When poet and biographer Grevel Lindop took up salsa dancing in rainy Manchester, his qualifications were size 12 feet and excruciating adolescent memories of ballroom dancing lessons. But salsa has a way of taking over your life. Intense, intimate, and addictive the adrenalin-pumping Afro-Latin-American dance style soon turned into an obsession.
In Travels on the Dance Floor the author embarks on a mission to discover the roots of salsa, master the best moves, and locate dance heaven. Lindop's odyssey takes him from Manchester to the streets, bars, and dancehalls of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico; then to Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, and Miami?land of Cuban exiles?and through encounters with musicians and dance teachers, hookers and hustlers, voodoo priests and thieves along the way. His journey also gives rise to basic confrontations with himself?and to the ultimate question: can a 6'4" white English poet really dance? And what happens when he does? Reunited with his wife and fellow salsa-addict he brings his travels and new-found dance techniques to a suitable climax as he heads for the annual salsa convention in Blackpool. With wry humor and the poet's eye for color, detail, and atmosphere, Grevel Lindop's fast-moving and stylish narrative, as compulsive as the dance he celebrates, recreates the lush cultural mix in which salsa thrives, and the toughness, warmth, and creativity of the people who live it.