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SPOTLIGHT:
ADVENTURES ABROAD
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Madrid, OT (Spain)
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Show me this Paso Doble - looking for dance in Madrid

by Robert Abrams
September 10, 2004
Madrid, OT (Spain)

Show me this Paso Doble - looking for dance in Madrid

Robert Abrams
September 10, 2004

Madrid has the street energy of New York, the late night festiveness of Montreal, the scale of Brooklyn (maybe plus a little) and the sunshine of California. Madrid's street plan is medieval, with narrow streets running off in all directions. The architecture is very pleasing, with a bare minimum of the sort of Bauhaus monotony you find elsewhere. With a map and a little bit of wandering, I was able to feel reasonably comfortable getting around on foot. To ensure widespread aimless walking with a purpose, just set out to find someone who knows where to go for Paso Doble. Finding Flamenco is easy. One tourist guide lists eight restaurants offering dinner and a Flamenco show, plus at least three theatres offering Flamenco shows at various times. Paso Doble, on the other hand, is surprisingly difficult to find. I have always assumed that people danced Paso Doble socially in Spain since this is where the dance is from. I don't think the concierge at my hotel had ever been asked about Paso Doble, to judge from the expression on his face. He did have a suggestion of a place, but when I wandered over there during the day, it was clearly a Disco so the likelihood that anyone would be dancing Paso Doble (or any other partner dance for that matter) is probably slim. I wandered down to Torres Bermejas, the Flamenco place the concierge had recommended for later that night. Across the street I found Madrid's Menkes store. New York has a Menkes across the street from Dance New York. That store is Flamenco only. Madrid's Menkes has Flamenco dresses and shoes, as well as ballet shoes, Danskin tights, and a generous range of items that in the US would be found in a Halloween costume and party store. Even they weren't sure where to find Paso Doble, but they did suggest the tourist information office in the Plaza Mayor. This was an excellent suggestion. Not only is the Plaza Mayor an architectural gem with numerous outdoor cafes lining its interior, but the people in the tourist information office are very helpful. They found information on a Paso Doble show and a venue that may have Paso Doble among other social dances (a place called Golden at the Plaza de los Cubos starting at 11 pm, but I didn't ever make it there). They were, though, of the opinion that it was the sort of thing only older people would be doing. Perhaps Paso Doble is the Spanish equivalent of Cha-cha: younger people think of it as their parents' dance. I have only taken Paso Doble lessons maybe twice, so it is not like I could join in if I found it, but when in Madrid… I then asked them about Swing dance in Madrid, and that stumped them. I tried to demonstrate the difference between East Coast Swing and West Coast Swing, but they couldn't picture it. Next time I will have to bring some music.


The Streets of Madrid
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



Plaza Mayor in Madrid
Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams



More Adventures in Madrid




Photo courtesy of Robert Abrams

  • Show me this Paso Doble - looking for dance in Madrid - 9/10/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

  • Flamenco at Torres Bermejas - 9/10/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by Air France.

  • Melonera Festival 2004 - 9/11/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

  • Salsa at El Son in Madrid - 9/11/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by LaDuca Shoes.

  • Sara Baras' Ballet Flamenco in Sueños (Dreams) - 9/12/2004 - by Robert Abrams. - Article sponsored by Danskin.

  • Concluding thoughts on Dance in Spain - 9/21/2004 - by Robert Abrams.

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