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Rachel Levin
California Dancing
King King Latin Jazz

King King Latin Jazz Tuesdays

by Rachel Levin
January 13, 2004
King King Latin Jazz
6555 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028

King King Latin Jazz Tuesdays

Cover: $5
6555 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Enter parking lot on Whitley

Rachel Levin
January 13, 2004

Got the Tuesday blues? It's always hard to drag yourself back to work on Monday, but by Tuesday the weekend can seem light years away.

One way to perk yourself up and salsa over the hump is King King's Latin Jazz Tuesdays. You can't beat this mid-week deal: free parking (almost unheard of in this club-dense section of Hollywood) and a $5 cover get you a live salsa band to rival anything heard at the more upscale Conga Room.

The lighting is crimson, the walls are brick, and the ceiling is sky-high with exposed beams. A square bar occupies the center of the room, with stools on all sides. Given this set-up, there's not really room for an official dance floor. Don't expect polished wood floors to practice your turns on-the floor is concrete, but everyone seems to get along just fine.

Dancing happens in the alley between the stage and the bar or in various corners of the room. Because it is more of a musical venue than a dance club proper, people's willingness to spontaneously partner and dance wherever they can is a refreshing sight. Though there are certainly top-notch salseros present, there are just as many people moving to the beat that don't know a cross-body lead from an inside turn. The Latin ticket seems to draw a critical mass of regulars, but the crowd is thin in a good way. Unlike a Friday or Saturday night in Hollywood, there is actually room to breathe.

Dance lessons are offered from 9-10, and DJ Saoco spins Cuban salsa and timba until it's time for the band. The Afro-Cuban band, Sono Lux, plays every Tuesday, but the band members rotate each week. One thing to keep in mind for early birds: the night I went, the band was supposed to start at 10:30 but didn't start until 11:30, which can make for a late night once you get into it. You may hit your snooze button one time too many on Wednesday morning, but then again, you'll have made it to the hump.

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