Best Salsa Dancing

Westport Beach Club

Legend has it that the musical term salsa (Spanish for sauce) came from a 1929 song by Cuban musician Ignacio Piñeiro, who wrote the tune to honor a roadside pork-sausage vendor. The song celebrates the peddler's Échale salsita! -- which he shouted each time he ladled the piquant liquid onto a customer's wiener. Dancers are still swinging their hips to the rhythmic beat of the Afro-Cuban music, but the sexy dance can look intimidating to the inexperienced. But at 8 p.m. on Saturdays, a salsa instructor rolls out a mat across the Westport Beach Club's deck, lines up the muchachas opposite the muchachos and teaches five hot moves in an hour. (The teacher insists on partner swapping!) Then a live band starts up, the more seasoned salseros can join the newbies and everyone can do it 'til morning. There's no better place for making the best of the torrid Kansas City summer.
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