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Monday, November 28, 2011

Zumba creator Beto Perez on where to party in Miami


One of my favourite bars is El Sitio, 3480 Main Highway, Coconut Grove (+1 305 648 3368, elsitiobar.com), which has dancing and live music. It serves great Colombian and international food, and has offers on drinks – happy "hour" lasts from 6pm to 10pm.

Another great place to party is La Covacha, at 10730 NW 25th Street, Miami (+1 305 594 3717, lacovacha.com), the first nightclub in South Florida that mixed international crossover music with salsa, merengue, techno, Spanish rock and other Latin rhythms, featuring both live bands and DJs.

My favourite beach is Nikki Beach in South Beach (1 Ocean Drive, +1 305 538 1111, nikkibeachmiami.com) because of its pure sands and clear water. On Sundays, Nikki Beach Club also offers great brunches and sunset parties.

Tourists can watch and learn Latin dances at Yuca, 501 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach (+1 305 532 9822, yuca.com). Yuca is an acronym for Young Urban Cuban-Americans, and this is South Florida's original upscale Cuban restaurant, featuring innovative nuevo latino cuisine. It has salsa nights, with lessons, three times a week.

I teach Zumba on Wednesdays at 6.30pm in DAF Studio (1501 SW 8th St, +1 305 381 5200, dafstudio.com/zumba-classes). DAF stands for Dance Art Fitness and is in Little Havana, a very historic area. I usually have more than 70 people at the class, some of whom come from Europe and across the US.

I like to work out in the open air at South Pointe Park, at the tip of South Beach (1 Washington Avenue miamibeachfl.gov). I like jogging and enjoying the view, and as the park runs parallel to the port of Miami you can see the cruise ships coming in and out.

A festival that is closely tied to Latin music and culture is Calle Ocho, one of the largest carnivals in the world. Every year in March, Miami's Little Havana comes alive to Caribbean music. Calle Ocho attracts thousands, with music, dancing and food from the Caribbean and South America. Salsa and merengue the day away, and stay as musicians party into the night.

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