PHOTO: Alanna Maki | INSC Media & Photography

CLEVELAND, OH — Music and dancing is a form of art that transcends all the things that make us different and brings us together as humans.

Gilberto Alvarez, founder of Tropical Cleveland is doing just that by sharing his love for Salsa dancing with monthly events at The Music Box Super Club. Founded 17 years ago because there weren’t Latin dance events on Saturday nights, Gilberto is bringing the joy of Salsa to Cleveland.

I attended the Noche en Blanco (Night in White) event on August 21st. Guests were asked to attend wearing all white for the party making for creative and unique attire. Excitement buzzed through the line waiting to be let in as I talked to Trish and Angel, two ladies who frequent the events held by Tropical Cleveland.

PHOTO: Alanna Maki | INSC Media & Photography

The evening started with some music as guests streamed in. At 9pm, there was a salsa lesson, taught by Rebecca Sweet of Viva Dance Studio. She started with the basic steps, and added on simple turns and flourishes as the lessons progressed. Trish ended up being my dance partner and was a very patient and encouraging teacher. By the end of the lesson, I felt comfortable enough to get out on the dance floor and have fun.

There were numerous different skill levels of dancers on the floor, from beginners such as myself, to professional dance instructors. It was a very free and joyful feeling To experience the music with your whole body, and not just your ears.

PHOTO: Alanna Maki | INSC Media & Photography

Following the lesson, the talented band Papo Ruiz y la Duzulra de la Salsa (Papa Ruiz and the Sweetness of Salsa) performed numerous songs to dance to. When not dancing, it was enjoyable to watch the others dance, grab a drink at the bar, or talk out on the patio overlooking the river.

Later in the evening the dance group Azúcar! (Sugar!) from Viva Dance Studio performed for us to the song “Saoco” by Ismael Rivera. It was a fantastic performance and a group I hope to see dance again soon!

This event had 400 tickets and sold out quickly!  The next event is scheduled for Friday September 24th. The theme is to be determined, so make sure to like their Facebook page to get updates! Make sure you get your tickets as soon as they are on sale!


You can keep up to date with Tropical Cleveland by going to

IG Tropical Cleveland


Viva Dance Studio

IG vivadancecle


Papo Ruiz y la Duzulra de la Salsa



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