Salsa convention heats up - Metro US

Salsa convention heats up

About 1,500 Calgarians didn’t have to fly to Cuba to feel the Latin heat this weekend.

Instead they went to the Calgary International Salsa Congress at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, where many took classes taught by world-class instructors by day and watched professionals by night, then took part in a dance party until 2:30 in the morning.

“The flavour of salsa is incredible,” said instructor and performer José Santamaría.

“When you connect with someone on the dance floor, you get a mix of so many different emotions, it’s intense. You really cannot describe it.”

Suzy Brisbin attended the congress all weekend. She owns Shimmy Dance Productions in Calgary.

“This totally brings the dance community together,” Brisbin said. “You get to meet new people, learn new techniques and have fun. People from all of the dance schools come here, not to compete but to learn and to work together. It’s really unique in that way.”

Managing director Eric Gooden said that not only does it bring Calgary’s dance community together, it’s a great place to learn from the pros.

“The best part about this weekend is the small-world community feel that salsa has,” Gooden said. “It’s a really cool place to be able to connect with international dancers and share in their passion for dance.”

The highlight of the weekend was a qualifying competition for the ESPN World Salsa Championships that will be held at Disney World later this year.

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