Calgary might be known as a “cowtown” but the “salsa dancing fever” is very hot as well. With all sorts of latin-style festivals happening throughout the year as well as various dance schools teaching locals how to move, Calgary is a great place to learn and dance a variety of styles including salsa, bachata, tango, and more.
Since Karla and I love latin music (Karla is Mexican after all), we decided to take dance classes and finally learn the proper footwork and to be able to enjoy dancing a lot more. Then, our dance instructor mentioned the Calgary International Salsa Congress, which is now in its 10th year. We couldn’t miss it.
With performers from all over the world, the Calgary International Salsa Congress is the place to be if you want to see incredible dance performances ranging from salsa, bachata, tango, and even burlesque. With both amateurs and pros competing for awards, the shows go on all night. Starting around 6:30 PM and not ending until almost midnight, there’s a whole lot of entertainment for you to enjoy.
Although all of the performers were amazing, we were especially blown away by the Colombian duo, Jefferson & Adrianita, who really lit up the stage with their speed and finesse. After all, they are three-time silver medalists at the World Latin Dance Cup. Another highlight was Harold & Regan, two Winnipegers who are absolute marvels at Bachata. We first saw them at the Winnipeg Folklorama festival in 2015 and were so impressed by their energetic acrobatic flair. Once again, they didn’t disappoint. I can’t imagine the amount of practice and patience that all of these performers had to go through to get to where they are. It’s very inspiring.
In addition to the incredible performances, there are also workshops throughout the day for those who want to learn some moves as well as evening dance parties going from midnight until 3 AM. Although Karla and I have been taking salsa lessons recently, we felt that we were a little too “amateur” to fully enjoy the parties. When you only know a couple of moves, it can get old quickly. However, we did learn some new bachata dance moves at the workshops and as we get better, we look forward to getting more involved in the latin dance community.
Either way, if you want to see world-class latin dancers or party with them until the wee-hours of the morning, the Calgary International Salsa Congress is the place to be.
For more information, visit www.calgarysalsacongress.com.
Have you been to the Salsa Congress before?
(Thank you to the Calgary International Salsa Congress for the complimentary admission.)