My velvet escape travel tip: Phoenix, Arizona

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My velvet escape travel tip” is a guest series about what the name ‘Velvet Escape’ evokes and what that would be in the hometown of the guest writer. With this series, I hope to uncover travel tips from places around the world to help visitors have a truly local experience.

What does velvet escape mean to me? It’s the essence of travel. The soft, gentle sensations of pure adventure as you break free from your day to day responsibilities and commitments. It is the sweet sensation of new experiences, people and adventures – all wrapped into one exciting package.

I have to confess to being a green/water person, which makes it difficult at times to live in central Arizona: A destination world famous for its arid climate. While others might hail climbing the local mountains or boating on one of the local lakes as Phoenix’s ideal escapes – mine is far more intimate. Every Sunday evening I rummage around my room for an old beat up pair of Keen shoes (whose soles are worn almost smooth), a pair of jeans, and a nightclub friendly dress shirt. Then, bottle of water in hand, I make the 20 minute trek from North Scottsdale, where I live, to Paragon Dance Studio in South Tempe for the Sunday Night Salsa Social.

Wedged in the corner of an unassuming shopping center, Paragon (the current venue for the Sunday Night Function) is home to throbbing, pulsating Latin music, drawing together strangers, old friends, and lovers. Bodies are swept into motion whirling, spinning, dipping and at times intertwined almost as one. Time melts away, and, drenched in sweat, you forget about the heat, pausing momentarily between dances to silently drink in deep breaths as you prepare for your next dance.

Experts and newcomers alike find their way to Paragon and the Phoenix Salsa scene. They bring to the event a wonderful mixture of cultures, races, faiths, nationalities, and professional careers, all the while offering the extended hand of potential friendship in the guise of a quick Salsa, Bachata or ChaCha.

If you ever find yourself in Phoenix on a Sunday evening, I hope you’ll come and join the party!

About this week’s guest writer
AlexBerger Alex Berger is passionate about fly-fishing, video games, web and software development, and ballroom dancing. A recent graduate of Arizona State University (Tempe), Alex founded and spends his time researching the relationship between video games and ballroom dancing with business models and tools. In between, he pursues his other passion: traveling, and writing about it on his blog, Virtual Wayfarer.

Follow Alex on Twitter.

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4 Responses to “My velvet escape travel tip: Phoenix, Arizona”

  1. henry@phoenix hotels 05/03/2010 1:47 pm

    My husband and I took a three-day road trip from Mesa in the Phoenix area to the Navajo Nation, in the northeastern corner of Arizona. It was a gorgeous drive, taking us through most of the state’s eco-systems, and along part of historic Route 66. My extensive trip report on the places we went – Winslow, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley and Prescott

  2. velvet 02/02/2010 4:34 pm

    Thank YOU Alex for contributing a fun article! Love the video! 🙂


  3. @AlexBerger 02/02/2010 4:21 pm

    Keith – thanks for the opportunity to share.

    Gaby – You may find this presentation I gave a few months ago at Ignite Phoenix interesting: I talk a little bit about some of the amazing positive side effects that go along with ballroom.

  4. gabybali 02/02/2010 9:05 am

    wow! I didn’t know there is a connection between video games & Salsa dance! Interesting blog post from Phoenix. Just followed @AlexBerger. Thanks, Keith!

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