Saturday, 16 February 2013

Review: Salsa at the Engine Shed

Ever since my most recent trip to the Engine Shed in Wetherby, I've been undecided about whether to post a review.  I know that, while my opinion isn't shared by everyone, it is shared by at least 10 people (that I know of) - and at £10 per entry that's at least £100 worth of revenue to the event.  I suspect there are are at least twice as many who weren't there for exactly the reasons I will describe below.

On the one hand I fully respect local promoters and the time and effort they put into keeping regular dance nights going... but on the other hand I'm a paying customer who doesn't really get a whole lot out of going there - and last Friday night I certainly didn't get £10 worth.

I have been going to the Engine Shed on and off for a couple of years now, and while I know a huge amount of people who can't get enough, I've never been a big fan. I go there because my friends do. If there's nothing better to do on a Friday night.

Salsa at the Shed happens on the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month. As a venue, you couldn't ask for more - free parking, two lovely wooden dance floors, a bar and great lighting and sound. For £10 you get a class, a buffet, usually a show and an evening of social dancing - which sounds like a dream.

Unfortunately, if you're not interested in the class and arrive too late to take advantage of the buffet as I usually do, it still costs £10 - which makes for an expensive night compared to many other social nights that come in at £5 - £8 for the evening.

The people are lovely, welcoming and friendly.  It's slightly follower heavy - as are most events in the area, so if you're a follower, you'll probably need to ask the guys to dance - but that's totally normal.

There are a lot of fabulous dancers who would call themselves regulars - so no complaints there.

Where it loses me is the music.  If you're a serious salsa dancer (which I'm told I am) then you're probably a fan of 'serious' salsa music.  Or just salsa music. So when I'm greeted with an entire night of latin-pop crossovers, bossa novas, bachatas and funk tracks, I'm not really getting what I paid for.  As one friend said "If this wasn't advertised as a salsa night, it would be quite good."

Last time I went, my two best dances of the night were tangos, to bachata tracks. On a salsa night.

I don't mind a few of the more pop-py tracks being played now and then, (and I've been known to enjoy the odd bachata) but they don't inspire me to dance. In small doses, they don't ruin my night, but I do need 'proper' salsa music to make it a really good night.  That's what inspires me to dance. When you're coming off the floor after a dance with some of your favourite leaders and saying 'Thanks. That was... average.' you know that there's something wrong.

On last Friday night there were at least £100 worth of salsa dancers who weren't very happy. That's £100 worth of salsa dancers who only go once in a while, because they don't know that they'll enjoy it when they do go.  £100 worth of salsa dancers who would maybe part with their hard earned cash when there is a guest DJ who they know by reputation playing, and there was nothing else on. £100 worth of salsa dancers who are too worried about hurting feelings/egos to say anything.

£100 worth of salsa dancers who might go every fortnight if they just liked the music.

Just saying...

1 comment:

  1. I actually just had an out-of-body experience and felt like I had written this... My sentiments exactly, Ms Delight. I do hope this review gets to the people at the Shed, as they have a really great opportunity to update their image and consistently attract more customers. It's a wonderful venue with a really friendly atmosphere, but I'm staying away because of the music and the price.