Havana People

Top 5 Salsa Movies you have to Watch!

Salsa, Latin fusion & more Salsa!

With a little extra time at home during LOCKDOWN – we came up with a list of our favourite salsa movies to keep you entertained and to ease those “dance cravings” until we all get back on the dance floor! We bringing up some special movies that feature Salsa, a little Latin Street dance fusion and more salsa!

(In no particular order!)

1. Dirty Dancing - Havana Nights (2)

Most of you will have seen the original Dirty Dancing movie – but, if you like Salsa – you have to see the sequel Havana Nights which is set in Havana, Cuba during the Cuban Revolution, and starring Romola Garei and Diego Luna, keep an eye out for a cameo by Patrick Swayze. This movie is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it is a sweet, feel-good movie with a hot salsa routine at the end. 

Following a similar plot line to the first film, Katy a bookworm who moves to Cuba with her family. Where she meet a Cuban boy Javier and enters a dance competition with him during rehearsals they explore snippets of Cuban culture and of course they fall in love as well.

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2. StreetDance 2

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If you’ve seen any dance movie before you’ll know it’s all about the dance battle! Make sure you check out this one starring Falk Hentschel and Sofia Boutella (who I will add had never danced in heels before the movie!). Bonus dance celebrity is Maykel Fonts, the best Cuban Salsa dancer of our time who was performing and the choreographer of the performances.

Ash sets out to get revenge on his dance rival and win at the Paris championships and travels there to build a winning street dance crew. To stand out from his competition he decides to add a Latin element to the show after he is captivated by salsa dancer Eva. The first battle is the one to watch for Maykel. 

3. Dance With Me

This one is a classic which was introduced to us by a friend of ours who couldn’t believe we hadn’t seen it! We had to include it in our list because we loved the touches of Cuban culture and social dancing in the film and it emphasises the importance of improvisation, creativity and learning to break free to embrace the joy of dance. 

Starring Vanessa L. Williams and Puerto Rican singer Chayanne. 

After losing his mother, Rafeal moves to Texas to work in a dance studio for a man who becomes like a father to him. He falls for dance instructor named Ruby, as they grow closer she is too focused on her dance career, Rafael exposes her to Cuban culture and 

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4. The Latin Dream

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If you can find a subtitled version in English (or speak Italian) you have to check out The Latin Dream (2017), starring Fernando Sosa of the famous Tropical Gem and many other top Italian dancers, as well as cameos form World Salsa Champions Rafael & Carine and Ricardo & Karen. 

Sosa is basically playing himself during the movie as a dance competitor, they are unbeatable in the scene, but he feels restricted by perfectionism and ‘style’ barriers, he meets who falls in love with a girl from the ‘street’, she teaches him to bring out his spontaneous side and to incorporate hip hop and other styles into his dancing.

5. Cuban Fury

If you like a romantic comedy this is one sure to get you laughing. Released in 2014 and starring Nick Frost, Rashida Jones and Chris O’Dowd – and featuring the fantastic Cuban dancer Yanet Fuentes.

After winning the teen salsa championships, Bruce is now an engineer, and struggling a little in his life. He battles for the attention of his crush at work, finding out about her passion for salsa dancing he builds up the courage and brushes off his dancing shoes and his insecurities in an effort to impress his co-worker with his long forgotten dance skills, in the process re-igniting his Latin fire.

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Article written by Rhian Saunders (Havana People)

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