My objective in writing this blog post is to provide a tidbit of insight into my life here in Granada! My hope is that any reader of this can walk away feeling like they have at least one concrete thing to look forward to if they ever decide to study/live in Granada, and like they have the information they need to pursue that experience for themselves when they get here.
Cultural and linguistic immersion are inevitable when you arrive in Granada should you commit to having both an open mind and a willingness to engage the locals using your Spanish. Granada is steeped in Jewish, Arabic, and Catholic history, and as such, is the home of many proud and diverse peoples who are eager and excited to share their perspective and culture with you. As a traveler/student in this city, you will have endless opportunities to let the city’s essence change you positively through your five senses by trying different dances, foods, hikes, activities, fitness classes, concerts, cultural celebrations, etc. I believe that immersion through relevant and unique cultural activities is the highest impact activity you can you can Below is one way in which I have immersed myself in Granada since arriving here in late September:
Dancing the Salsa at a local dance studio (Escuela de Flamenco y Danza Lucía Guarnido) has been helpful in that it has provided me with opportunities to connect with Spaniards doing something artistic, active, and beautiful. The Salsa is fast, energizing, and requires a partner, which generally allows anyone visiting several opportunities to dance with different people in the same lesson. The teachers speak exclusively in Spanish, and are excellent at catering to dancers of all levels. For 30 euros a month, you can attend several classes a week at ONE skill level; once you’ve advanced your skills sufficiently, the teacher will suggest that you move up into more advanced classes. The first class at this studio is FREE! The intermediate group typically has class from 21:00 to 22:00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays; the beginners from 22:00 to 23:00 on the same nights. On Thursdays after class, one or both of the teachers and many of the students from the studio will generally go to a Salsa/Bachata club nearby (Aliatar) to apply what they’ve learned in an authentic dance setting. This club has no cover and has an incredible atmosphere – I highly recommend getting a group of friends together and making a visit on a Thursday night!
Dancing is rooted very deeply in Spanish culture, and I’ve found it to be an exhilarating and authentic way of immersing myself here in Granada. I’ve only attended three classes so far and I have made several friends as a result.
Please excuse the less-than-awesome picture posted here! I haven’t felt comfortable being the new guy and taking pictures of everyone in class. The studio is beautiful and welcoming.
Thanks for reading! Lookout for the next tidbit in the coming weeks!