Contact Us






Latin Dances in ISTANBUL

The word Salsa which means “sauce” in spanish, also explains the structure of the dance. The dance was founded by merge of Afro,Cuban and Jazz rhythms and can be danced by its 8 rhythm music and 3 beat steps. Most popular Salsa styles are Salsa Cubana and Salsa Puerto Ricana. Lately new styles like L.A., N.Y. Night Club style, Miami have been founded. Learn to dance salsa in Istanbul with Gokhan Turker.

  … The music, whatever its quality is, played by Colon and singer Hector Lavoe was stick to its roots and contains the identity of the people who found themselves in it. What else should be wanted? Freely and violently played trombone
became a symbol of new  Latin music in New York in a short amount time. Colon and Lavoe  brought the Caribbean music which was alienated because of his development with big bands, back to his home, Barrio. They were right: The Birth and Development of Salsa.

..Salsa may go to any direction because it is unsystematic and free. It gives his tribute to all goods but yield to none of them because his main aim is to give something to each age and each pleasure. 

Merengue: Merengue means a kind of dessert and is a native dance of Dominics and Haiti. Because of his hot, sexy and easy nature, merengue is a highly popular among dancers. With his 8 rhythm music and 2 beat steps merengue can be danced in couples as well as in group.

…After the erotic salsa, Merengue came to the scene. Some people suggested this Dominic Republic originated dance is nothing but salsa. Some others took it to close to salsa so salsa bands added merengue songs to their repertoire. Actually merengue had an easy, dance oriented and a more diverse style with his one-two rhythm. Therefore recently it appeared as an opponent to salsa.

...Merengue took advantage of loss of salsas charm. After the mid of 1980’s, it was a fact that more and more people, especially who wants to dance, begin to listen merengue.

Bachata: Bachata, mostly danced by poor and rural people of Dominic and Haiti, begin to step into the scene in 1960s. This romantic dance can be danced by her 4 rhythm music and her 4 beat steps. Well known bands and singers are Monchy y Alexandra, Aventura,  Alex Bueno and doubtless with his unique voice the pupil of Dominics Juan Luis Guerra.

Cha Cha: This dance was founded in Cuba in 1950s by developing of mambo rhythms and danced by two slow and three fast sweeping steps. Cuban style is more different with his close, sexy, joyful and fast movements from Ballroom Cha Cha which is more distant and more rigid,

In 1940s  famous Mambo was founded via the return of Danzon back to its old instrumental form and digestion of other rhythms. In 1948, a young violonist who played in the Havana club “Prado y Neptuno”, made a composition with the name “Engañadora”( The Cheat).  Enrique Jorrin added a son part to the danzon music as the band played a montuno. Jorrin himself said the name of the dance comes from the “Cha Cha Cha” sound of dancers feet while they are dancing. So “Engañadora became the first played chachacha.  The first record was in 1953 and the impact was in an instant. Suddenly everyone wanted to dance this new dance.

…We, Cuban musicians who are trying to earn our life as best as we can, continued to create countless new rhythms. Mambos more slow version Cha Cha was founded because of this. It played more in dance clubs which were converted from garages by young people who cannot go to mambo playing big clubs because of short of money.

Oyeme mamá  

Listen mama  

Qué sabroso está  

To this nice music  

Este nuevo ritmo que se llama  

The name of this new rhythm is  



Unisono se canta  

Like you said in the song  

Se dice Chachachá  

You call it Chachacha  

Con unos pasitos  

A couple steps here  

Para aqui, para allá

A couple steps there 

Mambo: This new rhythm founded in 1940s and it blowed like a storm with its 8 rhythm music, fast, rapid and hot style. Like its Cha Cha cousin Cuban mambo is faster,sexier and more free than Ballroom mambo.

 …Jazz music had effects on Latin music. And it didn’t stopped there. In the end of 1940s Juan de Dios, my friend from Panama, organize a party for his sons baptism. During the party, he stopped the performing band and told us that he going to play the latest madness of New York. What was that and who sang it? Everybody was curious about it. This was an unknown rhythm performed by Jose Curbelo from Cuba and its name was mambo. I swear it; it was neither the effect of drinks or the heat of party. But this mambo was a perfect mixture of melody and sound, which cannot be identified in any instrument and rhythms. It was a rhythm against a rhythm.

 Samba: Samba is a Brasilian originated carnaval dance and it enters until Broadway in beginning of 20th century. With the effect of Europe, it transformed into a Ballroom dance. It danced by bouncing on 3 beat steps. Traditional Brasil samba varies from Ballroom samba by its agility and fast rhythm variety.

 La Rueda: La Rueda de Casino became popular in Cuba with the rise of salsa in 1950s. The word means circle and dance in shape of circle. It uses salsa basic steps and movements  and can grow or shrink according the number of dancers and size of  dance floor. The leader leads the group, the dance and movements by hand signs or by commands. Every movement has a specific hand sign or command word. It is very enjoying dance for both dancer and audience.

 Blue parts were taken from the book of Hernando Calve Ospinas’s SALSA –The Fire of Havana

 About Dance

...As Fidel Castro and his guerilla army entered Havana in 1959, some Cuban musicians fled to Mexico or USA. Beny More was one of the strict people against this  escape. He said: ” No one can force me to leave Cuba!” “I am not interested in dollars. I want to walk in streets of Cuba and to hear people saying “ Hey Wild Man1 How is going?” and to reply them “ It is my flesh and my blood”. So says the best musician of all times.

(1): Beny More’s nickname was The Wild Man of Rhythm.

 ...For the people like me who goes to dance only weekends, the whole week was a torture.But on saturday I will iron my shirt, have a good bath, smear myself on perfume and deodrant and polish my shoes, Palladium was waiting for me

 The parts above were taken from the book of Hernando Calve Ospinas’s SALSA – The Fire of Havana.

About Gokhan Turker..

Gokhan Turker was born in Istanbul at the spring of 1979. He finished  Cagalaoglu Anatolia Highschool, one of the best German based highschool in Istanbul. He decided to have his career in science and began his undergraduate study in Bogazici University at the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics. During his study, he traveled many times abroad. After his graduation in summer of 2002, he went to Zurich, Switzerland for his internship on Environmental Engineering. After he succesfully finished his internship in the private institute, EAWAG, he was accepted to the Biochemistry Masters program with full scholarship on Teaching Assistant by  Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Massachusetts USA. Gokhan Turker continued to his graduate study for six months and then decided to return back to Turkey and begin his graduate study on Environmental Engineering in Bogazici University. Gokhan Turker is now waiting for new semester and wanting to have his PhD in Zurich, Switzerland.

  Latin Dances / By Gokhan Turker

          Gokhan Turker began his dance career in 1997 in Bogazici University. He tells this day as this: “ I had nothing about dance on my mind actually I did not liked dance. But on that day I cannot resist my friends and went to Orientation of BUDANS (Bogazici University Ballroom Dancing Society). I still remember precisely Ferah and Enver danced Mambo and it was one of the amazing things I ever saw. And I wanted to do also.” After
continuing to dance two years with an intense program, Gokhan Turker had finished his required four courses in 1999 and was ready for the next step. Instead of performing a show or entering a competitions, Gokhan Turker pays more attention to dance teaching. He also pionered in founding of an Instructor Education Program in BUDANS. Having necessary educations about class management, instructor-student relations, movement showing and explanations for one year, Gokhan Turker continued his dance career as a  dance teacher since spring of 2000. After being in Board of  BUDANS for three semesters, he had to quit from his active position because of abroad travels and his graduation. After BUDANS, Gokhan Turker began to give private dance classes in many places, opened a dance school and performed many shows. He is always saying in every opportunity, that he has lots of thing to learn and he is a good student.

           Because Gokhan Turker originated from BUDANS his repertoire is quite wide spread from Ballroom styles to traditional Caribbean dances. Int. Style Jive, Int. Style Rhumba, Int. Style Cha Cha, Int. Style Mambo, American Style Rhumba, American Style Cha Cha, Salsa Cubana, Dominican Merengue and Bachata, La Rueda, Club Cha Cha and Disco Fox. After the event in Galaxidi,Greece he adds Traditional Greek dances like Xαsαposervico(Sirtaki), Kαlαmαtiαno (Kalamatiano), Zeimpekiko etc. To his dance repertoire.    

Course Places

Sawady Cafe Bar - Taksim   Classes on Tuesday - Thursday Nights. 
Dances on weekends..
Birkart Logistics - Güneþli Classes on Wednesday Nights
ADA Cafe - Soyak Yeniþehir Classes on Monday and Friday Nights

Gokhan Turker and his International Studies ...

Gokhan Turker always binds his scientific abroad travels with dance; he had succesfull studies in science as well as in dance.  

In summer of 2001 as he was having his internship in University of København, Denmark, he keeped the pulse of the city and absorbed necessary informations and techniques. In Copenhagen, Gokhan Turker met with real Salsa Cubana and accepted it as his dance style. The Latin dances show in Lyngby End of Summer Festival was a big success. As the Latin dance show was performed another dance team won the Iskandinavian La Rueda Competition in same day. Both dance teams were supported and sponsored by Chi Chi Cafe . From Denmark, Gokhan Turker traveled to Stockholm, Sweden and his dance style has been watched with a great enjoyment.

Gokhan Turker started his internship in Zurich,Switzerland in autumn of 2002. Because of his flexible working hours, he had the chance to dance everynight and to improve his dance style. Gokhan  Turker tell us his first dance night in Zurich like this: “ It was 21:30 as I went to club called Palais X-Tra. As I look from outside, I did not saw anyone. I became a bit nervous. As I ask the bodyguard at the front door about the inside, he gave me this answer: “ There are not so many people up there now.” I asked “ How many people?” and as I got the answer :“ Approximately 300 people” I was quite shocked. I went upstairs, took a deep breath and I step into my first dance night in Zurich.” In Zurich, Gokhan Turker had the chance to join El Cubanito Salsa Congress and to dance with more than 200 dancers and dance teachers around the world.

            Gokhan Turker still works voluntarily in AEGEE (European Students Forum). He is the teacher and the speaker of DWG (Dance Working Group) of AEGEE-Istanbul; and the secretary of DWG of AEGEE-Europe. In the AGORA (General Assembly of AEGEE-Europe) held in Ohrid, Macedonia between 22-26 April 2004, he gave a Latin Dances Workshop and made a dance show in European Night. He continued his workshops in the event “Shake it to the Max” in Galaxidi, Greece between 25-29 July 2004. In Greece he also added Traditional Greek dances to his repertoire. He gave an another dance workshop in the event “Shake on the Beach” in Izmir, Turkey between 25-31 August 2004. Now Gokhan Turker is planning to give dance workshops in Tblissi, Georgia in September, in Torino, Italy in October, in Kiev, Ukraine in winter and in Constanza, Romania in spring.  

Please write us to get more information and the latest news, courses about latin dances in istanbul - Turkey.

Contact Person : Mr. Alp

e-mail :

Address Talk to us

Les Arts Turcs
Incili Çavus Sok. No: 37 Kat:3Alemdar Mah.
Sultanahmet 34400.
(Behind of Underground Cistern Entrance... )
Istanbul, Turkey

Tel: 90 (212) 520 77 43
Tel: 90 (212) 511 75 56
Fax: 90 (212) 520 77 43






Contact Us






Istanbul Life.Org: Incili Cavus Sok.No:37/3  Alemdar Mah. SultanAhmet Istanbul /TURKEY

Tel: 90 (212) 511 2198 - 511 7556  Fax: 90 (212) 511 21 98 - 520 77 43    e-mail: