Following are some of the principal dance schools:
Academia de Baile Merecumbé has seven locations in the San José area. For information call: l Escazú 289-4774 l Rohrmoser - Pavas 220- 2119 l Alajuela 442-3536 l Tibás 240-8511 l Heredia 237-9851 l Desamparados 219-8787. This academy offers popular dances and charges a small registration fee plus a monthly fee l Kinesis Academia de Baile-in Alajuela 440-0822. Registration plus monthly fee l Academia de Baile Malecón-in San José. 255-0378. Monthly fee but no registration fee l Academia de Baile Kurubandé in Desamparados 219-2363. Flat monthly fee l Academia de Bailes Latinos in San José 233-8938. Charges per hour.
All these schools offer popular dance or baile popular which includes bolero, Cumbia, Meringue, salsa, considered the main ones and, of course, swing and rock-and-roll in case you don't already know them from back home. A few schools even teach tango though it's not popular in Costa Rica. All offer group and individual classes at all levels - beginners to advanced dancers - so you can take your pick. Classes are offered during the day and night, the latter being preferred. Group classes generally meet once or twice a week for two hours at a time and for a duration of three months.
Going to a Gym?
Several retirees whom I know regularly go to a gym two or three times a week for a short workout. It's a way to keep muscles in tone and lose a few pounds, but, above all, it's a way to meet more people and probably start new friendships. Before signing up at any of the various gyms existing, be sure you have a specific objective in mind. What do you want to achieve: lose weight, increase your muscular mass, recuperate from an injury, or simply fight nervous tension?
Once you've determined your objective in line with your age, and keeping in mind that you want to enjoy yourself, it's much easier to design a work plan together with your instructor. Besides weight-lifting, aerobics, stationary bicycling, and martial arts, there are other activities within the gym which you can undertake. Remember, however, that to make a go of it, besides sufficient motivation, you must be patient and persistent.
You can find many gyms listed in the phone book and there is the Asociación Costarricense de Gimnasia (East Sabana, 255-0009) which can give you good information. Each gym has its own scale of fees and diversity of equipment. Call for prices. The most modern and best equipped in the country appears to be Fitsimons located in south Sabana Park.