Keep Them COMING!!! Related Article: “What Dancers Look for in a Club”
– By Edie, The Salsa FREAK
It was Incredible.
I was in [city] last week, having a ball teaching and working with some eager students at what was a beautiful little nightclub. It had a fantastic wooden floor, great lighting, clean restrooms, and excellent ventilation. I was curious as to why there weren’t many Salseros there. In fact, we were the ONLY dancers there. The DJ was playing excellent music, the sound system was fantastic, and the ambiance was perfect.
“Let’s go to [another club] now.” Why? I responded curiously. This place was perfectly fine. In fact, I could actually breathe here since in [this city], they still allow smoking in public places (I’m spoiled by California, where they don’t allow ANY smoking in ANY of the nightclubs). Here I barely noticed the smoke because this club had excellent ventilation.
“There’s another club right down the street. Everyone is there. That’s the place to be.” They said with smiles. So, reluctantly, I grabbed my coat, bid the DJ farewell, thanked him for his excellent choice in music, and was on my way.
When we went around the corner, and entered the [other club], I was shocked. Number one, the hot, smokey air almost knocked me off my feet when we opened the door. It could almost be cut with a knife. The place was about half the size of the first club, it had a tile dance floor, very little lighting, a Co-ed bathroom, and very little room to dance.
THE PLACE WAS PACKED WITH DANCERS.
I could not for the life of me understand why we left a perfectly good, empty Salsa club… FOR THIS?
I could certainly understand if all your friends are at one spot, then you’d want to go there, but why not tell your friends about the great club down the street? Gasping for air and room to dance, I started asking questions.
WHY does everyone come here? There’s no room to dance, the floor is microscopic, it’s tile, there’s no ventilation, it’s hot in here, the bathroom is, well not the greatest in the world… the only thing good is the music.
What’s up with THAT?
The response was unbelievable. Apparently, the MANAGEMENT at the other club doesn’t understand how to keep their clientele. In the past, they have cancelled Salsa nights on several occasions, without informing the dancers ahead of time. They play a “variety” of Latin music that is comprised of Bachata, Merengue, House Music, Spanish Rock, Top 40, and just a smidget of Salsa. This alone will drive ANY dancer away from a club.
The dancers told me that time and time again, they complained to the owners and management about the music. The Club Owner just wouldn’t listen.
The Club Owner didn’t understand PARTNER DANCING, and that it’s the MUSIC – the SALSA music that keeps your dancers coming back every week, bringing more and more people.
I found out later on that the club owners invested over a million dollars into the club, and have YET to see a stable crowd there. “HELLO!!” Club Owners.. LOOK. If you have a specific type of dance night like Salsa, or Swing…
The MUSIC IS SO IMPORTANT.
CONSISTENCY IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT.
Additionally, as a club owner, you can’t change the venue’s day of the week all the time. If you have a Salsa night, play SALSA for at least 90% of the evening. If your DJ can’t understand that, then EDUCATE him, or get someone else with a “Salsa” collection. Ask the dancers what they want. LISTEN to your clientele. They know what’s best, and will often times give you thousands of dollars worth of free consulting just to have a decent place to dance.
If you want variety, make one night a House Top 40 night. Another a Swing night, and another a Salsa night. But BE VERY CONSISTENT with the specific days of the week for at least one year. Don’t change a thing. Trust me, with good advertising and word of mouth, your clients will come around. Dancers will put up with a lot to have a good time dancing to the music they love. Give them that, and you’ll have growing numbers of consistent clientele for life.
– Edie, The Salsa FREAK!!
Edie The Salsa FREAK!! Website