Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Puerto Vallarta's First Annual Salsa/Mambo Festival

This weekend marked the 1st annual Salsa/MamboFestival in Puerto Vallarta. The event included exhibitions, workshops and nights of dancing that would blow your mind. A friend of mine, here in Vallarta, is a salsa instructor, and she invited a few of us to join her at “White Night” at Senor Frog’s (mind you, I haven’t been in Senor Frogs since spring break 20 years ago). So, we got all dolled up in our sassiest white attire and hit the town. What we witnessed and experienced, I wouldn’t have missed for the world. Remember the initial dance scene in Dirty Dancing? Well, it pales in comparison to a full-on salsa experience. The second the music started, the dance floor was jammed packed. A couple of us sat back and just watched in awe. Salsa is kind of like swing-dancing, but sexier. The footwork, the spins and twirls and the swinging hips were spectacular. There were several exhibition dances throughout the evening from local professionals. My favorite was a group of kids, ranging in age from 5-9. They were fantastic! 

Exhibition dancers at the 1st Annual Salsa Mambo Festival

I consider myself a decent dancer. I’ve got rhythm and can pick up a dance step pretty easily. But, I was humbled when I was asked to dance (it’s a couples thing, so the ladies have to wait to be asked to dance). The footwork is fast and if you miss a step, you’re all over the place. Lucky for me, my partner was patient and excited that I wanted to learn, so he taught me a few basics and by the end of the song, I was twirling around like I knew what I was doing. And now, I’ve got the salsa bug! I can’t wait to take some lessons. When the festival comes around this time next year, I want to be on that dance floor and know what I’m doing.  

- Stephanie Watts, Destination Expert

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