Those planning on getting married and looking to make a good impression at the reception, take note:
Cancun offers free dance lessons from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night, and the first Friday of every month. Most nights see about 100 people line-stepping their way across the club's 35-by-30-foot dance floor, Toskov said. On Wednesday nights, when things really start hopping, the crowd sometimes approaches 300.
The atmosphere is decidedly loose and cordial, Toskov said, and friends are made easily.
"You have a cocktail, try a step or two — it's more of a casual thing," he said. "People are interested in learning how to dance, and then having a good time. … It's more entertaining then anything."
And guys, listen up. Gals love a guy who already knows how to dance, Toskov said.
"If she sees you know what you're doing, when you go up to ask her to dance, she's more than likely going to say yes," said Toskov, who's been watching the scene long enough to have picked up a few pointers along the way. "After all, she's looking for a partner who knows how to do it, too."
Cancun Cantina is at 7501 Old Telegraph Road in Hanover. Information: 410-761-6188 or cancuncantina.com.
Baltimore Salsa Meetup
Salsa nights used to be a staple of Baltimore bars and nightclubs; rarely a night seemed to go by where somebody, somewhere wasn't offering salsa lessons and a place to dance. But hard economic times have forced many of those nightspots to find more profitable attractions.
"The venues don't want to give up their prime spots on Friday and Saturday nights for dancing, because we're not known for drinking heavy liquor," said Alexandra Albaig, who teaches salsa with her husband, Niss. "People are there to social dance, not necessarily to drink. … There are definitely not as many options."
That's where Salsa Meetup (meetup.com/baltimoresalsa) comes in. Albaig and the other organizers track salsa activity throughout the Baltimore area — Friday, for instance, there's a salsa block party set for 9 p.m. at the Towson Dance Studio, 9486 Deereco Road in Timonium — and get the word out to their membership.
At last count, the group counts more than 1,800 members. Salsa nights may be harder to find in Baltimore these days, but the dance itself is obviously alive and well in Charm City.
"The community is open to anybody, from teenagers to people in their 80s — everybody dances together" said Albaig, who freely admits to being a "salsa-holic."
Asked what makes salsa so popular, Albaig doesn't skip a beat. "It's hot and steamy and sexy and sweaty," she said. "At the same time, it's not raunchy. It's all the positives, without the negatives."
Look on the Baltimore Salsa Meetup as a road map for hot-blooded Baltimoreans looking to salsa their nights away.
"Everybody's looking for a place to dance," Albaig said. "The community was already there, we just had to find a way of organizing ourselves."