Battersea Spanish, an award winning Spanish Centre, started in the living room of its founder’s home, Sara Caba. It has now become a thriving community of over 500 students per year learning not only to speak Spanish, but now as well to dance tango, flamenco and salsa through the courses they hold at prestigious Royal Academy of Dance in Battersea.
Besides the Spanish and Dance daytime, evening and weekend courses they run, they have an incredibly active calendar of social events that welcomes absolutely everyone who is passionate about the Spanish language and culture. They have been running a monthly Spanish Book Club for almost 3 years now, which has been featured in publications such as the Wandsworth Guardian and the prestigious The Linguist; and also monthly Spanish Film Nights, first at the now closed Doodle Bar in Battersea and more recently at The Bedford in Balham. The last Sunday of each month they receive over 100 people who gather around wine, tapas and candlelight to watch a spectacular Latin or Spanish film and mingle with all the lovely like-minded people who attend. And the good news is that the films have English subtitles, so everyone can join!
Sara Caba, originally from Costa Rica, tells us how since the days when she studied pedagogy at Harvard University she knew she would one day create a more vivid, alive and fresh space to learn about her language and culture. Six years ago her husband’s work brought her to London and it was here that the dream began to take shape. “After a short experience teaching at an adult centre in London (grey walls and classrooms, grey experience) I knew it was time to start something different, and that’s how I put together a website, some flyers, and started with 4 students, which has now become the most beautiful community there is!” Sara tells us how fulfilling it has been to see the amazing response people have had to the project, how engaged they are with all the aspects of it and how beautiful it is that they bring their friends and family along.
Winning the Latin UK Award for Best Spanish Centre made Sara Caba absolutely convinced that what started as a Spanish school for adults had to transition into a Spanish hub, offering a warm and quality experience every single time, to every single person. More recent initiatives have been the Spanish lessons for kids and the launching of Social Dance and Live Music evenings, which take place at atmospheric Battersea Barge in Nine Elms. Three Thursdays a month (Salsa on the second, Flamenco on the third, and Tango on the fourth) they take over this unique boat and transform it into a Latin/Spanish fiesta! The nights start with a lesson for each dance, and then live music kicks in and people can jump into the dance floor, or take a seat, a sip of vino or cerveza and let the sounds and moves transport them to warmer and sunnier places. “The positive response has been immediate” says Caba with a smile, one more time positively surprised by how much South London and South West London love Spanish.
Battersea Spanish is all about dreaming and making dreams come true. The new big project is to find property in the area where they can consolidate all the activities they have been developing since the beginning. They want to build one solid amazing immersive experience into the language and the culture. “No need to travel” Caba says, “you will be there the minute you step in”.
In the autumn they are also planning on launching a Creative Spanish School for Kids, and Spanish and Latin cooking lessons. “The demand we get in these areas is massive and we will make sure it happens!”
Battersea Spanish is located in Lavender Hill, near Clapham Junction, and looks forward to receiving you all with a warm and sunny hug!
Spanish Courses for Kids and Adults:
Private lessons: on-going
Group lessons: from week 18 April onwards
Upcoming Films at The Bedford:
Sunday 6 March “All about my mother” Spain
Sunday 3 April “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” Spain/USA
Sunday 1 May “Pelo malo” Venezuela
Dance & Live Music Events at Battersea Barge:
Salsa: 2nd Thursdays of the month
Flamenco: 3rd Thursdays of the month
Tango: 4th Thursdays of the month
Dance Lessons at Royal Academy of Dance and KLS:
Salsa, Flamenco and Tango lessons for all levels start again in April and May.