lot smaller and have pillars which obstruct movement and watching the teacher. A good place to go for a trial class and practice is Foodtopia on the topfloor of MyZeil. Every Thursday there is a beginner and then intemediate class, followed by an open party from 10pm. This is a great place to go for a low cost entry (currently €8) to try dancing or to try a new partner. But after a few visits, you will realise that the lessons don’t connect to each other and vary between cuban and new york salsa. Ok to start with but annoying if you are trying to improve.
There are a bunch of other smaller schools, and some places that offer to teach pretty much anything, but after trying a few of them I can confirm that it really isn’t worth it. The only exception I would make is if you are looking for Bachata specifically then its worth considering Movida in Ostend. The location is really inconvenient, but the classes and parties are all specifically Bachata.
Getting a class is only half the fun. Practice will still be needed. Here are a few options:
Wednesdays – BrotFabrik
Thursdays – MyZeil
Fridays – every 2nd Friday in the month: Monika Bauer (but check their website first)
Fridays/Saturdays – Salsa in the City host events most weeks and details are in their group
Saturdays – Conexion (of course)
Let me know if you find other regular parties and I will add it to the list!