Two different salsa-dance events have been competing for the same crowd on Friday nights in downtown Asheville. The clash between Salseros 828’s event at Eleven on Grove and Mela Indian Restaurant’s free weekly event caught Xpress’ attention this afternoon when Maria Voisin, the director and founder of Salseros, expressed frustration and sadness about the situation in a letter sent out on Facebook.
Photo by Jonathan Welch, taken at Eleven on Grove in 2008.
Salseros simply can’t compete with Mela’s free event, Voisin says. Salseros has been hosting a weekly event at Eleven on Grove for three years and, according to Voisin, has provided a consistency that has been influential in cultivating and expanding the Latin dance scene in the community. The cost at the door for Salseros’ event is $8 for guests and $10 for dancers ages 18 to 20 (and is free with a $3 club-membership card). This fee includes an introductory salsa-dance lesson that starts at 11 p.m.
In a final attempt to save the salsa event at Eleven on Grove, Voisin announced that the club will waive its admission fee on Friday nights for the next two weeks. “The only way to keep Club Eleven Salsa alive is to show up,” stated Voisin. “Support the people who have kept this thing going for years.”
Voisin continued: “It’s awful that you are put in the position to even have to choose when there are six other days of the week for Salsa, but we can’t change our night because the club is already booked with things. Mela won’t budge and we have asked them why they can’t just choose a Saturday.”
Calls to Anoop Krishnan, owner of Mela, were not immediately returned. Xpress will update the situation as soon as possible.